bowl of creamy white sauce with a spoon in it, salad in the background

TAHINI LEMON VEGAN SALAD DRESSING

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Whip up a zesty kick for your salads with our Creamy Lemon Tahini Dressing! This recipe for Vegan Salad Dressing is all about that creamy, tangy goodness that’ll add a burst of flavour and layer of freshness to your greens.

I know it sounds quite silly to say – and like something you might not even believe – but I swear to the gods of leafy green salads that I used to walk around proclaiming that salad was my all time favourite meal AS A KID. Seriously, yo. I would answer that age old question of ‘what’s your favourite food?!’ with salad all the while looking the questioner square in the eyes with the straightest face you ever did see. I had no shame and I was not lying. I’ve always had a thing for salad – maybe it’s the creamy array of dressings or the endless possible toppings, perhaps it’s the leafy greens themselves or a combination of all of the above. Whatever it was… or should I say is… is still with me. I, as a 30 something year old adult, still absolutely LOVE my salads!

bowl of creamy white sauce, salads in the background

As a lover of all things salad and as a self proclaimed salad connoisseur, I firmly state that you can’t have a good salad without a good salad dressing. Am I right? I mean, contrary to my boyfriend, I simply cannot eat a salad without dressing. Infact, for me, every single leaf has to be covered. Esssspecially when we’re talking about something as creamy, flavourful and downright delicious as this vegan lemon tahini dressing. Why would you not want every leaf doused in dreamy concoction?!

So, whether you’re diving into a big bowl of crunchy greens, drizzling it over your favourite Buddha bowl or using it as a dip for veggies, this dressing is sure to please. With just a handful of simple, fresh ingredients and five minutes of your time, you’ll have a creamy, flavourful addition that will take any and all of your meals to a whole other level. Say goodbye to boring salads and hello to a burst of deliciousness in every bite!

VEGAN LEMON TAHINI DRESSING INGREDIENTS

ingredients for recipe for vegan salad dressing - cumin, water, tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt/pepper, garlic
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

8 simple ingredients come together to create a creamy, flavourful dressing that can be used in a variety of ways to elevate your salads and dishes. – and that’s if we’re counting salt, pepper and water! Let’s discuss the role of each one in a little bit more detail down below:

  • Tahini: A staple ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds, imparting a rich, nutty flavour and creamy texture to the dressing.
  • Lemon Juice: Adds a bright, tangy flavour and some acidity that balances the richness of the tahini. Freshly squeezed lemon juice works best in this recipe.
  • Water: Helps to thin out the dressing to achieve the desired consistency. PRO TIP: If you find your dressing too thick, add some water – 1 teaspoon at a time – until you reach your desired consistency. RECIPE NOTE: The dressing will thicken up as it sits in the fridge. Adding water or letting it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before using will get it back to its normal consistency.
  • Maple Syrup: Provides a touch of sweetness to counteract the acidity of the lemon juice and enhance the overall flavour profile. You can use agave nectar instead, if you prefer.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic adds a savory depth of flavor to the dressing. Fresh minced garlic works best in this recipe. However, if all you have on hand in garlic powder, use 1/4 of a teaspoon instead of the 1 fresh clove.
  • Cumin: Offers a warm, earthy note that complements the other ingredients and adds complexity to the dressing. IMHO, the cumin in this recipe for vegan salad dressing is what really makes it pop!
  • Salt and Pepper: Season to taste with salt and pepper to enhance the flavours and achieve the perfect balance.
bowl of creamy beige sauce with a spoon in it, salad in the background

