This creamy lemon herb tahini sauce is so easy to make and ready in just 5 minutes! It's an all-purpose vegan/dairy-free dressing that's packed with healthy ingredients and takes buddha bowls, sandwiches, roasted veggies and more to the next level!
There's nothing like a tasty sauce to elevate any meal! This copycat Cava lemon herb tahini does just that and has become a go-to for me. It's refreshing, smooth, simple and satisfying.
It adds the best flavor to add to your favorite dishes. A great way to use this lemon herb tahini dressing would be drizzled over crispy baked falafel, this sweet potato buddha bowl, roasted veggies, and so much more. I've included a ton of serving ideas to get you started.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's quick and easy to make! Throw everything in a food processor and you'll have a creamy sauce ready in just 5 minutes!
- This sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used in so many different ways.
- It calls for simple, healthy ingredients! This low histamine sauce is loaded with nutrients like heart-healthy unsaturated fats, plant-based protein, and minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium.
There's a only 1 important piece of equipment you'll need to make this homesauce sauce:
- Food Processor or High-speed Blender: this will help break down the herbs and allow you to get that creamy, smooth texture. If you want as little texture as possible as possible, I suggest using a high speed blender over a food processor!
If you don't have a blender or food processor, you can still make this recipe! You'll just have to press the garlic and finely chop the herbs. Then just whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl! It may take more than 5 minutes depending on your knife skills, but hey - it'll work!
This lemon herb tahini sauce uses healthy, simple and fresh ingredients! Here's everything you'll need to make it:
- Tahini: is a Middle Eastern paste that is made from toasted, ground sesame seeds! Just like other nut & seed butters, the oil will separate and sit on top. Give it a good stir before adding to the food processor. It adds the perfect nutty flavor to this sauce. You can use any tahini that you like, just make sure it's high quality! I personally love Soom and used it for this recipe.
- Fresh Herbs: we'll be using fresh cilantro and fresh parsley! They compliment each other well and add color and freshness to this sauce.
- Lemon Juice: for the perfect amount tang to this sauce. I highly recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice as opposed to concentrate for the best flavor. You could also add some lemon zest for a punchier flavor.
- Water: it's so important for this dressing! The water will thin out the tahini, transforming this into a creamy, pourable sauce. It also helps to mellow the strong (potentially overpowering) flavors of the other ingredients.
- Garlic: obviously. You can use garlic powder if it's all you have, but fresh garlic is always better in my opinion.
- Sea Salt: just a pinch!
- Sweetener: this is totally optional, but I do think it helps to cut the tanginess just slightly! I used agave but maple syrup will incorporate perfectly, too.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions & Variations
There are a few changes you could make to this recipe to make it work for you:
- Use different herbs! Dill, chives, basil and mint would all work really well here. If you don't like cilantro or parsley, just replace it with more of an herb that you do like.
- Make it spicy by adding a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Easily make this sauce oil-free by omitting the olive oil and using a bit more water or lemon juice.
- Use a different sweetener such as vegan honey, maple syrup, date syrup or coconut sugar. Or, leave it out entirely.
- Don't have tahini? Feel free to use sunflower seed butter, cashew butter, almond butter or peanut butter in its place.* If you use any of these, be sure to use natural.
- If you're chopping by hand, chop the herbs last. They oxidize quickly so chop them right before you're ready to add them to the sauce for optimal freshness.
- Use lime juice instead of lemon juice for a different flavor that's still fresh and citrusy.
*Please note that not using tahini will result in a very different flavor!
This recipe has not been tested with any other substitutions or variations than the ones listed above. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
Step 1: Add garlic, cilantro, parsley, salt, agave and lemon juice to the food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped.
Step 2: Add olive oil and tahini paste and pulse until combined. The tahini will seize up a bit.
Step 3: Add cold water to the running food processor and mix until combined and the sauce is creamy.
Step 4: Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Serve immediately or transfer to an air-tight container and store in the fridge or freezer until ready to enjoy.
There are so many different ways you can use this sauce. It adds to much flavor and acts a source of healthy fats to whatever you put it on. And trust me, once you try it, you're going to want to pair with everything.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Drizzle on top of falafel or roasted vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, zucchini and more
- Use it as a salad dressing
- Drizzle it across buddha bowls or grain bowls
- Use it as a spread to slather on sandwiches
- Serve it as a dipping sauce on a mezze platter or as a dip for pita bread or raw, fresh veggies like carrots, cucumber, celery, or broccoli
- Tahini separates just like natural nut butters. Be sure to stir the tahini well before using it to make the sauce and again before you serve the sauce after storing it in the fridge.
- Use the thin stems of the cilantro & parsley. They're packed with flavor and nutrients, don't waste them!
- If the sauce is too thick, add another 1-2 tablespoons of water or lemon juice. If it's too thin, add another 1-2 tablespoons of tahini. Keep doing this until you've reached your desired consistency.
Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. The dressing will thicken as it sits so be sure to give it a good stir before using. If it has thickened up too much, add 1-2 tablespoons of water or lemon juice to thin it out.
Freezer: This tahini sauce is freezer friendly! Store in an airtight container or freezer-friendly bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw completely in the fridge or at room temperature before serving.
Technically, you can. Would I recommend it? No. Dried herbs give a different flavor profile and are much more pungent than fresh herbs. If dried herbs are all you have access to, only use 2 teaspoons.
You can buy tahini at any grocery store! You can find it in both the international aisle and whichever aisle they stock the nut & seed butters in. You can of course buy it online directly from a brand or through Amazon.
Other recipes you might like
Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce
- 1 Food Processor or high-speed blender
- ½ cup tahini
- ¼ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ¼ cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ cup cilantro
- ¼ cup parsley
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon agave optional
- Add garlic, cilantro, parsley, salt, agave and lemon juice to the food processor. Process/blend until roughly chopped.¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup cilantro, ¼ cup parsley, 2 garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon agave
- Add in olive oil and tahini and process until combined. The tahini will seize up a bit and be very thick at this point!½ cup tahini, 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Add cold water and process until fully combined and the sauce is creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.¼ cup cold water
- Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container. Enjoy!