Citrus Tahini Sauce | Foodtalk

How to make Citrus Tahini Dressing

Citrus Tahini Dressing is a type of condiment that blends the rich, creamy texture of tahini with the bright, acidic notes of citrus juice. Tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds, is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine and has gained widespread popularity for its nutty flavor and versatility. It’s commonly used in dishes like hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva.

The addition of citrus to tahini dressing brings a refreshing contrast to the heaviness of the sesame paste. Citrus juices, such as lemon, lime, or orange, offer vitamin C and a tangy zest that can enhance the flavors in a variety of dishes. The acidity from the citrus also helps to balance the richness of the tahini, creating a more nuanced and satisfying taste.

Citrus Tahini Dressing can be customized according to personal preference or specific dietary needs. For example, adding garlic, herbs, or spices can introduce additional layers of flavor. Sweeteners like honey or agave syrup can be incorporated to temper the acidity and provide a sweeter profile. It’s commonly used as a salad dressing, a sauce for grilled vegetables, or a marinade for proteins.

The dressing’s nutritional profile is influenced by tahini’s high content of healthy fats, protein, and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. When paired with citrus juice, it not only offers a delightful taste but also a combination of nutrients beneficial to one’s health.

Citrus Tahini Dressing Recipe

Citrus Tahini Sauce | Foodtalk

Citrus Tahini Dressing

Citrus Tahini Dressing is a versatile and flavorful condiment that pairs the creamy, rich tahini with the zesty and refreshing taste of citrus. Tahini, made from sesame seeds, lends a smooth texture and a slightly bitter, deep nutty flavor that is characteristic of many Middle Eastern dishes. The inclusion of citrus juice, such as lemon or orange, adds a bright tanginess to the dressing which cuts through the richness of tahini and brings a vibrant lift to the palate.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 125 kcal


  • 1 small mixing bowl


  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup or to taste
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Water as needed


  • Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk until smooth and creamy.
  • Enjoy with your favorite salad or veggies immediately or cover bowl with a tight lid and keep in the fridge until time of serving. Use dressing within a week.
Keyword apple cider vinegar, tahini

Cooking Tips about Citrus Tahini Dressing

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  • Starting with Quality Ingredients: The foundation of any great dressing is using high-quality ingredients. Choose a well-crafted tahini that has a smooth texture and a pleasantly nutty taste. As for the citrus component, freshly squeezed juice from lemons, limes, or oranges will give your dressing the freshness and tang that bottled juice can’t match.
  • Perfecting the Consistency: Tahini has a tendency to seize up when mixed with cold water or citrus juice, resulting in a thicker and sometimes clumpy texture. To avoid this, use room temperature water and add it gradually while whisking vigorously. This ensures a silky and pourable consistency perfect for drizzling.
  • Balancing Flavors: Tahini is inherently rich and dense, which means that it needs to be balanced out. Don’t shy away from using a good pinch of salt or a touch of sweetness from honey or agave syrup to complement the citrus’s acidity and tahini’s bitterness.
  • Adding Depth: While the core ingredients are simple, the addition of garlic, herbs like parsley or dill, and spices such as cumin can elevate the dressing to new heights. Even a little zest from the citrus fruit can introduce an extra layer of flavor.
  • Emulsification is Key: A good emulsion will hold your dressing together and prevent separation. Slowly stream the olive oil into your mixture as you blend or whisk continuously. For added stability, a small amount of mustard can act as an emulsifier and also impart a mild kick.
  • Adjusting Thickness: Depending on whether you’re using it as a salad dressing, a sauce, or a dip, you may want a different consistency. Add more citrus juice or water to thin it out, or more tahini for a thicker result.
  • Allowing the Dressing to Rest: After blending your dressing, give it some time to rest in the refrigerator. Not only does this cool it down, but it also allows the flavors to meld together harmoniously.