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN SALAD DRESSING (KEY TIPS)

spoonful of creamy white sauce over a bowl with more

You can find full instructions for how to make this simple recipe for vegan salad dressing in the recipe card down below. But here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Opt for fresh, high quality ingredients, especially when it comes to the tahini and lemon juice, as they are the main components of this recipe for vegan salad dressing and will greatly impact its flavour.
  • Take the time to whisk the ingredients together thoroughly until smooth and well combined. This ensures that all the flavours are evenly distributed throughout the dressing.
  • Adjust consistency to your liking. Pay attention to the consistency of the dressing as you mix it. If it’s too thick, you can gradually add more water to achieve your desired consistency. Conversely, if it’s too thin, you can add a bit more tahini to thicken it up. EXTRA TIP: If the dressing thickens up in the refrigerator, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before using it. This will help it become more pourable again.
  • Taste as you go. Taste the dressing as you make it and adjust the seasoning as needed. You may want to add more lemon juice for extra tanginess, more maple syrup for sweetness or more garlic for depth of flavour.
bowl of creamy sauce, spoon drizzling some in, salad in the background
FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHY IS MY TAHINI DRESSING SO BITTER?

If your tahini dressing is turning out bitter, there could be a few reasons for this:

Quality of Tahini: The bitterness might be due to the quality of the tahini you’re using. Lower-quality tahini or tahini that has been sitting for a while can develop a bitter taste. Try using a higher-quality tahini made from freshly roasted sesame seeds for a milder flavoUr.

Acidity Balance: The acidity from the lemon juice or vinegar in the dressing can sometimes accentuate the bitterness of tahini. Try adjusting the amount of lemon juice or vinegar to achieve a better balance of flavoUrs.

Garlic: If you’re using raw garlic in your dressing, it can sometimes impart a bitter taste, especially if it’s not minced finely enough or if it’s left to sit in the dressing for too long. Make sure to finely mince the garlic and consider letting the flavours meld for a shorter period of time.

Salt: Not enough salt can sometimes make tahini taste bitter. Try adding a pinch of salt at a time and tasting as you go to achieve the right balance.

IS TAHINI DRESSING GOOD FOR YOU?

Tahini dressing can indeed be a nutritious addition to your diet when consumed in moderation. Tahini, made from ground sesame seeds, is rich in essential nutrients like healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients contribute to overall health, including heart health, bone health, and muscle repair. Additionally, tahini contains antioxidants such as lignans and vitamin E, which help protect cells from damage. However, it’s important to be mindful of portion sizes, as tahini dressing can be calorie-dense due to its high fat content.

WHY DOES TAHINI SEIZE WITH LEMON JUICE?

Tahini can sometimes seize or become thicker when mixed with lemon juice due to a chemical reaction between the lemon juice’s acidity and the tahini’s natural composition. This reaction causes the tahini to solidify and become stiff. The primary reason for this reaction is the presence of compounds called polyphenols in both the tahini and the lemon juice. When these compounds come into contact with each other, they form insoluble complexes that cause the tahini to seize.

HOW SHOULD I STORE THIS HOMEMADE VEGAN SALAD DRESSING?

Homemade vegan salad dressing should be stored in an airtight container and placed in the refrigerator. It’ll be good for up to 5 days. It’s normal for homemade salad dressings to separate over time. Before using the dressing, give it a good shake or stir to re-emulsify the ingredients and ensure a consistent texture and flavour. RECIPE NOTE: The dressing will thicken up as it sits in the fridge. Adding water or letting it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before using will get it back to its normal consistency.

hand holding a bowl of creamy white sauce with a spoon in it, over a bowl of salad
bowl of creamy white sauce with a spoon in it, salad in the background

LEMON TAHINI VEGAN SALAD DRESSING

Yield: ~1/2 Cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Whip up a zesty kick for your salads with our Creamy Lemon Tahini Dressing! This recipe for Vegan Salad Dressing is all about that creamy, tangy goodness that'll add a burst of flavour and layer of freshness to your greens.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Water (plus more, if needed)
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, add the tahini, lemon juice, water, maple syrup, minced garlic, and ground cumin. Whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.unmixed ingredients to make a creamy tahini sauce in a bowl
    creamy sauce with salt and pepper in a bowl
  2. If the dressing is too thick, you can add more water, a teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.
    bowl of creamy beige salad dressing

    Notes

    The dressing will thicken up as it sits in the fridge. Adding water (1 tsp at a time) or letting it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before using will get it back to its normal consistency.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 323mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 3gSugar: 18gProtein: 11g

    Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

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