mason jar with garlic tahini salad dressing and spoon sitting on a colorful kitchen towel in front of a bowl of lettuce covered in the dressing

Lemon and Garlic Tahini Dressing

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This homemade lemon and garlic tahini dressing really POPS and takes any ordinary salad to the next level. Combine it with lettuce alone and you will feel like you are eating a restaurant worthy salad. So let’s all put down the store-bought salad dressings! This homemade version is so easy to make and keeps for up to two weeks in your refrigerator. Use it for greens or grains. It is so flavorful and versatile.

I have to admit that this was not the easiest recipe I’ve ever created. I went through two entire jars of tahini trying to get this one right! I played around with the recipe for weeks, and almost gave up completely. I finally figured out that water was my missing ingredient. I had never thought to put water in a salad dressing, but I came across this article from Kitchn about water being the secret ingredient to the perfect vinaigrette. It was definitely the secret here and a tip I plan to keep in my back pocket.

Making the Dressing

Ina Garten taught me to make my salad dressings right in a glass measuring cup. I pour the tahini in first so that I know I’m getting a full ¼ cup. If you measure the tahini out in a cup and then try to transfer it, you end up leaving a lot behind because it is so viscous.

I also recommend adding the water one tablespoon at a time as the last ingredient until you get the correct flavor and consistency. You may need more or less depending on your tahini. Whisk it all up, and voila! You have a really flavorful homemade salad dressing in minutes.

The Memories – Inspiration for This Garlic Tahini Dressing 

This dressing was inspired by my favorite local restaurant Nine Mile which features Caribbean inspired cuisine. This place is just THE BEST. Everything on the menu is delicious, but my all time favorite is “The Meshach”. It is high on my list of recipes to try to recreate. If anyone ever reaches out for a recommendation in Asheville, this is where I send them. They have a dressing called “His Majesty’s” that they describe as sesame garlic tahini. I remember the first time I tasted it, I felt like it was literally bouncing around in my mouth. It really wakes up your taste buds. Of course mine isn’t quite the original, but I think it comes close!  

This dressing also goes really well with a tofu buddha bowl (recipe coming soon). I recommend using my simple tofu marinade and dressing the greens or grains component with this dressing! Please leave me a rating and comment if you try the dressing. I absolutely love hearing from you.

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mason jar with garlic tahini salad dressing and spoon sitting on a colorful kitchen towel in front of a bowl of lettuce covered in the dressing

Garlic Tahini Dressing

  • Author: Katelyn
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Cup 1x


Zingy lemon garlic tahini dressing that POPS and takes ordinary salads to the next level. Use this tasty homemade dressing on greens or grains. It is so versatile!


  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


  • Add all ingredients to a glass measuring cup and whisk to combine!

**Alternatively, you can add all ingredients to a mason jar, screw on the lid and shake to combine!


I like to make the salad dressing right in my glass measuring cup. I start with the tahini to ensure I get a full 1/4 cup.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dressings

Keywords: salad dressing, garlic, tahini

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  1. I love this dressing but I had to add more liquid. Also, I’ve had trouble with it keeping in the fridge more than a few days without growing mold but I’m not sure why?

    • This dressing is definitely on the thicker side. I’m glad it still tastes good with the extra liquid. Curious what you added? I’m not sure about the mold ????. I generally keep this in the fridge for up to a week, but I wouldn’t use it beyond that. I haven’t had that problem. Glad you like the dressing!

  2. Have you tried recreating since they released take home bottles with the ingredients on the side? I’m going to play with your recipe proportions with their ingredients and see what I can come up with! Thanks for the leg work on this one!

    • I am so sorry I missed your comment Blake. I have not played around with this in a while. I have been on a bit of a hiatus since my youngest was born, but I hope to be more active soon. Did you figure anything out? I would love to try your tweaks! Thanks for visiting my site 😊

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