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Easy Tahini Sauce (for Falafels, Vegetables, and Salads)

This Creamy Tahini Sauce recipe takes just 3 minutes to pull together, and you can do it with just a fork and one strong arm! It’s the perfect tahini sauce for falafel, salads, and any vegetable you like.

For other delicious creamy sauces, try my dukkah-spiced tahini brussels or lemon butter sauce.

😋 Why this recipe is great

For School Lunches: this is the perfect cold sauce for school lunches, whether it be a pita sandwhich, a turkey wrap, or veggie sticks and dip.

Great on Everything: this is the best garlic tahini sauce for salads, falafels, grilled meats, and all sorts of roasted vegetables, and really anything else that could use a creamy tang!

Quick to Make: easily blend up this Mediterranean sauce in under 5 minutes!

❓ What is tahini?

Tahini is a creamy paste made from toasted, ground sesame seeds, which are rich in healthy fats, providing its smooth texture. A staple in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, tahini has a nutty, slightly bitter flavor that complements both sweet and savory dishes.

It’s a key ingredient in classic recipes like hummus and baba ganoush. Beyond these, tahini can be used in dressings, sauces, and even in baking. This particular sauce is a copycat Cava garlic tahini sauce.

Tahini’s versatility and health benefits, including being a good source of healthy fats and minerals like calcium, have led to its growing popularity in various culinary traditions around the globe.

🍋 Ingredients

Tahini: a Middle Eastern word for sesame seed butter, tahini is raw sesame seeds pulverized into a thin paste. It’s most often compared to peanut butter, and adds a creamy hint of umami. Be sure to stir your jar of tahini before measuring for the recipe!

Lemon Juice: for a burst of fresh tang, this recipe uses the juice of about 1 large lemon.

Garlic Powder: while you could alternately use 2 cloves of minced raw garlic, this is only easy if you have a garlic press or a very high-powered blender. So for a great burst of flavor in quick form, add garlic powder for a burst of umami.

Sea Salt: you’ll use a fair amount of this, but it doesn’t make the tahini sauce taste overly salty.

Cumin: this simple spice adds big flavor, even in its relatively small amount.

Ground Sumac: this optional spice is mainly used to top the sauce when dolloped onto salads or otherwise heavily presented. It gives a nice lemony flavor to whatever’s on your plate.

See recipe card for quantities.

📖 How to make tahini sauce: step-by-step instructions

Step 1. Add the tahini and lemon juice to your food processor and then blend on high until whipped together.

💡 Pro-Tip: I like the 2:1:1 ratio of tahini: water: lemon juice, but you can also use more or less of the lemon juice or water, to taste.

Step 2. Then add the garlic powder, salt, and cumin, and blend for 10-15 more seconds.

Step 3. Finally, slowly add in the water 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.

📝 Substitutions and variations

Tahini: you can use any other type of nut butter in this tahini sauce, but your best bet would be cashew butter, peanut butter, or almond butter, depending on what you want to eat it on or how much tahini you need to substitute.

Lemon Juice: the best swap for the lemon juice is fresh lime juice. While I don’t recommend using the squeeze bottle lemon juice, if you must, then use an extra tablespoon of it.

Garlic: the best alternate for garlic powder is fresh garlic, but if you need to use jarred garlic, use twice as much.

Seasonings: there’s minimal seasonings in this sauce, to keep it flexible enough to be able to use in a variety of dishes. You’ll likely want to double the amount of cumin if you’re making this tahini sauce for cauliflower.

  • Make it Spicy – add 1 to 2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce to the blend before mixing to make a more spicy tahini sauce. I recommend using either gochujang, tabasco, or harissa.
  • Herb Tahini Sauce: for a more flavorful green tahini sauce you can add a half tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs before blending the sauce.
  • Lemon Tahini Sauce: if you really want to emphasize the lemon flavor in this tahini sauce, I recommend adding lemon zest from the same lemon you juiced to make the sauce.

🥘 Storage and freezing

Keep homemade tahini sauce in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 6 months. Even if there is some separation, tahini sauce can easily be reblended with limited effect on quality.

🥗 Tahini sauce uses

  • As a dip for vegetables and pita bread.
  • Mixed into hummus for added creaminess.
  • Drizzled over roasted vegetables.
  • Used as a salad dressing.
  • Spread on sandwiches or wraps as a flavorful condiment.
  • Swirled into soups for a nutty flavor.
  • Incorporated into veggie burger patties for moisture and taste.
  • Served as a sauce for falafel or kebabs.
  • Stirred into grain bowls or Buddha bowls.
  • Used as a base for creamy pasta sauces.
  • Use this tahini sauce for sweet potatoes or cauliflower as an easy side.
  • As a topping for baked fish or chicken to add a rich, savory note.

👨🏻‍🍳 Expert notes & tips

Don’t Fear the Reaper: this creamy tahini sauce goes great with all kinds of heat, from a dash of hot sauce to spice things up to stirring a spoonful of the sauce into your favorite soups and stews.

Up the Flavor: while I like a ratio of 2 parts tahini to one part water and one part fresh lemon juice, but you can also use more or less of the lemon juice or water to your taste and texture preferences.

🙋🏻‍♂️ Frequently asked questions

What is tahini and how do you eat it?

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds, commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. It can be eaten in various ways: as a spread on toast, mixed into salad dressings, or as a key ingredient in dishes like hummus and baba ganoush.

What does tahini taste like?

Tahini has a rich, nutty flavor with a slight bitterness, and its taste can vary in intensity depending on whether hulled or unhulled sesame seeds are used. The texture is similar to that of other nut butters – creamy and smooth.

What is tahini sauce made of?

Tahini sauce is typically tahini paste diluted with ingredients like lemon juice, garlic, and water to make it pourable and suitable for drizzling. It may also include herbs and spices for added flavor.

Do you have to refrigerate tahini?

While unopened tahini can be stored in a cool, dry place, once opened, it’s best to refrigerate it to prevent rancidity and maintain freshness. Refrigeration can extend its shelf life significantly, though unrefrigerated tahini can last several months if kept cool and damp.

What’s the difference between tahini and tahini sauce?

The difference between tahini and tahini sauce is mainly consistency and flavor; tahini is a thick paste, while tahini sauce is thinner and seasoned, often used as a dip or dressing.

What pairs well with tahini?

Tahini pairs well with a variety of foods, including vegetables, bread, grilled meats, and fish. It also complements the flavors in grain bowls, salads, and is often used in sweet recipes like cookies and energy bars.

Have you tried this recipe?

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Easy Tahini Sauce (for Falafels, Veggies & Salads)

This creamy tahini sauce recipe takes just 3 minutes to pull together, and you can do it with just a fork and one strong arm! It's the perfect tahini sauce for roasted vegetables, falafels, and salads.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Max

Equipment

  • food processor or blender
  • silicone spatula

Ingredients

  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice 1 large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder alt 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground sumac to top, optional

Instructions

  • Add the tahini and lemon juice to your food processor and then blend on high until whipped together.
  • Then add the garlic powder, salt, and cumin, and blend for 10-15 more seconds.
  • Finally, slowly add in the water 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.

Notes

Don’t Fear the Reaper: this creamy tahini sauce goes great with all kinds of heat, from a dash of hot sauce to spice things up to stirring a spoonful of the sauce into your favorite soups and stews.
Up the Flavor: while I like a ratio of 2 parts tahini to one part water and one part fresh lemon juice, but you can also use more or less of the lemon juice or water to your taste and texture preferences.
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @PerfectSauces or tag #perfectsauces!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating




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