Serving suggestions about Citrus Tahini Dressing

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  • Leafy Green Salads: Drizzle Citrus Tahini Dressing over mixed greens such as kale, spinach, or arugula. The citrus will add a refreshing tang, while the tahini provides a satisfying richness.
  • Grain Bowls and Buddha Bowls: These popular meals are a mix of grains, vegetables, and protein; the Citrus Tahini Dressing can act as a binding agent that brings all the flavors together harmoniously.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Toss roasted veggies like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes with the dressing before serving. It adds depth and creaminess to the naturally caramelized flavors.
  • Dipping Sauce: Use the dressing as a dip for crudités, warm pita bread, or falafel. The thickness of the tahini makes it an excellent counterpart to crisp, fresh vegetables and savory bites.
  • Marinades: Before grilling or roasting, marinate chicken, tofu, or fish in Citrus Tahini Dressing to imbue the protein with moisture and flavor.
  • Nourishing Wraps: Spread a layer of Citrus Tahini Dressing inside a wrap filled with your choice of meats, cheese, and raw or grilled veggies. It adds a creamy texture and bright flavor to every bite.
  • Pasta Salad: Enrich a Mediterranean-inspired pasta salad with this dressing; the sesame and citrus notes pair well with olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese.
  • Rice Dishes: A drizzle on top of a pilaf or stir-fried rice can add an unexpected twist of Middle Eastern flavor, complementing ingredients like nuts, raisins, and herbs.
  • Sweet Treats: Although unconventional, the nutty flavor of tahini paired with a sweeter citrus like orange can even top off desserts like baked fruits or citrus-infused cakes in moderation.

Top 5 FAQs about Citrus Tahini Dressing

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  • What makes Citrus Tahini Dressing unique compared to other dressings? Citrus Tahini Dressing is characterized by its smooth, creamy texture and the rich, nutty flavor provided by tahini, which is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. The addition of citrus juice such as lemon or orange brings a fresh tanginess that cuts through the richness of the tahini, creating a balanced and distinctive taste. This dressing often includes garlic, salt, pepper, and may incorporate olive oil, sweeteners, or herbs for further flavor dimension.
  • How can you prevent Citrus Tahini Dressing from becoming too thick or clumpy? To ensure the dressing maintains a pourable consistency, it’s important to introduce water at room temperature gradually while continuously whisking the mixture. Additionally, incorporating olive oil slowly while blending or whisking can help achieve a smooth emulsion and prevent the dressing from seizing up.
  • Is Citrus Tahini Dressing vegan and gluten-free? Yes, the basic components of Citrus Tahini Dressing are typically vegan, as they include tahini, citrus juice, and seasonings that are plant-based. It is also commonly gluten-free; however, always check the labels on your ingredients if you’re catering to specific dietary needs. For example, some brands of mustard or other additives might contain gluten.
  • Can Citrus Tahini Dressing be used beyond salads, and if so, how? Absolutely! Besides being a flavorful addition to various salad types, Citrus Tahini Dressing is versatile enough to serve as a dip for vegetables, a spread on sandwiches and wraps, a sauce for grilled meats and fish, and even as a mayonnaise substitute in vegan recipes because of its creamy texture.
  • How should you store Citrus Tahini Dressing, and how long does it last? Store Citrus Tahini Dressing in an airtight container in the fridge. When stored properly, it can last up to a week. It’s recommended to stir or shake the dressing before use if any separation occurs, as natural settling can happen.

Citrus Tahini Dressing stands as an exemplary illustration of how simple ingredients can meld to produce a gastronomic delight that is both versatile and bursting with flavor. The rich, creamy base derived from finely ground sesame seeds found in the tahini presents a luscious texture and nutty depth. When harmoniously combined with the zesty and refreshing citrus juice, whether it be from lemons, limes, or oranges, it creates an alluring balance between tangy and savory notes.

This dressing goes beyond its traditional use as merely a salad enhancer. It transitions gracefully into the roles of a marinade for proteins, a drizzling sauce for roasted vegetables, a flavorful addition to grain bowls, and a spread for wraps and sandwiches, speaking to its multifaceted nature in the culinary realm. Moreover, its ability to be personalized with the incorporation of herbs, spices, garlic, or different types of citrus allows home cooks and chefs alike to tailor it to the specific tastes of any dish or cuisine.


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