Citrus Tahini Dressing – Bold and Creamy Salad Topper 100% Nut Free

tahini dressing in clear glass jar surrounded by ingredients used to make this recipe

Veggies taste better when covered with a bright n creamy dressing. My tahini dressing recipe is incredibly simple to create, and can turn a variety of vegetables into saving treats. I originally created this tahini salad dressing for my Chickpea Salad. Yet feel free to use it on the salad of your choice!

It’s too good to limit to just one salad recipe.

whisking tahini salad dressing recipe

Tips for the Perfect Tahini Dressing

Use quality olive oil. Homemade dressing is the perfect time to pull out that high end olive oil in the back of the pantry. You know, the one you found at the artisan oil shop but just can’t bring yourself to use on veggies? I can tell the difference when using different olive oils in dressing, since the amounts are so much more concentrated. So find a good one (you don’t need a big bottle of it!) and enjoy.

Find a brand of tahini you like. Tahini is slightly bitter and definitely has a flavor. So make sure the one you use is one you like! I prefer Trader Joe’s brand. It even comes in a cute jar.

The end consistency should be pourable, not a dip. My tahini dressing recipe would honestly make a great dipping sauce if you cut back slightly on the liquid to thicken it. Yet to make it work well with salads, it has to pour easily. So if you whisk the ingredients together and still can’t get it to run slightly, then add just a bit more oil or water until the proper consistency is achieved.

Great salad dressing is worth the effort!

Easy Ingredient Swaps

If you’ve never tried tahini before then this is the perfect recipe for your first taste test. Tahini is a healthy fat made from ground sesame seeds in Mediterranean dishes. Yet if you know tahini isn’t your thing or you don’t have it on hand just swap in almond, sunflower or cashew butter. Know the end result will vary in consistency + thickness.

Orange juice is used to bring a bit of sweetness to this dressing, yet can be swapped with a Meyer lemon or tangerine.

Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce. So if you are trying to avoid soy ingredients then swap this out for coconut aminos.

ingredients for a nut free dressing

How to Make A Simple Salad Dressing

All you really need to make salad dressing is an oil + an acid. This typically comes in the form of olive oil + some kind of citrus juice. Then go crazy adding your fav seasonings and flavor enhancers to achieve the result you want. I use fresh orange juice in this tahini salad dressing to provide a sweetness to all the savory ingredients.

Tahini Dressing FAQs

How do you make tahini dressing?

My dressing uses tahini, fresh orange juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, tamari and a bit of minced garlic. It’s citrus-y and super creamy.

What goes well with tahini dressing?

I love the Mediterranean-inspired flavor that goes into this dressing and primarily use it on a my Sweet & Crunchy Chickpea Salad- full of chickpeas, cucumbers, bell pepper, spinach, carrots, and seeds.

What does tahini taste like?

Tahini is made from sesame seeds. It looks like peanut butter but isn’t sweet. Instead it’s got an earthy, slightly bitter taste.

Homemade Dressing Recipes

Pretty much all of my dressing recipes have the same base: oil + acidic. Then I play with seasonings and flavors until I get the perfect combo for that particular salad. Feel free to tweak these recipes to fit your tastebuds, you’re the one who’s gonna eat these!

tahini salad dressing

Tahini Dressing

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This simple dressing is bursting with bright citrus flavor paired with a nutty tahini cream. It is both oh so good and oh so good for you. Use it as a gorgeous charcuterie dipping sauce or salad dressing. I originally created it to top my Crunchy Chickpea Salad from my Autumn Cleanse.

Total Time10 minutes



  • 2 . tahini
  • 2 . orange (juiced)
  • 2 . olive oil
  • 2 test apple cider vinegar
  • 1 test tamari
  • ½ clove garlic (minced)


  • Whisk all ingredients together until well combined. Add extra oil or water if dressing is too thick.

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.


  • Tahini can be replaced with sunflower butter, almond butter or cashew butter (though final texture will change).
  • For best results use a good tasting olive oil as you will notice a difference. This IS the time to break out that fancy oil you got on vacation or as a gift!
  • To make this soy-free replace tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) with coconut aminos.
  • This dressing is a great topper for my Sweet & Crunchy Chickpea Salad.
  • Store up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Shake well before using.
  • Tamari is very salty on its own, so no need to add extra salt to this recipe. It might feel weird to omit it, so just tell me you’ll try the dressing before adding in extra salt!

