These tahini recipes are healthy and delicious ways to enjoy the popular sesame paste, from Buddha bowls to sweet potato fries to cookies!
Do you use tahini? You might have bought a jar of tahini if you’ve ever made homemade hummus. But it’s not just for hummus! This sesame paste is common in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes, and you can use it in dressings, dipping sauces, and even desserts! Tahini is one of our favorite ingredients to use in foods of all kinds, Here are all our top tahini recipes that make healthy eating undeniably delicious.
A list of tahini recipes wouldn’t be complete without hummus! The most well-known way to use tahini is for making hummus; the sesame paste adds a creaminess and body that’s essential to homemade hummus.
Our Best Lemon Tahini Sauce is a creamy, savory sauce that’s totally versatile: use it on salads, nourish bowls, tacos, fries, veggie burgers, and sandwiches. Since it’s vegan, it adds a creamy savoriness without the use of dairy.
Want a quick and easy creamy dressing? Look no further than this easy Tahini Dressing recipe! It requires no juicing of lemons and no blender: you can whisk it up in just 2 minutes! It makes a huge pop of flavor: a little tamari and grated ginger make it taste irresistibly savory and fresh. Use it for drizzling on salads, rice bowls, veggies: anything goes!
These vegan no bake cookies use tahini instead of the typical peanut butter, and they’re over the top delicious. Featuring coconut oil and maple syrup, dark cocoa powder brings in a dark chocolate flavor. A sprinkle of sea salt on top makes them salty sweet.
Couscous cooks up in just 5 minutes, so it’s a quick base for this bowl meal. To accessorize, cumin scented chickpeas, tomato and cucumber, and a bed of greens. Slather on a tangy, creamy tahini sauce, and it’s a heavenly vegan main dish in just 30 minutes.
This tahini recipe is a tried and true favorite. Falafel are a popular Mediterranean chickpea fritter that are typically served in a pita: here, the falafel is deconstructed into raw vegan energy balls full of Mediterranean spices. Garnish with that Lemon Tahini Sauce and you have a bowl bursting with nutrients and flavor.
This Buddha bowl features velvety roasted sweet potatoes, addictive roasted cauliflower, crunchy fresh romaine, vibrant raw beets, and chewy black rice. To pull it all together: our Best Lemon Tahini Sauce, which brings a creamy, tangy flair to the entire bowl.
Here, roasted sweet potatoes are topped with Moroccan-spiced lentils and nourishing veggies. To take it over the top, a lemon tahini drizzle. It’s so flavorful, you won’t miss the meat or dairy in the slightest.
This simple pita sandwich features one of our favorite veggies: roasted cauliflower! It’s nestled in a pita with crunchy romaine and drizzled with a yogurt tahini sauce that brings the entire sandwich together.
This brownie pie features a salted maple tahini sauce. Yes, you heard that right! The sauce becomes almost caramely after mixing tahini, maple syrup, espresso powder, and salt. Here it’s drizzled over brownie pie, but it would be great on just about anything: vanilla ice cream, a skillet cookie, or vegan brownies.
The crema sauce for these loaded Mexican fries relies on tahini, lime juice, Mexican hot sauce, and cumin to bring big flavor. The sauce brings together crispy sweet potato fries and Mexican style toppings (black beans, salsa, corn).
Naan pizzas are fitting for weeknights, so you don’t have to bother with making and shaping pizza dough. Instead, simply spread toppings onto purchased naan bread or pitas and bake. These naan pizzas are spread with hummus and topped with broccoli, chard and artichokes. To top them off: a flavor-popping drizzle made of tahini, miso, and orange juice.
The perfect drizzle for tacos? This chipotle tahini sauce! It works on tacos of any kind. The magic ingredient is adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers; it’s readily available in most groceries and adds a smoky flavor and bright orange color!
What is tahini, anyway?
What is tahini sauce? Tahini is a paste made of sesame seeds, typically used in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes. Tahini is vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, Paleo, keto, and Whole 30 friendly, so it works for many diets. It’s purely sesame seeds and salt!
Tahini is perfect for making creamy sauces for salads and Buddha bowls, and it’s also fantastic for desserts like cookies or as a replacement for peanut butter for peanut allergies. It’s perfect for use in vegan dishes as a creamy alternative to dairy.
What does tahini taste like?
On its own, tahini has a bitter flavor. It’s not sweet like most nut butters or seed butters! So, tahini is best when mixed with other flavors, especially an acid like lemon juice which brightens it. If using tahini in a dessert, it works well mixed with a sweetener like maple syrup.
In a small bowl, combine the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, and kosher salt and whisk to combine. Add the water and whisk until a creamy dressing forms; you may need to add a bit more depending on the consistency of your tahini.
Serve immediately or refrigerate and bring to room temperature before serving. Extra dressing keeps for about 1 month in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.