This 10-minute homemade tahini sauce is so flavorful and so easy to make. Simply mix a few ingredients in a bowl, then serve.
You can also make this tasty dip ahead of time, refrigerate, and use it 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 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.
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.