How To Make Tahini

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Spoon in a jar of sesame seeds for making our homemade tahini recipe

Making your own tahini at home is not only easy, it’s cost effective and super delicious!

This recipe requires just 2 ingredients, 20 minutes, and a food processor to prepare! Let’s do it!

What is Tahini?

Tahini is made by grinding sesame seeds into a smooth paste. Sometimes the sesame seeds are hulled, sometimes they’re left unhulled; sometimes roasted, sometimes raw. We like to use tahini to make dressingssoft serve, snack bites, stuffed dates, and SO many other dishes. The possibilities are endless!

Origin of Tahini

Tahini is an Arabic name for ground sesame seeds. However, its origins are thought to have been in Persia, where it was called “ardeh.” Tahini later found its way to Israel and was held as a delicacy as sesame seeds were rather expensive to procure. In some cultures, tahini was even used as currency. (source)

How to Make Tahini

Note: Our method is not traditional, but one of convenience as it relies on a food processor or blender. Learn more about traditional tahini preparation here.

Our inspired take starts with buying hulled white sesame seeds. We recommend buying them from grocery store bulk bins. We prefer hulled over unhulled seeds because they have a less bitter taste. However, unhulled sesame seeds provide more nutrition, so choose as you desire.

Grind the seeds in a food processor until they become a smooth and creamy paste. You’ll want a good food processor for this recipe! A high-speed blender will also work.

Or if store-bought is more your style, check out our store-bought tahini review!

Food processor with freshly made tahini

We hope you LOVE this recipe! It’s:

& Super delicious!

Ways to Use It

Tahini is one of the most commonly used ingredients in our pantry. We’ve used it in nearly 50 recipes on our site so far! We enjoy it in sauces, dips, dressings, desserts, on veggies, and pretty much anywhere you might use nut butter.

Here are some more of our favorite recipes to get you started:

Quick Ginger Garlic Miso Dressing // Tahini Stuffed Dates // Mustard Green Cherry Salad with Nut Cheese & Tahini Dressing // Kumquat Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing // Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl // Sweet Potato & Avocado Green Salad // 3-Ingredient Tahini Sauce for Everything // Super Cleansing Slaw with Rosemary Dressing //

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Using a whisk to combine ingredients for homemade Tahini Dressing

How To Make Tahini

Easy, 2 ingredient DIY tahini! Perfect for adding to hummus, dressings, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Whisking a bowl of homemade Maple Tahini Dressing for adding to kale salad
4.64 from 19 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 16 (1-Tbsp servings)
Course Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Middle Eastern-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 3 months
Does it keep? 3-4 Weeks (or longer)


  • 2 cups hulled white sesame seeds
  • 1-2 Tbsp avocado or olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C), and arrange sesame seeds on a bare baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden brown (being careful not to burn).
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Then add to a food processor and blend until smooth, adding avocado or olive oil to encourage blending. The amount of oil you need will depend on the freshness of your sesame seeds and the power of your food processor.
  • Scoop into a jar or sealed container and store in the refrigerator up to 3-4 weeks.
  • Add tahini to your favorite hummus, salad dressings (pictured above), dips, sauces, falafel, and more!



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with lesser amount of olive oil.
*Recipe makes ~1 cup tahini.

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 1 one-Tbsp servings Calories: 126 Carbohydrates: 2.2 g Protein: 3.8 g Fat: 12.3 g Saturated Fat: 1.8 g Sodium: 8.8 mg Potassium: 69.39 mg Fiber: 2.2 g Sugar: 0.1 g

Reader Interactions

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  1. Carol says

    Okay, this is the strangest experience! I put 1/4 C. of olive oil into the jar of my blender and then added 1 C. of sesame seeds and I blended them for less than a minute and it was the most amazing seamlessly blended emulsion I have ever seen. It tasted like heaven.
    So, I decided to make another batch, this time, using water instead of oil in the exact same proportions. It became like mortar and the taste was horrible and bland. I tried to save it by then adding 1/4 C. of olive oil. It will not change. It’s like the sesame seeds initially absorbed the water and has begun to react to the added oil in a negative way. It will not emulsify at all and I will have to throw it out because there is nothing useful I can do with the second batch. Lesson learned. I wish I knew the chemical reason why! How interesting!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Carol, we’ve had a similar experience when adding liquid to nut butters! It has to do with it seizing up. Not totally sure on the science either!

