This creamy za'atar dressing is rich, savory, and amazing on everything from salads and falafel to grains and sandwiches. Lemon and tahini complement the bright, floral, nutty flavors of za'atar. All you need are a bowl, whisk, and five minutes!
In case you're not familiar with za'atar, it's a Middle-Eastern spice blend with flavors that pair well with so many dishes. It's herbal, fresh, zesty, and great in this lemon and tahini-based salad dressing.
Related: Next, try za'atar hummus.
Za'atar is also the name of a specific herb, which is how the spice blend got its name. Some za'atar blends include the herb, and some don't. Similar to other spice blends from around the world, the exact ingredients in za'atar tend to vary by region and recipe.
The most typical ingredients you'll find in za'atar are sesame seeds, sumac, and other dried herbs such as thyme and oregano.
Some za'atar blends contain salt and some don't. But you can easily bump up the amount of salt if needed.
- za'atar spice blend - I use the za'atar by Spicewalla (tap to order directly from the company with my referral link; enter discount code WALLA during checkout for 15% off your entire order). Their spices are amazing, and they happen to be located here in Asheville, NC.
- tahini - any brand of tahini you enjoy is great, or you can even make your own at home.
- lemon juice - just 1 or 2 tablespoons adds brightness and acidity to the dressing.
- garlic - I like to use one medium-size clove, but you can also include garlic powder if preferred.
- sea salt
See the recipe card below for quantities and full instructions.
How to Make It
There's not much better than dressings and sauces that don't require a blender or any special equipment. If you agree, you'll love this! Maximum flavor for minimal effort.
- Simply whisk together the tahini, za'atar, and garlic until fully combined. Then add the lemon juice, water, and salt.
- Taste and adjust the za'atar, lemon, and salt as desired.
Tip: most za'atar seasoning blends contain salt, but if yours doesn't, you'll want to increase the amount of salt to taste.
Ways to Use Za'atar Dressing
- on green salads or kale salad
- as a dip for vegetable trays and roasted veggies
- spread on sandwiches and pita
- as a sauce for noodles, rice, and other grains
- tahini - other nut or seed butters might work, but tahini is the only one we've tried so far. Similar to this Bitchin' Sauce copycat, I suspect almond butter would taste great!
- water - if you prefer a creamy vinaigrette, replace the water with olive oil, reduce the tahini, and add more lemon juice to taste.
No, za'atar is not a hot or spicy seasoning and does not traditionally contain any spicy ingredients like dried peppers. The flavors are more herbal fresh, nutty, and citrus-y thanks to sumac, sesame seeds, oregano, and thyme.
Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, za'atar dressing is good for up to 4 days.
I hope you enjoy this quick and flavorful za'atar dressing as much as we do. If you try the recipe comment below to let us know!
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Creamy Za'atar Dressing
- In a bowl, whisk together the tahini, 3 teaspoons za'atar, and garlic.
- Add the lemon, water, and salt, and whisk again until smooth. Taste and add more za'atar, salt, or lemon as desired. The dressing will thicken as it sits, especially after refrigeration.
- Serve now as a dressing, sauce, or dip, or transfer to a lidded jar or container and refrigerate until ready to use. Whisk in a splash of water or lemon juice if the consistency is too thick.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.