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Make this easy miso tahini dressing with a handful of ingredients in just 10 minutes. It’s sweet, savory, tangy, ‘nutty,’ and perfect for using as a dressing, dip, or sauce. Dairy-free, oil-free, vegan, & optionally gluten-free.

completed Miso Tahini Dressing in three separate glass jars against a light background
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Creamy and Delicious 6 Ingredient Miso Tahini Dressing/Sauce

This miso tahini dressing is creamy, delicious, surprisingly healthy, and versatile. Use it as a dressing to bring life to salads or as a delicious miso tahini sauce or dip with veggies, grains, and more. Plus, it’s ready in just minutes, with a handful of ingredients and just ONE step (and one bowl/jar) to make!

This versatile miso tahini sauce is also oil-free (unlike many dressings), low cost to prepare, and will store in the fridge for up to two weeks, perfect for meal prep. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to eat this creamy miso dressing on or with everything!

What Are Tahini and Miso?

First, what is tahini? Tahini is a creamy paste made by grinding sesame seeds (hulled or unhulled, raw or toasted). It’s nutty, slightly bitter, and a popular addition to hummus and sauces.

In comparison, miso paste is a savory, umami-rich ingredient made with fermented soybeans combined with salt and koji (a fungus used for fermentation), and optionally with other seasonings/ingredients that will determine the exact type of miso.

In fact, there are three main types of miso: Shiro miso (white miso), aka miso (red miso), or awase miso (mixed miso), though there is also yellow miso and several other subtypes. The color and flavor vary between the types of soybean paste. For this miso dressing recipe, however, I recommend using white miso paste, the mildest, sweetest variety.

No matter which variety you use, miso paste is packed with plant-based protein, contains several vitamins and minerals, and can make soup, sauces, and this delicious vegan tahini dressing.

For this miso tahini dressing, I combine the miso and tahini with maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and garlic powder. The result is a miso salad dressing that’s creamy, slightly sweet, savory, salty, tangy, and packed with umami flavor!

The Ingredients

You can prepare this creamy miso dressing recipe with just 6 ingredients (plus water).

ingredients for Miso Tahini Dressing measured out against a light surface
  • Tahini: Use good-quality tahini to avoid one that’s overly bitter OR make your own (method in notes).
  • Maple Syrup: I love the flavor of this maple tahini dressing. However, use another sweetener (i.e., agave nectar OR even a sugar-free alternative) if preferred.
  • Miso: It’s best to use white miso (shiro miso, also called mellow or sweet miso) for this miso tahini sauce. However, yellow miso will also work.
  • Soy sauce: Use reduced-sodium soy sauce if preferred or dark soy for a more robust, full-flavored soy. Use tamari or coconut aminos as gluten-free options.
  • Apple cider vinegar: I love the subtle sweetness of ACV. Rice vinegar would also work well in this miso salad dressing recipe.
  • Garlic powder: Adjust the amount to taste. Fresh garlic will also work.
  • Cold water: To bring the miso tahini dressing/sauce to the correct consistency.
  • Salt: (optional) If the soy sauce hasn’t made the sauce salty enough, add a small amount of salt to taste.

What to Add to Vegan Miso Dressing?

  • Red pepper flakes: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a spicy miso salad dressing. Adjust the amount to taste.
  • Ginger: To add warmth and subtle heat, make a ginger miso dressing. You can add around ½ tsp of grated fresh ginger or use half the amount (¼ tsp) of ginger powder and then adjust the amount to taste.
  • Sesame oil: To enhance the sesame flavor, add a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil.
  • Lemon juice: For a different flavor profile, you can experiment with replacing some or all of the vinegar with lemon or lime juice.
  • Herbs: Like scallions/green onion or parsley.

How to Make Miso Tahini Dressing?

Aside from measuring out the ingredients, this mess-free, easy tahini miso dressing recipe requires just ONE step:

  • 1) Transfer all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk (or a jar and shake) it until thoroughly combined.

Give the tahini miso dressing a taste and adjust any of the ingredients to your liking. I.e., maple for sweetness, soy sauce for saltiness, ACV for tang, red pepper flakes for heat, etc.

FAQs

Can I substitute the tahini?

You could use cashew butter instead of tahini for a similar result.

Can I use red or brown miso?

I wouldn’t recommend it as their flavor is much stronger and saltier, which will throw off the miso salad dressing’s flavor balance (and color).

