Sunday, April 23, 2017

Copycat Trader Joe's Tahini Sauce and Dip Recipe

Have you ever had the Trader Joe's Tahini Sauce? I had a period of time where I was obsessed with it. I love the garlicy goodness of this savory sauce and dip. I put it on bread. I put it in my Buddha bowls. I put it on salad. I licked the spoon clean. Then we moved to Japan for a year and I was completely cut off from this wonderful container of saucy sesame dip. This is when I created my COPYCAT Trader Joe's Tahini Sauce Recipe. My love and I were reunited!

To enjoy my Tahini Sauce, I created a salad with greens, cucumber, orange pepper, avocado, and chick peas.

We were blessed with an abundance of perfect avocados all year round in Japan. All cucumbers are the long, skinny, Japanese cucumbers. You will never find a fat American cucumber here. No stereotypical fat American joke intended.

On the other hand all carrots in Japan or very wide and fat. You will not find the long skinny variety that we buy in the states. We also don't find many foods in bulk here like we find back in America. 

Although Costco does have locations in this country, they are not as common as they are in the states. Carrots in Japan come as singles, or packs of two or three, and are always wrapped in cellophane or in a plastic envelope, whether there are more than one in a pack or not. 

The red, yellow, and for this recipe, orange bell peppers are all sold individually in little cellophane bags here in Japan. I'm not sure if this is to protect the vegetable or please the customer. We are lucky that in America, we can choose whether or not to put our veggies in plastic in the produce sections at most of the grocery stores except ironically enough at Trader Joe's where they sell a lot of their produce in pre-set quantities packaged neatly in that pesky plastic, even if the quantity is much more than the smaller servings they are used to in Japan.

 In my case, I wish we didn't have to recycle so many of those cello bags while we lived in Japan or shop at Trader Joe's in California or anywhere!

I don't mean to criticize the way Japan operates too much because I was very pleased with the variety and availability of fresh fruits and veggies while I was here. It's just that we manage to buy all of it without all the plastic and cellophane in the States and I hope (especially as it is Earth Day!!!) that Japan (and Trader Joe's) can move away from this over-packaging as well.

Also, it's fun to point out the United States is actually winning in an environmental issue because we always seem to hear how trashy and wasteful we are. Maybe we are starting to win the plastic war!

When we went home for a week in November, we noticed the bag racks at Walmart were bare in California. The ban on plastic grocery bags was in effect and it was working! Six months later I saw friends updating Facebook with the fact that they actually remembered to bring their re-usable grocery bags to the store. We are winning! We can do it people!

As far as a vegan lifestyles go America may be winning that too. It has not been an easy task to find vegan food in Japan. However, I may not have taken the time to figure out how to make things like this amazing tahini sauce if I was able to just buy it ready made. 

And since I can make my own tahini sauce, I will no longer need to go through so many of those Trader Joe's small plastic containers full of it in California and can save the planet from even more plastic.

This tahini sauce is seriously so easy to make. It is only 5 ingredients and it makes a great dip, drizzle on a Buddha bowl, mix into your quinoa, use as a salad dressing, even spread on a bagel or toast. If you like the one from Trader Joe's or you like savory, middle eastern type flavors and foods, try out our recipe...

Copycat Trader Joe's Tahini Sauce Recipe

What you need:
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic chopped
1/2 tsp or salt to taste

What you do:
Put all ingredients in a blender and run on high until creamy.

Add more or less water to tahini depending on whether you want it thicker or thin.

Serve fresh or refrigerate 5-7 days. (The lemon juice preserves the freshness!)



  1. Recently Trader Joe’s recalled their Tahini sauce over listeria concerns, and I couldn’t handle not having it! My favorite way to eat raw veggies - dipped in it! So I found this recipe and it is right on! Satisfies the craving perfectly. Thank you so much! Delicious.

    1. I didn't realize it was from Listeria. I'm glad I made this recipe for all the die-hards like us!


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