Easy Homemade Tahini Paste

how to make homemade tahini paste recipe sesame seeds olive oil easy fast

The scenario you’re all familiar with:  Really in the mood for some homemade hummus.  Garbanzo beans?  Check.  Olive oil?  Check.  Lemons?  Check.  Garlic?  Check.  Tahini paste?  Dang it.

Don’t let that stop you again.  It’s super simple to make yourself and tastes even better than store-bought!

Well, I was craving hummus and didn’t have any tahini on-hand, so I quickly whipped some up and made a fabulous batch of hummus with it.  As quick and easy as it is to make, it’s rather pointless buying it at the store.  For one, you usually end up with waaaaay more than you need and the rest often goes to waste.  Secondly, it’s quite a lot cheaper to make it yourself.  Thirdly, it tastes so much fresher and bolder!

So quick and simple to make, tahini paste is simply sesame seeds that are toasted and ground up with olive oil to make a paste.

Tahini prep 1

So there really is no excuse to forego your hummus craving because you don’t have any tahini on hand.  Just keep some sesame seeds on hand and you’ll always be ready to roll.

BUT WAIT!  I can read your mind.  You’re thinking, “So is that all that tahini is used for?  Hummus?”

NO!

Tahini is a popular staple in Middle Eastern, Greek, and East Asian cooking.  Here are just a few ways tahini is used:

* Tahin Pekmez is a popular dip in Turkey.  It has the reputation as being the Turkish PBJ because it’s made with tahini (which has kind of a peanut-buttery taste) and grape molasses.  Sound like a winning combination?  It is!

* In Greece it’s a popular condiment in which to dip pita and souvlaki (grilled meat kabobs).

*  In Israel it’s a staple topping for falafel and shwarma.  It’s also used to make halva-like treats.

* In East Asia in commonly used in noodle dishes.

* Throughout the Middle East it’s used in sauces for meats and vegetables.

 

As for tahini’s nutritional content:  Tahini is relatively high in calcium and protein and is an excellent source of copper, zinc, iron, manganese, amino acids, and omega 3 and omega 6 oils.  Those nutrients help fight inflammation and are provide great cardiovascular support.  They also contribute to immune support.  Just one tablespoon of tahini has roughly 26 percent of the recommended daily intake of copper and 9 to 12 percent of zinc, iron and selenium.  Not bad, huh?

This recipe uses one cup of sesame seeds which will make about 3/4 cup tahini paste, depending on how much olive oil you use.  How much olive oil you use will depend on how thick you want the paste.  You’ll need at least 3 tablespoons of olive oil and possibly up to 1/3 cup.

*Shopping Tip:  Buy sesame seeds in bulk.  Buying the in tiny bags or cans with just a few ounces can be very expensive.  You can buy sesame seeds in the bulk sections of some grocery stores.  Or you can buy them online here for a good price:  HERE and HERE.

Let’s get started!

Heat a clean, dry cast iron or heavy duty skillet over medium high heat and add the sesame seeds.  Stir frequently until they begin to turn golden brown and then stir constantly.  Be careful, sesame seeds burn very easily.

Tahini prep 2

You definitely don’t want burnt sesame seeds (they taste awful!), but you do want them generously golden brown for optimal flavor.

Tahini prep 3

Once they’re toasted, let them cool a few minutes then add them to a food processor.

Tahini prep 4

Start by adding 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Process the mixture into a paste, scraping down the sides.  Add more olive oil until you reach the desired consistency.  If you’re using it to make hummus, the paste should be fairly thickly “pourable” (like in the main recipe picture above).

Tahini prep 5

Store the tahini paste in the refrigerator in an airtight jar.  Will keep for several months.

how to make homemade tahini paste recipe sesame seeds olive oil easy fast

And now that you’ve made your tahini, you’ll of course want to make some hummus, right?  RIGHT!

So here you go!

Creamy Hummus With Homemade Tahini Paste (click for recipe)

homemade hummus recipe garbanzo beans tahini Middle Eastern easy fast how to make

Or here’s a delicious recipe for Spiced Chicken Kabobs with Tahini Yogurt Sauce:

chicken kabobs tahini yogurt sauce recipe

Interested in other great homemade condiments?  Try this BEST HOMEMADE TERIYAKI SAUCE!

best homemade teriyaki sauce recipe easy Japanese mirin sake authentic traditional

 

Homemade Tahini Paste
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
:
Serves: Makes just under ¾ cup
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat a clean, dry cast iron or heavy duty skillet over medium high heat and add the sesame seeds. Stir frequently until they begin to turn golden brown and then stir constantly. Be careful, sesame seeds burn very easily.
  2. Once they're toasted, let them cool a few minutes then add them to a food processor.
  3. Start by adding 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Process the mixture into a paste, scraping down the sides. Add more olive oil until you reach the desired consistency (*see Note)
  4. Makes a little less than ¾ cup tahini paste, depending on how much olive oil you use.
  5. Store the tahini paste in the refrigerator in an airtight jar. Will keep for several months.
Notes
* The texture may be slightly gritty, which isn't a problem, you won't notice it at all when you use it to make hummus for example. But if you want it a little smoother you can run it again through a high-powered food blender (I used my Vitamix).

