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

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. 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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166 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Monica August 19, 2016, 8:07 pm

    Amazing! Thank you! It never occurred to me to make my own tahina. No more store bought for me!

  • Barbara Sulpizio August 14, 2016, 1:54 pm

    Your Tahini recipe is awesome! I was making hummus today and did not have any Tahini on hand. I usually buy some; it’s expensive. I did have a bag of sesame seeds in stock. The recipe was incredibly easy and tasted even better than the store bought one. Thank you!

  • mich August 6, 2016, 5:32 am

    which food processor do you use for the tahini and hummus?

    • Joanne August 11, 2016, 12:42 pm

      Hi Mich, We have used a few in our kitchen — Cuisinart, KitchenAid and Magimix are all nice options.

  • Jhanvi July 12, 2016, 1:40 am

    Honestly, even more than the recipe itself I have been staring at this page because of your incredibly sweet and concerned responses to everyone 🙂

  • Tony June 21, 2016, 9:50 pm

    For the oil, why not use sesame oil?

    • Joanne June 22, 2016, 1:03 pm

      Hi Tony, Sesame oil works perfectly (just make sure it isn’t toasted sesame oil).

    • Terry September 8, 2016, 7:17 pm

      Making hummus with home made tahini is such a healthy alternative to processed hummus. A factory is not controlling the ingredients
      granted, you have to soak the chick peas overnight and then cook them the next day, but it is worth it, vs canned but it is worth your time.
      My concern is that all the ingredients should be free of GMO corn/soy as in ‘vegetable oil’ and ‘canola’ which is also a GMO hybrid. We can all describe an ‘olive’ and a ‘coconut’ but not a ‘canola.’ There is no such thing CAN=canada O=oil and LA=low acidic It is a fabricated CHEAP oil.
      Never thought of sesame oil, always used olive oil, so will give it a try.

      • nkemp September 29, 2016, 3:14 pm

        yes, it wouldn’t sell well as rape oil!

      • Denimlee October 31, 2016, 11:50 am

        Canola is a cultivar of rapeseed bred to be low in erucic acid. As a term canola may refer to both an edible oil produced from the seed of any of several varieties of the Brassicaceae family of plants, … Wikipedia

  • Ance June 2, 2016, 3:25 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. Wonder why storebought tahini is gooey, but not the homemade ones.

  • liz May 13, 2016, 5:58 am

    Always wanted to try tahini but at NZ$9 a jar it was never going to happen. Then I came across your recipe and found sesame seeds on special today. Deeelish! Thank you so much.

    • Marilyn Johnson July 29, 2016, 8:21 pm

      Sesame seeds are way cheaper at Indian stores than anywhere else.

      • Carol Rebeck December 28, 2016, 1:24 pm

        New to this site, and am looking forward to making my own Tahini. Thanks for the tip Marilyn. I will check out the Indian store for sesame seeds.

  • Robin May 1, 2016, 11:56 pm

    I thought hummus was made out of chickpeas? Thx

    • Joanne May 18, 2016, 1:36 pm

      Hi Robin, Hummus is made out of chickpeas. Tahini is a common ingredient in hummus as well.

  • hazbaz April 21, 2016, 4:36 am

    I tried your tahini in hummmus…..awesome….I need garlic sauce recipe exactly like restaurant ….plz post that recipe too.

  • Colonel Tommy Johnson April 20, 2016, 8:51 pm

    Can you freeze and re-freeze Tahini or hummus or Babagouuj ?

    • Joanne May 18, 2016, 1:41 pm

      Yes, tahini, hummus and baba ganoush can be frozen. Make sure they are well sealed.


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