Tahini salad is a healthy and tasty Middle-eastern-inspired dish with fresh vegetables and herbs such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and parsley tossed in a creamy tahini sauce.
This recipe is quick and easy to make; you can customize it to your taste and have it as a side or main dish with warm pita bread, falafel, hummus, and more.
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Tahini is a delicious ingredient made from ground sesame seeds. When combined with other ingredients, it can be used to make dressings, sauces, dips, and much more, as it adds a pleasantly rich and nutty flavor to anything it touches.
For example, we mix it with lemon juice, water, salt, and garlic to make a wonderful tahini sauce that we then use as a lemon tahini dressing for this salad.
Tahini sauce is an excellent alternative to oil-based or mayonnaise-based dressings as tahini is a wholesome ingredient with healthy fats, plant protein, calcium, and iron.
As for the veggies, we go for fresh and crunchy ones like lettuce, small tomatoes, cucumber, and green onions. You can also add fresh herbs such as parsley or mint to freshen things up.
This tahini salad recipe is excellent as a side dish, but you can easily turn it into a main by combining it with roasted chickpeas or falafel or by serving it in a wrap with hummus or some warm pita bread.
You can use romaine lettuce or any other lettuce of your choice.
Substitute spinach or kale for lettuce.
Pick cucumbers that are firm to the touch. You can use any variety, including American, Persian, Kirby, and English cucumber.
We like cherry tomatoes here. Any other type of tomato is OK if they are ripe.
Scallions, spring onions, or green onions are best in tahini salad because they have a milder flavor than regular onions and add a tangy freshness that cuts through the creamy tahini dressing.
Substitute thinly sliced shallots or red onions for spring onions.
Optional. You can add cooked and canned chickpeas as they are or roast them in the oven or air fryer.
Fresh herbs like parsley, mint, purslane, chives, and dill are lovely with this salad. We often use flat-leaf parsley, but the other options are also delicious, so pick your favorite or mix a couple.
- Tahini: chose one that's liquid, not pasty and coarse. It should also be light in color and made from 100% hulled sesame seeds.
- Lemon juice: freshly squeezed for best results. Lime juice also works.
- Salt: we recommend sea salt or kosher salt.
- Garlic: just a clove, peeled and crushed. We don't recommend garlic powder.
If you like your tahini dressing a little sweeter, stir in a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey.
Chop the vegetables and add them to a large bowl. We like cutting them as follows:
- Small tomatoes: quartered
- Cucumber: small dice
- Romaine lettuce: bite-size pieces
- Spring onions: thinly sliced
- Parsley: finely chopped.
To a small bowl, add tahini, lemon juice, water, salt, and a peeled and crushed garlic clove.
Stir for about 1 minute until smooth. Add more water if you want a thinner dressing.
Drizzle the tahini sauce on the salad and toss until the vegetables are coated.
Taste and adjust for salt and lemon juice.
Optionally, add drained and rinsed canned chickpeas, crispy oven-roasted chickpeas, or crispy air-fryer chickpeas (recommended).
Garnish with a pinch of dried oregano, sumac, or za'atar.
Tahini salad is delicious as a main or side dish with warm bread, such as:
- Homemade focaccia bread
- Garlic and olive oil naan bread
- Warm pita bread (coming soon)
- Italian flatbread
Serve as part of a mezze platter for a delicious appetizer or as a dinner with other Middle-Eastern-inspired recipes:
- Falafel: (chickpeas, parsley, coriander, garlic, etc.)
- Muhammara (bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, walnuts, breadcrumbs, etc.)
- Eggplant dip (roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, etc.)
- Hummus (chickpeas, water, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, cumin, etc.)
- Tabbouleh (bulgur, tomato, parsley, mint, scallions, lemon juice, etc.)
- Roasted or grilled eggplant (eggplant, olive oil, parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar, etc.)
Make ahead: you can mix the salad up to 12 hours ahead of time before the lettuce starts to wilt.
Refrigerator: keep leftovers in a bowl covered with a plate or plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 36 hours.
Freezer: this recipe is not suitable for freezing.
More easy salads
- Chickpea salad (cherry tomatoes, olives, cucumber, parsley, chickpeas, maple syrup, etc.)
- Kale salad: (kale, red cabbage, butternut squash, pomegranate, apple, etc.)
- Cauliflower salad (roasted cauliflower, tahini, lemon juice, parsley, chickpeas, etc.)
- Sweet potato salad: (sweet potato, arugula, cranberries, avocado, pepitas, etc.)
- Vegan potato salad: (potatoes, vegan mayo, pickles, onion, etc.)
- Farro salad: (farro, chickpeas, tomato, cucumber, olives, olive oil, etc.)
- Butternut squash salad: (lettuce, butternut squash, avocado, nuts, etc.)
- Rice salad: (rice, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, lemon juice, etc.)
- Pasta chickpea salad (cucumber, fusilli pasta, cucumber, olives, chickpeas, mustard, etc.)
- Avocado salad (cherry tomatoes, parsley, avocado, red onion, olive oil, cucumber, etc.)
- Couscous salad (bell pepper, couscous, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, lemon juice, etc.)
- Fattoush (pita bread, radishes, cucumber, tomato, romaine lettuce, olive oil, etc.)
- 1 small head Romaine lettuce chopped
- 1 medium cucumber diced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes quartered
- ½ cup parsley finely chopped
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup tahini
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 can (15-oz) chickpeas drained and rinsed
- or crispy oven-roasted chickpeas
- or crispy air-fryer chickpeas
- Chop the vegetables and add them to a large bowl.
- To a small bowl, add ⅓ cup tahini, ⅓ cup water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1 clove garlic (peeled and crushed).Whisk for 1 minute or until smooth. Add more water if you want a thinner dressing.
- Drizzle the tahini sauce on the salad and toss until the vegetables are coated.
- Taste and adjust for salt and lemon juice.
- Optionally, add drained and rinsed canned chickpeas, crispy oven-roasted chickpeas, or crispy air-fryer chickpeas (recommended).Garnish with a pinch of dried oregano, sumac, or za'atar.
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