Lemon Herb Tahini sauce is going to be your new go-to dip and spread for just about everything. This creamy, and nutty sesame seed dressing tastes just like a copycat Cava restaurant dressing and is perfect for dipping pita bread, crackers, vegetables, falafel, or topping salads. This simple and fresh ingredient vegan sauce is made in five minutes and tastes amazing.
This dressing is perfect for someone with dietary restrictions. It's vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, and gluten free. AND it's bursting with all the right flavors.
Make this dressing when fresh garden herbs are a plenty! Hit up your very own herb garden, or visit a local farmers market. But don't be shy to whip this creamy sauce up during the off season.
This Lemon Herb Tahini sauce tastes amazing with meditation foods, middle eastern foods, fresh vegetables, green salads, crackers and pita breads, and can even be topped on proteins like chicken and fish. It has a hummus like feel.
You can even use this as a sandwich spread!
Top Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts, 5 Minute Air Fryer Green Beans, Air Fryer Asparagus, or dip Easy Arepa Con Queso and Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters in this copycat dressing.
Try dipping these Elderflower Fritters in this tasty sauce.
What You'll Love About This Recipe
- Fun Copycat Recipe - Cava restaurant has this amazing dressing and you can even buy it at stores like Trader Joes and Whole Foods. Now you can make it in the comfort of your home and have that same restaurant style taste. You can also find a similar dressing at Zoe's Kitchen.
- Quick and Easy - This sauce is ready to serve in less than five minutes with simple and fresh ingredients.
- Kid Friendly -This is a great way to get kids to eat something healthy. It's great for dipping even proteins like Homemade Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets, or Frozen Chicken Nuggets Air Fryer.
- Versatile - Use this as a dip, salad dressing, or sauce for everything from roasted vegetables to grilled chicken.
- Easily Adapted- While we used parsley and cilantro, you can substitute out for different herbs. Look to our variations and substitutions section for ideas.
- Fresh Ingredients- especially during the summer, you can use garden fresh herbs from your own garden or a local farmers market.
- Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy and Gluten Free- This is a perfect dip for those with one or more dietary restrictions while still adding a pop of flavor to any dish.
For other ways to use Tahini look at this Tahini Salad. It's a great way to use this delicious sesame seed butter.
- Tahini-tahini is the base of this dressing and is found most commonly near where the peanut butter is found in most grocery stores.
- Lemon- you can use either freshly squeezed lemon or lemon juice from the bottle.
- Minced Garlic-fresh minced garlic is best for this recipe.
- Olive Oil- The taste of this oil pairs well with the oils and tastes of the sesame seeds.
- Table Salt
- Pure Maple Syrup- Pure maple syrup is a perfect pair for this dip to take the bitter edge off of some of the herbs. You use just a hint as to no over power the bitter but compliment it.
- Water- To thin the sauce out, you will need a little bit of water to get the consistency you need. Don't worry, if you make it thinner than you'd like, you can can always add more tahini to thicken it back up.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Add tahini to a food processor, or a mini food processor.
2. Then add in the salt, minced garlic, lemon juice, and pure maple syrup.
4. Add the washed fresh parsley and cilantro to the food processor.
5. Mix using the electric food processor. Add water to thin as you go.
6. Once smooth and creamy, transfer to a serving dish and top salads and dip vegetables.
Hint: When first pulsed together, the tahini is stubborn and doesn't want to mix properly. You will get a grainy looking dip.
KEEP GOING! The bonds of the tahini will let go to make a creamy and smooth mixture.
What is Tahini?
Tahini is roasted ground sesame seeds to make a healthy vegan middle eastern condiment.
It is full of healthy fats, vitamins and bursting with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
It's also a heart healthy food!
What to pair with
This Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce is so versatile and can go with so many different meals and types of foods.
Top it on roasted vegetables, chicken, and fish, or on a green salad.
Dip vegetables, pita bread, crackers like wheat thins, sweet potato fries, or vegetable fritters.
Spread it on fresh bread, sandwiches, or add it to avocado toast and eggs.
Variations and Substitutions
- Basil -instead of parsley or cilantro use basil. While the taste of these herbs are very different, together with the tahini it makes a great herb flavor.
- Chives- add a tablespoon of chives for a subtle onion taste.
- Mint - just like the basil, you can replace the parsley or chives with mint leaves for a fresh herb taste.
- Honey-this is sweetened lightly with maple syrup but you can substitute the syrup with honey at a 1:1 ratio.
- Dill- add dill sprigs for an added dill taste. Depending on how much dill you want to be there will depend on how much you put in.
It's important to use a high speed blender, personal blender, or food processor for this recipe.
The tahini mixed with the oil and herbs is stubborn and doesn't want to mix to make the creamy smooth texture after a couple seconds of blending. You will need to blend for 1-2 minutes to get the salad dressing texture.
Store dressing in an air tight container for 5-7 days in the refrigerator.
This can be frozen and thawed but note that the texture may vary when thawed.
Remember to blend at a high speed for at least 1-2 minutes until the smooth creamy texture appears. It's fun to watch it change quickly once it goes from the blended herb look to the smooth sauce look.
These are my favorite dishes to serve with Lemon Herb Tahini:
Lemon Herb Tahini
- High Speed Blender or Food Processor
- ½ cup Tahini
- ¼ cup parsley
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic minced, about 1 teaspoon
- 1 tablespoon chives optional
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- In a high speed blender of food processor add the tahini, garlic, salt, maple syrup, olive oil, and lemon juice.
- Add the fresh herbs and chives (optional) and blend for 30 seconds. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time to thin the sauce.
- Keep blending for 1-2 minutes until the mixture turns from grainy/chunky looking to smooth and creamy. Add more water if the consistency is too thick depending if you want to use it as a salad dressing or a vegetable dip.
- Make sure to blend until that smooth texture appears, it's fun to watch it make the texture jump! Tahini can be stubborn but will eventually give.
- You can easily substitute parsley and cilantro for either mint or basil. Each will give a unique but delicious fresh herb taste.
- Add 1 teaspoon of fresh dill for a dash of flavor.
- If you add too much water, you can add a teaspoon of tahini at a time to get the right consistency.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
I had a recipe similar to this at Zoe's Kitchen and this is a great copycat of it. I tried to find it at Trader Joes and Whole foods but this homemade version is great! We put it on sandwiches, and used it as a dip for vegetables.