This simple balsamic tahini dressing is loaded with flavor and super easy to make. Perfect over salads, grain bowls, roasted vegetables or to use as a dipping sauce. Dairy-free, vegan and naturally gluten-free.
What a simple combination of ingredients for such a punch of amazing flavors. I love this recipe!
I normally like to meal-prep this sesame soy dressing ahead of time to serve with veggies and noodles for lunches, but now I'm SO into this balsamic tahini dressing. I already use it in so many ways!
You can make a batch at the beginning of the week and use over salads, in sandwich wraps (perfect in this vegan gyro!), over buddha bowls or roasted vegetables, etc. Also makes for a great dipping sauce for falafels or other finger food.
It combines tahini + balsamic vinegar, but also some nutritional yeast, garlic powder and dried basil. The dressing gathers Italian flavors for an amazing tasty sauce, although can easily be adjusted to your taste. There is such a perfect harmony of tangy + sweet + earthiness + umami that makes this dressing very unique.
Plus, it is so dreamy creamy you won't believe it! Thickness and creaminess in vinaigrettes aren usually improved by whisking in added oil, but this version won't need any processed oil at all, thanks to the tahini paste. The tahini also is responsible for an incredible earthy and nutty flavor that balances out perfectly the balsamic vinegar.
I bet this dressing will make you crave salads and veggies! Hope you like it! ❤️
Why you'll love it
- Great all-purpose tahini dressing
- Easy to customize
- Healthy, made without oil and 100% whole food plant based (wfpb)
- SUPER creamy and velvety texture
- Done within 5 minutes
- Great for meal-prep
- Dairy-free + naturally gluten-free
Ingredients you'll need and modifications
- Tahini: this is the highlight ingredient of this recipe! Tahini is a sesame seed paste that's smooth and very creamy, which is responsible for the creaminess of the vinaigrette. If you don't have or don't like tahini, then similar to this creamy dressing, you could swap the tahini for almond butter. For a nut-free dressing, then use pumpkin seed butter!
- Garlic powder: adds flavor, but could also use fresh crushed garlic for a stronger garlic flavor.
- Nutritional yeast: such a great addition in this recipe. Nutritional yeast is loaded with umami flavor and has amazing subtle cheesiness notes, which works great with the other ingredients.
- Dried basil: great Italian herb that pairs well with the rest of the ingredients, although parsley, oregano or thyme would work too.
- Maple syrup: for added sweetness, adjust how much you include depending on your taste.
Other additions that would work well include dijon mustard, miso paste and a little soy sauce.
How to make it
Super simple and done so quickly!
Start by combining the tahini, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, garlic powder and dried basil with a pinch of salt. Whisk well. This should create a dressing that's pretty thick at this point.
Then, adjust final texture by adding some water while whisking. Add a few tablespoons at a time until you reached desired consistency.
Watch how to make it
- There is a large variation in flavor and texture in between balsamic vinegars. I also found significant difference in thickness in between different brands of tahini paste. So, you will have to add as much water as needed to make it as thin as you need, which will vary depending on the brands you used.
- Also, balsamic vinegars largely vary in quality with some being more vinegary vs more sweet, so feel free to add more sweetener if needed.
- If you like extra tangy dressings, then you can add lemon juice or simply add more vinegar.
- When you first start stirring, the dressing might seize up, which is why you need some water to really loosen it up to a pourable consistency.
- Go slowly with the water! Better to have to add more than ending up with a dressing that's too thin. Add about 1-2 tablespoons at the time and then whisk to test consistency.
Tahini balsamic dressing nutrition
I know many people that doesn't really enjoy tahini, but this sesame paste should really get as much attention as we can as it is such a powerhouse of nutrients.
Tahini is made from crushing whole tiny sesame seeds to a butter or paste consistency. So, even though you could say that tahini is slightly processed, tahini still provides all the same nutrients that whole sesame seeds do.
Among them, sesame seeds are packed with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Especially rich in manganese and phosphorus, but also carry some vitamin B1 and B6. Also, sesame seeds are filled with antioxidants (lignan sesamin) that can help you fight certain diseases.
This dressing also includes nutritional yeast, which is super rich in plant-based protein and provides a fair amount of vitamin B12.
I also absolutely adored this sauce last time I made myself a sandwich wrap for lunch. I loaded it with veggies such as cucumber, avocado, red pepper and pickles, roasted smoky tofu and drizzled this tahini sauce over. It was amazing!
More ideas include: over roasted veggies (zucchini, potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, red pepper, cauliflower), in pasta salads, kale salads and so much more.
This dressing also works well as a dipping sauce for falafel, sticks of roasted tofu or simply to dip a sandwich wrap. You can try to keep the texture thicker if using it as a dip.
This dressing stores very well in the fridge, which makes it a great recipe you can make ahead. Keep it well covered for up to 7 days.
The dressing might separate while storing, which is normal, so be sure to give it a good stir before serving.
I used the tahini from the brand Once Again for the video and pictures. This tahini is a little thicker than other brands I found. I actually prefer the tahini from the brand 365. Any tahini brand will work, you will simply have to adjust texture with water as needed.
Lower quality tahini paste can taste a little bitter. If you find yours too bitter, then you can compensate by adding a little extra sweetener.
You can add a little more tahini to help thicken the consistency, although that means you will have to also add a little more vinegar to keep the same flavor profile.
More vegan creamy dressings and sauces to try
- Vegan avocado ranch sauce
- Almond butter dressing
- Vegan white queso
- Vegan avocado crema
- Avocado green goddess sauce
- Vegan chipotle mayo
- Thai peanut butter sauce
- Vegan buffalo sauce
- Vegan tzatziki
- Creamy pesto sauce
I hope you like this tahini balsamic dressing recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Balsamic Tahini Dressing
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp dried basil
- salt - to taste
- cold water to thin out (about ¼ cup) - as needed
- In a medium bowl, combine the tahini, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, dried basil and a pinch of salt. Whisk well, it should form a thick sauce.
- Then, add a few tablespoons of water and keep whisking. Add more water, small amount at the time, until desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust flavor with more vinegar and sweetener if needed (which depends on the quality of the balsamic you use).
- Serve over salads, in sandwich wraps, over roasted veggies and drizzle over buddha bowls and nourish bowls.
- Store in an air-tight container for up to 7 days.