This creamy tahini Caesar dressing puts a tangy, vegan-friendly twist on the traditional Caesar dressing. Made with less than ten flavorful ingredients, this easy, nut-free recipe requires just two steps and comes together in ten minutes. Its savory flavor makes it the perfect complement to a fresh salad, inside of a wrap, or as a dip for your favorite vegetables!
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For more delicious tahini-based dressings to add a pop of flavor to your next meal, be sure to try my maple dijon tahini dressing, fresh lemon herb tahini dressing, and creamy harissa tahini pasta sauce.
❤️ Why you’ll love it
This creamy, homemade Tahini Caesar dressing may be one of the best salad dressings you have ever tried. Since it does not use cream or oil, it is more nutritious than the classic Caesar dressing. It is also 100% vegan-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free!
Most tahini Caesar dressing recipes use a blend of tahini, garlic, capers, dijon mustard, and lemon to give it its bright taste and creaminess. I kick the flavor up a notch with miso paste to provide a delicious umami flavor. And since it is homemade, you do not have to worry about unwanted preservatives or sodium overload like many store-bought dressings.
One of the best parts of this vegan Caesar salad dressing recipe, in addition to its incredible flavor, is its simplicity. It requires less than ten ingredients, two steps, and no special equipment. In just 10 minutes or less, you will have a mouthwatering dressing for your favorite Mediterranean-style sandwiches and wraps or atop your salads and veggies. It is also great for batch cooking, so you can quickly whip up a jar to keep handy for the rest of the week!
🧾 Key ingredients
Tahini – This smooth, creamy Middle Eastern staple is made from ground sesame seeds and has an earthy, nutty flavor. If, for some reason, you need a substitute, check out my complete list of tahini substitutes.
Miso paste and nutritional yeast – Both ingredients add flavor and nutritional value to the dressing. Miso paste gives the dressing a deep, umami flavor, while nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor without the parmesan cheese.
Dijon mustard – Dijon mustard adds even more flavor and balances out the other flavors. I do not recommend using yellow mustard as a substitute as it does not have the same spicy flavor profile or creamy texture.
Garlic powder – Garlic is a traditional ingredient in Caesar dressings. Because fresh garlic can be pretty intense, I use garlic powder to achieve a good balance of flavor.
Capers are a vital part of the recipe and are used as an alternative to anchovies for a lemony and salty flavor. Finely chop the capers for the best results. Feel free to add a small amount of caper brine if you prefer a saltier flavor.
Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice gives the dressing a citrusy kick of flavor. Avoid using bottled lemon juice for the best flavor. You can also use lime as an alternative.
🛒 You can find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
This easy tahini Caesar dressing requires just one small bowl and a whisk or fork to mix the dressing. You can also use a food processor or immersion blender if you have one.
Making tahini caesar dressing
Mix the tahini, water, miso paste, nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, garlic powder, chopped capers, and fresh lemon juice. Mix until it becomes smooth and creamy.
Taste test the dressing for flavor and acidity. Add a pinch of salt, black pepper, and lemon juice to achieve the desired consistency and flavor.
💡 Expert tip
For the best results and texture, choose a high-quality tahini. Depending on the brand, the flavors can vary, as well as the texture. Essentially, you want a mild tahini without too much bitterness and a texture that is not too runny or has a dry layer at the bottom of the bottle. If using an unopened jar of tahini, mix it well before using it to ensure its contents are well blended.
Tahini is a staple ingredient that you can use as a base for many delicious dressings and sauces. Instead of miso paste and nutritional yeast, you can use maple syrup and apple cider vinegar to make maple dijon tahini dressing. Or, use fresh dill and parsley to make fresh lemon herb tahini dressing. Sprinkle in some cayenne pepper to give it a little heat.
🥣 Serving ideas
There are many ways that you can serve and enjoy this delicious vegan Caesar dressing. We love it in our falafel bowl accompanied by lentil tabbouleh, rice pilaf, and Mediterranean grilled eggplants. Pictured below.
Here are a few more ideas:
- With falafel: Use it to dress up a falafel sandwich or add it to this falafel platter. You can also use it in place of tzatziki sauce in falafel gyros.
- With veggies: Drizzle it on top of roasted eggplant, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, or in place of the lemon tahini in my roasted cauliflower florets recipe. You can also use it to top baked, roasted, or sweet potatoes.
- As a dressing: Use it on top of a classic Caesar salad with croutons or roasted chickpeas. You can also use it on top of your favorite grain bowl or add it to my Mediterranean grazing board.
❄️ Storing tips
In the refrigerator – Store tahini Caesar dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. I recommend using a glass mason jar.
In the freezer – I have yet to try freezing this dressing. However, please let me know if you do!
Nut butters such as cashew, almond, or peanut butter make great substitutes because of their similar consistency. Cashew and almond butter have a more neutral flavor. For more alternatives, see my complete list of tahini substitutes.
You can usually find tahini in the grocery store alongside peanut butter and other condiments or in the international food aisle. You can also find it in specialty grocery stores.
Tahini dressing tends to thicken as it sits. To loosen it up, stir in a small amount of water or lemon juice before serving.
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Tahini Caesar Dressing
- In a small bowl, mix tahini, water, miso paste, nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, garlic powder, chopped capers and lemon juice. Mix until you get a smooth texture.
- Check for seasoning and acidity and if needed, add some salt, black pepper, and lemon juice.