Easy Tahini

This homemade tahini recipe is so easy to make, and it makes super creamy tahini that tastes much better than anything you can buy at the store. It’s ready in less than 15 minutes!

Homemade Tahini Recipe Video

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

Store-bought jars of tahini can be expensive. Homemade tahini is not only cheaper, but it also tastes amazing. Use tahini to make homemade hummustahini dressingtahini sauce, and more!

Homemade Tahini

Key Ingredients

  • Sesame seeds: I use hulled seeds (pictured below on the left) and toast them in a dry skillet to bring out their natural nuttiness.
  • Oil: I add a few tablespoons of neutral-flavored oil to help the tahini turn into a creamy smooth paste. Try avocado oil, extra-virgin olive oil, or vegetable oil. Sesame oil (not toasted sesame oil) also works.
  • Salt: Optional, but I always use it. It just makes the tahini taste better.

How to Make Homemade Tahini

Tahini is incredibly simple to make. You will grind sesame seeds in a food processor with some oil until smooth. If you’ve ever made nut butter like almond butter or homemade peanut butter, the process is very similar.

Toasting sesame seeds for tahini

Toasted sesame seeds make our tahini taste even better! Toast them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often and watching them closely until they turn golden.

Toss your toasted seeds into the food processor. Process until they form a crumbly paste. A powerful food processor helps, but most standard ones will work, too. (I’ve included tips for using a blender below the recipe.) It’s going to go through a few stages. First, the seeds break down into a crumbly mixture that honestly doesn’t really look like it’s going to turn into tahini. Then, it eventually breaks down even more and becomes the creamy tahini we are looking for.

How to Make Tahini - Blending sesame seeds to make tahini in a food processor

Adding a few tablespoons of mild-tasting oil is helpful. This helps the tahini become more smooth, creamy, and drippy. You can use less oil, but the tahini won’t be as easy to pour. I find 3 to 4 tablespoons perfect for a texture like store-bought tahini. Process a bit more, scraping down the bowl as needed, and your tahini is now ready to use!

Ways to Use Tahini

The most well-known way to use tahini is to make hummus, but we use it in our kitchen in many other ways. We use tahini to make other dips like baba ganoush (a roasted eggplant dip) and serve it plain next to homemade falafel.

It’s also the perfect base for sauces and dressings. Look at our tahini salad dressing or this creamy tahini sauce with lemon and garlic. I also use that creamy sauce for this tahini kale salad, a dip for our garlic asparagus, these chicken lettuce wraps, and a drizzle for honey roasted carrots.

You can even use tahini for desserts. Seriously. Drizzle over ice cream or use it instead of peanut butter or butter in your favorite cookies. 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!

Quick and Easy Tahini

Easy Tahini Recipe

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

Making tahini at home is easy and cheaper than buying it from the store. I also think it tastes better! For the best deals, look for sesame seeds in bulk bins or at International, Asian, and Middle Eastern markets.

While you can make tahini from unhulled, sprouted, or hulled sesame seeds, we prefer hulled seeds.

Makes approximately 1/2 Cup

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

1 cup (140g) sesame seeds, we prefer hulled

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

Pinch of salt, optional

Directions

    1Add sesame seeds to a wide, dry saucepan over medium-low heat and toast, stirring constantly, until the seeds become fragrant and turn light golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Stay close and keep stirring, as the seeds can burn quickly.

    2Add the toasted sesame seeds to the bowl of a food processor, then process until a crumbly paste, about 1 minute.

    3Add 2 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 of times.

    4Check the tahini’s consistency. It should be smooth, not gritty, and should be pourable. You may need to process for another minute and add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of oil.

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

    6Store tahini in an airtight container in the fridge for one month.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Storing: Keep tahini in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for a month. After some time in the fridge, it might separate like natural peanut butter. To fix this, stir it well before using it.
  • Sprouted and black sesame seeds: You can make tahini from sprouted or black sesame seeds. If you have sprouted your seeds at home, make sure that you dry and toast them before making the tahini.
  • Unhulled sesame seeds: Tahini made from unhulled sesame seeds tastes more bitter and isn’t as smooth as when made from hulled seeds. I recommend using hulled seeds.
  • Sesame seeds not processing: The sesame seeds take a minute or two to start breaking down (watch our video for reference). If your seeds are whirling around your processor bowl, you may need a higher-powered processor, or the blade may be sitting above the seeds. If you think this is the case, try increasing the sesame seeds in the bowl.
  • Blender: I prefer using my food processor, but if you have a high-powered blender, you should be able to make tahini. As you blend, stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the blender to incorporate all the seeds.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1 tablespoon / Calories 136 / Protein 3g / Carbohydrate 5g / Dietary Fiber 3g / Total Sugars 0g / Total Fat 12g / Saturated Fat 2g / Cholesterol 0mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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375 comments… Leave a Review
  • Zelda July 8, 2024, 2:10 am

    Delicious recipe & SO easy to make! This one will definitely be on repeat in my house.

    Reply
  • Greg shea July 6, 2024, 4:57 pm

    Great recipes! I Will de sure to try them all.greg, thanks!

    Reply
  • Lance June 23, 2024, 9:39 am

    I accidentally bought unhulled sesame seeds. They absolutely don’t work. So make sure to buy the hulled ones.

    Reply
  • Brenda June 8, 2024, 7:18 am

    This is great Tahini. I won’t ever go back to store bought. A “Must Try”

    Reply
  • Di Franks May 28, 2024, 4:44 am

    Just posted a review but forgot to ask …. can this be frozen? I ask because I live on my own and find it so hard to make things just for one person without having to eat it for days in a row, lol. Thank you

    Reply
    • Joanne May 28, 2024, 2:36 pm

      Hi there, you can freeze tahini for about 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

      Reply
  • Di Franks May 28, 2024, 4:41 am

    This was so easy to make, can’t believe how easy. Also so pleased you give the gram conversion for cup measurements. Being from the UK – we don’t use cups as measurements and looking for conversions, pages don’t always agree.

    Reply
  • Alec May 16, 2024, 11:58 pm

    I don’t comment as a rule, but I just have to say, “Brilliant! 6 Stars!

    Reply
    • Joanne May 17, 2024, 12:08 pm

      Hi Alec, I’m thrilled you broke your rule for us. So happy you enjoyed the tahini!

      Reply

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