Easy Tahini Recipe – Better Than Store-bought

Homemade tahini is so easy to make. Our recipe is quick and makes tahini that tastes so much better than anything you can buy at the store. Jump to the Tahini Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how to make it.

Watch Us Make Tahini

What is Tahini?

Do you know what tahini is? Would you like to find out how to make it at home instead of buying pricey jars at the store? We’ll tell you all about tahini, what you can use it for (yes, it’s more than hummus) and show you how you can easily make it at home.

Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds and is a staple in many cuisines, especially in the Mediterranean and Middle East. It’s vegan, gluten-free, tastes nutty, and is simple to make.

Store-bought tahini is usually made from hulled sesame seeds. This is our preference, too, but you can make it from unhulled and sprouted sesame seeds.

Hulled sesame seeds are what you see most often in stores. Here’s a photo of both hulled and unhulled sesame seeds. The hulled seeds are the lighter color on left. On the right, the unhulled seeds are much darker and still have their hull or outer shell intact.

Making Tahini: The difference between natural or hulled sesame seeds and unhulled sesame seeds.
Hulled sesame seeds are the lighter color on left. On the right, the unhulled seeds are much darker and still have their hull or outer shell intact.

In our experience, tahini made from unhulled sesame seeds tends to taste more bitter and the tahini does’t get quite as smooth as when it is made from hulled sesame seeds.

Quick and Easy Tahini Recipe - Better Than Store Bought!

Ways to Use Tahini

Arguably the most well known way to use tahini is when making hummus. Even though we are huge hummus geeks, we use tahini many other ways in our own kitchen.

Here’s a list of suggestions for how to use tahini, other than in hummus.

Once you have tahini in your fridge (it lasts over a month), we bet you will find yourself adding it to a variety of dishes without direction from us!

How to Make Tahini at Home in Minutes

Tahini is very, very simple to make. If you have ever made a nut butter like peanut butter before you’ll notice it is practically the same process: Grind sesame seeds in a food processor with a little oil until smooth.

Tahini Recipe Ingredients

You only need THREE ingredients to make tahini.

Sesame seeds — As I mentioned earlier, we prefer to use hulled sesame seeds. Most often, we will lightly toast the seeds to bring out some of their natural nuttiness, but you can skip this step all together if you’d like.

Oil — To help the tahini turn into a creamy smooth paste, we add a few tablespoons of neutral-flavored oil. A variety of oils work, try avocado oil, light and fruity olive oil, vegetable oil, and grape seed oil.

Salt is an optional ingredient, but I always use it. It just makes the tahini taste better.

Our Simple Process For Making It

Making tahini is easy and only requires a few simple steps.

Step 1, Toast the sesame seeds. I love toasting the sesame seeds before making the tahini. The flavor is far superior this way. If you plan to toast the seeds, we recommend doing so on the stovetop and not in the oven. Sesame seeds are tiny and so they burn very easily.

To toast the sesame seeds, I throw them into a wide, dry saucepan over medium-low heat then stir constantly with a spoon until the seeds darken ever so slightly in color and become fragrant.

Quick and Easy Tahini - Better Than Store Bought!
Toasting sesame seeds in a dry pan makes tahini with incredible flavor.

Step 2, Process the sesame seeds until crumbly. When the sesame seeds have cooled, we throw them into the bowl of our food processor, shut the lid then process until a crumbly paste begins to form.

Quick and Easy Tahini - Better Than Store Bought!
A food processor turns the seeds into a crumbly mixture.

Step 3, Add oil and process into a smooth cream. To help the tahini turn into an extra smooth paste, we add a few tablespoons of neutral-flavored oil. You can eliminate some of the oil if you would like, but the tahini won’t be as smooth or pourable. To reach a similar consistency as store-bought, we’ve found 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil should do it.

After more processing, a few stops to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and a little more processing after that, the tahini is done. Extra smooth and ready to use in whatever recipe you like.

Quick and Easy Tahini - Better Than Store Bought!
After adding oil and processing for a minute or two, the tahini is smooth and pourable.

Can I Use A Blender To Make Tahini?

Since posting the recipe, quite a few of our readers have asked whether or not a blender will work in place of a food processor. I prefer using my food processor, but if you have a high powered blender (like a Vitamix), then you should be able to use it to make tahini. When you do, be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the blender often so that all the seeds are incorporated into the sauce.

Storing Tahini

You can keep tahini covered in the refrigerator for a month, maybe a bit more. You might find that after some time in the fridge it separates, like a natural peanut butter would. All you need to do to fix this is stir it well.

Quick and Easy Tahini - Better Than Store Bought!

Easy Tahini Recipe – Better Than Store-bought

  • PREP
  • COOK

Making tahini at home is easy and much less expensive than buying from the store. We recommend looking for sesame seeds in bulk bins or at International, Asian and Middle Eastern markets for the best deals. While tahini can be made from unhulled, sprouted and hulled sesame seeds, we prefer to use hulled sesame seeds for tahini. Tahini can be kept in the refrigerator for a month.

