This healthy lemon herb tahini sauce is creamy, nutty, fresh flavor that is so versatile it goes well on everything! This is a copycat of our favorite CAVA dressing, it takes 5 minutes to make is naturally vegan, dairy-free, paleo, whole30, and low-carb!
Why This Recipe Works
This sauce is so flavorful and a twist on traditional Middle Eastern and Mediterranean sauce. I bought a bottle of CAVA’s lemon herb tahini so I could do a side by side comparison of the two! I think you’ll agree, that we nailed the flavor!
- Sesame Tahini. Tahini is made of ground sesame seeds and adds a creamy, nutty flavor with rich sesame taste.
- Lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice adds a bright citrus flavor to this dressing.
- Cilantro. Fresh herbs are a necessity, no substituting dried herbs here!
- Garlic. Garlic adds the perfect subtle spiciness.
- Water. Water helps thin about this recipe while also mellowing out the flavor.
- Salt. A hint of salt to balance out all the flavors.
How to Make this Recipe
This recipe is about as simple as it gets. 1) Just place all ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor and 2) blend until smooth. If you do not have a blender or food processor you can chop all the ingredients finely and mix together by hand.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid of cilantro stems! The stems have amazing flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs
CAVA’s lemon herb tahini has 6 simple ingredients: sesame tahini, lemon juice, water, cilantro, garlic, salt. Our copycat recipe uses the same 6 ingredients for an indistinguishable copycat recipe.
This sacue/dressing has a rich nutty sesame flavor, bright citrus tang, refreshing cilantro, and a hint of garlic. Overall, it has an earthy, fresh flavor.
Yes! This fresh lemon tahini sauce has fresh, natural ingredients, with no added sugar. The recipe is naturally vegan, paleo, Whole30, and low carb! The sauce is about 35 calories a tablespoon.
One of the great things about this recipe is how easy it is to alter its flavor. Here are a couple easy ideas.
- Swap the herbs. You can easily swap the cilantro for parsley, fresh basil, green onion, or any combination of herbs.
- Make it Spicy. Add some heat to this tahini sauce by throwing in some fresh jalapeno or a little crushed red pepper.
- Add some sweetness. Some people find the taste of tahini to be a little bitter, adding a little sweetness can balance out that flavor. if this is the case for you try adding a little sugar, honey, or your favorite sweetener to it. Start with a teaspoon and add more as needed.
- Make it more Lemony. If you want a very lemon forward lemon tahini try adding some fresh lemon zest to this recipe.
How to Use this Recipe
This sauce is incredibly versatile, I swear it goes good on everything! A few of my favorite things are roasted or fresh vegetables, pitas, falafel, grilled meat, sandwiches, salmon, cold pasta salad, buddha bowls, sweet potato fries or as a salad dressing.
Storing this Recipe
This tahini sauce should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It is best used within 7 days of making.
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Lemon Herb Tahini
- ½ cup tahini
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¾ cup cilantro roughly chopped
- ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2-4 tablespoons water see notes
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
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