Easy Tahini Recipe – Better Than Store-bought

How to make our quick and easy tahini recipe that’s so much better than anything you can buy at the store. Plus, lots of suggestions for using it, other than hummus. Jump to the Tahini Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how to make it.

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.

What is Tahini?

Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds and is a staple in many cuisines, especially in the Mediterranean and Middle East.

Quick and Easy Tahini Recipe - Better Than Store Bought!

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.

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

Ways to Use Tahini

Arguably the most well known way to use tahini is when making hummus.

Better Than Store Bought Hummus RecipeHere’s Our Better Than Store Bought Hummus. It’s insanely easy to make plus this tahini recipe makes enough tahini for two batches of hummus!

Even though we are huge hummus geeks, we use tahini many other ways in our own kitchen.

Here’s a list for how to use tahini, other than in hummus, to start you off. 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!

The Cooking Channel has also put together a list of 25 recipes that use tahini — lots of their ideas sound great.

How to Make Our Tahini Recipe 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.

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.

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.

We 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!

Once 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!

Next, to help the tahini come to an extra smooth paste, we add a few tablespoons of neutral-flavored oil — we go for grape seed oil, vegetable, oil, canola oil or a light olive oil. You could eliminate 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.

Quick and Easy Tahini - Better Than Store Bought!

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. You can keep tahini covered in the refrigerator for a month, maybe a bit more.

Dreamy Tahini Sauce RecipeYOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Use this lemony, garlicky tahini sauce on anything — try it as a salad dressing, drizzled over vegetables and meats, spread it onto bread or toast, or simply serve as a dip. Jump to the Tahini Sauce Recipe.

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.

More light and easy recipes we love are Honey-Dijon Lettuce Wraps with hummus, this Easy Tahini Sauce that can be used on almost anything, and our Honey Roasted Carrots with Tahini Sauce drizzled on top.

Quick and Easy Tahini - Better Than Store Bought!

Easy Tahini Recipe – Better Than Store-bought

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

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

Directions

  • 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. Transfer toasted seeds to a baking sheet or large plate and cool completely. (Careful here, sesame seeds can burn quickly).

    • 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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206 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Yvette August 13, 2018, 3:38 pm

    I’ll NEVER buy store bought tahini AGAIN Luv, Luv, Luv this recipe 😘😘

    Reply
  • Wendy L Jones August 10, 2018, 1:56 pm

    This was ingenious! I tried it and compared it to store-bought Hummus. This taste is a lot ‘fresher’ and ‘cleaner’ than what comes out of a can. Thanks for the tip.

    Reply
  • Zhivko August 1, 2018, 2:04 pm

    Hi, I wanted to ask, why should I let sesame seeds to cool down. Is there a difference when I put them directly in the processor while they are still warm.

    Reply
  • Vera July 31, 2018, 2:35 pm

    Do you think I could make it in a coffee bean type grinder?

    Reply
    • Joanne November 16, 2018, 2:07 pm

      Hi Vera, We don’t recommend this. The cleanup might be difficult.

      Reply
  • Sandra Danoff July 25, 2018, 3:16 pm

    I buy the sesame seeds from the bulk foods section of local coop or at Asian grocery store. From these sources, 1 C costs about $1. I’ve added more oil 1/2 C versus 1/4 C in recipe but reduce additional oil in recipes. Love it!

    Reply
  • Juan Varela July 19, 2018, 9:20 pm

    If I use grape seed oil will it clash with the olive oil I intend to use in making hummus?

    Reply
    • Joanne July 26, 2018, 5:56 pm

      You should be just fine. Grape seed oil had a neutral flavor.

      Reply
  • Ksherell July 4, 2018, 12:36 am

    I make this tahini all the time and it turns out great. Your’s was the first I found a year ago and have made ever since. I did a youtube video about tahini and linked your recipe in my description box.

    Reply
  • Deborah Swisher May 14, 2018, 11:13 am

    Loved making think homemade. Used in roasted red pepper humus. Loved it. We are trying to eat what is healthier for our bodies with benfeits.

    Reply
  • Johni shir April 16, 2018, 5:05 am

    Hi, which food processor guys did u use here? Thanks

    Reply
    • Joanne May 2, 2018, 2:38 pm

      We used a Magimix food processor in the video.

      Reply
  • Cheryl April 6, 2018, 8:47 am

    Awesome taste and so easy to make. If only I had known! Thank you for the great recipe and fantastic directions!

    Reply
  • Swa March 26, 2018, 8:11 am

    Thanks for a great video on tahini. Loved it. Im going to give it a go.

    Reply
  • Shaun March 13, 2018, 12:56 pm

    Im wondering if Im doing something wrong. My primary goal is homemade hummus, for several reasons. But i see you talk about savings/value of making at home as well. 1cup of sesame seed is approx $10. That alone is more expensive than comparable locally made hummus similar to the amount of hummus made w/ this tahini via your hummus recipe. Sesame seed is very expesive, even in bulk. Any advice?

