8 Ways to Use Tahini


I recently shared a novel use for peanut butter, as a replacement for tahini in hummus. Some commenters said they were relieved that they wouldn't need to keep stale old tahini around in the cupboard anymore. But one tahini-loving reader suggested that the real problem was that everyone needs a few more ideas for how to use tahini.

Most people know tahini, a sesame seed paste with a consistency similar to peanut butter, as an ingredient in hummus and baba ghanoush and... not much else. But tahini is full of potential. It has a delicate roasted sesame flavor without the sweetness that is common to many nut and seed butters. There are plenty of ways to use tahini—so don't let yours go to waste. Here are eight simple ideas for making the most out of the next can of tahini you purchase.

1. Dip raw veggies in it. For a simple snack, reach for tahini instead of ranch dressing next time you're looking for a dip for crudités. Add lemon juice, salt, and a dash of pepper or hot sauce for extra flavor.

2. Spread it on toast. On whole wheat bread, perhaps with a little honey or agave syrup, tahini can be part of a balanced breakfast.

3. Drizzle it on falafel. For a no-stress summer meal, warm up store-bough frozen falafel and stuff it a pita. Thin out your tahini by adding add a few tablespoons of hot water and lemon juice and then drizzle it over the sandwich.

4. Use it to make Tarator sauce. Tarator is a little-known but much-loved multipurpose sauce that's particularly tasty for dipping grilled chicken or steamed vegetables. Add 4 cloves minced garlic to 1⁄2 cup tahini, 1⁄2 cup lemon juice, and 1⁄4 cup parsley. Pulse in a food processor until combined.

5. Dress your salad with it. Give your balsamic dressing a break and try a tahini-based salad dressing instead. For an easy recipe, combine 1⁄2 cup tahini and 1⁄2 cup olive oil with 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons of grated ginger in a blender. Drizzle over your greens and enjoy.

6. Make a double sesame burger. Why should the bun get all the sesame love? Tahini is super as a mild condiment on meats. Use it straight or enhance with a little lemon juice and smoked paprika and spread it on your burger. Some feta and cucumbers would complete the Mediterranean theme.

7. Stir it into soup. Like peanut butter, tahini works well as a flavor-booster and thickener in soups.

8. Have Main Course Baba Ghanoush. Roast a baby eggplant in the oven, until soft. Combine 2 tablespoons tahini with a clove of crushed garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Cut a slit in the eggplant and spread tahini inside for a kind of deconstructed baba ghanoush.