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Toasted sesame seeds are crunchier and have a nuttier flavor! They’re great for topping noodles, veggies & more. Here’s how to toast sesame seeds two ways.

How to toast sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are one thing, but toasted sesame seeds? Quite another altogether! Toasting sesame seeds brings out their natural nutty flavor even more: and it makes them even crunchier. Alex and I almost always toast sesame seeds before we use them. They’re perfect on Asian noodle dishes like a soba bowl or coating sushi, but they also work in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine like sprinkling on hummus or falafel. Even better: it only takes a few minutes! Here’s how to toast sesame seeds: two ways.

How to toast sesame seeds: on the stove

Make toasted sesame seeds on the stovetop when you have a small quantity of seeds and want to make them quickly.

  • Pros: This method is so fast: it takes only 3 minutes!
  • Drawbacks: Toasting seeds on the stovetop can cook unevenly, and it’s harder to toast large quantities.
  • Basic stovetop method (go to recipe): Place the seeds in a dry skillet (don’t add oil!). Heat over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Our biggest tip: do not leave the stove because the seeds can burn very easily. We know from experience!
Toasted sesame seeds

How to toast sesame seeds: in the oven

Make toasted sesame seeds in the oven when you have time to preheat the oven! You can also toast large quantities at once.

  • Advantages: This method cooks the seeds more evenly than the stovetop method, and you can cook lots of seeds at once.
  • Drawbacks: You’ll need to wait for the oven to preheat: about 10 to 15 minutes!
  • Basic oven method (go to recipe): Preheat to 350 degrees and bake the seeds on a baking sheet about 5 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Again, don’t leave the oven because they can burn easily.
Soba noodles

Ways to use toasted sesame seeds

Once you know how to toast sesame seeds, the sky’s the limit in recipes! They work in both Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, so there are lots of different places to sprinkle them. Here are some ideas:

Storage info

After you toast the sesame seeds (and your kitchen smells amazing), you can use them immediately! Here’s how to store leftovers, if you have them:

  • Cool fully and place in a sealed container. We use a small glass container with lid.
  • Store at room temp for 3 months OR
  • Store refrigerated for 6 months.
  • Freeze to extend the life even further, up to 1 year or more.
How to toast sesame seeds
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How to toast sesame seeds

How to Toast Sesame Seeds

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: ½ cup 1x


Toasted sesame seeds are crunchier and have a nuttier flavor! They’re great for topping noodles, veggies & more. Here’s how to toast sesame seeds two ways.


  • ½ cup sesame seeds (or any quantity; for more than 1 cup use the oven method)


  1. Stovetop method: Place the seeds in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the seeds are fragrant and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stay at the stove because the seeds can easily burn! Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.
  2. Oven method: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the seeds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 4 to 5 minutes until fragrant and golden brown, stirring once. Do not stray far from the oven, since the seeds can go from toasted to burned quickly. Remove immediately and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.
  3. Use immediately. Or, allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 months and refrigerated at least 6 months. (You also can extend the life by freezing the seeds.)
  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: How to toast sesame seeds, Toasted sesame seeds

More toasted recipes!

So many foods taste better toasted! Here are all our our methods on how to toast nuts and seeds (and even bread):

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Thanks for these instructions, it is super easy!

    I wanted to try sesame seed milk because I love love love sesame seeds and also want to drink nondairy milk but just haven’t found one that I like

    So I made the milk and it tasted terrible, bleh

    Then the light bulb went off in my head, where I thought well, I love toasted sesame seeds, could I make toasted sesame seed milk

    Turns out you sure can and it is absolutely delicious. The difference between the raw and the toasted is so very noticeable.

    I have now found my favorite milk!

  2. Do black sesame seeds Same way.
    Made General Tso’s chicken dish from woksof life site & toasted my white sesame seeds.
    Ciao KC