  2. Leah Cabot says

    Hello! Is there any reason you couldn’t substitute filtered water for oil? I had to use 4 tbsp oil to get it runny.

    Other than that, I loved it. Thank you.

    I wonder how store bought tahini is able to just contain sesame seeds as the only ingredient?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Leah, we haven’t tried it that way, but it might work. Let us know if you give it a try!

    • Tim says

      More blending in a high quality food processor. Blend blend blend. It gets runny eventually but takes time.

  3. 8ch says

    Hi Loves. You’ve said best in a food processor but your vid looks like it’s made in a Vitamix or Blendtec or… Can you shed some light? Thanks for always sharing great content. We love ya!

  4. Mette says

    I read through the comments, but can’t figure out why mine is the constancy of a thick paste. Definitely not creamy.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’d say keep blending! And if it’s too thick, add a bit of neutral oil or untoasted sesame oil to encourage it along.

  5. Shauna Bramham says

    Thank you for the option to switch between US measurements and Metric
    excellent!!!! will be back :-)

  6. Claire says

    Can you use a NutriBullet to make this? Is it ok then to add more liquid/oil as generally you need more liquid to make things in a NutriBullet.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work! The water will dilute the flavors though so just start with as little as needed to get it blending. Let us know how it goes!

    • Roberta Webley says

      Is there a reason why you don’t use sesame oil in the recipe? I mean outside if the cost, would it not make a more sesame flavoured tahini? Just curious.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Roberta, that’s a great option too! We just don’t always have it around.

  7. Amy says

    I tried to make tahini in the Vitamix by simply grinding a lot of sesame seeds. I added no additional oil, as your recipe calls for. I ended up with a very dry paste (still usable, but not moist), and the contents of the blender canister were quite hot. Had the process not generated so much heat, I might have tried to blend the seeds further. I was able to use what I had made, but I would definitely add a tablespoon or two of oil the next time, as advised here, perhaps to a better result.

  8. Isabelle says

    Hello Dana, I have a question about conservation. You say to store in the refrigerator up to 3-4 weeks, but the store-bought is good for months (if not a year) in the pantry. They don’t indicate adding any conservative ingredients to it. What’s the difference? I thought I could keep it the same way as store-bought :-/

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Right. Some store-bought products are pressurized or heated to a certain temperature to kill bacteria and better preserve them. But with homemade that doesn’t happen. Homemade tahini should last up to 1-2 months, especially when refrigerated. But to be on the safe side we say less time, which encourages you to check for freshness at that point.

  9. Suzie says

    Thank you 4 your efforts to try to help others!
    I made this…I used a hint of olive oil n the rest was sesame oil. I did add some salt..which really helped. Excited! Off to try chicks felafal..

          • Gail says

            Mine wasn’t so good but it may be down to my machine; it won’t work unless there’s about a cup of liquid in it & even then it doesn’t seem to ‘blend’, just whizz round. It’s called a Ninja (UK). Does anyone else have this problem. The flavour is good; I added garlic & lemon juice – but it’s definitely NOT creamy!

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hi Gail, other readers have reported issues with using a Ninja in some of our recipes. We’re thinking it’s probably not a very powerful machine!

  10. Amy says

    I buy my sesame seeds in 2lb bags at the local middle eastern grocery store. The price is great compared to buying them in the spice section at the regular grocery store.

    • Roxanne says

      Yes. Use a high powered machine, perhaps a blender. The bowl may have to be scraped a few times. Also, a little water may help. I don’t like to use oil.

  11. Rita says

    Had the same questions as above, but what’s the use of leaving a comment if the author is not responding to it??‍♀️

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rita, We do our best to respond to all comments but due to the number of them we receive, it sometimes takes time. To answer your question, we have not tried this method and cannot say for sure, but if you give it a try, report back on how it goes.

  12. Renee Zamora says

    Wondering if I could grind the toasted sesame seeds in a coffee grinder and store them in my spice cabinet. Then add oil and blend as I need them for Tahini.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Renee, we have not tried this method and cannot say for sure, but if you give it a try, report back on how it goes.

