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1 Jar of Tahini, 4 Clever and Delicious Uses

Tahini is incredibly versatile. Here are some fun ways to use it. 

Published Jan. 9, 2023.

Why is your jar of tahini giving you the hairy eyeball?

Well, maybe it’s because it’s been sitting, half-used and neglected, in your fridge (top shelf, toward the back) for a number of months. Maybe your tahini is lonely and wants to get out more. Maybe your tahini knows your life could be better if only you’d USE YOUR TAHINI. 

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But how? What can you make with tahini? I’m glad you asked. Here are four ways to employ this delicious, protein-rich sesame paste in your everyday cooking. 

1. Use Tahini to Make Hummus or Baba Ghanoush

Homemade hummus is fast and easy and endlessly customizable, and what you scoop out of your food processor is far superior to what you can buy in most supermarkets. It’s fresher too. 

Now, there are recipes out there that insist you start with dried chickpeas, or that call for cooking canned chickpeas, or that even—eek!—call for peeling each and every chickpea in the can. And these recipes have their merits, but you can make great hummus without any of that. Try our recipe and see for yourself. 

Classic Hummus

Deploy our tricks, and you can make fluffy hummus with bright, fresh flavors.
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Or go bolder and use your broiler or grill to char and soften eggplants and make baba ghanoush—the tahini-bolstered, garlic-and-lemon infused dip that originated in Lebanon. 

Baba Ghanoush

This creamy, smoky roasted eggplant dip is easy to make and infinitely customizable.
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2. Use Tahini to Make Cake

If this idea sounds odd, consider that tahini is a cousin of peanut butter—which is great in baked goods. Our friends at ATK Kids have a superb recipe for Tahini Banana Snack Cake that just might help open your mind to baking with this ingredient. 

Tahini Banana Snack Cake

Dense, moist banana bread is great. But tender, fluffy banana snack cake is something else again. And while we were working on transformations, we wanted to give our cake an interesting new flavor profile.
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3. Use Tahini to Make a Delectable Sauce

You can mix tahini with a little plain yogurt and a squeeze of lemon to create a simple, flavorful sauce to drizzle over rice, grilled chicken, or falafel. Or you can make everyone at your table swoon by making this tahini-butter sauce, which we developed to spoon over our Grilled Chicken Souvlaki

Tahini-Butter Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Whisk tahini, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oregano in bowl until combined. Slowly whisk in melted butter until emulsified. Serve. 

Product Review

The Best Tahini

Finding the best tahini can be a real grind.
Read Our Review

4. Use Tahini to Dress Noodles

Tahini on noodles? Yes, please! Our recipe for Hot Sesame Noodles with Pork was inspired by Sichuan dan dan noodles, and it hits multiple pleasure points: spicy, complex, nutty, full-flavored, and, well, noodles

Hot Sesame Noodles with Pork

We took cues from a Sichuan favorite for our take on a spicy noodle dinner.
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