* Instead of olive oil you can also use sesame oil, but olive oil is traditional. (Use raw sesame oil, not toasted, or the tahini will have an overpowering "Chinese food" flavor.)

 

73 Responses

  1. jesusan

    wrote on

    Kimberly, I am so glad you posted this. I had been planning to make tahini, but did not know it would require the addition of oil. All the nut butters I make don’t require anything beyond the nuts. I guess, given the fact of the existence of sesame oil, I’m surprised that there is any need to add oil to the seeds.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Susan, sesame seeds most definitely have their own oil content, but to achieve the smooth consistency of tahini paste, extra oil is added. You can omit it if you prefer (for a thick/rough consistency) but if you’re using it to make Middle Eastern dips, like hummus, you’ll have to make up for it by adding even more oil later, so it’s just as well to add it to the paste in the first place.

      • The Daring Gourmet

        wrote on

        On a side note, you can also use sesame oil instead of olive oil but be sure it’s raw and not toasted sesame oil or you’re Middle Eastern dishes will taste more Chinese :) Olive oil is what’s most commonly used though.

      • jesusan

        wrote on

        Thanks, Kimberly. I will follow your advice. It would be a pleasure to make my own, because I’ll bet it would be much easier to stir than the stuff in a can (I think the brand was Aladdin) I used to buy at a Lebanese grocery in Los Angeles, many, many years ago.

        • The Daring Gourmet

          wrote on

          Sure thing, Susan. If you do try and make it without adding the extra oil and come out with a successful consistency, let me know. In olden days they would traditionally grind the roasted sesame seeds with a pestle and mortar and as far as I’m aware, wouldn’t add any extra oil. I think the key is probably super fresh sesame seeds. The ones we buy at the store have been sitting on the shelves for so long that their oil content has been largely dried out. So even “traditional” tahini recipes today call for extra oil.

  2. Brandy R.

    wrote on

    Made it!! I used it to make hummus – SO good! Thank you!!!!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      You’re so welcome, Brandy! I love how easy it is to make and how convenient when you need it last minute.

  3. Patricia S.

    wrote on

    I made this for the first time and used it to make your hummus recipe. It was amazing!! It’s honestly the best hummus I’ve ever had and I’m never buying tahini paste again. This has so much more flavor. Thanks so much for this recipe. LOVE your site! Patricia

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      That’s wonderful, Patricia, I’m so pleased you enjoyed it! The homemade tahini really does make a big difference in the flavor of the hummus. I’m never buying tahini again!

  4. Reen

    wrote on

    Hi, can I use vegetable oil instead of olive oil?

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Reen, yes you can!

  5. Zovik

    wrote on

    Thank you for sharing! Little suggestion from a Lebanese lady, Olive oil is delicious and I use it in gallons. But, for the Tahini paste, using peanut oil it’s how to be done! So, the texture of Hummus will not change, stays ETHNIC . I use tahini so much, I make Hummus, Mutabbal etc…. Try the recipe and let me know! Olive oil will go on top of the Hummus as a decoration and dipping purpose. I sprinkle cumin, paprika on the sides of my Hummus and I add my home made hot red pepper paste in the center, OLive oil on top, my guests stir it all together to start eating , I get little edgy :) and I correct them how to eat it! They laugh! Thank you!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Zovik! Thank you for your feedback – I really like the addition of the red pepper paste in the center. It’s interesting you mention that. My husband and I just got back from a trip to Los Angeles and I found a wonderful Lebanese bakery there. We arrived at the perfect time to find find the breads freshly baked and still hot. We tried several savory Lebanese pastries – filled with spicy meat and cheese. We also had two kinds of flatbread – one sprinkled with olive oil and za’atar (one of my favorite spice blends, I make my own) and another smothered with red pepper paste, dotted with black olives, and sprinkled with cheese. They were all delicious. I was able to chat with the owners for a while about Lebanese and Middle Eastern food. Next door was also a Middle Eastern grocery store. I wanted to pick up a bottle of that red pepper paste, but we had only brought carry-on luggage so we wouldn’t have been able to take it on the plane. But that’s okay, because I want to make some homemade anyway :) I was so thrilled to have found that bakery and grocery store just outside of LA. Such friendly people, a very well-stocked grocery store, and wonderful baked goods. Next time we go to LA, we’ll be stopping there again!

