Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tahini Dressing

This vegan turmeric tahini dressing is the perfect way to incorporate turmeric into your diet regularly. Versatile and easy to make!

An angled photograph of a small, round ceramic bowl, which contains a golden colored sauce and a small serving spoon.

In many years of making many batches of tahini based dressing, this golden-hued turmeric tahini dressing is still an all time favorite.

The turmeric tahini dressing was inspired by the menu of the now bygone Jivamuktea Cafe . Jivamukti adjoined the yoga studio of the same name, and it was a wonderful, cozy place to seek out simple food and big cups of tea.

The Jivamukti menu featured many nourishing grain bowls, sandwiches, soups, and protein rich salads. I often used to go there with my friend Brendan, and every time we split lunch he’d order a spirulina millet dish with turmeric tahini dressing.

I love dressings and sauces, and I love turmeric. And I’m a tahini fanatic. So I wasn’t surprised when I tasted Brendan’s dish and loved the dressing. I was inspired to create my own version, and the turmeric tahini dressing I’ve been making since then has become a staple.

An overhead image of a small bowl containing a bright yellow colored dressing and a serving spoon.

Turmeric tahini dressing ingredients

I’m still not sure what the folks at Jivamukti put into their dressing. But my best guess when I set out to recreate it was that it contained a combination of tahini, apple cider vinegar, something salty, and plenty of turmeric.

I crafted my own turmeric tahini dressing around those ingredients.

Tahini

I prefer roasted tahini to raw (less bitter). My favorite tahini is from local shop Seed + Mill—it’s so creamy and has a super mild flavor, even a buttery quality. But use the tahini you have or can easily find.

Turmeric

I use ground turmeric in my recipe, but if you happen to have fresh turmeric, great! You can grate finely about a tablespoon into the dressing and blend. If you don’t love tahini or have a sesame seed allergy, cashew butter will work well in the recipe.

Tamari

In place of tamari, you can use soy sauce or coconut aminos for a soy-free version of the recipe.

Apple cider vinegar

I love the flavor of apple cider vinegar here, but you can substitute a tablespoon of white vinegar in the recipe as well. The rest of the acidity comes from freshly squeezed lemon juice.

How to serve turmeric tahini dressing

The turmeric tahini dressing is so versatile! It’s great for grain bowls and salads, of course. But I also like to drizzle it over a sheet pan of roasted autumn vegetables or to use it as a dip for raw veggies.

It’s also a great dip for steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets.

Health benefits of turmeric

It is this plant compound, curcumin, that gives turmeric it’s bright color—and makes it so appropriate for tofu scrambles!

Turmeric is often lauded for its anti-inflammatory properties. It contains curcumin, a plant compound that may help to reduce inflammation. This includes inflammation of the GI tract, as well as inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.

I love the mellow taste of turmeric, and use it in many foods (including my turmeric and pumpkinseed pate), but this is destined to be one of my favorite applications.

A small, ceramic pinch bowl contains a vegan turmeric tahini dressing, which is a bright golden color.
An angled photograph of a small, round ceramic bowl, which contains a golden colored sauce and a small serving spoon.
4.67 from 3 votes

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tahini Dressing

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or nama shoyu
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water

Instructions

  • Whisk or blend all ingredients together. Dressing will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
A small ceramic pinch bowl of turmeric tahini dressing has been laid out on a sheet of parchment. It's accompanied by a small serving spoon, which has recently been dipped in the dressing.

While spices like turmeric are great at any time of year, I especially enjoy them as the weather gets cool. It’s great for wintery, nourishing grain bowls and vegetable bakes. Maybe with a turmeric chai latte nearby.

Enjoy!

xo

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    70 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe. Delicious. I have used only half of the suggested amount of water to keep the sauce a bit thicker. Will do it again and again. Beautiful colour and nice taste.

  2. 4 stars
    First comment ever on a recipe. Delish!!! I added a little salt to mine but this is the best dressing with turmeric I have ever tried. I wasn’t even really a fan of it before this. Look forward to trying more of your recipes!

  3. now i realize i am trrrible… you are the person that created the recipes at 22 Days. my gosh! i am sorry 🙂 I guess i was just lookibg out for the author and it was you all along 🙂

  4. Hi there, not to call you out but this the exact recipe as the one posted on the 22 Days Nutrition Challenge Recipe book, which i purchased and am looking at right now. it might be polite or wise of you to note that and give them credit in your article here.
    thank you

  5. I am totally obsessed with this dressing! It is SO yummy and I love that it is not too sweet. It’s just so so perfect! Thank you for sharing it with us.

  6. Reporting back from how lunch went- fantastically!!!! This recipe is incredible! I wish I had some quinoa or chickpeas to go in the salad it topped, but wow was this something else. Such simple ingredients creating a masterpiece! Thank you again, Gena!

    • Ah, sorry, I know you’ve asked before. I use roasted more often than not. I don’t think it makes too much of a difference, but the roasted flavor tends to be more palatable for most people (in my experience).

  7. I have developed a serious addiction problem with this! Most recently I have been drizzling it on my roasted veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, green pepper, onion) from my CSA. I just can’t get enough of it. I love the fact that it acts as an anti-inflammatory as well…good for my marathon training aches and pains!

  8. Made this last night it was lovely, great as a dip with a really silky texture,
    We use a lot of tahina and this tastes nothing like regular tahina…..very cool thanks

  9. tweaked this recipe and used coconut vinegar instead of ACV, honey instead of maple syrup, and added mustard. it was like turmeric-honey mustard, so delish on top of quinoa and steamed kale!

  10. Was looking for a creamy dairy-free, sugar-free dressing, so made this one this morning for my leftover vegies with fresh salad. WOW! It’s certainly a keeper. It’s going to be a staple in my fridge!! Compliments to the chef! I used Bragg’s instead of aminos and a smidgen of stevia instead of the maple syrup. Now what else can I try it on… 🙂 Thankyou!

  11. Hi Gena,

    I get the sense that you feel you need to post lots of new recipes, and maybe that is what some readers want, but I would sooo love to see you write a little about revisiting and reusing recipes. Like for example how you ended up using the rest of this jar of dressing? Or just general suggestions for not getting bored and repeating the same meal 3 times to use something up!
    I don’t know if it’s something you’d wanna do, or something anyone else is interested in but I thought I’d put it out there

    h x

  12. YUM! I’m recovering from an accident and needed some anti-inflammatory recipes to help speed healing. This is really delicious. I had it on salad and can’t wait to try it on broccoli tonight. Thank you!

  13. I am so into turmeric and I love finding new ways to incorporate it into my diet…including this recipe. Can’t wait to give it a try!!

  14. Gena, this recipe is wonderful.
    I had all the ingredients and made it as soon as I read the post. I omitted the tamari as I am lowering salt in my diet. Even without the tamari, the flavours hit all my taste buttons.
    We are in Spring here so I busted out some carrots and used it for dip. Highly recommend people try it and I know I’ll be making it again and again.
    Thanks, Lucy

  15. This sounds super tasty and healthy =) I love that it is anti-inflammatory. I really like how you just served it on top of some cooked quinoa, simple, yet delicious sounding.
    Do people not like tahini????? Oh those poor people don’t know what they are missing ;p

  16. This looks incredible! I’m thinking of any number of salads, grains, or wraps to put this dressing on. I’m always on the lookout for ways to cook healthy dishes on the cheap and dressings like this one definitely add some zip to basic grains and veggie dishes. Looking forward to checking out the rest of your blog. 🙂 Cheers!

  17. I bought a jar of tahini made from unhulled sesame seeds today, and gave this dressing a try – really nice! I added another Tbsp of apple cider vinegar, I like my dressings with quite a kick. I think I’ll be trying your other tahini dressing recipes too soon 🙂

  18. From time to time, I will add turmeric to a pot of brown rice to impart a beautiful yellow color and a subtle pungency. A drizzle of this dressing would be wonderful on some cooked grains with cauliflower, chickpeas, and steamed leafy greens. Thanks for the idea, Gena!

  19. “let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food”. – Hippocrates
    Yay! This is wonderful! Turmeric is known as a cure-all root! (especially in digestion!) I love this recipe, going to have to try it soon! Love the extra health punch too! Thanks, never gone wrong with any of your receipes either!

  20. This sounds delicious, Gena! I actually just ordered some curcumin supplements (with black pepper to increase absorption) to help reduce inflammation – I’m looking forward to giving those a try.

  21. This is SO weird .. I made something very similar this morning for my lunch and then saw this post. I have this basic tahini-miso-lemonjuice-water dressing I use verrry often and so I just added some turmeric to see if I could spice it up. SO good. I want to try it your way next!!

    • Haha – I make a dressing regularly with the same stuff, except plus a date!

      And (related) snack: chunks of date & drizzling of tahini rolled up into romaine leaves.

  22. I have a bunch of tahini paste (don’t ask) that I need to figure out how to use. I love that this is oil-free (not that I’m against oil dressings), but this is pure & simple.

    Wow, lunch with Brendan? He’s like, the superhero megastar of the vegan world. How delightful.

    • Dearly though I love me my oils, it’s nice to keep things simple, yes. Glad you like the recipe, doll.

  23. Yum! I love turmeric, both the taste and the health benefits. A bowlful of quinoa topped with plenty of that dressing is sounding so good right now.

  24. This sounds so warming and lovely 🙂 Such a lovely colour too! I bet it would be nice with blended avocado or young thai coconut meat as a base as well.

    <3

  25. Yum.. I also put it in my juice every day.. This looks so good…. I want to make this week

  26. This looks soo yummy, and the spirulina millet recipe is in Brendan’s Thrive Foods book (which I just got and love!)

  27. It does look tasty – are the Omega-6s in tahini an issue for the anti-inflammatory goal? My doc told me to avoid nuts and seeds because of the Omega-6s.

    • Anonymous,

      I’m of the mind that you don’t have to avoid nuts and seeds for the sake of inflammation; rather, you need to maximize Omega-3 consumption. While a bad Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio is problematic, Omega-6 fatty acids are necessary and can be healthful in our diets. The problem is eating them without also eating Omega-3s. So, I eat plenty of sesame and sunflower and pumpkin seeds, but I also eat a lot of chia and flax to keep things balanced, as well as chia and flax oils.

      Gena

      • Cool, I guess my doctor doesn’t quite have it right if the ratio is the bigger deal.

        (Also, why did it post me as Anonymous before? Probably user error on my part.)

        • Oh, weird!! I had no idea it was you 🙂

          Yes, it’s the ratio that matters. While some folks are leery of Omega-6’s altogether, there’s still evidence that they can benefit cardiac health, and there are so many other advantages to nuts/seeds that there’s definitely no need to eliminate them. But you should shoot for a ration of 2:1 – 4:1 of 6:3 acids…and most Americans get about 20:1, simply from processed food consumption. Hope this is helpful!

  28. Awesome! I can’t wait to make this. I’ve been trying to up my intake of turmeric after finding out how good it is for you.

  29. I use turmeric every single day in my green juice along with ginger.
    I love fresh turmeric. Did you use dried in this recipe?

  30. So smart. All this time using ginger and tahini together, and I never considered turmeric, even though it’s a favorite of mine. I’ll probably grab fresh turmeric for this, because yum.