Tahini Sauce

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This authentic tahini sauce is easy to make with only a handful of ingredients. Just whisk together tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cumin for the best flavor. Then, drizzle it on falafels, kabobs, and roasted vegetables for one fantastic meal!

A bowl of tahini sauce with a spoon.
Photo: Gayle McLeod

The Best Tahini Sauce Here’s Why

I’ve enjoyed tahini sauce paired with a variety of foods while traveling to 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! But no store-bought tahini sauce can compare to this homemade version. Here’s why:

  • It’s packed with fresh, authentic flavors. A classic tahini sauce should be tangy, garlicky, and nutty, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with this recipe. But if you want to switch things up, I’ve got a few tasty variations below.
  • It has the perfect consistency. The sauce should be smooth and creamy – not too thick and not too watery. The texture should be similar to a drizzly almond butter.
Ingredients for tahini sauce.

Tahini Sauce Ingredients

  • Tahini: This is the main ingredient, so go with the highest quality (I’ve linked my favorite brand in the recipe card notesbelow). But even better? Make your tahini at home – it’s super easy!
  • Lemon Juice: Always use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor (jarred lemon juice tastes muted). 
  • Water: You can add more or less water to achieve the right consistency, so feel free to tweak this to your liking. 
  • Garlic: While you can use garlic powder in a pinch, I do recommend using freshly minced garlic for the most robust flavor. 
  • Sea Salt and Cumin: The seasoning duo that ties this sauce together.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Making tahini sauce in a bowl.

How To Make Tahini Sauce

  • Whisk the tahini sauce ingredients together, until it’s creamy and smooth. When you first start whisking you’ll notice some separation due to the water. Don’t worry, just keep whisking. After another minute, 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 it for up to two weeks in the fridge. This recipe makes a little over one cup of sauce, so you should have plenty to enjoy!

FLAVOR 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, and 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 more cumin. You could also blend the tahini sauce in a food processor with a jalapeno or serrano pepper for a spicy kick.
  • Garlic Tahini Sauce: If you’re a garlic lover, you could always add another clove or two of minced garlic. For 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 Dressings: I’ve shown you how to make this lemon tahini dressing (which is simply a thinner version of this classic recipe) and maple mustard tahini dressing (which is slightly sweeter). The thinner consistency of the dressings make them perfect to drizzle on all your favorite salads.
A spoonful of tahini sauce next to falafels.

Ways To Use Tahini Sauce

  • Falafels: Falafel dipped with tahini sauce is the dreamiest pairing. And if you haven’t tried my falafel flatbread yet, whip a batch up! Add your favorite toppings, then drizzle tahini sauce on top. 
  • Shawarma: This is a classic sauce to enjoy with shawarma. If you’re gluten-free, you can enjoy the shawarma ingredients a la carte and drizzle the sauce on top.
  • Toss with salads. Add this to almost any salad for a creamy, nutty touch. My favorites are lentil salad, broccoli and chickpea salad, or tabbouleh!
  • Drizzle on vegetables. Amp up cooked vegetables such as roasted broccoli, roasted cauliflower, air fryer carrots, or cabbage steaks. In my Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook you can also see how I drizzle different flavors of tahini sauce on cauliflower steaks and stuffed eggplants – so yum!

More Recipes You’ll Love

I can’t wait for you to start using this tahini sauce in your cooking! If you make it, I’d love to know how it turned out in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community. 

A bowl of tahini sauce.

The Best Tahini Sauce Recipe

4.98 from 36 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

This authentic tahini sauce is easy to make with only a few ingredients. Drizzle on falafels, kabobs, roasted vegetables, and more! Watch how I make this in my kitchen in the video below!

Video

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 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 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin

Instructions 

  • Whisk together. Add the tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cumin to a mixing bowl. Then whisk 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.
    Whisking tahini sauce in a bowl.
  • Taste it. Taste the tahini sauce and adjust any flavors as desired to your liking, before serving.
    A bowl of tahini sauce with a spoon.

Lisa’s Tips

  • If you use store-bought tahini, I recommend an organic brand like Kevala.
  • 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. 

Nutrition

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!

Recipe originally posted July 2019, but updated to include new photos and information for your benefit!

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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




69 Comments

  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. A mini Cuisinart food processor works perfectly. I have a discontinued model that is a tiny bit bigger than the ones for sale now, but it will still work fine in the current models.

      Just do it in two or maybe three batches, that worked perfectly for me. I put everything into a mixing bowl, then scooped out half, (or a third if you’re processor is tiny), and then combine them all together in another bowl.

  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