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Easy Homemade Tahini

This homemade tahini recipe is easy to make with only 1 ingredient – hulled sesame seeds – and is so much better than store-bought! Use sesame seed paste to make hummus, tahini sauce, or drizzle it on avocado toast!

side angle view of easy homemade tahini in a jar with items surrounding.

Tahini, aka sesame paste, is a staple ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine – most notably, it is the main ingredient in traditional hummus.

Since I make homemade Almond Butter from scratch, I thought, why not make homemade tahini too. And of course, it turned out just as good, if not better than store-bought, because I made it myself!

If you love tahini, you will love how simple and easy this homemade recipe is. With just 1 ingredient, it’s accessible, affordable, and so easy to make at home!

So without further ado, let’s get to it!

top down view of sesame seeds in a wooden bowl.

Tahini Ingredients

Tahini (sesame seed paste) is made with hulled sesame seeds (white or black). You can opt to toast the sesame seeds or use them raw (I typically use raw). Some tahini recipes add oil, but I prefer my tahini to be oil-free. It doesn’t need anything other than sesame seeds and maybe a pinch of salt!

Hulled sesame seeds can be found at most large grocery stores. Some stores sell them in bulk, so be sure to check the bulk section. You can also purchase them online. For this recipe, I’ve used Bob’s Red Mill Sesame Seeds. I also recommend Anthony’s Hulled Sesame Seeds from Amazon (affiliate link).

Sesame Seed Paste FAQs

Is tahini healthy?

Yes, not only is tahini delicious and versatile, but it’s healthy and nutritious. The main ingredient, sesame seeds, is rich in calcium and important B vitamins! Plus, they contain essential omega 3 & 6 and beneficial trace elements like copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese.

What does tahini taste like?

Tahini has a nutty flavor with a slight bitterness and tends to be an acquired taste. But once you become accustomed to its unique flavor, you will fall in love and want to use it in just about everything!

side by side photos showing the process of making tahini.

How To Make Tahini

Here is a quick overview of what you can expect with photos for reference. The process is similar whether using a food processor or blender.

  • Add the hulled sesame seeds, about 3 cups, to the cup of a food processor or high-speed blender cup, and start processing. You can also add the optional salt and/or garlic powder at this time.
  • After about 3 – 4 minutes, the sesame seeds will start to clump together, as shown above right.
side by side photos showing tahini recipe steps.
  • After 5 – 6 minutes, the sesame seeds are starting to warm up and turn into a paste (above left). Every so often, stop and scrape down the sides with a spatula.

side by side photos of fresh made tahini in food processor and poured into mason jar.
  • And after 8 – 10 minutes you’ll have yourself a creamy paste!

And that’s it – the hardest part is cleaning up!

Top Tips

  • Seed to paste ratio. 2 cups of sesame seeds will yield about 1 cup of tahini.
  • Use good equipment. Tahini is best suited for equipment with a good motor. I used the small bowl of the Elite 12 cup Cuisinart (affiliate link). It is a workhorse in the kitchen! A high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec Designer will also do the job with ease. But if you don’t have high-speed equipment, you can still make tahini. It just may not be as creamy and take a little extra time.
  • Make garlic sesame seed paste. When adding the sesame seeds, add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of garlic powder for a delicious garlic flavor sesame seed paste.
  • Using a blender is the quickest method. If using a high-speed blender, you can cut the processing time in half. Process the sesame seeds at medium speed. I recommend adding oil if using a blender.
  • Process longer for ultra-smooth tahini. For ultra-creamy sesame seed paste, blend for an extra 5 minutes. And if it’s not completely smooth, it will still be delicious!
side angle view of tahini dripping from a spoon over jar of tahini with items surrounding.

How To Store

  • Pantry: Tahini paste can be stored in the pantry for up to 1 – 2 months in an airtight container. If it separates, give a good stir before using. If you notice any funny smells or mold, discard immediately (I’ve never had this issue, but mention it just in case).
  • Refrigerator: I generally keep my tahini in the refrigerator to preserve maximum freshness. It will last for up to 6 months.

Ways to Use Tahini Paste

Now that you’ve made sesame seed paste, here are a few of my favorite ways to use it!

top down view of spoon in tahini with items surrounding.

If you try this sesame seed recipe or have a question, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

Homemade Tahini

Quick, easy, and oil-free, this homemade sesame seed paste is an essential and versatile ingredient to add to your healthy lifestyle!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: blender, food processor
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

optional ingredients

  • generous pinch of salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/22 tablespoons oil (sesame, light olive oil, avocado, canola, etc.) *see notes
  • 1/21 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

First, you may want to toast your seeds to bring out the most flavor, but this is optional. You want your seeds to become fragrant and slightly darker during the process. 

Toast your seeds one of two ways:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Place seeds on a roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet and roast for about 10 – 15 minutes making sure to move them around every few minutes so the seeds on the bottom don’t burn.

OR

  1. Dry roast over medium-low heat in a skillet using one cup at a time (add more or less depending on your skillet). Be sure to move the seeds around frequently to ensure that they don’t burn.

Process the sesame seeds: Once you have toasted your seeds and they have cooled a bit, place them in your food processor or high-speed blender (add optional salt/garlic powder), and process until creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. The process will take approximately 5 – 10 minutes to blend depending on your equipment.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Store: Keep in the pantry for 1 month (maybe more), in an airtight container. For maximum freshness, store it in the fridge for up to 6 months.

