Creamy, delicious and irresistible healthy garlic tahini sauce. Perfect for drizzling over everything from roasted veggies to falafels and salads to burgers. Suitable for vegans.
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In my work as a chef and cookery teacher, tahini sauce has featured a lot. Drizzled on salad boxes, in falafel wraps, as a dipping sauce, this garlic sesame sauce is always a winner.
At the same time it's also featured a lot in my home cooking for my family.
I absolutely adore homemade tahini sauce. In fact I think I might even prefer it to hummus, which I'm pretty sure my husband would think is sacrilege.
But there's something about the creaminess of tahini, the way it drizzles so beautifully and the taste of the sesame - not to mention the way it just goes so well with so many things, that mean it'll always be a favourite for me.
What is tahini?
Tahini* is a thick paste made from ground toasted sesame seeds. It's very common in Middle Eastern cuisine.
On its own tahini is quite thick and difficult to eat.
But when mixed with water, salt and lemon juice it really comes into its own. It makes a delicious sauce that's wonderful drizzled over pretty much everything.
Some middle eastern shops and larger supermarkets in certain areas sell ready-made tahini sauce but I prefer to make my own.
What else can you make with tahini?
If you have a lot of tahini left in the jar after making this sauce you can use it to make:
Is tahini sauce healthy?
In theory, yes tahini sauce is pretty healthy. Tahini contains protein, B vitamins and vitamin E as well as magnesium, iron and calcium. Read more about why tahini is good for you on The Guardian.
The only problem comes with the salt. Tahini paste on its own is salt-free but the sauce is usually fairly salty.
The advantage of making your own tahini dressing is that you can control the amount of salt that you add.
Does tahini sauce need salt?
Yes, I think it tastes better with salt.
However, if you're reducing your salt intake or if you're serving this to babies or young children you may prefer to omit it. See more about this below.
Can kids eat tahini sauce?
I was inspired to make this tahini sauce recipe after a reader contacted me via my hummus for babies recipe to request a baby friendly tahini recipe.
Tahini sauce is great for babies and children - you just need to watch the salt content. I prefer to make my own so I can control the salt - or omit it completely if preferred.
It's worth pointing out that sesame is an allergen. If food allergies run in your family take care when giving tahini to your baby for the first time. Read more about allergies on the NHS site.
What are the ingredients in tahini sauce?
For full recipe, ingredients and quantities go to the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
Tahini sauce is easy to make and the ingredients list is short - hurrah! All you need is:
- tahini paste (available from major supermarkets, Middle Eastern shops, health food shops or Amazon*)
- lemon juice
- salt - optional
How to make healthy garlic tahini sauce
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Please do not reproduce this recipe without permission.
Healthy garlic tahini sauce
- 150 g tahini paste
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 lemon juiced
- 100 ml cold water
- Pinch sea salt optional*
- Stir the jar of tahini paste before starting.
- Place 150g tahini paste, 1 clove crushed garlic and the juice of a lemon into a small mixing bowl.
- Mix with a fork until combined. Slowly pour in the cold water, stirring with the fork all the time. It will look like it’s about to curdle but don’t worry - keep going and it’ll soon turn smooth.
- The sauce will thicken if you leave it so you may need to add some extra water before serving if making in advance.
- Season with salt if required.
- *For babies leave out the salt - you could also leave out the garlic if you prefer a milder taste.
- Nutritional information is approximate and is intended as a guide only.
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