This creamy lemon-tahini dill dressing is jazzed up with warming spices like cumin and smoked paprika, and complemented by the brightness of lemon and dill. It is the perfect way to get nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free creaminess in your favorite salad.
Recipe: $3.14 | Per Serving: $0.79 | Yield: 4+
Tahini and I have not always been friends, and many people feel the same way - but if you know how to treat it right, I promise you will fall in love.
Today's recipe for this lemon-tahini dressing with dill and cumin is very simple, but I want to use this opportunity to comment on how to make salad dressings!
Salad dressing basically needs two main components: fat + acid. You can make a simple dressing by whisking together these two ingredients, like in a classic vinaigrette.
However, salads and their dressings really benefit from:
- flavor - think spices, fresh herbs, hot sauce, mustard
- creaminess - mayonnaise, egg yolk, yogurt or other dairy like feta, parmesan, buttermilk, also nut butters, tahini
- umami - fish sauce, soy sauce/tamari, miso paste, coconut aminos tomato-based sauces like sriracha and harissa
- sweetness - honey, maple syrup, fruit
You can do this in so many different ways!
- Lime & Honey Vinaigrette
- Oregano & Garlic infused Red Wine Vinaigrette
- Anti Inflammatory Honey Mustard Dressing
- Lemon Basil-Parmesan Dressing
- Spicy Cilantro Habanero Dressing
- Creamy Basil-Yogurt Dressing
- Cherry Balsamic Dressing
In this case, we are complementing the two main components of fat (tahini, olive oil) and acid (lemon juice, vinegar) with warming spices (cumin, smoked paprika), and fresh herbs (dill). In terms of flavor, it is mainly a lemon-tahini dressing with some dill and some cumin.
Get creative and just remember that most salad dressing benefit from a good amount of acid, which you can then balance out with fat, sweetness, creaminess, and flavor-boosters.
How Much Dressing Does this Recipe Make?
This recipe makes about 1 cup of dressing. I am calling that about 4 servings, because I think 1/4 cup of any kind of sauce is a reasonable serving. However, if you're dressing a basic kale salad, you'll probably find that this is somewhere in the range of 4-6 servings.
Other Great Tahini Recipes:
- Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing
- Curry Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins and Lemon-Tahini Drizzle
- Green Hummus
- Unsweetened Tahini "Fudge" (which you can sweeten with maple syrup!)
Dietary Modifications & Substitions for this Recipe:
- Paleo: Yep!
- Vegetarian: Yep! It is also vegan.
- Low FODMAP: Yes, mostly, but you may need to skip or reduce the garlic.
- Whole30: Yup!
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This lemon tahini dressing is spiced with cumin and paprika, and perfect for hearty kale salads, quinoa salads, or for topping your favorite protein. I love this with shawarma-style chicken!
- 1-2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional)
- 1 small clove of garlic
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 2 Tablespoons freshly juiced lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar (white or apple cider)
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill (about 1/4 ounce)
- 1/3 cup water
- Prepare a large bowl or jar for combining the dressing.
- Prepare ingredients: Using a microplane or zester, zest 1 small lemon until you have about 1-2 teaspoons of lemon zest. Mince or crush the garlic.
- Combine all ingredients except the water in bowl or jar. Stir and add a little of the water at a time to combine slowly until a smooth consistency is reached. This will clump together at first, but eventually it will become smooth and creamy and perfect. Feel free to add more water if you prefer a thinner consistency.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Enjoy on your favorite salad!
- Prep Time: 5
- Category: Dressing
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: lemon, tahini, salad dressing, creamy salad dressing, dressing