Makes approximately 1/2 Cup

You Will Need

1 cup (5 ounces or 140 grams) sesame seeds, we prefer hulled

2 to 4 tablespoons neutral flavored oil such as grape seed, canola or a light olive oil

Pinch of salt, optional


  • Toast Sesame Seeds
  • Add sesame seeds to a wide, dry saucepan over medium-low heat and toast, stirring constantly until the seeds become fragrant and very lightly colored (not brown), 3 to 5 minutes. Careful here, sesame seeds can burn quickly.

    Transfer toasted seeds to a baking sheet or large plate and cool completely.

    • Make Tahini
    • Add sesame seeds to the bowl of a food processor then process until a crumbly paste forms, about 1 minute.

      Add 3 tablespoons of the oil then process for 2 to 3 minutes more, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the food processor a couple times. Check the tahini’s consistency. It should be smooth, not gritty and should be pourable. You may need to process for another minute or add the additional tablespoon of oil.

      Taste the tahini for seasoning then add salt to taste. Process 5 to 10 seconds to mix it in.

      • To Store
      • Store tahini covered in the refrigerator for one month. You may notice it separates over time, like a natural peanut butter would. If this happens, give the tahini a good stir before using.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 tablespoon / Calories 136 / Protein 3 g / Carbohydrate 5 g / Dietary Fiber 3 g / Total Sugars 0 g / Total Fat 12 g / Saturated Fat 2 g / Cholesterol 0 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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239 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Marianne November 27, 2019, 1:05 pm

    Thank you for posting this recipe and your hummus recipe. I’ve been making your hummus for over a year now. Its the only hummus recipe I have found that tastes better than store-bought, however… tonight I went to the fridge to get out my store bought tahini to make the hummus and it was 1.5 yrs past its best by date. I had the sesame seeds so I decided to try and make this tahini recipe that was linked through your hummus recipe. OMG, that took the hummus flavor to a whole new realm. I don’t think I can ever go back to making hummus with store bought tahini. I even used the unhealed sesame seeds and toasted them and I loved the flavor, hulls and all.

  • Pulock Banerjee November 16, 2019, 10:14 am

    Excellent recipe

  • RP November 12, 2019, 11:57 pm

    Thank you! Came out delicious!

  • Josie Stratford November 1, 2019, 11:16 am

    When making tahini, can I use sesame oil in combination with, or instead of, a neutral oil?

    • Joanne November 1, 2019, 12:51 pm

      You can. If you are using toasted sesame oil, keep in mind that it has a strong flavor, while untoasted sesame oil (looks clear) will add no flavor to the tahini.

  • Mary Kennedy October 14, 2019, 11:08 pm

    I didn’t actually know what tahini was. Now I know and your recipe looks doable. Anxious to see more recipes.

  • Mike October 10, 2019, 6:43 pm

    Can you make raw tahini the same way, just skip the toasting step?

    • Joanne October 10, 2019, 6:44 pm


  • Brenda July 27, 2019, 12:33 pm

    Love this recipe. Was recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease with other health issues so have been put on a strict dairy free, gluten free, sugar free diet so am finding things I can have. When the nutritionist said I could have hummus that opened the door to so many areas I was lacking elsewhere. This is delicious and I use it in everything!! Thank you for posting

  • Rika July 27, 2019, 12:05 pm

    Very easy recipes

    • Jackie O'Connor September 27, 2019, 1:14 pm

      I’m excited to many the Hummus. Can’t wait.

  • Peter Piper July 24, 2019, 7:57 am

    If you use organic sunflower oil in the tahini recipe, it will not separate because sunflower oil has lecithin in it.

  • matt July 22, 2019, 6:40 pm

    I tried this and over-toasted the sesame seeds. Made the tahini very bitter and inedible. I had to toss it. I’ll try it again and try to be a lot more careful about toasting them. Lower heat, more stirring, less total time. Shooting for ~5 min.

    • Joanne July 23, 2019, 4:57 pm

      Oh bummer! We are sorry the sesame seeds burned on you. Good luck for the next batch 🙂

  • Sue K July 19, 2019, 4:26 pm

    My other half is always saying what do you want that for? He never knows what is going to made in my kitchen next and will try most anything for me once. I love to try different foods and ingredients. I do like to make things rather than purchase them because of all the preservatives etc that they put in. So when I saw the link I thought I would come look. I will be looking around some more. I will be making this soon.

  • Barbara July 19, 2019, 3:36 pm

    Love the easy to follow instructions! How much tahini will this make?

    • Joanne July 23, 2019, 5:09 pm

      The recipe makes about 1/2 cup of tahini.

  • Bianca July 4, 2019, 6:08 pm

    I love your easy and simple to follow recipe with no fuss or frills! And your website had a great clean look and is easy to use. Came here for a tahini recipe. Will be stalking your website more in future for other easy no fuss recipes! Haven’t made this yet but M looming forward to it. Oh and I really like your video too for the same reasons as above.

  • JM TALKINGTON June 1, 2019, 8:07 pm

    Great site!

    • Sharon June 5, 2019, 3:11 pm

      In my experience you don’t need to add any oil to tahini or nut butters. Once it gets to that crumbly stage just keep going. It may take up to 10 minutes. My cheap Hamilton Beach takes about 5 minutes but it’s pretty new. If you find it’s not smoothing out the chunky bits either your food processor blade needs to be sharpened or you need a new one.

  • Mary Nimocks May 28, 2019, 4:37 pm

    Thanks! Looking to cook healthier. 😎


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