This delicious and easy vegan lemon tahini dressing oil-free (added oils) and perfect on salads. It’s made with just a few simple ingredients like apple cider vinegar, tahini, maple, and lemon.This delicious and easy vegan lemon tahini dressing is oil-free and perfect on salads. It's made with just a few simple ingredients like apple cider vinegar, tahini, maple, and lemon.

We don’t go out to dinner often, but when we do, my family often chooses the Natural Cafe. There’s something everyone likes, and when the kids are happily eating their dinners, I’m happy too. I love the big hearty salads and crave the tahini dressing. It’s creamy without being heavy, bright and fresh, and with just the right umami flair.

What is tahini?

Tahini is simply sesame seeds that have been ground into a paste. I buy mine at Trader Joe’s and use it to make a sauce for my falafel and Buddha bowls, and, of course, dressing! There are many other uses for tahini, and it’s even used in sweet recipes like cookies.

How to Make Lemon Tahini Dressing

This week I worked on my own version of my favorite lemon tahini dressing and was so pleased with the results!  I’ve tried store bough tahini dressing in the past and was always disappointed. It takes just a minute to make homemade dressing and the flavor and nutrition are well worth the extra effort. This tahini dressing recipe is so simple that a proper recipe is not really even needed. I’ll show you how to make it, but you can really just wing-it yourself. Adding a bit more water to thin, and more lemon or apple cider vinegar for acid.

This easy lemon tahini dressing is naturally oil-free. Sesame seeds, like nuts, of course contain natural oils. While I’ve always loved olive and coconut oil, I’ve recently been studying the work of Dr. Greger and Dr. Esselstyn who recommend getting fats from whole foods rather than oils. Many people on whole food plant based diets are “SOS free” which means they don’t consume added salt, oil or sugar. For example, eating whole olives rather than olive oil, and getting fats and oils from avocados and nuts. That way we get all the protective benefits of the food, rather than a processed oil that’s stripped of nutrients. In this recipe, we get some nice fat and protein from the whole ground sesame seeds (tahini), just the way nature intended.

Using Lemon Tahini Dressing

 Delicious healthy vegetarian and vegan Mediterranean salad with tahini dressing and chickpeas.

If there’s one thing that helps me eat well during the week it’s making a big beautiful salad. I can quickly grab a bowl of salad to eat at my desk while I’m working or pack some in a jar to take with me. Right now I’m obsessed with this Mediterranean inspired salad with my homemade tahini dressing. It’s so satisfying! I’m not writing up a recipe for the salad, as I think it’s self-explanatory, especially if you watch the video at the top.

I topped romaine lettuce with tomatoes, cucumber, sliced red onion, sliced raw mushrooms, capers for a salty briny bite, chickpeas and fresh parsley. Just before serving I add avocado. There are so many good things going on in this salad. It has heartiness from the chickpeas and mushrooms, and the perfect crunch from the cucumbers. Best of all though might be the creamy dressing.

This dressing would also be great on grilled Romaine hearts, though I usually use my favorite Vegan Caesar Dressing for that. 

Easy vegan lemon tahini salad dressing

I made a short video so you can watch how simple it is to make your own lemon tahini dressing (60 seconds).

Yield: about 1 cup

Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

An easy oil-free vegan salad dressing that's perfectly tangy and creamy. This lemon tahini dressing is delicious on salads, Buddha bowls, or as a dip for veggies.

A jar of lemon tahini dressing with a small whisk and lemons in the background. This tahini dressing is ready for a salad.


  • 1/4 cup tahini (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup water to thin


  1. Pour all ingredients into a small bowl or jar. Whisk together until smooth. If the tahini flavor is too strong for your taste, add a bit more apple cider vinegar and syrup to taste. Store in refrigerator or use on salads immediately. I like this tahini dressing best on green salads with Mediterranean flavors.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1/8 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 67Saturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g
Lemon Tahini Dressing Recipe