Tahini sauce is the classic silky, lemony Middle Eastern dip that you frequently find partnered up with falafel. But, did you know that tahini makes an amazingly delicious topping for baked potatoes, salads and even sweets?
What is Tahini Sauce?
Classic tahini sauce is made from sesame paste, garlic and lemon juice. It's a simple sauce that's so much better than the sum of its parts. Tahini serves as the foundation for hummus and baba ghanoush, where it lends its toasted nut flavor to these classic dips.
I whip up a jar about once a week and it usually doesn't last the week! Here's a few of my favorite ways to use this classic sauce:
- Grain Salads: Tahini sauce loves to pair up with rice, quinoa, barley and farrow. It adds that pop that levels up grain bowls.
- Salad Dressings: Fall flavors like sweet potatoes, kale , and butternut squash are mellowed out with tahini sauce. Toss together a bowl of chickpeas, kale and sweet potatoes and drizzle a little tahini sauce over the top...heaven!
- Noodles: Toss tahini into a steaming bowl of soba or udon, sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy a simple, but satisfying dinner.
- Roasted Vegetables: Carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, pumpkin, brussel sprouts, aubergine (eggplant) and red peppers are all kicked up a notch with a drizzle of tahini.
- Buddha Bowls: Buddha bowls are all about the dressing, which is why tahini and Buddha bowls make great friends. Fry up some tofu, add some pickled onions, roasted vegetables and slaw. Drizzle some tahini over the top and enjoy!
- Veggie Burgers: Slather a bit of tahini over your veggie burger instead of using of mayo or ketchup.
- Tahini Paste: The quality of the tahini paste that you use is what makes or breaks tahini sauce. I like to use Belazu, but there's a variety of different brands to choose from.
- Garlic: Make sure to really smash the garlic (see the recipe instructions below).
- Olive Oil: Some recipes for tahini sauce don't include olive oil. I like to add a few tablespoons to increase the silkiness of the sauce.
- Lemon Juice: The acidity of lemons balances the mellow nutty flavor of tahini paste.
- Sea Salt: Salt makes all the flavors pop.
How to Make Tahini Sauce:
Tahini is a one bowl, no- cook sauce. I use my food processor, but you can easily whip it up with a whisk in a bowl.
First, smash the garlic in a mortar and pestle. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic cloves onto a chopping board using the back of a spoon. Put the garlic and tahini paste into your food processor (or bowl) and blend until the garlic is totally incorporated into the tahini paste.
Now, add the sea salt, olive oil and lemon juice to the mixture. Mix until the sauce comes together. If it seizes up into a paste, don't worry...add a splash of warm water and keep mixing until you have the consistency you want. Only add water 1 tablespoon at a time as it's easy to add too much and end up with a runny sauce.
Tahini sauce will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
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How To Make Tahini Sauce
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- ⅔ cup tahini paste
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- Smash the garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle. If you don't have one, just use the back of a spoon.
- Add the garlic and tahini paste to a food processor and blend until the garlic is fully incorporated.
- Add the sea salt, olive oil and lemon juice and blend again, scraping down the sides several times.
- Add a splash of warm water to thin the paste. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the consistency is to your liking.