How to Make Tahini

A jar of tahini paste with a spoonful of tahini running down to a jar

This recipe will teach you how to make tahini at home – fast and easy, 2 ingredients, no special equipment required. 

If you are reading this post, you probably never make tahini before – it’s not one of those recipes you would revisit. You know why? Because it is so rediculously easy to make tahini. Really, blend sesame seeds with olive oil – done! Nothing to remember. If you make it once there is a chance you will never again buy it at the store. Making tahini at home is much cheaper and may be less time-consuming, since it is not a product available at every store. It remains a cooking ingredient many people stumble over  – too exotic, not always available. You can easily become one of those people who always have it at hand. It is a delicious product that will give a special twist to many of your cooking creations. Tahini is also great if you want to incorporate more calcium into your diet, especially so if you are allergic to dairy (like I am). Among plant-based foods sesame seeds are top-rated in terms of calcium content. But you are not gonna eat them in handfuls, right?

So now, let’s walk through nuances of making tahini taste really good. 

Ingredient and Cooking Notes

First of all, sesame seeds you use should be hulled (white and clean as opposed to brownish unhulled seeds) and fresh – otherwise your tahini might turn out a bit bitter. 

You may use raw sesame seeds but I find that roasting them makes it easier to blend them into a paste as the oil gets released more quickly. It also gives tahini a more rich roasted flavour. 

While roasting, be careful no to burn the seeds, it’s easily done. After 10 minutes in the oven, toss them carefully, and roast for 5 more minutes. This is how you want them to look when they are ready. 

A baking tray with roasted sesame seeds on a dark blue table

If you avoid excess oil, you may leave olive oil out of this recipe, but keep in mind that it helps to reach a soother and runnier consistency of the paste. 

And last but not least – blending! If you are in doubt – it’s not necessary to have some fancy equipment in order to blend sesame seeds. I use a very old, 10-year old, simple bowl blender with an s-knife, which has been working so hard for me, during all these years! I even use it to make nut butters and it handles them perfectly. 

Serving suggestions

Using tahini in hummus recipe is probably most common. If you are up to it, check out this Delicious Eggplant Hummus Recipe. But you can also use tahini in a variety of other ways – make delicious salad dressings, add it to smoothies, cookies, morning porridge, or simply mix it with honey and make it a yummy topping for your toast. I even added it to a cake frosting once. 

If you go ahead and make this recipe, please rate it and let me know how it worked out for you in the comments section below.  

How to make tahini

How to make tahini at home - quick and easy!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Active cooking time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dressing, Dip
Cuisine: American, dairy free, European, Gluten free, Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern
Servings: 340 grams (12 oz)

Ingredients

  • 300 g (2 cups) sesame seeds (hulled and white)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 165 C (330 F). Cover baking tray with a baking sheet. Evenly spread sesame seeds on a baking sheet. Send to the oven.
  • After 10 minutes, take out the seeds and toss. Send to the oven again for another 5 minutes. The seeds should turn slightly golden.
  • Take sesame seeds out of the oven, and let cool for several minutes. Place them in a high speed blender (or food processor), and blend, scraping the sides regularly, until the paste starts to come together. As you blend, the paste will start to get thinner and runnier. The whole process should take about 10 minutes. When the paste becomes smooth and liquid, add 4 tablespoons of oil and blend for 1 more minute. Your tahini paste is ready!

Notes

  1. Tahini can be made out of raw sesame seeds, but I find that roasting makes the seeds more responsive to blending, and they turn into a runny paste faster. Besides it gives the paste a more nutty, roasted flavour. 
  2. Olive oil should be added towards the end of blending, when sesame seeds have released their own oil. 

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