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 228kcal (11%) Carbohydrates: 7g (2%) Protein: 3g (6%) Fat: 22g (34%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g Monnounsaturated Fat: 13g Sodium: 7mg Potassium: 118mg (3%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 3g (3%) Vitamin A: 44IU (1%) Vitamin C: 9mg (11%) Calcium: 31mg (3%) Iron: 1mg (6%)


Garlic Lemon Aioli – A Creamy, Versatile Dressing that’s 100% Plants

simple vegan aioli in a glass jar

Cashews are magic, pure magic. While they are delectable on their own, cashews also rock in many vegan dishes. They can turn into a crunchy toasted topping, a vegan sour cream, or in this case, an incredibly delicious garlic lemon aioli. This vegan aioli is my take on the traditional mayonnaise-based one. And it’s darn good.

ingredients for vegan aioli

What is Aioli?

Traditional aioli is made when oil is forcefully mixed with something water-based. Oils typically include mayonnaise or olive oil, while the water components are lemon juice or vinegar.

Other flavors are then added based on what result you want. Use it as a sandwich spread, dip or dressing. I love a versatile sauce, and my vegan aioli is a good one however you want to use it.

easy homemade dressing

How to Make Vegan Aioli

I’m harnessing the magical power of cashews in my version of a classic sauce. To turn them into a creamy sauce, start by soaking the cashews for one to four hours before making the aioli. If you forget to soak them ahead of time, heat water and pour the hot water over the cashews. Let soak for 10-15 minutes before using.

Because I’m not mixing oil or cream with lemon juice, Dijon mustard and garlic, I don’t need to combine them in a fancy way. Simply toss all the ingredients into a good food processor and process until creamy.

If your food processor isn’t mixing them easily, add a teaspoon or two of water. Don’t add too much water at one time because the mixture will become too runny.

vegan dressing using cashews

Garlic Lemon Aioli FAQs

What’s in traditional aioli?

To make aioli, you need an oil base and a water base. Begin by slowly mixing the two to break up the oil, then whip it to fluff and cream.

How do you make vegan aioli?

My garlic lemon aioli uses soaked cashews, lemon juice, dijon mustard and garlic. It’s super simple to make and requires a food processor.

What’s the difference between mayonnaise and aioli?

Real aioli is olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Today aioli is pretty much mayo with a lot of garlic in it. My vegan version uses cashews (and is insanely good).

plant based recipes

Using Aioli in Recipes

This delicious garlic lemon aioli pairs well with a variety of recipes.

Don’t forget to rate and review this recipe when you make it. I love hearing how these recipes turn out and what genius ways you make my recipes your own!

homemade garlic lemon aioli

Garlic Lemon Aioli

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100% vegan and 100% scrumptious. This aioli is the perfect dressing for my Kale Caesar salad. Make sure to soak those cashews for a soft and creamy result. You’ll enjoy this incredibly simple recipe!

Total Time4 hours 5 minutes



  • ¼ cup cashews (soaked 1-4 hours)
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled)
  • ½ test Dijon mustard
  • squeeze of lemon


  • Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.

  • In a food processor, blend all the ingredients until creamy. If needed, add a few teaspoon of water to help blend. The mixture should be thick and creamy.

  • Store in an air tight jar in the fridge until ready to use.


  • This dressing was originally created for my Kale Caesar salad.
  • Swap out cashews for soaked almonds.
  • This is meant to be mixed into a salad, not poured over it (which is why it is thicker).
  • I have a larger food processor, so I like to double this recipe to help it blend well.
  • Lasts up to 3-4 days in the fridge.

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 92kcal (5%) Carbohydrates: 5g (2%) Protein: 3g (6%) Fat: 7g (11%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monnounsaturated Fat: 4g Sodium: 16mg (1%) Potassium: 114mg (3%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 1g (1%) Vitamin A: 1IU Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) Calcium: 9mg (1%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

More Great Sauce Recipes

If you loved making this homemade garlic lemon aioli, then try out one of these other delicious recipes:


Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette – A Tangy + Brightly Sweet Salad Dressing

lemon vinaigrette

For me to choose salad over other options, it’s gotta be great. I don’t eat “dry” salad. It needs a dressing that ties all the ingredients together perfectly. So you better believe I perfected this lemon vinaigrette before sharing it with you! This lemon dressing pairs well with berry-filled salads as well as those with peppery arugula.

