This insanely good tahini dressing recipe comes together in no time. The tahini adds creaminess and an earthy flavor, while fresh lemon juice adds plenty of bright citrus. Tamari adds salt and a hint of sweetness, while garlic and crushed red peppers add a slight kick. This dressing can also be used as a tahini dipping sauce for veggies, or as a condiment for sandwiches and wraps.
I’m always amazed that more people don’t make their own salad dressing. It’s fast, economical, and the results are so much tastier than store bought dressings. I’ve been making this homemade tahini dressing for years, yet somehow I’ve never shared it here before!
While tahini is one of my favorite ingredients, I realize that it’s not a common choice for salad dressing. If you’re curious about experimenting with other homemade dressings, I have several recipes you should check out! Some of my other favorites include cilantro lime dressing, buttermilk ranch dressing, and honey mustard dressing.
Ingredients for Tahini Dressing
To make this dressing, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Tahini (I’m partial to this brand)
- Lemon juice
- Crushed red pepper flakes
How to Make Tahini Dressing
This homemade salad dressing is so easy, Here’s what you do:
Step 1: Gather your ingredients
Tahini can vary in thickness depending on the brand and how well you stir it before using (it separates like natural peanut butter). You may not need the entire amount of olive oil if your tahini is on the thinner side.
If you want to avoid little pieces of minced garlic in your dressing (sometimes the blender misses some), you can grate it on a microplane zester (one of my favorite kitchen tools) to create more of a paste.
Step 2: Add everything to a blender
Add everything to the blender except for a couple tablespoons of olive oil. This will give you room to play with the consistency of the dressing.
Step 3: Puree until smooth
That’s it! Taste and adjust the flavors and add the remaining olive oil to thin out the dressing, if needed.
Recipe Substitutions and Variations
I love the spicy punch of raw garlic, but I know not everyone does. If you use a medium clove, this dressing will have a fairly potent garlic flavor. You can use a small clove or 1/2 medium clove to avoid this.
You can also place the clove in a fine mesh strainer and pour some boiling water over it before mincing, which will tame the raw flavor.
I often find tamari and soy sauce to be interchangeable, but that is NOT the case here. I tested this recipe with soy sauce and it tasted wrong. Tamari is milder, and it doesn’t compete with the tahini. Avoid soy sauce in this recipe.
There are so many great ways to use this tahini dressing!
- I love serving it over baby arugula or a mix or arugula and spinach for a small basic salad, but if I’m looking for something more substantial, this dressing makes an epic steak salad.
- Try using it as a dip for raw veggies.
- Use as a condiment on a sandwich or wrap.
More Tahini Recipes
If you love this recipe, be sure to check out my Pine Nut Tahini Cookies, Spicy Tahini Kale Chips, and Chocolate Brownies with Salted Tahini Frosting. I also love this chocolate tahini cake from Molly Yeh (recipe on Food Network).
You can also see my full archive of tahini recipes here!
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided (see notes)
- 1/4 cup well-stirred tahini
- 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 small or medium garlic clove, minced (see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt, if needed
- Add all but 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a blender, along with the tahini, lemon juice, tamari, garlic, and pepper flakes. Puree until smooth.
- Taste for texture and seasoning level. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil for a thinner texture. Add salt if needed (mine didn’t need any).
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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