Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing

$1.03 recipe / $0.17 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.88 from 8 votes
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You guys. This Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing is not fooling around! This tangy, dilly dressing is a variation of my plain Lemon Tahini Dressing from my Roasted Cauliflower Salad, which I already loved with all my heart and soul. Well, I added a few more herbs in there and I CAN. NOT. STOP. I ate the whole first batch of this dressing just slurping it off the spoon and dipping whatever I could find in my kitchen to act as a vehicle. It’s that good.

I’m posting the Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing on its own today, because it deserves the attention, and I have a couple recipes in the pipeline over the coming days that put this magic elixir to use. Plus I’ll list a few great ways to use it below.

Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing dripping off a spoon into a white bowl, viewed from the side.

What is Tahini?

If you’re unfamiliar with this amazing ingredient, it’s basically just a sesame seed paste. Sesame seeds that have been puréed until they are a smooth sauce or loose paste texture. Just like natural peanut butter, but made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts. Luckily, this once hard to find ingredient is popping up in more and more grocery stores in the U.S.

Tahini can be found in the grocery store near the other nut and seed butters, or near middle-eastern ingredients (scroll down to the Step by Step Photos section to see the tahini I use). You’ll want to refrigerate your tahini after opening, but it lasts just about forever in the refrigerator. It is slightly more expensive than most ingredients I use, but it’s so worth it. Tahini is the key ingredient (IMHO) for authentic tasting hummus, but can also be used for salad dressing, or even baked goods like cookies and muffins.

Punch Up Your Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing

I posted the “easy” version of this recipe below because in my day to day life I just like to keep things simple. That means I used bottled lemon juice and dried herbs and spices. If you want to really punch this dressing up for a special occasion or you’re just really into details, here are my suggestions:

  • Use fresh squeezed lemon juice and add a pinch or two of the lemon’s zest
  • Use one small clove of garlic (minced) in place of the garlic powder
  • Use fresh dill and fresh parsley, about 1 loosely packed teaspoon of each (finely chopped)

How to Serve Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing

This amazing dressing is good poured over any fresh or roasted vegetable. It also makes a great dip (although slightly less thick) for crudités. The dressing does get thicker when refrigerated, so that’s an option if using it as a dip.

I’d also pour this over a bowl of sliced cucumbers as a dairy-free version of the popular creamy dill cucumber salad. I also plan to use this dressing to make a mayo-free potato salad later this week.

It’s great over fish, like salmon or tuna, either freshly cooked, or in a mayo-free tuna salad like my Tuna and White Bean Salad. I would also drizzle this dressing over a grilled chicken breast in a heart beat. 

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Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing

4.88 from 8 votes
Pour this tangy Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing over roasted vegetables, grilled salmon or chicken, potato salad, or your favorite green salad.
Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing dripping off a spoon into a white bowl.
Servings 6 2 Tbsp each
Prep 5 mins
Cook 0 mins
Total 5 mins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.03)
  • 1/4 cup tahini ($0.75)
  • 1/4 cup warm water ($0.00)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.09)

Instructions 

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir or whisk until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to five days. The dressing will thicken at colder temperatures.

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Nutrition

Serving: 2TbspCalories: 62.87kcalCarbohydrates: 2.45gProtein: 2.42gFat: 5.02gSodium: 139.5mgFiber: 1.4g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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A spoon dipping into a bowl of Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing

How to Make Tahini Dill Dressing – Step by Step Photos

Herbs and Spices for Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing

Add 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1/2 tsp dried parsley, and some freshly cracked pepper (about 10 cranks of a pepper mill) to a bowl.

Tahini container

This is the tahini I’ve been using lately. It’s the store brand for Kroger brand stores. Whole Foods also makes a store brand that is a great price, as does Trader Joes. Just like natural peanut butter, you’ll want to give your tahini a good stir the first time you open it. 

Tahini being poured into bowl with the herbs.

Add 1/4 cup tahini to the bowl with the herbs, along with 1/4 cup warm water, and 3 Tbsp lemon juice.

Half stirred Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing looking clumpy.

Stir the ingredients together. At first it will look kind of clumpy or like it’s curdled, but that’s just because tahini has a lot of oil and it is trying to stay separate from the water. Just keep stirring.

Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing in the bowl with a red spatula

If you just keep stirring it will come together into a smooth dressing after a few seconds. Cold water will make this take longer, so make sure the water you use is a little warm.

Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing dripping off a spoon into a white bowl.

The Lemon Dill Tahini Dressing is a little on the runny side when warm, but thickens up quite a bit when refrigerated. Serve the dressing immediately, or refrigerate it for up to five days. But it probably won’t last that long because it’s too delicious. I had to consciously stop myself from just drinking it off the spoon!

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Comments

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  1. Just made this as a dip for crispy green beans, and it was SO good! I can see using this for all kinds of things. Thanks, Beth!

  2. This dressing is lovely. Had leftover artichoke, black olives, red onion and bought a tomato and a lemon. I always keep tahini in the fridge, so thank you for another recipe I’ll definitely make again.

  3. These made for a great side for burgers tonight! I used up what we had (cabbage, carrot, roasted corn, and onions) and subbed the lemon tahini dill dressing since we’re out of sour cream.

    Glad I checked bb before running to the store for frozen French fries!

  4. This one took a little while to grow on me, but now that it has, I love it! Initially I wasn’t a huge fan of the bitter aftertaste of the tahini, which really lingered. But after letting the flavors mingle for a day or two, it’s AMAZING. It’s smooth, creamy, herbal, and bright, with the tahini adding some lovely texture, as well as just a mellowed-out hint of bitterness to really bring the rest of the dressing to life.

    1. This was really good! I didn’t have fresh parsley and am having a hard time with onions so I had to leave that out. But dang if this wasn’t good! I tossed it with some chickpeas (just out of the can, too tired to do more haha) and steamed green beans. I think this could also be really good with asparagus! Or drizzled over falafel.

      It was definitely better after I put it in the fridge to cool. Based on other comments I think it will be even better tomorrow!

      Love that this doesn’t need mayo or dairy.

  5. I recently started a gluten free and dairy free diet, and was excited to find this sauce fitting the bill. Just made my second batch today and eating it with fries in lieu of ketchup. Also slathered some baked chicken and kale with it in the first batch. Delicious!

  6. This reminds me of your roasted eggplant with lemon tahini dressing. That recipe seems to have disappeared from the website? Luckily I printed it out but what happened to it?! :)

    1. Hi Jenny! Yes we cleaned up the site some from older recipes. I’ll send you a copy of it via email :)

      1. Why do that and not keep an archive? I’d like to be able to see the older ones. Been following the site for years, never been disappointed!

        1. We have all the recipes archived offline. There are a lot of technical and SEO reasons for not leaving them live on the website. :) If you ever need them, we can email them to you, so don’t hesitate to ask!

          1. Would love to get that roasted eggplant recipe if you can send it over!

          2. Please! There’s some old ones I don’t remember the names! Would love if you could send me some !

          3. What’s your email? We won’t post it to the public blog comments — we will save it, send you the recipes & delete the comment!

            And can you describe the dishes you are thinking of? We keep all the posts we’ve removed in a special folder so it will be somewhat easy to narrow down what you might be looking for if we have an idea of what it is. ~Marion :)

  7. This is easy and really delicious! I made this to use over quinoa and grilled veggies for lunch and it added so much depth – would definitely be delicious on chicken and probably anything else you put it on. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I haven’t had much luck with tahini based recipes and wondering maybe it’s just a taste that I’m not accustomed to.  I find the end products with tahini to have a bitter aftertaste, which I think is from the tahini itself.  Is this how recipes with tahini are suppose to be?  Or is it just me??  Does this dressing also have a bitter aftertaste?

    1. Yep, that’s definitely how tahini tastes, so it might just not be your thing. I’m a lover of bitter flavors (coffee, kale, other dark greens), so I enjoy that part of it. :)

  9. This dressing is amazing. I made the kale and salmon salad to use it with, but honestly want to put it on All 👏🏻The 👏🏻Things. I was literally just eating the dressing off a spoon at work today. Amazing!

    1. Haha, I’m glad I’m not the only one who wants to just eat the dressing with a spoon! 🤣

  10. Thank you sooooo much for the Lemon Tahini recipe.  And the suggestions for use.  Love your ideas!