I’m talking a sweet, tangy punch of flavor that shines. This vinaigrette isn’t a silent dressing, it is the star.

fresh lemons for fresh lemon juice

Lemon Dressing Recipe

I’m not kidding when I say this recipe takes five minutes to make. Squeezing the lemon takes more time than blending up the ingredients.

lemon vinaigrette recipe

All you need to do for fresh salad dressing is measure the ingredients below into a blender or food processor, secure with a lid, then blend it up. Pour directly onto your salad or store in the fridge until you’re ready to us it.

Don’t have one of the ingredients listed? No problem! Swap honey for maple syrup, olive oil for avocado oil, cashews with soaked almonds or macadamia nuts.

Vinaigrette FAQs

What’s the difference between a dressing and a vinaigrette?

A vinaigrette needs something acidic and an oil, while dressing is a broader term. A vinaigrette is typically used as a marinade or salad topper.

What’s in a lemon vinaigrette?

My recipe has Meyer lemon juice, honey, soaked cashews, sea salt, black pepper, olive oil and poppy seeds. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.

How long does lemon vinaigrette stay fresh?

I recommend using this dressing within one week of mixing. The fresher, the better! And definitely give it a good shake before using.

ingredients for lemon dressing

Power Ingredient List

Fresh Meyer lemon juice– You can use a regular lemon, yet the sweetness and flavor of Meyer lemons in this vinaigrette are out of this world.

HoneyLocal, raw, seasonal honey provides great health benefits (think allergy help) as well as a unique flavor depending on the type of honey. Lemon dressing can be super tart, so honey helps keep the balance.

olive oil– Use high quality olive oil when making dressing because you’ll taste it. This is the time to break into that gorgeous bottle you were gifted. #worthit

Cashews– A unique dressing ingredient and thickens up this recipe perfectly.

Poppy seeds– Provide a delicious flavor, slight crunch and a host of antioxidants.

homemade dressing with poppy seeds

Fresh vs Store-Bought Dressing

Have you ever found it a bit weird just how long store-bought dressing can stay ‘fresh’ in your fridge? Once I learned how easy it was to make dressing at home, I all but stopped buying it from the store. It’s super easy to make, and you probably have the basic ingredients on hand already.

If you want to buy your vinaigrette from the store then READ YOUR LABELS. Don’t be fooled by the healthy photos and pretty jars and instead make sure you can pronounce and recognize all the ingredients on the label.

plant based salads

Seasonal Salad Recipes

I’ve got a host of delicious salad recipes coming your way! The next time you’re in the mood for a plate of fresh plants, try one of these great recipes:

Salad doesn’t have to be boring, nor does it have to be your whole meal. Load it up with flavor and crunch, pair it with your favorite plant-based meal and fall in love with salad.

lemon vinaigrette for salad

Lemon Vinaigrette

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This bright and fresh dressing was originally created for my Strawberry Arugula Salad, yet can be used in a variety of Spring salads. Be sure to use fresh squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.

Total Time3 minutes



  • 2 . cashews (soaked for 1-4 hours)
  • 2 . Mayer lemon (juiced)
  • 1.5 test honey
  • ¼ test sea ​​salt
  • dash ground black pepper
  • 2 . olive oil
  • 1.5 test poppy seeds


  • Place cashews, Meyer lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper and olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add water if needed.

  • Mix in poppy seeds by hand. Refrigerate until ready to drizzle over salad.


  • This dressing is best when fresh, use within one week of mixing.
  • Swap honey with maple syrup to make this dressing vegan.
  • If Meyer lemons aren’t available then use regular lemons.
  • I created this dressing for my Strawberry Arugula Salad, yet you can use it on any salad!

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 211kcal (11%) Carbohydrates: 9g (3%) Protein: 2g (4%) Fat: 19g (29%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monnounsaturated Fat: 13g Sodium: 293mg (13%) Potassium: 106mg (3%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 3IU Vitamin C: 8mg (10%) Calcium: 41mg (4%) Iron: 1mg (6%)