Easy Lemon Tahini Sauce
This easy lemon tahini sauce is made with just two ingredients and is the perfect accompaniment to grilled vegetables, chicken, meat, seafood, or greens. You can even thin it down and use it as a salad dressing. Naturally vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and paleo friendly.
Easy Lemon Tahini Sauce
If I’ve learned anything from my time spent in the kitchen, it’s that one should never underestimate the power of a good sauce. A good sauce can make or break a dish.
A great sauce can turn even the most basic dishes from good to fabulous with very little extra effort. Tahini sauce is a
Tahini Sauce Ingredients:
This easy lemon tahini sauce is made with just two ingredients: tahini paste and lemon juice. You’ll also need basic kitchen staples like salt and pepper.
Depending on the flavor that you’re trying to achieve, you can customize or tweak this tahini sauce with any number of additions: fresh herbs, fresh garlic, etc.
What is Tahini?
Pure tahini is sesame seed paste. White sesame seeds that have been ground down until smooth, similar to nut butters. It is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine – most commonly associated with hummus – and I always store a jar of tahini in my refrigerator. It is one of my favorite kitchen staples.
Tahini paste has a rich, savory, and slightly bitter flavor. While you can make tahini from scratch, I recommend buying the store-bought tahini pastes to save time and hassle.
Any store-bought pure tahini paste will work in this recipe, but I have a particular infatuation with Soom tahini (affiliate link). Ethiopian tahini, such as Soom tahini, is generally considered the best. I strongly recommend this brand, particularly if you have been disappointed with other store-bough tahini pastes, but have also been impressed with Trader Joe’s tahini as well.
How to Make Tahini Sauce:
This tahini sauce recipe can be prepared in a small bowl with just a whisk or spoon. No need for a blender or food processor (unless you are adding herbs or other ingredient that require processing).
Tahini paste is by nature very thick, so we’ll be thinning the mixture down to a sauce consistency by adding cold water. Tahini will naturally seize up at first, but just keep adding water until it reaches the desired consistency.
Ways to Use Tahini Sauce:
Tahini sauce can be used on any number of dishes. Drizzle tahini sauce on:
- roasted vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, cauliflower, etc.)
- grilled chicken (this Middle Eastern roast chicken or these chicken bulgur bowls are a perfect choice!),
- seafood, lamb, or beef
- salad (thinned down with water)
- thick tahini sauce also makes a great dip for vegetables, crackers, etc.
Tahini Sauce Variations:
This tahini sauce recipe can be customized in a variety of ways:
- fresh garlic (microplaned or pressed)
- very finely chopped flat leaf parsley, cilantro, dill, or mint (if adding fresh herbs, prepare the tahini sauce in a small food processor to ensure the herbs blend evenly)
- ground spices additions, such as cumin, za’atar spice blend, or sumac
- 1/4 cup (64 grams) pure ground tahini paste
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (roughly 1 juicy lemon)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small garlic clove, pressed
- very finely chopped flat leaf parsley, cilantro, dill, or mint
- za’atar spice blend or ground sumac
- In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini paste and lemon juice. It will be become thick. Slowly whisk in the water until the sauce can drizzle from a spoon. Add the salt and pepper, and adjust for taste if necessary. If the sauce is too thick, add another teaspoon or so of water as needed. Stir in any optional additions, if using.
- Leftover sauce can be placed in a covered container and refrigerated for up to a week. The dressing will thicken in the refrigerator. Add a touch of water to thin it down if necessary, and adjust seasonings to taste.
Tips for Success:
- when using a fresh jar of tahini sauce, be sure to stir it well with a knife as oil has a tendency to seperate.
- this tahini sauce goes well with so many things! Drizzle on roasted or grilled vegetables, seafood, chicken, meat, or thin it down and use it as a simple salad dressing.
- reduce the water to make a thick dip. increase the water to turn it into a light salad dressing.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 176mg Carbohydrates: 8g Fiber: 1.5g Sugar: 0g Protein: 3g