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Five-Minute Tamari Tahini Sauce

This five minute tamari tahini sauce is your creamy vegan tahini sauce inspiration. Start with just four ingredients–smooth ground sesame butter, tamari soy sauce, mild rice vinegar and fresh pungent garlic. Whisk into an adaptable sauce by changing in different flavors. Simple and easy!

Pouring Tamari Tahini Sauce over stir-fried veggies
Click here to PIN Five-minute Tamari Tahini Sauce!

So many foods get better with a sauce, right? You’ll be pouring this tamari seasoned tahini sauce over all kinds of vegetables–grilled, stir-fried, or steamed, from kale to sweet potatoes. Tahini sauce is fabulous over quinoa, rice, lentils and other beans too!

This tahini sauce begins with a base of creamy sesame tahini (affiliate link) and water. Here we whisk in tamari (affiliate link) with its salty sweet umami flavor. Rice vinegar adds a slightly sour, slightly sweet dimension. And garlic, because the sharp garlic flavor balances luxurious tahini. Or is it the other way around?

How to use tamari tahini sauce:

Tamari tahini sauce is wicked handy, an easy dip for pita chips, or a quick dairy-free sauce for soba noodles. Need to dress up a stir-fry of veggies? Whip up this savory sauce. Thin it with more water and you have a delicious salad dressing!

Tahini, tamari and vinegar in bowls--the ingredients for Tamari Tahini Sauce

Once you have tamari tahini sauce in your repertoire, it’s time to explore different flavors. Try mixing tahini and water and flavor it with lemon, curry, lime and cumin, or chipotle. What I’m saying is a basic tahini sauce like this one with tamari is infinitely adaptable.

Whisking Tamari Tahini Sauce in stainless steel bowl

Beyond tamari–more tahini sauce ideas:

What other tahini sauce flavors can you invent? Does your favorite vegan sauce involve tahini?

  1. Ginger:

    Fresh ginger, and maybe a titch of rice wine (aka mirin), builds a delicious sauce following an Asian theme.

  2. Lemon:

    For lemon tahini sauce, leave out the tamari and bump up the acidity with lemon juice. I’ve made this sauce for buckwheat soba noodle bowls and roasted eggplant pita sandwiches.

  3. Salad dressing:

    Start with a lemon tahini sauce. Whisk in olive oil and thin with more water for a zippy creamy dressing.

  4. Mexican:

    For a creamy taco sauce, leave out the tamari, sub in lime juice for the rice vinegar, and season with cumin and cilantro. Salt to taste.

  5. Curry:

    Curry powder and maple syrup become this curry tahini sauce for tequila carrots.

  6. Basil Pesto:

    Whisk basil pesto with tahini and water for a quick creamy pasta sauce.

  7. Chipotle:

    Leave out the tamari and whisk in a teaspoon of chipotles in adobo, to taste. Try drizzled over quesadillas. Salt to taste.

  8. Easy “fry sauce.”

    How about a tahini sauce with smoked paprika and hot sauce for veggie burgers?

You might ask:

What’s the difference between tamari soy sauce and regular soy sauce?

Tamari tends to have a less salty, richer and more complex flavor than regular Chinese soy sauce. Tamari is often fermented with less wheat or no wheat at all, a bonus for gluten-intolerant eaters. Check the label to make sure.

What is umami?

Tamari is umami. Umami is the fifth taste sensation on our tongues, right alongside the flavors of salty, sweet, sour and bitter. Here’s a good explanation of umami and a roundup of plant-based recipes with umami.

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Nutrition information is meant to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.

Nutrition Facts
Five-Minute Tamari Tahini Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 181 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 178mg8%
Potassium 138mg4%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 20IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • J

    I loved this!!! So simple and adaptable and yet very delicious and nutritious! My kind of cooking Reply · 26 January, 2016

    • Jessie–Yes, my kind of cooking too–I’ve been making a lemony cumin one for tacos and love it! Reply · 26 January, 2016

  • Constance

    I love this also! I sometimes mix it with a little yogurt and lemon juice and toss it with roasted cauliflower. Reply · 30 January, 2016

    • Yum–roasted cauliflower. Thanks Constance! Reply · 30 January, 2016

  • What a great recipe, I love tahini sauce. I am going to make this soon.
    Gerlinde Reply · 20 February, 2016

    • Thanks Gerlinde! Besides being easy to whip up and yummy–tahini sauce is so flavor adaptable and versatile! Enjoy. Reply · 22 February, 2016

  • Karen

    Thank you so much for sharing all of these tahini dressing ideas! I am a truck driver living on the road and I just made this to go on kale, spinach and cabbage salads and also as a dip for my veggie sushi! Reply · 16 April, 2019

    • Awesome Karen. Thank you! Kudos for doing your own food on the road–truck stops are a dearth of nutrition! Reply · 16 April, 2019

  • NY

    Thank you!
    Going to try out some of your recipes.
    What a treat to find you.
    Have you grown your own sunflower greens? I used to be a sprout grower at a wheat grass healing center outside of San Diego. Years ago
    We used big seeds in their shells. All I can seem to find these days is the black oil sunflower seeds. NOT the same!
    Tally ho! Reply · 28 April, 2020

    • Thank you! I used to grow alfalfa and mung bean seeds ages ago but have never tried sprouting sunflower seeds. I found this link for you–where you can order organic sunflower seeds for sprouts. Let me know if you order them and sprout your own. Reply · 28 April, 2020

  • This sauce was easy to make and absolutely delicious!! I know it is going to be a regular favourite especially as we cook a lot of Asian food. Reply · 3 November, 2021

    • Than you Jane! I’m glad you like the recipe. Enjoy! Reply · 4 November, 2021

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