Clean Eating Tahini Sauce Recipe

For a long time, I bought the Tahini Sauce that Trader Joe’s sells. I loved that stuff! You can eat it with crackers or veggies or make delicious hummus with it.
But one day, I managed to actually read the ingredient list (duh!) and found citric acid listed. So it got me thinking about making a true, clean eating tahini sauce recipe.

I’ve read that people are starting to talk about citric acid being not-so-naturally derived and even the possibility that most citric acid may now be a GMO! I don’t know of any studies to back this up, but until I do find more information, I thought it would be prudent to avoid it for now.

Clean Eating Tahini Sauce in a white bowl sitting on a plate, surrounded by sliced cucumbers for dipping.

But that left me with a bigger issue… WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT TAHINI?????!!!! <gasp!!>

I knew I could make my own, and I knew it wasn’t overly complicated. So with a certain level of confidence, I entered my kitchen and made my first batch. To my dismay, I ended up with a bunch of oily seeds. Not the tahini sauce that I had envisioned.

I lamented pitifully about it on Facebook a few times. And finally, a reader mentioned that you have to blend the seeds while they are hot.

Now this was a tip that I wasn’t going to pass up. Simple things like that can often make a world of difference in a recipe. So I gathered up my courage and tried again. SUCCESS!!!!!

So the moral of the story is, if you can’t figure out what went wrong, complain about it on Facebook. Because somebody will more than likely have an answer for you!


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Clean Eating Tahini Sauce

Clean Eating Tahini Sauce

Can't find jarred tahini? Make your own!
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Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10 servings (1 1/4 cup yield - serving size approximately 2 tbsp.)
Calories: 103kcal
Author: Tiffany McCauley


  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium lemons juiced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder OR 6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
  • ½ cup water
  • salt to taste after blending


  • Bake the sesame seeds at 350 F. for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and immediately pour into your blender while the seeds are still hot.
  • Blend until it get thick and sticks to the sides.
  • Add in all other ingredients and blend until you have a smooth sauce.
  • Transfer to a storage container and chill for at least 2 hours so it can thicken.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 2.3mg

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  1. Thanks for sharing! I, too, love tahini sauce, and also considered it to be clean. Thanks for your research, and for the recipe; can’t wait to try it!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jen – My pleasure! 🙂

  2. Can I use this in place of tahini in a hummus recipe? I don’t make hummus often but when I do I can’t stand paying so much money for a jar of tahini.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jill – Absolutely! That’s what I use it for mostly.

  3. Citric acid is not vitamin C , that would be ascorbic acid

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      John – Gha! You’re right! Thanks!

  4. Kimberly Aime says:

    Great tip that sesame seeds have to be hot. I’m also a huge fan of tahini, didn’t even think twice about citric acid, now I will.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kimberly – It’s worth doing a little research on that. I just haven’t had the time yet.

  5. Thanks for the recipe! I’m definitely going to give this a try when I get around to attempting my first batch of homemade hummus.

    I would guess this needs to be stored in the fridge, do you know how long it keeps ?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kathy – I try to keep the batch small so that I don’t have to keep it too long. I would say no longer than 1-2 weeks. And yes, keep it in the fridge.

  6. You are a lifesaver w/ this Tahini recipe! Tahini is very difficult to find in my city and I never even thought of making it myself but it seems easy enough. Thank you so much!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kim F – My pleasure!

  7. Erena DiGonis says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I always love finding easy recipes to make at home that way you truly know exactly what is going into your food.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Erena – I agree! A home cooked meal is always best!

  8. I went looking for raw sesame seeds and found hulled and unhulled. Which ones do I want?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Carrie – I would buy the hulled.

  9. MamaBadger says:

    I have bought jars of tahini paste forcyeard and use that to make sauce. You can find paste with just the roasted sesame seeds and oil. That makes this a little less timely 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      MamaBadger – Yes! I discovered the jars just before I posted this. But for those who don’t have access, I thought a “from scratch” approach would be good info.

  10. Can u freeze the tahini sauce?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Patty – I’ve never done it, but yes, you should be able to. I would do it in small amounts like in ice cube trays though. That way you can get small portions of it out instead of having to defrost an entire batch.