5-Minute Harissa Tahini Sauce - Minimalist Baker Recipes

Steps by steps Vegan Harissa Tahini Sauce

Harissa and tahini are two prominent ingredients that hail from different culinary traditions, commonly found in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines, respectively.

Harissa, a fiery North African chili paste, is created from a blend of hot chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spices like cumin, coriander, caraway, and mint. Different regions have their own variations, which can influence the exact flavor and heat level of the harissa. It is versatile and used in various dishes to add depth, heat, and a complex flavor profile.

Tahini, on the other hand, is a creamy, rich paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, forming the base of recipes such as hummus and baba ghanoush, as well as being used as a sauce or dressing. Tahini brings a nutty, smooth, and slightly bitter flavor that can balance the fiery nature of harissa.

As vegan cuisine emphasizes plant-based ingredients, merging harissa with tahini creates a condiment that aligns with vegan values while delivering a rich meld of textures and flavors. The Vegan Harissa Tahini Sauce combines the spice of harissa with the creamy consistency of tahini, often tempered with additional elements such as lemon juice for acidity, garlic for pungency, and sweeteners like agave or maple syrup to balance the heat and bitterness.

The resulting sauce is a multi-dimensional condiment that complements a variety of dishes — from drizzling over roasted vegetables, grain bowls, and salads, to being used as a spread for sandwiches or a dip for appetizers. It marries the fiery boldness of harissa with the creaminess of tahini, offering a flavorful vegan-friendly option that adds both heat and depth to dishes.

Vegan Harissa Tahini Sauce Recipe

5-Minute Harissa Tahini Sauce - Minimalist Baker Recipes

Vegan Harissa Tahini Sauce

Harissa Tahini Sauce is a flavorful condiment that combines the spicy and smoky elements of harissa, a North African chili paste, with the creamy, nutty flavor of tahini, which is a paste made from sesame seeds. This sauce often includes additional ingredients to balance and enhance the flavors such as garlic, lemon juice, and various herbs and spices.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10 serving
Calories 74 kcal


  • 1 bowl of a blender
  • 1 air tight container


  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 tbsp harissa sauce spicy
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl of a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Store the dressing in an air tight container and keep in the fridge, use within a week.
Keyword harissa sauce spicy, lemon juice, tahini

Cooking Tips about Vegan Harissa Tahini Sauce

5-Minute Harissa Tahini Sauce - Minimalist Baker Recipes

When making vegan harissa tahini sauce, some critical components to consider are the balance of flavors and the consistency of the sauce, as well as the adaptability of the sauce in various dishes.

The base ingredients for a vegan harissa tahini sauce typically include tahini (sesame seed paste), harissa (a North African chili pepper paste), lemon juice, garlic, and additional seasonings such as cumin or coriander. The making of the sauce involves combining these components in a manner that yields a harmonious blend of the nutty flavor of tahini with the spicy and aromatic character of harissa.

To ensure a balanced flavor profile, start with the tahini, slowly adding in the harissa paste to taste. Typically, tahini can be quite thick and may require thinning with water. The key is to add water incrementally to reach the desired consistency without diluting the flavors excessively. Lemon juice not only adds a bright, acidic counterpoint to the rich tahini and fiery harissa but also serves to slightly thin the sauce. Garlic, often crushed or minced, infuses the sauce with a pungent depth, which can be adjusted based on personal preference.

Seasoning with ground cumin or coriander can introduce earthy or citrusy notes, respectively. Salt is often necessary to enhance all the flavors within the sauce. It is important to taste as you go, adjusting these seasoning elements to achieve a balanced and pleasing flavor.

Vegan harissa tahini sauce can be versatile. It can be used as a drizzle over roasted vegetables, as a dressing for salads, spread on sandwiches or wraps, as a dip for bread or crudité, or even as a unique addition to grain bowls. Since the applications are various, consider the context in which the sauce will be used and adjust the thickness or seasoning accordingly. For instance, a thinner sauce might be preferable as a salad dressing, while a thicker consistency would be suited for a dip or spread.