  6. Zovik

    wrote on

    Hello! So I tried to make Tahini paste with Sesame oil, it was AMAZING! But, peanut oil is cheaper! Friends, anyone needs tips for Lebanese cooking or infos, I love cooking, I feed my friends and give food to people constantly! My joy is to cook and watch people smiling while eating! Thank you!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Zovik, I’m happy you enjoyed it and thanks for your feedback!

  7. Anonymous

    wrote on

    I get bulk sesame seeds at a mid-eastern specialty store for 2.99 a pound

  8. Mark

    wrote on

    Thanks it’s good when you have trouble buying something you finds easy to make your,it’s a good feeling

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      It sure is, Mark! Especially when it’s not only cheaper to make yourself but tastes even better than store-bought!

  9. Anonymous

    wrote on

    thak you dear it sounds so easyin onesfact was checking whether my tahini made a few mins ago matches with the prof one got it right

  10. Jake

    wrote on

    Is there any reason why one cannot use raw sesame seeds in this recipe?

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Jake, it’s the toasting process that gives the tahini its flavor.

  11. Anonymous

    wrote on

    wow, ok that was simple. Now I have bragging rights to make tahini, which sound so mysterious. Friends go “oohh tahini, you must really know how to cook….”
    But my hummus was a little dry, think I left out too much chickpea broth.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Haha, that’s awesome! It really is simple – and cheaper and tastes better. Yes, hummus always needs to be tweaked a little until you reach the consistency you want. If it’s dry simply add a little more liquid from the chickpea can or some more olive oil.

  12. Lynn

    wrote on

    I have a jar of already toasted sesame seeds. Will that affect the taste of the tahini?

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Lynn, it won’t be quite as flavorful (fresh roasting makes a big difference) and you may need to use a little extra oil since some of the natural oil in the jarred toasted sesame seeds may have been lost. Other than that, you can definitely use them.

  13. Bob

    wrote on

    hey,
    just a note: there are those who use peanut oil or vegetable oil, and that is ok for them. However, the olive oil or sesame oil is much healthier. thanks for the recipe….my diet calls for tahini paste…I guess the hummus is pretty much the same…

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      I avoid vegetable oil like the plague that it is, Bob, and peanut oil isn’t much better. Definitely, olive oil is much, much healthier. As long as your diet approves of legumes, then yes, hummus is a fantastic, healthy snack to add to your regimen.

  14. wrote on

    Tahini is made using ground sesame seeds. It is additionally called sesame glue or sesame spread. It is similar to nutty spread yet produced using sesame seeds. There are a few accessible choices when you buy tahini.

    The principal thought in terms of picking a tahini is whether to buy an item produced using unhulled or hulled sesame seeds. Tahini produced using unhulled sesame seeds is more supplement rich than tahini produced using hulled seeds, however it is likewise bitterer; this sort of tahini is typically alluded to as sesame spread. Since both renditions would even now settle on for good sustenance decisions, you can let your taste buds choose which sort the one produced using hulled seeds or the one produced using unhulled seeds—is all the more satisfying to you.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks for the information, kobimedya! That was my understanding as well, that unhulled sesame seeds would yield a more bitter flavor and, being unhulled, also wouldn’t toast as nicely. But certainly, for anyone who prefers the more bitter flavor unhulled seeds can be used as well.

  15. Funmi

    wrote on

    Thanks for sharing this! will definitely be giving this a go as I try to make as much as I can at home now and being a hummus lover (actaully eating some as I type this) this was going to be the next on my list. :)

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks, Funmi! I’m a huge hummus fan, too, and being able to make your own tahini is indispensable!

  16. Brian

    wrote on

    What is it supposed to taste like. I didn’t add any salt, toasted the hulled sesame seeds, added 3+2 tbsp olive oil and I find it very sesame seedy in flavor but not very tasty. Even slightly bitter. Is this right? Should I have added salt or some other seasoning. With salt I bet it would taste really good. I’m going to use it in Hummus. I’ve never tasted Tahini before, so I’m kinda in the dark. Please let me know if I did it right. Thanks!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Brian! Yes, it has a very strong sesame flavor and is slightly bitter. It’s definitely something I wouldn’t enjoy eating on its own. But just wait until you add it to your hummus – delicious!

