Tahini Sauce


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This authentic tahini sauce is the best I’ve tasted (after many travels to the Middle East) and it’s easy to make with only a handful of ingredients. Just whisk together tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, salt and cumin and drizzle it on falafels, kabobs and roasted vegetables.

The Best Tahini Sauce Recipe

The best tahini sauce is creamy, tangy, garlicky, nutty and easy to make. While you can easily make variations on this sauce (which I’ll explain below) you can’t beat this classic, every day version.

I’ve enjoyed tahini sauce paired with a variety of foods while traveling Egypt, Israel and Jordan. It’s a staple item served at virtually every main meal in the Middle East and often accompanies falafel, hummus, baba ganoush, tabbouleh, lentil salads, roasted vegetables and more. When you’re dining mezze-style, you drizzle it, dip it and enjoy it on a variety of foods!

Tahini sauce in a small bowl next to falafel and tabbouleh salad.

How to Make Tahini Sauce

The main ingredient in tahini sauce is tahini, which made from ground sesame seeds (and tahini itself has an interesting history). Here’s how you make the sauce at home:

  • Start with the freshest ingredients, including a high-quality tahini (you’ve seen my homemade tahini recipe, right?), freshly squeezed lemons (no bottled lemon juice) and minced garlic (no garlic powder). With only a handful of ingredients, you’ll get the most powerful and robust flavor from fresh ingredients.
  • Whisk the tahini sauce ingredients together, until it’s creamy and smooth. When you first start whisking you’ll noticed some separation, due to the water. Don’t worry, just keep whisking. After another minute or so, it’ll come back together for an ultra-creamy sauce.
  • Taste it and make any variations based on your personal flavor preferences. Want it tangier? Add more lemon. Want it spicier? Add some cayenne powder. Want it green? Add some herbs.
  • Use it immediately or store for up to two weeks in the fridge. This recipe makes a little more than one cup of sauce, so you should have plenty to enjoy!
The ingredients for tahini sauce on a table.
Tahini sauce drizzled on falafel.

Tahini Sauce Variations

Roasted Red Pepper Tahini Sauce: This version is smoky and nutty with a simple blend of tahini, roasted red peppers, lemon juice, and garlic.

Green Tahini Sauce: Add your favorite green herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, dill or mint, along with the tahini sauce to a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Spicy Tahini Sauce: Whisk in some cayenne powder, chili powder, za’atar spice or a little more cumin. You could also blend the tahini sauce in a food processor with a jalapeno or serrano pepper for that spicy kick.

Garlic Tahini Sauce: If you’re a garlic lover, you could always add another clove or two of minced garlic. For or a sweeter, milder garlic flavor you could roast a whole head of garlic and then add that to a food processor with the tahini sauce and blend until creamy.

Tahini Dressing: I’ve shown you how to make this lemon tahini dressing or maple mustard tahini dressing before, and it’s simply a thinner version of this classic recipe. The thinner consistency makes it perfect to drizzle on all your favorite salads.

After you’ve made a batch of this sauce, make sure to store it properly. Keep it in the fridge in a sealed container. It’ll last for up to 2 weeks!

The BEST Tahini Sauce Recipe (How to Make Tahini Sauce)

4.97 from 31 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Tahini sauce is made from tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cumin. Just whisk it together and drizzle it on your favorite Middle Eastern recipes. Watch how easy it is to make in the video below!



  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup water, or more for a thinner consistency
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, from about 2 freshly squeezed lemons
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp cumin


  • Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl.
  • Whisk everything together until it's creamy. It may look a bit separated at first, but keep whisking until it's creamy. Alternatively, you could add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend together.
  • Taste and adjust any flavors as desired.
  • Use immediately or store in an air-tight storage container for up to two weeks in the fridge.

Lisa’s Tips

  • If you use store-bought tahini, I recommend an organic brand like Kevala or Artisana.
  • But don’t forget that it’s easy to make tahini at home, especially if you have a Vitamix blender. Check out my Tahini Recipe and video for more information. 


Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 3.8mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 0.7mg
Course: sauce
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, North African
Keyword: How to Make Tahini Sauce, Tahini Sauce, Tahini Sauce Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. The falafel was really tasty! I added a little Japanese kick – eating them on top of fresh shiso leaves with the tahini sauce. Just wish for a weight- rather than volume measurement for the herbs (I kept looking at the picture to decide whether mine were green enough).
    Since I do not have a food processor it took me 2 hours to mince the chickpeas. What food processor will fit into a very small kitchen (10 by 6 feet, excluding counter and cabinets) and do the job? 
    Thanks for the recipe!!!5 stars

    1. Sounds delicious with the Japanese flair you did! As for a food processor, you’ll have to measure out some sizing to see.

  2. Awesome Recipes 👍🏼😉👌🏼 Thank you so much for them 👍🏼😉👌🏼. 
    🧆 Tahini 🥣 Recipe 😉5 stars

  3. Love this recipe! I just tried it yesterday for the first time and the falafel was delicious. However, it was very soft on the inside. Any suggestions for next time? I’d like it to be a bit firmer, just like in the Greek restaurant!! Thank you 4 stars

    1. Hi Eileen – as mentioned above, you can add a bit less water for a thicker consistency. :)

  4. This is a serious recipe. I have tried falafel before and was a disaster but this one is full of flavour, crispy and soft. Followed all the steps and bingo came out so yummy.
    The dough is delicate, you need to be gentle when placing in the fry pan and flip over only when you see brownish in the bottom.
    This recipe is definitely a keeper and thank you for sharing with us5 stars

  5. Hi!  
    I’ve made this recipe twice now, it’s wonderful!  I add a little pepper and turmeric just to make things different, yummy! 😊5 stars

  6. I added an extra clove of garlic and a little more lemon juice.
    We like a stronger flavored sauce.
    This recipe is an excellent base recipe and allows you to adjust the flavors according to your own tastes.5 stars

  7. This is delish!  I used macadamia butter (I live in Hawaii) instead of the tahini, and oh my, so good!  Make a great dip for cut veges, and I use it with my falafels.  