    Reply
  • Dave March 3, 2018, 4:56 pm

    Great the second time round, because I miss interpreted the method first time. To say the least, it was quite a journey and lessons learnt from first time. In short: seeds and oil to lightly color seeds messy, manual blender messy, hand held eclectic blender messy, purchase my first food processor sort out aftermath tahini. Continue to complete your humous recipe, oil, more oil… water. Result :] This time follow your recipe again and tahini looks like you video. Thanks

    Reply
  • Cyndi March 1, 2018, 1:36 am

    Very quick and easy. I used my nutribullet and was done within 5 minutes. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    Reply
  • Shamim Qutubuddin February 15, 2018, 9:03 am

    excellent

    Reply
  • lorraine February 11, 2018, 11:36 am

    Could I use carrots to make a hummus dip? Any other kind of veggie or do I need the chickpeas and combine it with cooked carrots?

    Reply
    • Joanne May 4, 2018, 12:30 pm

      Hi Lorraine, We recommend that you still use the chickpeas and then add in cooked carrots.

      Reply
  • nikki February 5, 2018, 8:30 pm

    Hi, I don’t have a food processor but I do have a powerful stick blender with a 2 cup mini processor. Do you think it could handle the job?

    Reply
    • Joanne May 4, 2018, 1:22 pm

      Hi Nikki, You might have to do some experimenting on your end. Since we have never tried this, it is hard for us to say whether or not it will work.

      Reply
  • Heather February 3, 2018, 12:45 pm

    Can I use coconut oil?

    Reply
    • Joanne May 4, 2018, 12:32 pm

      Hi Heather, While we have never tried it, you should be able to use coconut oil. Coconut oil will add a coconut flavor to the tahini (not necessarily a bad thing).

      Reply
  • Annie February 2, 2018, 1:46 pm

    Hi. I don’t have a food processor. Can I use a mixer for the same. Please reply

    Reply
    • Joanne May 4, 2018, 12:33 pm

      Hi Annie, If you mean a stand mixer (like a KitchenAid), you will have trouble breaking down the sesame seeds into a paste. You need something with blades — like a food processor or high powered blender.

      Reply
  • deb January 29, 2018, 3:37 pm

    thank you…simply amazing and simple….chickpeas have been put on my list of dried staples..so much you can do with them.

    Reply
  • Haley Weaver January 9, 2018, 10:22 am

    I’m excited to try this! I have some toasted sesame seeds (I bought them toasted). Is it ok to use those or are they processed differently?

    Reply
    • Joanne May 4, 2018, 1:21 pm

      Toasted sesame seeds will be great.

      Reply
  • Sarah January 3, 2018, 2:46 pm

    I tried this and I cant get it to come out smooth :/ my food processor must not be very good. Its very grainy even though its pourable.

    Reply
    • Joanne May 4, 2018, 1:21 pm

      Hi Sarah, it might be your processor. Even though it isn’t 100% smooth, you can probably still use it for other recipes like sauces and hummus since you will be adding the tahini to them.

      Reply
  • Glyn December 24, 2017, 2:11 pm

    Try the same process with pistachio nuts and loosen-up with a little water rather than oil. It’s so tasty.

    Reply
  • Linda Irby December 11, 2017, 11:37 pm

    I would make tahini first then make halva?

    Reply
  • Char December 3, 2017, 4:14 pm

    Looks great…can’t wait to try…Thanks for the info on Cuisinart. Just called them and they are sending out a replacement.First I had heard about the blades.

    Reply
  • Anina December 1, 2017, 10:26 am

    Hi! Can you freeze unused Tahini? Maybe in ice cube trays, if yes!!

    Reply
    • Joanne May 4, 2018, 1:20 pm

      Yes, you can! Ice cubes trays are an excellent idea.

      Reply
  • LaurenT November 19, 2017, 12:09 pm

    Ps. If that’s a Cuisinart food processor it’s been recalled for a dangerous blade. Looks like mine just FYI they’ll send a new one free. Besides being sooo sharp apparently it can break so you may have metal bits in your food.

    Reply
    • Joanne November 20, 2017, 6:52 pm

      Hi Lauren, there were some models recalled. Ours is not one of those models, but if you are in the market for a food processor, I’d do a quick check.

      Reply
  • LaurenT November 19, 2017, 12:05 pm

    Wow except for seeds all over the kitchen floor—my bad now have a pan handle silicone cover en route—this is AMAZING. Used it in hummus I made from dry beans. Best batch I’ve ever made! Hmmmm…is tahini for holiday gifts too weird?!

    Reply
  • Rhonda November 12, 2017, 10:39 pm

    Can I use roasted, salted sunflower kernels for the sesame seeds or are they two different items?

    Reply
    • Joanne November 13, 2017, 3:45 pm

      Hi Rhonda, they are different ingredients, however, you can definitely use sunflower kernels to make sunflower butter — which can be used in many of the same ways as tahini.

      Reply
    • Jeffrey Goldstein December 11, 2017, 10:10 am

      I’m starting to make it. I’d like to know how much tahini you get from a cup of sesame seeds and 3 tablespoons of oil so I can go directly into making hummus

      Reply
  • Geri Cassidy November 7, 2017, 8:52 pm

    That’s I will try this soon, thanks

    Reply

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