What is tahini? This traditional Mediterranean ingredient can be used in recipes from hummus to cookies. Here’s everything about tahini!
Tahini has become a trendy ingredient as of late: but what is it? It’s been used in Mediterranean dishes for centuries. These days, it’s used in everything from traditional recipes like hummus to more creative uses like no bake cookies! Keep reading for more about tahini and a few recipes for inspiration.
What is tahini?
Tahini is a paste made of sesame seeds. It’s typically used in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes. Since it’s simply made of sesame seeds and salt, tahini is vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, Paleo, keto, and Whole 30 friendly. It’s perfect for making creamy sauces for salads and sandwiches, desserts like cookies and cakes, or as a replacement for peanut butter for peanut allergies. It’s also a nice substitute for dairy in vegan recipes.
Tahini has a slightly bitter flavor right out of the jar; it’s not sweet like most nut butters or seed butters! So, it’s best when mixed with other flavors. Often it is paired with lemon, which brings out a brightness. It also works well in desserts when mixed with sweeteners.
What’s tahini sauce?
One of our favorite tahini recipes is our Best Tahini Sauce. It’s a sauce that’s a mixture of tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, a little maple syrup, and salt. It melds into a creamy sauce that’s perfect for all sorts of things: salads, sandwiches, even a dipping sauce for fries. A few of our favorite uses for tahini sauce are our Chickpea Couscous Bowls and Raw Falafel Buddha Bowls.
Where to find tahini
You can find tahini in your local grocery store, many times in the international aisle. It is sometimes also located near the peanut butter and other nut butters. If you can’t find it in your grocery, you can also buy it online! See below.
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!
We love to resource your kitchen and garden! Here are a few more resources: