How to Make Homemade Tahini

Last updated: December 3, 2021
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How to Make Homemade Tahini

Tahini is like the peanut butter of Middle East and Mediterranean cooking. Made from just sesame seeds and a few drops of oil, it’s a savory spread that has a myriad of uses. It surely wasn’t part of my bohemian-american home growing up, but now it’s something my kitchen can’t live without.

It may sound unfamiliar, but if you’ve noshed on hummus, there’s a 98% chance you’ve eaten tahini, as it plays an essential role in this dip’s flavor and texture. But I use tahini for a lot of things beyond hummus! And I’m not ashamed to say even straight from the jar.

Like many ingredients, I’ve noticed a difference in the flavor and texture depending on what brand you buy. Some are too thick, some too grainy, and most commonly, too bitter. So I decided to start playing around with homemade tahini, until I got it just right. And in my eyes, that means super silky smooth, in-between drippy and nut butter thick, with a toasted, nutty flavor.

How to Make Homemade TahiniHow to Make Your Own Tahini

The process is very simple: toast the seeds, grind with 1 teaspoon oil (using high speed blender or food processor, done and done. But there’s a few important things I learned before landing on the best way to make homemade tahini:

  • The velvety smooth texture is achieved by using raw, HULLED white sesame seeds. You can also buy them unhulled, which means the thin outer shell is left on, but you will end up with a grittier end result.
  • LIGHTLY toasting the sesame seeds is critical for two reasons:.
    1. imparting the subtle toasted, flavor
    2. coaxing out some of the natural oils, which will also help it grind down smoother
  • Both the type of sesame seed (hulled) and the toasting takes away the bitterness that might otherwise linger.
  • Use a neutral oil, like sunflower, to keep the flavor pure.

If you’ve had trouble grinding nut butters because they are so rough and tough, you are going to love making tahini the sesame seeds are tiny and thin!  Here’s an inside look at how the consistency will change as you grind. Just keep scraping down the sides, and blending. You’ll get to the end pretty quickly.

How to Make Your Own Tahini How to Make Your Own Tahini How to Make Your Own Tahini

Then pour into a glass jar and store in your pantry, at room temperature. One of the magical things about sesame is that is contains relatively stable oils with a high concentration of antioxidants, so it can last for a long time. However, if you think it will take you longer than 6 months to use up, store in the refrigerator, and let come to room temperature so you can stir before using.

Homemade Tahini: the simple, easy way.Homemade Tahini: the simple, easy way.

Now how to use it right? Well, I love how mild it is, a neutral slate when compared to nut butters. Perhaps what I love most is the rich, smooth, creaminess it adds to whatever your stirring it into or drizzling it on top of. It contributes some subtle flavor, but not overwhelming. And because of that, it’s extremely versatile, naturally working it’s way into both sweet and savory recipes.

My favorite way will always be avocado toast, with a sprinkle of za’atar and a little extra olive oil. It doesn’t get old, ever. Other savory ideas:

And sweet!

Tahini Avocado Toast {with za'atar spices}

If you make a batch of homemade tahini, tag me on Instagram, @heartbeetkitchen with hashtag #heartbeetkitchen!

How to Make Homemade Tahini

Instead of buying tahini, use this method to make your smooth spread from sesame seeds!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time :5 minutes
Cook Time :5 minutes
Total Time :10 minutes
Yield: 1 cup
Author: Amanda Paa




  • Lightly toast sesame seeds on top of the stove over medium high heat, until just barely brown. You don't want to overdo it. Remove seeds from pan and let cool in a bowl for 10 minutes.
  • Add to high speed blender or food processor (I use the smaller, dry container of my Blendtec), and process for 20 seconds. T
  • hen add oil and salt. Process in increments of 20 seconds, scraping down sides and blending until completely smooth. You can see the stages above of how it will look above. Just keep going, it will get there! This will take about 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Store in glass jar.


Store tahini in your pantry, at room temperature. If you think you aren't going to use it all within 6 months, store in refrigerator but let sit out to come to room temperature. Either way, stir very well before using, as some of the oil can rise to the top and you need to keep that within the mixture.

how to make tahini

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September 6, 2016


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  1. I love tahini but usually only buy it when making homemade hummus. This looks like such an easy recipe and definitely would be the way to go. Fresher and less expensive. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Mmm, the pics are gorgeous, especially the toast with avocado! I make sometimes, but also like to buy from time to time my tahini . Ong i know for sure: i couln’t be able to live without tahini, so addicted!

  3. I have been obsessed with tahini for about 2 straight years now! I still use it on everything. I can’t believe I haven’t tried making my own yet- I will now give it a go ASAP. Thanks for the recipe!!

  4. I make nut butters all of the time and I’ve never even thought to make my own tahini! Love seeing how it blends up into such creamy delishishness. :) I’ve got a couple jars of tahini already stocked away in the pantry, but after I get through those, I’ll give your method a try!

    • I know, for some reason I hadn’t thought of it either until having a one pound bag of sesame seeds in my pantry and wondering what to do with them. It’s so good, better than store-bought in my opinion! xo

  5. LOVING using tahini in almost anything right now. I have only made homemade tahini once. It was the very same week I sprouted chickpeas and made homemade hummus. It was a labor-intensive week, but it was quite the delicious one. Thanks for the detailed tutorial. I’ll have to get after making this again. And I seriously want to make Molly Yeh’s Tahini Oreo cookies one day. I dream about them.