Tahini Recipe

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It’s super easy to make homemade tahini! All you need are sesame seeds and a little olive oil for a tahini that’s fresh, creamy, and smooth. Turn this into a sauce or dressing, blend it into hummus, or mix it into cookies – there’s so much you can do with it!

Tahini in a jar.
Photo: Gayle McLeod

What Is Tahini?

Tahini is simply toasted and ground sesame seeds that’s turned into a paste or seed butter. That’s it! It’s a staple ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern culture and is frequently used to make hummus or tahini sauce, which is then served alongside other dishes like falafel, pita, shish kabobs or baba ganoush.

I enjoyed my fair share of it when I lived in the Middle East and now love it as a flavor enhancer because it makes everything taste delicious. It’s also really easy to make with a high-powered blender. And you guys know my philosophy, fresh is best – so there’s no need to purchase it from the store again! 

Ingredients for homemade tahini.

Tahini Ingredients

You only need two ingredients – raw sesame seeds and a little olive oil. This makes it naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

  • Sesame Seeds: Make sure to use hulled sesame seeds for a smoother texture that tastes less bitter.
  • Olive Oil: Use a high-quality oil such as olive oil or avocado oil. The moisture from the oil ensures that your high-powered blender isn’t overworked. Commercial blenders on the other hand are much stronger, so they can omit the oil.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Making tahini in a blender.

Blending Tips

  • Gently toast the sesame seeds. Sesame seeds will burn quite quickly, so make sure to keep an eye on them on the stove. You only want them to turn slightly golden to help release their natural oils.
  • Use a high-powered blender. I love my Vitamix blender and it works great. Just remember to use the tamper to help push the seeds down into the blades. For a Ninja blender, readers have said this blender works just fine, but you might need a bit more oil as you’re blending.
  • Avoid using a food processor. While food processors are a great tool for blending, they’re not as powerful as blenders, so they can’t deliver the creaminess (without double or triple the oil) that makes for the best tahini. 
Blended tahini.

How To Store Tahini

This recipe calls for 4 cups of sesame seeds, which may sound like a lot. But remember that once it’s blended, that’s only about 2 cups of tahini.

Homemade tahini will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a month, but you could also freeze leftovers. Just do what I do for fresh herbs and compound butter – freeze it in an ice cube tray and pop out a cube when needed.

Ways To Use Tahini

Tahini in a glass jar.

More Easy Sauce Recipes

I can’t wait for you to try this homemade tahini recipe! If you make it, I’d love to hear how it turns out in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community. 

Homemade tahini in a glass jar.

Tahini Recipe (Super Easy and Creamy!)

4.91 from 33 votes
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Total: 8 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

It’s super easy to make homemade tahini in a blender! All you need are sesame seeds and olive oil for a fresh, creamy, and smooth texture. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!

Video

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Toast the sesame seeds. Gently toast the sesame seeds (stirring constantly) on medium-low for 5 minutes, or until slightly golden. Then, let them cool to room temperature.
    Toasting sesame seeds in a pan.
  • Blend. Once the sesame seeds have cooled, add them to your high-powered blender. Blend on high for one minute, using the tamper to push the seeds into the blades, creating a tahini paste.
    Blending tahini in a Vitamix.
  • Add oil. Add the olive oil and blend for another minute to create a creamy consistency.
    Blended tahini.

Lisa’s Tips

  • The recipe makes approximately 2 cups of tahini
  • If your Vitamix heats up strongly during the first mix, just turn down the blending a notch, pause, and re-blend as you go!

Nutrition

Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Calcium: 366mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Appetizer, sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Tahini, Tahini Dressing, Tahini Sauce
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted October 2017, but updated to include new photos and information for your benefit!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




153 Comments

  1. In addition to all the ways to use tahini you’ve provided (yum) drizzled on roasted carrots, as a peanut butter replacement in cookie dough, tahini poured on coffee ice cream are all equally delicious.

    Mix date syrup and tahini together and you have next level yummy dessert syrup.5 stars

    1. Hi Jennifer – Homemade tahini will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a month in a sealed container. But you could always freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

  2. This looks like a winning recipe, cant wait to try it! I haven’t had much luck with the food processor method. I have a good ninja blender but no tamper and don’t really know much about it. Can I still achieve the end product without the tamper?5 stars

    1. I just also posted the question if a ninja will work but I see she never replied to you. Well I hope you were able to make it and I am about to find out if my ninja will work.

      1. Hi Rhonda – I don’t have a Ninja blender, so haven’t tested it with that method. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!

  3. i had to order sesame seeds online
    i made your tahini sauce in a ninja blender
    at first the blades weren’t doing much but after i drizzled in some olive oil it came together perfectly.
    super easy.5 stars

  4. I think I’ll try using almond butter instead of tahini. Since I have some on hand right now. I buy the hundred percent organic almond butter. It makes the best milk.

  5. Is there a tahini brand in a jar that will also work if I don’t have time or ingredients to make from scratch?

  6. Turned out good for my first time making it, but next time I will add more oil if it turns out as thick as this time. It definitely wasn’t as creamy as I expected, but my sesame seeds were not fresh and I may have over toasted them. Tastes great though and my guests liked it as well, especially once I used it to make your roasted beet hummus. I will try again and learn from my mistakes. I’m still pretty new to using a high powered blender for anything other than smoothies.

  7. I have made this twice now since the usual store bought tahini is so expensive. Super easy! However, my hummus which I use your recipe seems to be drier now that I use my own tahini. Maybe I’m not using the right olive oil. Which do you use or recommend? Exact one is always appreciated! 5 stars

    1. Can I use powdered tahini? I found some rather reasonable priced so I was curious.

  8. Delicious and easy. The tahini I buy in my local grocery stores is always separated and I can’t get that stuff from the bottom re-incorporated into the runny oil at the top of the container, so this is so much better. I’ve found that not overdoing the toasting part keeps the bitterness down quite a bit.5 stars

  9. Just tried making this with my new vitamix. It didn’t get creamy. Added a lot more olive oil. The tahini got really hot in the vitamix. Watched your video. Looked easy. Don’t think mine turned out. I’m going to freeze it in cubes and try making some of your hummus. 

  10. Bonjour!

    How long can this tahini stay in the fridge? At room temp? Should it be stored in the fridge?

    Thank you! :)

    1. Homemade tahini will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a month, but you could always freeze leftovers.

  11. Hello appreciate your advice. Love your posts but this one I need a suggestion. Followed your recipe but sfter 3 min my Vitamix started to make the seeds steaming hot.  And no liquidy Tahini as in your video🥲Any advice? 3 stars

    1. Did you make sure to really press down with the tamper? This will help to blend the seeds. And once you add in the oil, it should become creamy!

  12. Excellent recipe,
    Sesame seeds will turn bitter if you toast them at a heat that is too high…. I toast seeds in the oven no more than 250 degrees Fahrenheit5 stars

  13. I don’t have a vitamix, I have a ninja. Is there any thing that needs to be done differently?

  14. I made Tahini as you requested. It turned out very bitter. What do you think when wrong. I did freeze the toasted seeds in a zip lock bag for 2 weeks before making the Tahini. Ths. Judie

    1. Hi Judie – plain tahini does have a naturally bitter taste, though some find it more bitter than others. I’d recommend looking up my tahini sauce or tahini dressing recipes, which have additional flavors added in.

    1. Hi Flavia – homemade tahini will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a month, but you could always freeze leftovers as well.