  8. Used to make the bomb tahini with my old school (IOW BEST ever) vitamix.
    I would toast the sesames in my cast iron and blend it up then make hummus then falafel w/tzakziki and also tabouli w/fresh mint.
    Life was good. 

  9. I most say you gotten me hooked to your channel just discovered you few days ago, tried this sauce and am so loving it, thanks. God bless you.
    Please can I add tamarind to it too?5 stars

  10. How much tahini does this recipe make? I see that it makes 8 servings, I don’t want to make a big batch and have it go to waste since it will only be for me.

  11. Brilliantly easy sauce since all the ingredients are cupboard staples. So delicious with the falafel recipe. Will definitely make again soon 😋5 stars

    1. Glad you enjoyed this tahini sauce! It’s definitely the perfect pairing with falafels :)

  12. Perfect!  I’ve made tahini dressing/dip several times but like this version the best.  Was also very quick and easy to pull together.5 stars

    1. Happy to hear this is now your favorite tahini sauce Quinn! You’ll definitely need to give my lemon tahini dressing a try now :)

  13. Wow, this was incredibly easy to make and tastes just as good (if not better!) then any store bought version. This took less than 5 minutes to make, and again, incredibly delicious. Perfect addition to my mediterranean bowl. I used store bought tahini, however, I do plan to make the tahini recipe on the website next time.

    Lisa – Every recipe on your website is a HOME RUN. I have never been able to get into cooking (although have long had the desire to) and your website is the only thing that inspires me to cook. Thank you for helping me :)5 stars

  14. So easy, so tasty! Plus doesn’t EVERYTHING taste so much better when you make it yourself? I really love knowing exactly what is in my food thanks! Love your website – the design is really nice and easy to navigate! Glad I found you! Thanks from Australia!5 stars

  15. Hi Lisa, This is so easy to make in my Vitamix.
    I also made the Beet Hommus fantastic. I love your website and all you do keep up with
    all the great work. xxx from Australia.5 stars

  16. Such a great recipe. My falafel loves it! Most recently I added generous amounts of parsley and cilantro (and therefore more water) to this recipe and have been using it as a sour cream substitute.5 stars

  17. Hi Lisa, I hope you are well. I love this recipe. May I ask how long I could store a batch in the fridge? You mentioned in the post that it can be stored for up to two weeks in the fridge and can also last for several months. Why the difference? And one more question. I read it somewhere that raw garlic, if mixed with olive oil and stored in the fridge, could cause botulism. I wonder if it’s ok to mix minced garlic with my homemade tahini which contains moderate amount of olive oil and store it in the fridge for my meal prep. Many thanks. 5 stars

    1. Hi Lu – you can store this in the fridge for up to two weeks. The plain tahini will last for several months (I’ll fix that in the post). I’m not aware of any issues of botulism from raw garlic either. :)

  18. I love the Tahini recipe. My only gripe is that there are videos of other recipes that pop up n your sight that hogs all the bandwidth when I am trying t read a recipe. Ai cant seem to control whether I want them o pop up or not. It causes my screen o jump to various areas of the recipe or I simply cant scroll down the page to read the next step. Very frustration. I know I could pint the recipe, but I prefer to access it online. I am on a satellite internet cuz thats the only service available to me in the country meaning I don’t have enough  bandwidth to accommodate popup videos. Can you allow the user to control his feature?5 stars

    1. Hi Kim – I completely understand! You can actually just exit out of the video that begins playing as you scroll so that it doesn’t get in the way :) Do let me know if you come across anymore technical issues.

  19. I love your step by step instructions, and your video is so helpful. I made the tahini sauce for the first time in my life, and it turned out great. Well, at least it looks like yours:)5 stars

    1. Hi Irina – That’s awesome! I’m glad this recipe helped you create your first batch of tahini sauce perfectly :)

  20. I love Tahini sauce. It’s always so light and refreshing and good on so many different things.5 stars

    1. Hi Krissy – It really is such a versatile sauce that tastes great with so many Mediterranean dishes!

  21. I’ve always wondered how to make Tahini, I didn’t realise it was this easy! Definitely giving it a go!5 stars

    1. Hi Chris – Yep! It’s much easier than you think. Plus, this sauce is great for many recipes as a dipping or drizzle.

  22. Homemade is the best, and bonus points for an even better tasting tahini sauce than store-bought. :)5 stars

    1. Hi Anita – I couldn’t agree more! That way you can always exclude any unnecessary additives :)

  23. I am so curious about you! You are amazing! I’ve just knew you since 1 week! I keep watching your videos! Your recipes are so delicious! You are inspiring me a lot for healthy and delicious food!
    Thank you for sharing with everyone, Lisa! 
    I wish you a good health and all the best things!

  24. Yum I didn’t realise this sauce could be so versatile! Now I want to try a little bit of ALL those variations and see what I love best. Great recipe, thank you!5 stars

    1. They’re all amazing and it’s great to switch things up with your tahini sauce. I’m all for keeping things interesting! Enjoy. :)

  25. Aah I know what I’m missing in my pantry now! Need some homemade tahini, and I’m going to be trying this recipe soon!5 stars