Serving pure sesame realness, tahini paste needs little improvement beyond the lightest of touches, and voila! You have the best Buddha bowl or salad dressing ever, and it’s so easy to customize if you want some extra pizzazz.


In case you’re not familiar, tahini is a paste made of ground sesame seeds. It usually contains no other extra ingredients, besides the occasional salt and olive oil, so you can basically think of it as sesame seed butter at this point.

In fact, tahini paste takes up the bulk of this dressing recipe.

“Oh, but then,” you may ask, “isn’t tahini just a dressing on its own?”

You wouldn’t be terribly wrong, or even close to it…but, alas, tahini paste, in all its nutty perfection, isn’t an end-all-be-all. Dressing salads isn’t tahini’s only job! Hint, hint: it actually moonlights as a dessert star. But with just a few minor tweaks, tahini can be made Buddha bowl-ready. Just imagine it’s the culinary equivalent of the no-make-up make-up look: devilishly easy, but forever essential.

Commercially, it’s widely available. Online options abound! Due to its versatility in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking, you’ll find tahini in a lot of ethnic and health food store.

Let’s just say you’ve probably heard your vegan friend sing praises about it at some point in time.

tahini dressing photo

All it takes are a few basic ingredients to get a tahini dressing going.

  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tahini
  • Water for consistency

From there you can add whatever flair you want. Lots of folks like a bit of garlic, or some olive oil.

tahini dressing formula

Simply thin it out with as much water as you like. Depending on how much of a vinaigrette you’re looking for, you can use up to twice as much lemon juice. It really works to contrast with the richness of the sesame!

Best places to show off tahini dressing

Baba Ganoush

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl

tahini dressing recipe card

Tahini Dressing

Makes 1 cup, for a great start to any salad or Buddha bowl!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course dressing
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 8
Calories 90 kcal


  • 1/2 cup tahini paste
  • 1/2 cup water or as needed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic minced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Whisk ingredients together, adding more water as needed to thin out the mixture. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Alternatively, shake everything together in a Mason jar. Keep refrigerated and sealed for 5-7 days.


Nutrition facts reflect 1 serving = approx. 2 tablespoons tahini dressing


Calories: 90kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 6mgPotassium: 69mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 10IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Keyword buddha bowl, homemade salad dressing
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