This Sesame Ginger Dressing is sure to become your new favorite dressing. Creamy and delicious, and perfect on both salads and cold noodles.
I have made a version of this dressing for years, inspired by this original ginger dressing recipe from Food and Wine, though I’ve made some changes to it that I think make this the best sesame ginger dressing around! You can serve this with all sorts of salads and grain bowls, and I love it with my Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad and my Quinoa Grain Bowl.
Why Make This Recipe
- Just So Tasty: Seriously, this is my favorite ginger dressing of all time. Savory and delicious!
- So Many Uses: Think way beyond a simple green salad with this dressing. Great as a dip for crudité, especially carrots and cucumbers. Really good on cold soba noodles and grain salads too.
- Healthy: There’s no sugar in this dressing, and it’s low in calories. Compare to any store-bought version, and you’ll see the difference!
- Ginger: Fresh ginger is non-negotiable in this recipe, so don’t be tempted to replace with dried ginger.
- Red Onion: I love the depth of flavor this provides to the dressing, but I have also made this dressing when I didn’t have an onion on hand, and it still works. Feel free to replace with minced shallots or white onion.
- Tahini: Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds. In this recipe, it gives the ginger dressing a stronger sesame flavor (along with the sesame oil and sesame seeds). If you don’t have tahini, use 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise instead. Alternatively, for extra sesame flavor and a vegan sesame ginger dressing, replace the tablespoon of mayonnaise with a second tablespoon of tahini.
- Soy Sauce: For a gluten-free dressing, make sure you are using a gluten-free soy sauce like tamari.
- Grapeseed Oil: I like using grapeseed oil in salad dressing. It has a mild flavor, and is higher in vitamin E than olive oil. But feel free to replace it with a mild olive oil or vegetable oil.
🥣 Step-by-Step Instructions
Combine 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon minced red onion, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon tahini, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce in a blender.
Blend until smooth.
Turn off the blender and scrape down the sides. Next, turn the blender on and slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil. (Open the removable part in the top of the blender just enough to pour in the oil so the dressing doesn't splatter anywhere.) Blend until smooth.
Stir in pepper and sesame seeds.
🧐 Recipe FAQs for Sesame Ginger Dressing
This dressing is almost always gluten-free—the only caveat is that some brands of soy sauce contain gluten. Most tamari soy sauce is gluten-free, and other soy sauce may be labeled gluten-free. Just look for one of those when you are buying ingredients for this recipe. Note that with store-bought ginger dressings, you may not know whether the soy sauce used is gluten-free or not. Or whether there are other ingredients that also contain gluten. Safer to make your own dressing!
This creamy dressing will last for about five days in the refrigerator. I like to store mine in a mason jar with a lid—you can shake it up before serving if it settles into layers.
I don’t recommend freezing this dressing, as it will separate when you defrost it.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
Note that tahini varies quite a bit in consistency between brands. If your tahini is thick like peanut butter, you may want to add a little bit of water to the blender to thin out the dressing to the consistency you want.
If you don’t have a blender, you can whisk ingredients together by hand. The final salad dressing will not combine in the same way it does in the blender, but it will still be delicious. Just make sure that your ginger and red onion are finely minced, as a big chunk of ginger is just not appetizing to bite into! As with the blender, combine the first set of ingredients first, then whisk in the oil at the end (before adding the pepper and sesame seeds).
If you’re looking for a sesame ginger dressing for noodles, this one is lovely, especially with cold soba noodles. You can also use it to drizzle on top of grilled chicken, salmon, or tuna. And as a sauce for a grain bowl, it pulls everything together. Tastes best with crunchy vegetables like carrots, cucumber, radishes, apples, and pears. Try it as another dressing option for this Cucumber Carrot Salad or this Accompaniment Salad—so delicious!
Other Delicious Salad Dressings
A good salad dressing is one of my favorite ways to enjoy seasonal vegetables. No matter the season, you can always find vegetables to add to a bowl and drizzle with dressing. Here are a few of my favorite recipes:
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below—I read them all, and your feedback is invaluable to me. And please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook or subscribe to my newsletter. I'd love to inspire you with more delicious, healthy, and seasonal recipes!
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced red onion
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- ⅓ cup grapeseed oil
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- Add dressing ingredients from ginger though soy sauce to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Turn off the blender and scrape down the sides.
- Turn on the blender and slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil. (Open the removable part in the top of the blender just enough to pour in the oil so the dressing doesn't splatter anywhere.) Blend until smooth.
- Stir in pepper and sesame seeds.
Expert Tips: If you don't have a blender, you can make this dressing using a whisk. Just make sure to finely mince your ginger and red onion.
How to Store: This creamy dressing will last for about five days in the refrigerator. I like to store mine in a mason jar with a lid—you can shake it up before serving if it settles into layers. I don’t recommend freezing this dressing, as it will separate when you defrost it.
Notes for Special Diets: For a gluten-free version of this dressing, make sure to use a gluten-free soy sauce. Most tamari soy sauce is gluten-free, but check the label on tamari or whatever soy sauce you choose. For a vegan version of this dressing, replace the mayonnaise with a vegan mayonnaise, or replace the mayonnaise with additional tahini.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 124mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is provided as a general reference for users courtesy of the online nutrition calculator Nutritionix.