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 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!
How to Make the Best 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!
Tahini Sauce Variations
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 lemon 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.
Tahini Sauce Recipe Video (1-Minute)
I’m sure you’ve gathered that it’s super easy to make a tasty tahini sauce, but I think it always helps to watch a quick step-by-step video. Give it a quick watch!
Tahini Sauce: How to Make the BEST Tahini Sauce
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup water, or more for a thinner consistency
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, from about 2 freshly squeezed lemons
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 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.
- 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.