This tangy and sweet lemon tahini dressing is perfect on everything! Drizzle on salads, buddha bowls, falafel, veggie burgers or even cooked vegetables. Only 3 ingredients (+ salt/water).

silver spoon in bowl of creamy lemon tahini dressing

This is my go-to salad dressing and I will tell you why: It’s super simple to make; all you need is a whisk and a bowl, unlike my Vegan Ranch or Vegan Caesar that require a high powered blender.

Besides being ridiculously easy, this lemon tahini dressing is creamy and bright with natural sweetness. It tastes great with kale, romaine, spinach or even arugula based salads. This dressing can be used for more than just salads, too!

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What is tahini?

Tahini is basically just ground up sesame seeds, or sesame seed butter. The taste of tahini is very unique – nutty, a little earthy and bitter but not in a bad way. It is used in hummus, served with falafel and is a staple in both Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Tahini is pretty easy to find nowadays. I almost always get it at Trader Joe’s because I shop there frequently and it’s a great price, but many other stores have it as well.

close up of creamy dressing being spooned onto salad

How to make tahini dressing

In a bowl, add 1/2 cup of tahini, 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup maple syrup (or less if you don’t want a sweet dressing) and a little salt. Whisk well until creamy and smooth. Add 2-4 tablespoons of water to reach a desirable consistency. That’s it!

showing how to make dressing in a white bowl with whisk

Tips

  • Use high quality tahini that is smooth, not chunky or too thick.
  • If your tahini IS chunky or has gotten really hard in the fridge, use an immersion blender or regular blender instead of a whisk.
  • If you don’t want the dressing very sweet, use less maple syrup or none at all.
  • It will thicken as it sits, so add more water as needed before serving, especially after it’s been stored in the refrigerator.

whisk in bowl of lemon tahini dressing

What goes well with tahini dressing?

  • Dark leafy green salads, such as kale, spinach or arugula
  • Romaine based leafy green salads
  • Salad toppings: chickpeas, avocado, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes and even brown rice
  • Drizzle it on a buddha bowl with rice, beans and veggies
  • Falafel
  • Veggie Burgers
  • Steamed or roasted broccoli or brussels sprouts

dark leafy greens salad with dressing and tomatoes

square photo of dressing in bowl with spoon

Lemon Tahini Dressing

This tangy and sweet lemon tahini dressing is perfect on everything! Drizzle on salads, buddha bowls, falafel, veggie burgers or even cooked vegetables. Only 3 ingredients (+ salt/water).
5 from 3 votes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or less to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 2-4 tablespoons water, or more as needed to thin

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a medium bowl. Whisk until creamy and smooth, adding water as needed to thin the dressing. This will depend on the thickness of your tahini. If your tahini is really thick or chunky and difficult to whisk, you can use a blender/food processor or immersion blender.
  • Add more salt to taste. If you want a less sweet dressing, you can use less maple syrup, but I think 1/4 cup is just perfect for a sweet, lemony creamy dressing.
  • Serve over salads, buddha bowls, drizzle on falafel, veggie burgers or steamed vegetables. Basically, pour it on everything!

Notes

  1. Store in the fridge for about a week. The dressing will thicken as it sits, so simply add a tablespoon of water or so and stir before using.
  2. The recipe makes about 1 cup of dressing. You can cut the recipe in half if you don't want that much.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 157kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 105mg, Potassium: 132mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 13IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 43mg, Iron: 1mg

Originally posted March 2017, this post has been updated with new photos and writing March 2020.

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