Could I make the dressing soy-free?

Traditionally, miso uses soybeans as the key ingredient. However, there are several varieties, including barley or rice miso. For a soy-free miso salad dressing recipe, simply choose soy-free miso and use coconut aminos instead of the soy sauce/tamari.

Is miso tahini dressing healthy?

This easy tahini dressing is actually surprisingly healthy. Tahini (aka sesame seeds) packs plenty of calcium, copper, manganese, iron, zinc, phosphorous, vitamins B1 and E, and protein and fiber.

Miso also packs in plant-based protein, containing all essential amino acids. It’s also a good source of vitamins B12 and K and several minerals, including copper, zinc, and manganese. Like many fermented foods, miso also provides beneficial gut bacteria and antioxidants. And those are just the two key ingredients in this miso dressing.

Top Recipe Tips and Notes

  • To adjust the consistency: Adjust the amount of water you add to the miso tahini sauce based on how thick/thin you’d like it (i.e., for dipping vs. a salad dressing).
  • Tweak the ingredients to taste: Any of the ingredients in this miso tahini dressing recipe are adjustable, so taste it and tweak it to your liking.
  • Make your own tahini: First, toast the seeds until fragrant, then blend them in a high-speed blender until smooth. Add a little oil if needed to help them blend.
  • To avoid lumps: First, ‘dissolve’ the miso into the water by whisking them together. Then add all the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Storage Instructions

You can store the miso tahini dressing covered in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. It may thicken slightly as it sits, so whisk in a small amount of warm water before serving it if needed.

Note that if you use fresh garlic or add any fresh elements, like herbs, it’s best to consume the tahini salad dressing within 3-5 days.

Alternatively, you can freeze the miso dressing/sauce for up to a month. Allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight, then bring it back to room temperature to use again.

How To Use Maple Miso Tahini Dressing?

You can use this versatile vegan tahini dressing in several ways, including as a dip, salad dressing, or sauce. Here are just a few ways to enjoy it.

  • This miso tahini salad dressing works particularly well with salads but also makes for a great twist to a simple side salad and kale salads.
  • Enjoy with noodle salads.
  • Drizzle the vegan miso dressing over bowl meals like a Buddha bowl/ grain bowl.
  • Enjoy with roasted cauliflower, grilled corn, baked squash, and other grilled, steamed, and roasted vegetables.
  • Drizzle over cooked rice, like vegan sushi rice and rice bowls.
  • Enjoy with vegan onigiri and other sushi.
  • Use it to dip summer rolls and raw vegan sushi, too.
  • Add to a slaw.
  • Spread the miso tahini sauce over sandwiches and wraps.

How else do you enjoy this miso tahini dressing? Let me know in the comments below.

More Vegan Sauces and Dips

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Easy Miso Tahini Dressing

5 from 69 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 jar
Make this easy miso tahini dressing with a handful of ingredients in just 10 minutes. It's sweet, savory, tangy, 'nutty,' and perfect for using as a dressing, dip, or sauce. Dairy-free, oil-free, vegan, & optionally gluten-free.

Ingredients 

  • ¼ cup of tahini
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon of water
  • 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of miso
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt, optional
  • Pinch of red chili flakes, optional

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl or mason jar, stir or shake all the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.

Notes

  • To adjust the consistency: Adjust the amount of water you add to the miso tahini sauce based on how thick/thin you’d like it (i.e., for dipping vs. a salad dressing).
  • Tweak the ingredients to taste: Any of the ingredients in this miso tahini dressing recipe are adjustable, so taste it and tweak it to your liking.
  • Make your own tahini: First, toast the seeds until fragrant, then blend them in a high-speed blender until smooth. Add a little oil if needed to help them blend.
  • To avoid lumps: First, ‘dissolve’ the miso into the water by whisking them together. Then add all the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Nutrition

Calories: 443kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 15gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gSodium: 1705mgPotassium: 401mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 55IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 117mgIron: 4mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Asian
Method: Mixing
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been searching for a miso dressing recipe for so long and this is finally one that I love! The flavor is incredible and so tasty on anything from salads, to potatoes, to veggies. Yum!

  2. 5 stars
    Made a batch to go with a soba noodle salad yesterday. It was very flavourful and quite creamy even without any oil. Still have some left so will use it for lunch in a cucumber avocado salad. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    This miso tahini dressing is so good and so easy to make. I loved it on my salad and will definitely try it with other meals later.