Homemade Tahini Sauce

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Duyen Tran

California native trying to navigate her new life in NYC as a recent transplant, post-grad, who tries to make friends, explore the city and eat well on a small budget. She’s known for her fairly obscure pop culture references and gumption. You can see some of that doogen.wordpress.com or her twitter @doogencreates.

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When I went to UCLA, there was a place in Westwood called Bella Pita where you could get a falafel or chicken pita and then load it up with toppings—fresh tomatoes, red onions, lettuce, a wide array of unlabeled sauces. I’m an adventurous eater and wasn’t hesitant to try it out. For the next four years, I doused my chicken pita in a mysterious creamy, beige sauce.

One day, it occurred to me that I wouldn’t live right next door to this place forever and that I should probably find out what this sauce was called. It turns out it’s called Tahini Sauce.

What is Tahini sauce made out of?

I had no idea.

When I started making this, I still didn’t know what it was made of.


This is what my conversation with the grocery clerk was like:

“I need Tahini.”

“Here is the Tahini sauce.”

“No I’m going to make the Tahini sauce. I need the Tahini to start with.”
“Here is the Tahini sauce.”

“The recipe says I have to mix the Tahini with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic so I can’t start with the sauce.”
“Here is the Tahini sauce.”

So apparently, Tahini sauce is made with Tahini sauce. Or Tahini paste, that is.

Tahini is a paste made out of sesame seeds.


The mystery is solved!

So, for this recipe you need to actually make Tahini paste in order to make Tahini sauce.

Have I used the word “Tahini” enough?

In any case, it’s fantastic and you should make this in large quantities—since this recipe from Food and Wine yields next to nothing—and try it out with some pita chips or vegetables.

Homemade Tahini Sauce


  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
  • Kosher salt


  1. In your trusty NutriBullet, combine the tahini with the lemon juice and garlic. Add 3/4 cup of water and puree until smooth.
  2. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and whisk in up to 1/2 cup more of water, until the sauce is pourable.
  3. Stir in the chopped parsley and mint, season with salt and serve.