      • Brian

        wrote on

        I added it to my slow cooker chick peas and made hummus. The hummus was wonderful. Thanks!

        • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

          wrote on

          Excellent, thanks for your feedback, Brian!

  17. Brian

    wrote on

    P.S. My sesame seeds roasted looked exactly like your pictures. The thickly pour-able texture was also achieved. I’m just unsure of the taste. Thanks!

  18. Cathy Thorne

    wrote on

    I’ve made this tahini paste three times now and it’s perfect, taste and texture. The flavor is robust and makes my hummus taste better than it ever tasted with the store bought tahini. I’ll never buy store bought again, this is so quick and easy to make and tastes so much better. Thank you!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Awesome! It’s true, nothing beats homemade for flavor. So happy you like it, Cathy, and thanks for the feedback!

  19. Carolyn

    wrote on

    If you buy the seeds in bulk, can they be frozen to keep longer? I love hummus, but my husband is not a big fan.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi, Carolyn! Yes, the seeds can absolutely be frozen in an airtight container or bag.

  20. wrote on

    Hi thanks for the recipe, I’ve been searching for tahani in all our local supermarkets for over a week now as, yeah you guessed it I’m making humus!!! Thanks again.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Awesome! So happy you found this, Sarah – happy tahini and hummus making!

  21. carolyn

    wrote on

    Hi,
    I have brown sesame seeds. Your picture looks white, does it matter? I’m looking forward to making tahini and hummus from your recipes.
    thanks,
    Carolyn

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Carolyn! It sounds like what you have may be unhulled sesame seeds. You can use those as well, but they’ll impart a slightly more bitter taste. Once the tahini is mixed in with the hummus that will help temper the bitterness though.

  22. wrote on

    […] buy on my list was tahini paste (it had plastic sealing the lid). But apparently, tahini paste is quite easy to make, so I instead got bulk sesame seeds to toast, grind and mix with some olive oil. I’ll see how […]

  23. wrote on

    […] TAHINI PASTE 1 lb. (4 c.) hulled, white sesame seeds 5-6 T. olive oil Carefully toast sesame seeds to golden brown by cooking 1 c. at a time in dry cast iron frying pan over med. low heat. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Place in glass container to cool a few minutes then add to food processor. Process to crumbly paste, about 3″. Add 1/4 c. oil through feed tube. Process to smooth paste, about 3″. Add 1 T. oil as needed to form paste to thick pouring consistency. Store paste in airtight jar in refrigerator for several months. Makes about 3 c. tahini paste. Adapted from Daring Gourmet. […]

  24. wrote on

    One of the backbones of Middle Eastern food is tahini, a ground glue produced using sesame seeds. In Arabic and Hebrew, it is known as techinah, while the Turkish word, tahin, is clearly nearly related. The base of the statement seems, by all accounts, to be an Arabic word signifying “to pound,” which is likewise utilized as a base for different words portraying ground nourishments, for example, flour. Dissimilar to sesame glue, a famous fixing in Asian food, tahini is produced using sesame seeds which have been hulled, so it is a more refined item, and it likewise has less healthful quality, as the external packaging of the sesame seeds has been uprooted. What’s more, tahini has a tendency to be lighter in shade than Asian sesame glue.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks for the info!

  25. Allegra Daisy

    wrote on

    Thank you for the great recipe and all the information. In addition to the olive oil, I used a small amount of Meyer lemon oil. I love my hummus garlicky and lemony, so that little addition of the concentrated lemon oil really brightened the Tahiti up.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      The addition of the Meyer lemon oil sounds great, thanks for the feedback!

  26. Donna

    wrote on

    My husband is on a diet….what is the calorie or carbohydrates per serving….what is a serving….
    I thought this would be a great snack with some taste to do the Hummus with some grilled veggies….
    Please help….Donna

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Donna, I haven’t figured the calorie/carb content. The easiest way to figure it out would be to visit a website like “calorie count” or “fitday” and enter in the ingredients. It will give you a complete breakdown of the nutritional content.

  27. wrote on

    Hi, how long should it take to process the sesame seeds in a food processor? I’m using a really good Cuisinart but it’s taking so long and I haven’t even reached a slightly runny consistency yet. In fact it’s still very thick and slightly grainy. I have added more oil but i’ve been going for over 10 mins now processing! Should it take longer or do i just need to keep adding more oil? Many thanks :)

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Andrea, yes, it sounds like you just need a little more oil. How fresh the sesame seeds are can impact how much oil is needed – the fresher the seeds the more natural oils will still be in them. Some stores carry seeds that have been sitting on the shelves or in warehouses for a long time and their natural oils dry out over time.

