This lemon and herb green tahini sauce is perfect for adding some zip to your meal! It's great as a dip, sauce, or dressing. I love to serve this delicious sauce to complement grilled meats and vegetables. Break out of your usual appetizer routine and make green tahini as a dip for crudités or toasts.
This is such a versatile sauce; it’s great to keep in your recipe repertoire. It's also vegan and naturally gluten free!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Homemade sauces are always better than store bought!
- Super versatile recipe that can be used for a dressing, sauce, or dip.
- Made with simple ingredients.
- Bright and fresh flavors to jazz up any chicken, fish, beef, lamb, or vegetables.
Dana’s note: This recipe was inspired by cookbook author Faye Levy. I really enjoy her Middle Eastern recipes and appreciate the creativity that she puts into each dish.
I like to make this green tahini sauce to go with my Za'atar chicken recipe. It's also a fun alternative to dips like regular hummus. I usually make this dip at the start of spring when my garden and the farmers markets are bursting with fresh spring herbs. A tasty spin on this dip is to use basil and parsley for the herbs in the recipe.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
See the recipe card below for a complete ingredient list and measurements.Jump to Recipe
- Garlic - Use fresh garlic cloves here.
- Lemon juice - Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. You will need about 2 tablespoons, which should be one half of a lemon.
- Fresh herbs - You will need 1 cup of packed fresh herbs. I use fresh parsley or a combination of parsley and cilantro. Feel free to change it up with different variations of your favorite herbs. I think basil, dill, or chives would also be great.
- Tahini - 100% ground sesame seeds. Stir in separated oil before measuring.
What is tahini?
Tahini is a thick paste made of ground sesame seeds. It is often seen in Middle Eastern cuisine. You should be able to find it in the grocery store in the Middle Eastern section or on Amazon. My favorite brands for the highest quality include Seed + Mill and Soom.
Tahini paste is a naturally gluten free food. To read more about it, check out is tahini gluten free?
Step by Step Photos
See the recipe card below for complete directions.Jump to Recipe
Add garlic to a food processor and cover with lemon juice. Let sit for 10 minutes. This process is called maceration, which helps mellow out the sharpness of raw garlic.
Add herbs, tahini, salt, and olive oil to the food processor and blend until smooth. Loosen up the sauce by adding water as needed.
You can also add a little sugar if your tahini or herbs are bitter.
This is a great sauce for proteins like steak, chicken, lamb, or fish. It pairs well with Za'atar Roasted Chicken.
It is also great drizzled over roasted vegetables. Try it as a dipping sauce for Crispy Smashed Fingerling Potatoes.
This green tahini sauce recipe is also wonderful as a salad dressing. See more salad recipes here.
Once the sauce is chilled, it will thicken up. A thicker sauce is perfect as a dip for crudite of fresh vegetables or for chips.
- Sauce will thicken when it is chilled.
- Thin out the sauce as needed with water.
- If your herbs have a bitter flavor, balance it out with added sugar.
Storage and Reheating
How to store: Store lemon herb tahini sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Once refrigerated, the sauce thickens. You can loosen it up to your desired consistency by stirring in some cold water.
How to freeze: I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
What to serve with lemon herb green tahini sauce
- Za'atar Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Herbs
- Crispy Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
- Herb Lime Whitefish
- Air Fry Fish
Frequently Asked Questions
To measure a cup of “packed” herbs means to press down on the herbs in the measuring cup until they are tightly packed, then measure. This is opposed to a “loose” cup, where herbs would be loosely sitting in the measuring cup. You may also see brown sugar referred to as a “packed cup”.
You can make this dressing one day in advance, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
I do not recommend using dried herbs in place of fresh herbs for this recipe.
Lemon Herb Green Tahini Sauce
- food processor or mini blender
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Juice from ½ lemon about 2 tablespoons
- 1 cup packed fresh herbs use leaves and thin stems from about 1 bunch of Italian parsley or use ½ parsley and ½ cilantro
- ¼ cup tahini 100% sesame seed puree, stir in separated oil before measuring)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2-4 tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon granulated white sugar may use more if bitter, optional
- Add freshly minced garlic to a food processor or mini blender and cover with lemon juice. Let sit for 10 or more minutes.
- Add herbs, tahini, salt, and olive oil to the food processor or mini blender. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of water to loosen up the sauce. If your tahini is runny, add less water, or if tahini is thick like a paste, add more water. Blend well until completely combined and uniform in color.
- Consistency should be like a thick pourable sauce, so add more water if needed. Adjust salt to taste. Add a little sugar if your tahini or herbs are a little bitter.
- Letting the garlic sit in lemon juice will give it a milder flavor as it interacts with the acid through a process called maceration.
- Sort through your herbs to use leaves and thinner stems. Discard thicker stems, or save them for stocks.
- To measure a cup of “packed” herbs means to press down on the herbs in the measuring cup until they are tightly packed, then measure.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. I do not recommend freezing. Once refrigerated, the sauce thickens. A thicker sauce is perfect as a dip for crudite vegetables and chips. Add more water and stir well if you would like to thin the sauce again.
- Serve as a sauce to top steak, chicken, fish, or vegetables. I often serve green tahini sauce with Za'atar Chicken or as a dip.