Notes

Seed to paste ratio. 2 cups of sesame seeds will yield about 1 cup of tahini.

Use good equipment. I recommend a food processor or high-speed blender such as Vitamix.

Make garlic tahini. When adding the sesame seeds, add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of garlic powder for a delicious garlic flavor sesame seed paste.

Using a blender is the quickest method. If using a high-speed blender, you can cut the processing time in half. Process the sesame seeds at medium speed. I recommend adding oil with the blender method.

Process extra for ultra-smooth paste. For ultra-creamy tahini, let the paste continue to blend for an extra 5 minutes. Don’t worry if it doesn’t become completely smooth, it will still be delicious!

Adding oil. This will help it process faster. I would use 1 tablespoon of oil for every 2 cups of sesame seeds used. Add oil once the sesame seeds start to clump together. If using a blender, I recommend adding oil.

Updated: This recipe was originally published in October 2012. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in February 2021.

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53 Comments

  1. MOHAMED SAYED says:

    Hi there, I accidentally came across the about conversations. I thoroughly enjoyed going through the interesting talks. Am very health conscious person. I buy my tahini past and use it on my homemade gourmet sandwich full of homegrown organic salad leaves.
    I’d like to thank you all for sharing your personal experiences. Well done and keep up with the noble work.
    With kind regards.
    M O.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hello :-) First I want to tell you how much I'm really glad that I, accidentally, found your blog. Absolutely beautiful and healthy recipes. Thank you so much for sharing. Also, I want to ask you if you used a specific kind of sesame seeds? Are those peeled seeds? Because I just wanted to make my own tahini and I so failed! :D I used seeds with its peel. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words. Sorry you had a failed recipe but keep trying. I used regular sesame seeds from Bob's Red Mill. They are not hulled and have the skin, or peel. I might suggest blending for longer or adding a smidge of oil as needed. Just when you think you're tahini is ready, blend a minute or two more. It may also be your blender/processor that is not doing the job right. Best of luck with your next batch. You can still try to continue blending your batch and see if it helps. :)

  3. Anonymous says:

    I love tahini so much that I have been making it for quite awhile. This is because I can eat it straight out of the jar like some people eat peanut or almond butter…I make my own almond butter too for this reason!!!! So small batches for dressings or hummus it a good thing for me :-)

  4. You're welcome Victoria! Tahini is on the bitter side. It will grow on you and you'll find lots of uses for it. I have adapted tahini to be my to go ingredient when creating creamy salad dressings. I love it in place of using cashews. I've had great luck with it and it fills that desire when the craving strikes. I haven't used tahini by itself, like on toast as I see some rave about, but it's a definite staple in my home. :)

  5. I tried making a small batch today (1 cup sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil). It didn't come out like your picture. Mine had a consistency closer to a packaged thai curry paste (not sure if that helps with explaining it), its quite thick and gets stuck to the spoon. I used the blender of at least 15 minutes though, not sure what went wrong…

    1. Not sure either, maybe blending a little longer would've done the job. Mine looks ultra smooth here because it's at rest. It's a little thicker than it appears but it is no where near a thick paste, it's very spreadable. When blending and the seeds start to become pasty, you'll want the paste to warm up so the seeds will release their oils. This will help you achieve a smoother texture. Depending on your blender/food processor you may have varying results. Try once more and see if it can work for you. Hope that helps…best of luck!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I got nowhere near this creamy. Mine lookes like gamasio…. but im going to keep trying!

    1. Thank you Kayla! Luckily I share with OGP and that post was indeed mine. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know! Cheers :)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I read elsewhere that the seeds should be soaked for 4 hours to "deactivate the phytic acid to make them more digestible, and to start the sprouting process so that they are more nutritious and because it also brings out the natural oil in the seeds". Would you agree with this? Is it worth doing that step?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. I have never soaked mine before making my tahini but you can soak them to activate them nutritionally and neutralize any growth inhibitors found naturally in the seeds. It is up to you whether it's worth it or not. For me, I see it as a step that I will skip as I've never had any kind of issue with being able to digest tahini properly, at least that I'm aware of. I'm not sure about it bringing out more of the natural oils, they will come out naturally after being warmed up from processing. All in all, it couldn't hurt if yo have time and I would recommend trying it both ways to see what you prefer. I'd be interested to know how the soaking went and what the final outcome of your tahini was. Best of wishes :)

  8. I helped mine along with a few drops of sesame oil and then with a little bit of olive oil.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone have a tip to making the Tahini creamy? Or this really about how good your food processor is? Mine came out very paste like, I just used raw seeds like the author and I would rather not add any extra oil.

    1. I would suggest to keep processing for another five minutes or so, the natural oils from the sesame seeds will start to release and should make it creamier. Just when you think your done, do it a little longer. If that doesn't do the job then it could very well be your food processor. Hope that helps and it turns out well for you!

    2. Soak your sesame seeds first.
      Wash twice and let the last soak sit in spring water. Blend with the same water after at least six hours of soaking and add spring water according to preferred thickness and taste. Add sea salt. Store in glass container in fridge. Holds for a week or more so make in small batches. Injoy

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