Serving suggestions about vegan harissa tahini sauce

5-Minute Harissa Tahini Sauce - Minimalist Baker Recipes

  • Dressings and Marinades: Whisk the harissa tahini sauce with a bit of water or lemon juice to thin it out and use it as a salad dressing. It can also be used as a marinade for plant-based proteins, like tofu or tempeh, before baking or grilling.
  • Grain Bowls: Drizzle over grain bowls that include quinoa, farro, or brown rice along with an assortment of roasted or fresh vegetables, beans, and greens. The sauce can act as a flavorful binder, tying all the components together.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Toss it with vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, or Brussels sprouts before roasting to infuse them with a spicy, creamy coating that caramelizes beautifully in the oven.
  • Sandwiches and Wraps: Use the sauce as a spread on vegan sandwiches and wraps to add depth and kick. It particularly complements fillings such as falafel, grilled vegetables, or chickpea salads.
  • Dips: Mix it with vegan yogurt or hummus to create a creamy dip for pita bread, pita chips, or crudité.
  • Buddha Bowls: Top Buddha bowls with the sauce for a quick, nutritious, and satisfying meal. The combination of colorful vegetables, a protein source, and a grain or seed becomes even more appetizing with a flavorful sauce.
  • Pasta: Stir it into pasta, either on its own or with additional ingredients like cherry tomatoes, olives, and artichoke hearts for a Mediterranean-inspired dish.
  • Baked Potatoes: Spoon over baked sweet potatoes or regular potatoes for a dish with contrasting flavors—earthy sweetness from the potato and sharp spiciness from the sauce.
  • Flatbreads and Pizzas: Either use it as a base sauce instead of tomato sauce, or drizzle on top of a finished pizza for a burst of flavor.

Top 5 FAQs Vegan harissa tahini sauce recipes

Roasted Cauliflower with Harissa Tahini - Soom Foods

  • What are the key ingredients in vegan harissa tahini sauce? Vegan harissa tahini sauce typically involves a blending of tahini (which is a sesame seed paste), harissa (a North African chili pepper paste with spices like garlic, coriander, and caraway), along with lemon juice, garlic, and various seasonings. Variations might include ingredients like maple syrup or agave nectar for sweetness and additional spices for personal taste.
  • How is vegan harissa tahini sauce prepared? To prepare this sauce, the key components are whisked or blended together until smooth. The process usually begins by blending the tahini and lemon juice first to achieve a creamy base before adding the harissa, garlic, and other flavorings. The consistency can be adjusted by adding more or less water depending on the intended use.
  • What dishes complement vegan harissa tahini sauce? This sauce is highly versatile. It can serve as a dressing for salads or bowls, a spread for wraps and sandwiches, or a topping for roasted or grilled vegetables. It could also be used as a dip for crudités or pita bread. The spicy and creamy nature of the sauce pairs well with the earthy flavors of vegetables and whole grains.
  • What are the nutritional benefits of vegan harissa tahini sauce? The tahini base of the sauce is rich in healthy fats, protein, and is an excellent source of calcium. Harissa, being comprised of chili peppers, contains capsaicin which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is also advisable to consume in moderation as it can be calorie-dense due to the tahini content.
  • How should vegan harissa tahini sauce be stored? This sauce is best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can typically last for up to a week when stored properly. Some separation is normal upon settling, so a quick stir may be necessary before use. It is not recommended for freezing, as this can affect the texture and consistency of the tahini.

Harissa tahini sauce combines the fiery flavor profile of harissa, a North African chili pepper paste, with the creamy, nutty taste of tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds. This fusion results in a sauce that delivers a balanced mix of heat and smoothness, making it a versatile condiment that can enhance the flavors of various dishes.

Vegan sauces, such as vegan harissa tahini sauce, are formulated without any animal-derived ingredients. This aligns with vegan dietary practices, which exclude meat, dairy, eggs, and all other animal products. Such sauces are often sought by vegans and others who wish to avoid animal products for health, ethical, or environmental reasons.

In the culinary context, a vegan harissa tahini sauce can be appreciated for its flexibility. It can be used as a dressing for salads, as a spread on sandwiches, or as a flavorful drizzle on roasted vegetables, grains, or plant-based proteins. Given the robust flavors, it pairs particularly well with milder ingredients, providing a punch of flavor that can elevate a simple dish to something more complex and satisfying.


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