Mediterranean Tahini Salad Dressing (with video)

by | Sauces Dressing

Mediterranean Tahini Salad Dressing, with sesame seed paste, known as Tahini, lemons, garlic and good olive oil makes the best dressing and sauce.

Homemade Tahini Salad Dressing
Homemade Tahini Salad Dressing

Tahini In My Home

While my American girlfriends, when I was a kid, had peanut butter on their pantry shelf, we had tahini.

Maybe that’s why I didn’t have many girlfriends when I was a kid, lol!

In our home we used it for sauces, for salads, on sandwiches, tossed with roasted veggies and great for basting meat or fish on the grill!

What Is Tahini?

Until hummus became popular in America, most home cooks never heard of tahini.

Having grown up with a Middle Eastern mother, who mostly made Mediterranean recipes, tahini was always in our pantry.

Since a grocery store, back when I was a kid, didn’t sell international products, an hour drive into Washington DC, to a specialty market was required.

Not anymore. Nearly every grocery store sells it! 

Tahini is simply crushed sesame seeds.

Crushed and pureed until they form a paste.

Like nuts, there is oil in the seeds so you will also benefit from the nutritional sesame seed oil when you add tahini to your recipes.

Homemade Tahini
Homemade Tahini

The Origin Of Tahini

The origin of Tahini

My house! Hah, just kidding. 

My mother was a first generation Syrian American. 

We always had weird food in our house, none of my friends had. 

So… I changed friends! 

Mediterranean Cuisine Knows All About Tahini

Once I started hanging out with friends from various Mediterranean regions, Italians, Greeks and Iranians, my food seemed normal, honestly… better too! 

In short; tahini was originally from each of these regions of the world and finally made its way to most American grocery stores. 

While the convenience of buying a multitude of imported foods makes life easier now, I wouldn’t trade those long drives into DC as a kid with my family to the Middle Eastern markets for any convenience. 

Stories, memories, bonding took place in those inconvenient moments in life. 

Homemade Tahini 

Homemade tahini is so easy to make, at just a fraction of the price of store bought tahini.

Treating sesame seeds the same as we do nuts, we can easily make our own seed and nut butters. 

After-all, that’s all tahini really is. 

There is oil in those seeds, so its health benefits are even greater when you make these spreads from fresh ingredients, at home. 

I’ve found that lightly toasting the seeds or nuts before I puree them into a paste or butter, enhances their natural flavors. 

You really must try making your own tahini paste, peanut butter, almond butter and any other nut you prefer.  

I love knowing how fresh mine is rather than already made, not knowing how long it’s been in the jar, but that’s just me.  

Homemade Tahini Is So Easy To Make
Homemade Tahini Is So Easy To Make

What Popular Recipes Are Made With Tahini?

For sure Hummus and Baba Ganoush is what we used tahini for in my home.

Tahini is what makes both of these luscious dips… luscious! 

Garbanzo bean is the main ingredient in hummus while eggplant is the main ingredient in baba ganoush. 

Both, whisked with tahini, lots of lemon juice and lemon zest, good olive oil, and there you have it. These two luscious dips, that need only some fresh herbs and Homemade Pita bread, are healthy and delicious! 

Tahini Is Not Just For Savory Tangy Lemon Tahini Recipes!

But let’s not just think of tahini for savory dishes, like on our salad recipes, Buddha bowls or homemade falafel.

I have made the most delicious cookies and ice cream with tahini.

However, the real beauty is my Tahini Custard Pie!

My now ‘famous’ Tahini Pie, that I made on The Great American Recipe on PBS has been one of the most visited recipes on my blog!

Oh My is it delicious.

There is Tahini in the crust, tahini in the custard filling, and yes, this is the very same pie I made for The Great American Recipe on PBS!

The judges said it was definitely a winner!

Tahini Custard Pie - Created For The Great American Recipe on PBS by Me!
Tahini Custard Pie – Created For The Great American Recipe on PBS by Me!

What To Use Tahini Salad Dressing On

  • Salads – there is hardly a salad, veggie or fruit, that wouldn’t be enhanced by tahini salad dressing.
  • Falafel – the perfect drizzle to be eaten with the perfect vegan fried balls of chickpeas and lots of herbs.
  • Roasted veggies – you’ve got proteins on the grill, veggies alongside, pull this quick meal off the grill and finish with a drizzle of tahini dressing.
  • Soup stock – when your homemade soup stocks get pulled out from the freezer and want a hint of something special, add a little tahini dressing to the broth for deeper flavors.
  • Sandwich wraps – whether you sandwich wrap is made with pita bread or burritos wraps, spread tahini dressing on before anything else you stack on top.
French Lentil Salad With Tahini Dressing

How To Make Mediterranean Tahini Salad Dressing

With a food processor, a blender or simply an 8 oz Mason jar, you can have tahini dressing whipped up in no time! 

The best flavor profile for a Mediterranean tahini salad dressing, is made with homemade tahini, simply because we can then lightly toast the sesame seeds before they are pureed into a paste. 

However, not everyone is kookie like me and willing to make sauces, dressings and flavor enhancers from scratch. 

So, store bought will work too. 

Simply toss all the ingredients into a blender to puree, or in a Mason jar and give a good hard shake, and your lemon tahini dressing is ready for so many different recipes. 

Tahini Dressing Options

While tahini dressing is really just a 4-ingredient fast and easy recipe, as we know, everyone has varied tastes.

Personalizing this dressing is as easy as adding a few favorite flavors to it:

  • Maple syrup, honey or agave added will satisfy those who like a touch of sweet in their dressing.
  • Fresh herbs are always my favorite addition, which is why I grow as many as I can.
  • Dried spices raise the bar on flavor by adding za’atar, cumin, smoked paprika or even the heat of red pepper flakes.
  • Mustard will add a bit more zing than the lemons will because of the vinegar in mustard.
Tahini Salad Dressing
Tahini Salad Dressing

Ingredients Needed

  • Tahini
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oi
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Water
Tahini Salad Dressing Ingredients
Tahini Salad Dressing Ingredients

Equipment Needed

  • Blender or food processor
  • Measuring cup
  • Airtight container
Tahini Salad Dressing

Homemade Tahini Salad Dressing

Mediterranean salad dressing made of sesame paste (tahini), lemon, garlic and olive oil.
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Course: Dressing
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 oz.


  • Food processor or blender
  • Airtight container


  • 1/2 cup Tahini homemade
  • 1/4 cup Lemon 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 Garlic clove crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • Water – as needed for the consistency you want optional
  • pinch mustard, za’atar, maple syrup, honey or even a splash of harissa optional


  • Place all ingredients into a blender, food processor or in a deep but small bowl and use a wire whisk. Whisk vigorously until creamy. Ready to use or store in an air tight container.


  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Best served room temperature. 


Homemade Mediterranean Tahini Salad Dressing
Homemade Mediterranean Tahini Salad Dressing

My Muffin Madness


In my family, I’ve always been known as the ‘Muffin Queen’. Out of necessity, I created muffins for breakfast, lunch, on the go snacks, sometimes dinner and a sweet yet healthyish treat for dessert!

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