Lemon Tahini Dressing Recipe for Salads, Grain Bowls & Dipping
Think of this recipe as an all-purpose dressing. It’s perfect for a simple green salad or rich grain bowls, as well as roasted veggies or oven-roasted meats. It’s got a citrusy kick and a deep garlicky note that will transform your meal.
The great thing about this tahini dressing is that it’s dairy-free, oil-free, and vegan – so it’ll meet most people’s dietary needs! It’s also deliciously creamy and zesty, really versatile and a super-easy to customize to suit any dish. Bonus, you need just three simple ingredients!
And here they are — tahini, lemon, and garlic. Each ingredient is delicious and nutritious in its own respect, with a combination of the three giving rise to a winning dressing that’s as healthy as it is tasty.
If you’re not sure what it is, tahini is just toasted and ground sesame seeds. It’s a basic ingredient used in Middle Eastern dishes, like hummus for example. The great thing about sesame seeds is that, like other seeds and nuts, they contain natural oils, which means that there’s no need for any added oil in this lemon tahini dressing. Instead, you’ve got that lovely nutty creaminess that goes with lots of things.
If that wasn’t enough, tahini is a rich source of vitamin E, protecting your body against heart disease, as well as B vitamins that boost brain function, energy, and mood. Tahini also contains a string of essential minerals including iron, calcium, and magnesium. Oh, and did you know that tahini has more protein in it than regular milk and most nuts?
For centuries, lemons have been used not only for lifting dishes with their bright flavor, but for treating scurvy, a very rare condition triggered by a lack of vitamin C. Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, has been found to support the immune system, helping to stave off the common cold by shortening the duration of symptoms.
Additionally, Vitamin C is known to help the body produce collagen, resulting in radiant, supple skin. Let’s not forget it also contains antioxidants called flavonoids, known for their anti-inflammatory properties and associated with the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
Good ole garlic — used in most recipes for its flavor-enhancing properties, but also its therapeutic effect. The active ingredient in garlic, allicin, is a compound containing sulfur that lends its distinct and noticeable scent. The amino acid is released when the garlic is crushed or chopped and is known to have beneficial effects like reducing inflammation and detoxifying the body. This process can be especially useful in conditions such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. However, it’s thought that cooking garlic can inhibit some of the medicinal properties of allicin, which is not a problem here, as this tahini dressing recipe contains raw garlic!
Last but not least, garlic is an excellent source of vitamin B6, selenium, manganese, and vitamin C, as well as other vital minerals, like phosphorous, calcium, potassium, copper and iron.
Lemon tahini dressing
It’s safe to say that the ingredients in this homemade lemon tahini dressing are good for you, which means you can make a big batch and liberally add spoonfuls to your food. The dressing complements anything from a kale or spinach salad to a plate of roasted veggies with grains, or your favorite Buddha or Poke bowl. You can also thicken it and use it as a dip for raw veggies, falafel or meats. It also works marvelously as a sandwich spread or dolloped on top of a crunchy cracker. The possibilities are almost endless! Now for what we’ve all been waiting for… here’s the tahini dressing fo your dreams.
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp cold water
- 1 garlic clove
- Pinch of salt & pepper
- Spices like sumac, cumin or other Middle Eastern spice blends (optional)
- Fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, mint or dill (optional)
- If it looks separated, then give the tahini a good stir inside the jar. Then spoon it into a medium-sized bowl.
- Continue by grating the garlic to the tahini by using a fine grater. You want the garlic to blend into the dressing and help create a smooth paste, rather than having big chunks that will be overpowering.
- Follow by pouring the lemon juice into the dressing and whisking with a fork until everything is combined.
- Now’s the time to add the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dressing has reached your desired consistency. We think three tablespoons work well, but feel free to experiment.
- Taste the dressing, then season it with as much salt and pepper as needed. At this point, you add any optional ingredients if you fancy. If you’re not sure which ones to add, know that spices will add depth, whereas herbs will add freshness.
Dress it up or dress it down
What makes this recipe super convenient, is that you can make the dressing thicker or thinner by adding or reducing the amount of water, so don’t hesitate to adapt it to your liking. As we mentioned earlier, a thicker variant is perfect as a sauce or dip for something like the Healthy Crackers we have in the 8fit app, or crunchy carrots, cucumbers, celery and peppers. A thinner version makes the tahini dressing ideal for drizzling on salads like our Greek Salad or Fresh Apricot and Feta Salad. Give the dressing a try, and tag us on Instagram to inspire us back!