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Lemon-Basil Tahini Dressing

  • Author: (By Lee Clayton Roper)
  • Yield: Around 1 cup 1x
  • Category: sauces, salad dressing, gluten free


Lemon-Basil Tahini Dressing is creamy, tangy, versatile – and super delicious! Toss it with mixed greens, cooked grains (like couscous), cucumber, tomato, cooked chicken – it works well with almost any salad ingredient. I also like it drizzled on roasted vegetables, especially broccoli and asparagus. Can be prepared up to 1 week ahead, too


  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or more to taste (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon balsamic vinegar – or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup water – add as needed to thin (see directions)


  1. Place the tahini and lemon juice in the bowl of a small food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Add the olive oil, basil, garlic, 1 tablespoon honey, mustard, vinegar, zest and salt; process until smooth.
  3. Slowly add water, a tablespoon at a time, as needed to thin the dressing.
  4. Season to taste with ground pepper, and additional honey and/or salt.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Note on honey: I have found that the bitterness of tahini varies significantly by brand – from not bitter at all, to very bitter. As a result, when preparing the dressing you really need to taste and add more as needed. Adding more salt also reduces the bitterness.

Make ahead: Can be prepared up to 1 week ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using. It will thicken as it sits, so you’ll want to thin it by whisking in a tablespoon of water.

© A Well-Seasoned Kitchen ®