    • Roxanne says

      This process needs a really high powered machine. Instead of a food processor, try a blender. Hope this helps.

  13. Elisa says

    Super easy and fast. Much easier than buying store bought, less expensive too. I can make what I need and not worry about leftovers and spoilage. This is now my go to for tahini.

  14. kay says

    I attempted. I had a huge jar of sesame seeds from Costco, so I “went for it”. I toasted and put in a “bullet-type” mixer. I found myself having to stop, remove mixer cup, shake it up or scrape it, add water and repeat. I added much more liquid than that stated in the recipe. All-in-all, I think I’ll buy a jar next time or use the “cheat” of peanut butter. Thanks for the recipe though :D

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kay, we haven’t tried this in a “bullet-type” mixer, but think that could be the issue! If you give it another try, we would recommend using a good quality food processor.

  15. liza says

    Very good questions! I am going to ask same things! Curious on why the toasting and food processor. I’m attempting this & hummus for first time.

    • Susan Ottwell says

      Toasting seeds and nuts before making butters releases their oils more readily, so they need less oil during the grinding. Take care to not scorch the seeds, as that will make them bitter.

  16. Chen says

    You can’t really eat Tahini like this, you can only add it to other recepies. If you want to use it on it’s own, you need to mix it with equal amount of water and add lemon and spices (usually salt and pepper is enough, I like adding garlic, you should find your own mix here). It can be used as a spread or a dip or mixed it Israeli salad.
    Source: Israeli (can’t have a meal without tahini here).
    Sorry for English mistakes

    • mikayln says

      thank you so much for sharing! i added the spices you mentioned and lemon juice and i thought it tastes a lot more like the store bought kind. personally liked this version better than the original recipe. thanks :)

    • Susan Ottwell says

      When I have leftover tahini after making hummus I mix it with honey or date syrup and cinnamon and dip apple slices in it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      It should work, but it will take longer and probably won’t be quite as creamy. Let us know if you give it a try though!

  17. Kp says

    Tahini on its own is particularly bland. If you’re going to use this as a sauce or spread, combine with equal parts water, chopped parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil. To play with the consistency, add or subtract water. The result is a flavorful delicious sauce or spread that adds so much without taking away from the original tahini flavor.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried a Vitamix, but another reader mentioned having success! Let us know if you give it a try!

  18. beejay says

    I’ve thought about trying this but have been reluctant. Do you mind if I ask a few questions? Here goes!

    Why do you toast the sesame seeds? Is it for flavor or does it give the tahini a longer “shelf-life”?

    Why did you not use sasame oil? I usually have that on hand for stir frying because it has a really high smoke point, so I’d use that. Just wondering if there is a reason or if you just used what you had.

    What kind of food processor do you use? One of my friends tried to make tahini, but it never got smooth enough, no matter how much oil she added.

    Thanks for your help if you get the time to answer!

    • Pipey says

      Excellent questions! I was going to ask same things! Curious on why the toasting and food processor. I’m attempting this & hummus for first time.
      (I don’t want to screw it up and turn myself & my family off.)

      • Jacquie Mertins says

        Toasting brings out the flavor better and oils. Olive oil is a neural oil where sesame oil will make it taste more like Chinese food. The difference is incredible! I use a Nutra Bullet and mine comes out very smooth. The food processor does not always have enough power to have the blade cut through enough! Also a VitaMix works great.

    • Kayla says

      Toasting the sesame seeds brings out a more nutty flavor. This is traditionally how tahini is made, but this is not required. I enjoy “raw tahini” as well, aka sesame seed butter. It’s really personal preference.

      Some people do use sesame oil. Again, just another personal preference.

      I wonder if your friend tried to process the sesame seeds and added oil at the same time. I’ve heard that some have issues with consistency when they don’t let the sesame seeds grind to a smooth texture first, and then add additional oil for a more liquefied spread. The kind of food processor used probably makes a difference on when it’s key to add the oil. Some may be more finicky than others.

      Hope this helped. I know you didn’t ask me necessarily, but my Cuisinart food processor has stood the test of time.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We toast the sesame seeds because we prefer the flavor. And sesame oil should work- we just don’t always have it around. We use a Cuisinart food processor. Hope that helps!