Spicy Tahini Sauce/Dressing/Dip (oil free!)

Jump to Recipe

One of the most underrated condiments of all time: tahini. And this simple, vegan, oil free recipe is a one stop shop for spicy tahini sauce, spicy tahini dip, or spicy tahini dressing! A satisfying balance of garlic, lemon, and spice with a touch of sweetness.

What is tahini made of?

Tahini is simply sesame seeds that have been hulled and ground into a smooth paste. Tahini can be found in almost any grocery store. Depending on the brand, store bought tahini can be raw or toasted.

What does tahini taste like?

Tahini is rich and nutty in flavor. Some brands of tahini paste are more bitter, some are more buttery.

Tahini is generally smooth and silky in texture. Some brands of tahini paste need to be stirred to mix in the natural oils, similar to some natural brands of nut butters.

Check out the best tahini brands accordingly to three Arab American cooks on Kitchn.

Tahini Sauce Uses

Tahini is oh so versatile and will elevates endless dishes. This delicious recipe can be used as a salad dressing, a dip, or a sauce. Here are my favorite three ways for how to use tahini:

Oil Free Tahini Dressing

This spicy maple tahini dressing is particularly perfect for a kale salad. It stands up to the tough kale leaves, both softening them with its natural oil and minimizing the bitterness of the kale leaves. Complementary salad ingredient ideas include:

  • roasted chickpeas for crunch
  • sweet potatoes for sweetness
  • tomatoes for brightness
  • radishes or fennel for freshness
  • my crispy & spicy roasted beets for added kick
  • baked tofu for extra protein (I prefer Trader Joe’s sriracha tofu)

Spicy Garlicky Tahini Sauce

Baked sweet potatoes can move from a side dish to a main dish with this delectable tahini sauce! Add some roasted chickpeas too, and it becomes the star of the plate. Serve with a side salad.

Spicy Tahini Dip

Finally, this recipe is amazing as a dip for roasted vegetables. Perfect complimentary veggies include crispy roasted beets, garlicky roasted cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and Brussels sprouts.

This spicy tahini recipe a satisfying balance of garlic, lemon, and spice with a touch of sweetness. And believe it or not, there is no added oil, making it uber-healthy too!

Without further delay, here is the spicy tahini sauce (or dip or dressing) recipe–>

tahini dressing
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Spicy Tahini Dressing/Dip/Sauce

This tasty concoction is a satisfying balance of garlic, lemon, and spice with a touch of sweetness.
Can be served immediately, or, ideally, let sit for 1-24 hours to allow flavors to come together.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Appetizer, dressing, Salad
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: dip, dressing, oil free, oil free dressing, sauce, spicy, tahini dip, tahini dressing, tahini sauce
Servings: 4
Calories: 130kcal
Author: Jenn Freedman


  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 tsp finely chopped /minced medium garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp coconut aminos (can sub tamari or extra sea salt if unavailable)
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5/8 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp sriracha flexible to add more/less
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 2-6 tbsp warm water to thin* (amount depends on thickness of tahini and how well it is stirred, varies by brand)


  • Whisk together all ingredients except water.
  • Slowly add warm water until desired thickness is achieved.


*THICKNESS: based on preference; consider thinning out more when using as dressing and keeping a bit thicker when using as a sauce or dip
MAKE IN ADVANCE: can be made in advance or served immediately; the longer it sits, the more the flavors will blend and the garlic flavor will blossom
STORAGE: cover and store in fridge for up to 5 days; to reconstitute, add a bit more warm water

Please, let me know what you think of the recipe once you try it by rating and commenting below!

For more plant-powered dressings, sauces, and salad ideas, check out:

Or check out all my recipes!



Pin this spicy tahini dressing for later:

3 thoughts on “Spicy Tahini Sauce/Dressing/Dip (oil free!)”

  • 5 stars
    This dressing is everything. So easy to whip up before work or a quick dinner. I’ve used this on salads and roasted veggies. So versatile.

  • 5 stars
    I love this dip. Perfectly balanced in flavor. Together, the rich tahini and citrus acidity are the perfect complement to roasted veggies. I’ve tried it with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots and beets- all delicious. Next time I plan to try it on eggplant sprinkled with a little sumac.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating