Herby Tahini Buttermilk Ranch

published Jul 12, 2021
Herby Tahini Buttermilk Ranch

This nutty twist on ranch swaps in tahini in place of sour cream, and is packed with fresh herbs.

Serves6 to 8

Makesabout 2/3 cup

Prep10 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
tahini herb sauce in a mason jar
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Ben Weiner

During the hot summer months when I rarely feel like cooking, I’m always looking for a versatile sauce that can make anything taste exciting. Bonus points if said sauce can help me use up the bounty of herbs I swore I needed when I started a little garden. Behold: herby tahini buttermilk ranch.

Tahini is creamy and flavorful enough to stand in for the sour cream (or mayo) that’s used in a classic homemade ranch dressing, and swapping in fresh herbs for dried adds a super-summery vibe. The result is nutty, herby, creamy bliss — ready to help you dress up a variety of meals for days to come.

What’s the Best Tahini to Use?

If it were up to me, I would drizzle tahini on everything. Salads, grain bowls, grilled meats, veggies — tahini’s bold, nutty flavor and smooth, luscious texture elevates it all.

But not all tahini is created equal. I recommend Soom or Seed & Mill, because they’re a textural dream (smooth and creamy) and their flavor is nutty and rich without any bitter aftertaste. Just remember that when combined with other liquid ingredients, like lemon juice and buttermilk, tahini has a tendency to seize, so you’ll need to whisk in cold water until you reach your desired consistency. Keep the sauce on the thicker side if you want to use it as a dip; thin it with more water for a drizzle-able dressing. 

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Ben Weiner

My 3 Favorite Ways to Use Herby Tahini Ranch

There are no wrong answers when it comes to tahini ranch, but I do have a few favorite ways to use it. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Slather on top of grilled chicken kebabs and serve with rice and veggies.
  2. Toss into a hearty kale salad for a tasty twist on a Caesar.
  3. Drizzle on your avocado toast, then sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds for even more nuttiness.

And remember that the fresh herbs are interchangeable. Don’t have dill, parsley, or chives? Throw some basil or mint in there — I won’t stop you.

Herby Tahini Buttermilk Ranch

This nutty twist on ranch swaps in tahini in place of sour cream, and is packed with fresh herbs.

Prep time 10 minutes

Makes about 2/3 cup

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1/4 cup


  • 1/4 cup

    tahini, such as Soom or Seed & Mill

  • 1 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons

    cold water, as needed

  • 2 tablespoons

    finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

  • 1 tablespoon

    finely chopped fresh chives

  • 1 tablespoon

    finely chopped fresh dill fronds


  1. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon into a medium bowl. Juice the lemon into the bowl (about 3 tablespoons). Add 1/4 cup buttermilk, 1/4 cup tahini, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds black pepper. Whisk to combine. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water as needed to thin out.

  2. Finely chop the following herbs into the following amounts and add to the sauce: 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, 1 tablespoon fresh chives, and 1 tablespoon fresh dill fronds. Stir to combine. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Thin out with cold water if needed before serving.