You’re going to want to keep this creamy, nourishing maple tahini dressing in the fridge at all times. It takes just 5 minutes to whip up, will easily keep for a week, and it makes everything from kale salads to grain bowls to french fries taste better. Vegan, gluten free, Low FODMAP option…and super yummy!
This dietitian believes that plant-based recipes should always be delicious because you can feed body and soul at the same time. And one of the many tools in my toolkit for creating cravable veg? SAUCE! I don’t think there is a meal that can’t be made better by some sort of sauce. Which is why many of my recipes, like the ones in Good For Your Gut book, contain some sort of saucy component.
I created this maple tahini dressing for my Roasted Delicata Orzo Salad but it would taste delicious with most kale, romaine or arugula salads in addition to drizzling over grain bowls or using as a dip!
What is tahini?
Tahini is similar to a nut butter, but made from sesame seeds! Tahini is popular throughout the Mediterranean region and in Middle Eastern cuisines. It has an earthy, deeply savoury flavour (although some brands can be a bit bitter…not what you want, but it’s fixable). Acids such as lemon juice, or sweets like maple syrup can soften any bitterness which is why I use both of those in my maple tahini dressing recipe! There are so many ways to use tahini, and it’s nutritious too.
How to make tahini dressing
All you really need to make a good tahini dressing is 3 core ingredients: tahini, something acidic like lemon juice and something sweet like maple syrup. Any other addition simply creates variety in flavour (which is also a good thing!)
The other thing you should know is that tahini is quite thick, so you’re going to want to thin it out with either cold water or oil or both. I find that the texture of the dressing is nicer with just a touch of oil but you can go oil free if you like. If the tahini seizes up on you, just whisk in more cold water until you reach your desired consistency!
The basic tahini dressing formula: whisk equal parts tahini + cold water plus 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice + salt to taste. Add maple syrup to sweeten, micrograted garlic, herbs or spices for flavour. This will give you a thicker, dipping texture; simply add water or oil, a tablespoon at a time, to thin to desired consistency. The possibilities are endless!
What goes well with tahini dressing
This maple tahini dressing will go well on almost any sort of grain bowl, drizzled over roasted vegetables or potatoes or in a wrap. You can use it as a dip for sliced veggies, and it would be delicious on a kale or spinach salad. You can also try this tahini dressing with my butternut squash kale salad for something different!
Tahini, made from whole sesame seeds, is very nutrient dense. 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of sesame tahini contains 5 grams of plant-based protein as well as almost 3 grams of fibre! Tahini is also a good source of plant-based calcium, with 130 mg in 2 tbsp as well as 2.7 mg of plant-based iron. It also contains plenty of selenium + potassium as well as some zinc, B vitamins and choline.
Tips, Tricks + Substitutions for This Maple Tahini Dressing
- I highly recommend you make a double batch so you can keep it as a meal prep item in the fridge!
- Feel free to play with herbs and spices in this dressing, a little pinch of cumin or sumac could be a fun addition!
- I use Nuts to You Organic Tahini because that’s what’s available at my local store but if you’re looking for something fancier, Soom and Seed + Mill are two popular brands.
- Allergic to sesame? Play around with cashew butter. It’s slightly sweeter, so start with 1 tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup and add more as needed.
- Low FODMAP? 2 tablespoons of tahini is a low FODMAP serving. Ditch the garlic and this dressing is low FODMAP as long as you eat no more than about 1/3 of the recipe at one time.
More yummy vegan dressing + sauce recipes
Nourishing Maple Tahini Dressing (5 minutes!)
This creamy, nourishing maple tahini dressing makes everything more delicious! It takes just 5 minutes to whip up from basic pantry ingredients. Try it on kale salads, grain bowls or drizzled over roasted veg.
- ⅓ cup well-stirred tahini
- ⅓ cup cold water, plus more as desired
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive or avocado oil
- 1 small garlic clove, micro grated or crushed (OMIT for low FODMAP)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pinch dried chile flakes
Using a wide mouthed jar + immersion blender OR a small bowl + a whisk: blend tahini, water, lemon juice, maple syrup, oil, garlic, salt and chile flakes until smooth.
Store in a jar in fridge until ready to use. It may thicken in the fridge, just whisk in a little more water or lemon juice to thin.