  28. Anonymous

    wrote on

    how long will the tahini paste last? Would it need to be refrigerated?

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      It will keep for several months – refrigerated is best to prevent it from going rancid.

  29. spicycook

    wrote on

    I’m soo going to make this…been looking for Tahini paste all day.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Awesome, spicycook! Let us know how it goes!

  30. wrote on

    Hi! Is there a difference between using white sesame seeds and black sesame seeds?

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      You can use either, but the black will obviously dramatically change the color of the tahini and whatever else you’re using it in. I have not tried it with black sesame seeds and so I can’t vouch for any flavor differences. But white sesame seeds are what are most commonly used for tahini.

  31. wrote on

    This is going to sound sacrilegious but if you are on a crazy tight budget and cannot afford Olive oil and the stupid stores won’t bring the 1L bottles down to 4$ so its in your budget. You CAN use canola oil to make it. Olive oil is much healthier and gives it a nice flavour but don’t let your budget keep you down. I made it this way and made Hummus from scratch with it(Including using dry chickpees and cooking them in the slow cooker) and it came out delicious.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Camille, thanks for your input! You know though, I’ve see lots of brands of olive oil that are no more expensive than canola oil. I always marvel how expensive canola oil is such awful, awful stuff.

  32. Sherri

    wrote on

    Yes. Made it. Terrific. Made Hummus with it with Ina’s recipe.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Awesome, glad you liked the tahini, Sherri! Nothing beats the flavor of homemade, the flavor is so robust!

  33. wrote on

    Can you put the sesame seeds in with the chickpeas and process them all together at the same time to make the hummus?

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Kendra, good question! The tahini is super duper concentrated and I don’t think you’d get the same amount of flavor by adding sesame seeds to the chickpeas. Plus, I think the biggest problem would be texture – it would be more difficult to get a smooth consistency if you’re not processing it separately. My fear is it would be really gritty. If you try it though, let us know how it goes!

  34. Carol W

    wrote on

    When toasting my sesame seeds I think I may have let them get too dark? The paste tastes sort of bitter (and I’m not sure if it’s a normal tahini flavour or literally a “burnt” taste). I stirred and stirred the seeds in the pan but had trouble getting them to all brown evenly. Would I have been better to quit while some were still very pale in order to keep others from getting too dark brown? And is dark brown pretty much “burnt” when it comes to sesame seeds?

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Carol, yes, dark brown is burnt. But the paste is going to taste somewhat bitter anyway (ie, it doesn’t taste good on its own, only when it’s mixed in something). Yes, with the next batch you’ll want to quit toasting them sooner, even if not all of them are light brown (that’s okay). It takes a little getting used to – sesame seeds take a little while to start changing color but once they do they go really fast!

  35. Carol W

    wrote on

    Thanks very much, Kimberly! I’ll err on the side of lighter with the next batch. You’re so right about how they seem to do nothing for several minutes, then change fast!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you, Anindita, enjoy!

  36. wrote on

    Is this the same way to make it if you are going to make Halvah? :D Or does it have to be thicker/thinner?

    (and as a “side note”, how do YOU pronounce “Halvah”? I was raised in an Italian / Greek community, and we pronounce it: hal * VAH with the accent at the end. When I traveled to Turkey, and then Greece, I found the Greeks pronounced it as I do, but the Turks pronounced it the opposite way, as HAL vuh…. and that it the way my Jewish friend David pronounces it, too…. so how do YOU pronounce it?) :D

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Bella! Yes, tahini is a common ingredient in halva and if I were using it to make halva I’d probably want it to be a thicker consistency. You know, I don’t know which syllable should technically get the greater emphasis, it probably is dependent on which country/region you’re in. I personally pronounce it “HAL-vuh” :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] TAHINI PASTE 1 lb. (4 c.) hulled, white sesame seeds 5-6 T. olive oil Carefully toast sesame seeds to golden brown by cooking 1 c. at a time in dry cast iron frying pan over med. low heat. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Place in glass container to cool a few minutes then add to food processor. Process to crumbly paste, about 3″. Add 1/4 c. oil through feed tube. Process to smooth paste, about 3″. Add 1 T. oil as needed to form paste to thick pouring consistency. Store paste in airtight jar in refrigerator for several months. Makes about 3 c. tahini paste. Adapted from Daring Gourmet. […]

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