This 10-minute homemade tahini sauce is so flavorful and so easy to make. Simply mix a few ingredients in a bowl, then serve. Or refrigerate and use later. It's absolutely wonderful with fresh-cut vegetables or as a topping to meat.
Tahini sauce is a thick, delicious Middle Eastern dip. It is made from sesame butter, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Sometimes chopped parsley is added too.
As a kid in Israel, I loved sopping it up with fresh pita bread. Alas, I can no longer eat bread. But the warm, flavorful memories remain.
You'll only need a few ingredients to make this very flavorful sauce. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Tahini: This is often sold as "sesame butter." The only ingredient should be ground sesame seeds.
Minced garlic: Mince it by yourself or use the stuff that comes in a jar.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use.
Olive oil: Extra-virgin has the best flavor and I highly recommend using it in this recipe.
Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed is best.
Water: To thin out the sauce to your desired consistency.
Chopped parsley: This is optional, but it does add a nice flavor in addition to color.
It's incredibly easy to make tahini sauce from scratch! Basically, you mix the ingredients in a bowl, by hand, then refrigerate. Please scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here's an overview of the steps:
Gather your ingredients. Start by placing all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
Whisk until smooth. Use a hand whisk to mix them all together until very smooth. Then mix in the parsley.
Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Expert tip: consistency
You can make the sauce as thin or as thick as you like, depending on how much water you add. A thick sauce is perfect as a dip for vegetables or crackers. A thin one can serve as a wonderful salad dressing.
Frequently asked questions
Both are middle eastern sauces or spreads used to flavor meats, bread, and vegetables. And both are often served at the beginning of a meal as part of a meze platter - a collection of small plates containing various spreads, sauces, and salads.
The main difference is the main ingredient - chickpeas in hummus and sesame seeds in tahini.
This would depend on how much water you add to the sesame butter. The way I make it, a serving of 2 tablespoons has about 106 calories.
It tastes nutty and pleasantly salty, with a bit of tang from the lemon juice and a hint of sharpness from the garlic. Its mouthfeel is wonderful - it's very creamy, like all nut butters.
Variations and substiutions
The recipe, as written here, is a classic one. An interesting variation is to add different spices to the basic sauce. Try adding just a pinch of smoked paprika, ground cumin, or oregano. You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper if you'd like it to be spicy.
Traditionally, in the Middle East, this sauce is served as a flavorful topping for meat, falafel, or cooked vegetables.
If you add some extra water, you can turn it into a tasty salad dressing. It's much better than any commercial salad dressing!
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about 5 days. Sometimes I keep them for a full week and they're fine!
Do make sure to stir the sauce again before serving. And if it has thickened too much while being refrigerated, simply stir in a bit of water.
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Easy Homemade Tahini Sauce
- ½ cup tahini (sesame butter)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons water or more if needed
- 2 tablespoons parsley finely chopped (optional)
- Place the tahini, garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon juice and water in a medium bowl. Whisk with a hand whisk until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add 1-2 more tablespoons of water. It should be smooth and creamy.
- If using, use a rubber spatula to mix in the parsley.
- Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir again before serving, and add more water if the sauce has thickened in the fridge, a tablepsoon at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Tahini sauce keeps in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days.