A simple lemon tahini dressing that works on everything! I make this recipe almost weekly as part of my regular meal prep. Toss roasted vegetables or fresh kale with this creamy, lemon dressing for instant dinners. This recipe is just the thing to bring all your best meal bowls together.
I believe everyone needs a simple lemony dressing in their refrigerator at all times. Lemon is the flavour that brings all other flavours together and makes them play nice.
I like to make my own salad dressing just so I know what is in it. No extras. No stablizers or perservatives. Store-bought can be full of all kinds of things that I don't understand. Homemade is healthier, or a least made from simple, clean ingredients.
This is lemon tahini dressing is my go-to recipe. It works with everything. It's bright and creamy. Not too sweet. Not too tart. Tahini gives it a bit umami.
This basic dressing is starting point for all kinds of healthy dinners!
I often make a batch of this dressing when I prep on the weekends. It's quick and easy to do. And once it's made it's ready for lunches and dinners during the week.
Sometimes just having this little bit of a meal made ahead elminiates all the stress of dinner time.
Consider this recipe a basic "all-purpose" lemon tahini dressing. A starting point. Feel free to mix things up from time to time, to keep things interesting.
Lemon Tahini Dressing flavour variations:
- Add minced garlic and fresh grated ginger
- A tablespoon of soy sauce instead of sea salt
- Elminate the maple suryp for a more savory dressing, or double it for something on the sweeter side (nice with apples or other fruity salad ingredients).
- Add some cumin and/or corinader (about ½ teaspoon of each)
- Paprika instead of cayenne. Smoked paprika is nice on sweet potatoes.
How to serve this lemon tahini dressing
I like to think of this dressing as truly an all purpose, go-to, sauce. It is good for lunch, dinner, salads or mains. Here is how we like to use it.
Kale salad. This is a thick dressing that works especially well with kale salads. Drizzle on top of kale and toss well, then let sit for about 30 minutes -- or up to four hours. For dinner, toss the salad first then get the rest of the dinner ready. For lunches -- toss in the morning and pack for great take away lunch.
Simple green salads. For softer greens, like spinach or romaine, thin the dressing with a bit of water so it pours more easily. Serving immediately.
Roasted vegetables. Drizzle on top of hot roasted vegetables.
Grain bowls. I love to add a clove of garlic to about half of this recipe and then drizzled it on top of a dinner bowl. It pulls everything together. Add to your favorite combo of greens, grains and veggies. Fresh or roasted veggies, doesn't really matter.
Try these recipes:
Tahini is a paste made from toasted sesame seeds. Think of it as sesame seed butter, peanut butter's distant cousin 😉.
You will usually find it in the ethnic or health food section of most grocery stores. Near the coconut oil and natural nut butters (not in the peanut butter and jam aisle).
Good tahini is runny and smooth. Must thiner than peanut butter. It should run and drizzle off your spoon. Find a brand that you like and stick with it. Not all are created equal. Buy the good stuff. It can be pricy but will last you a long while. Keep your tahini refrigerated.
Tahini is a traditional ingredient in many Mediterranean foods. You will often find in hummus. I like to add a little to smoothies sometimes too. It's also kinda fun to bake with. Try these sesame cookies.
Meal prep and serving
The following recipe makes about 1 cup of dressing. Which I find is enough for two meals - say one night we do a large dinner sized salad and later in the week we will roasted some veggies and drizzle on top before serving.
Alternatively, you have enough dressing for about 4 or 5 lunch sized salads.
If the dressing settles as it sits in the refrigerator, give it a good shake or stir before serving.
It also seems to thicken as it sits, just add a little water to loosen it up so it is pourable again.
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 6 tbsp lemon juice about 1 large lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon zest from one large lemon
- 4 tbsp tahini
- 5 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1 clove garlic minced (optional)
- Add all ingredients to the jar of a blender, secure lid, and blend until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a storage container with a tight-fitting lid. I like to use a mason jar. Keep refrigerated until needed. The dressing may thicken over time, just a little warm water (1 tablespoon at a time) if needed to thin to desired consistency. Will keep refrigerated for about 1 week.