15 Fresh Ways To Use Tahini

15 Fresh Ways To Use Tahini

A paste made from hulled sesame seeds, tahini is a staple ingredient in the Middle East and Mediterranean. High in protein and good fats, it works just as well in sweet dishes as it does in savoury dressings. From a smoked aubergine dip to a tahini and berry sundae, here are 15 recipes and tips to try.

How To Use Tahini

Cesar Fernandez, Home Economist at Miele GB

When you buy tahini, you want to make sure you choose the lighter coloured variety, so there’s not a lot of oil separation in the jar. This will happen naturally after a certain amount of time, but it normally indicates the tahini is on the older side. Check the label and make sure the ingredients list is as short as possible, ideally only sesame seeds. You can store tahini in the fridge, but keeping it at room temperature makes it much easier to use. Always remember to stir it before using, too.
Great for both sweet and savoury recipes, some of my favourite uses for tahini are:

  • Mixed with Greek yoghurt, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper and a sauce to dip roasted veg or crudités.
  • Mixed with equal quantities of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Coat cauliflower, broccoli or Romanesco before roasting for about 20-25 minutes on 200°C.
  • Served with noodles. Italy might have brought bolognese into the world, but China has dan dan noodles – stir-fried pork mince with ginger, chili oil, szechuan peppercorns and tahini over egg noodles. Simply mixed with soy sauce is great, too.
  • With chicken thighs. Sear the thighs and then add a mixture of chicken stock, tahini, soy sauce and a little sugar and cook for 35-40 minutes. The sauce will be thick, sweet and salty at the same time – delicious.
  • Baking. Swirl into cheesecakes, brownies, blondies or biscuits before baking for extra creaminess and flavour. White chocolate and tahini is a fantastic combination – one of my favourites.


Tahini & Black Sesame Cake


  • 300g of caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp of black sesame seeds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 350g of plain flour
  • 1½ tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½ tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp of ground cardamom 
  • 240g of plain yoghurt
  • 100g of tahini paste
  • 120ml of vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp of toasted sesame oil
  • 2 eggs

For the icing:

  • 100g of unsalted butter, softened
  • 50g of tahini paste
  • 150g of icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C on a fan setting. Using an electric whisk, beat the sugar, black sesame seeds and together for 3-4 minutes or until pale and frothy. Gradually add in the vegetable and sesame oil and whisk until fully incorporated.
  2. Sieve together the dry ingredients into a bowl and combine the yoghurt and tahini in another bowl, do not worry if it thickens. Add the dry ingredients a third at a time alternating with the yoghurt tahini mixture.
  3. Line and grease a 24cm springform cake tin, pour in the cake batter and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down completely.
  4. To make the icing, use an electric whisk and beat together the butter and tahini and gradually add in the icing sugar. Whisk until light and fluffy, ice the cake and serve.


Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Green Tahini Sauce 

For the whole roasted cauliflower:

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 5 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 tsp of ground coriander
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 2 tsp of sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp of turmeric
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • ½ lemon, juice only

For the green tahini sauce:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • Small bunch of coriander
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 5 tbsp of tahini
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 100ml of water

To garnish:
2 pomegranates, seeds only
25g of pine nuts, toasted
Pea shoots, to garnish


  1. Remove the outer layers of the cauliflower and save them for later. Mix the oil, garlic and dried spices into a paste and spread all over the cauliflower. Preheat the oven at 180°C with the fan setting and roast for 30-35 minutes.
  2. To make the cauliflower crisps, brush the outer layers of the cauliflower with vegetable oil and bake on Fan Plus 200°C for 4-5 minutes. Keep aside.
  3. To make the green tahini sauce, combine all the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth and check the seasoning. Keep aside until needed. 
  4. To serve, slice the cauliflower into wedges and garnish the plate with the sauce, crisps, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and pea shoots. Serve immediately. 

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Heather Kaniuk, Longboys

If you’re big a fan of hummus, you’ll love this beetroot version. The colour is simply divine, and the ruby shade brightens any mezze platter or crudités. If you have fresh beets, simply wrap in tinfoil and bake for 1 hour at 180°C, otherwise use store bought cooked beets for a quick and easy alternative. If you find your tahini has separated into a hard layer with oil on top, a good tip is to scoop out the whole jar of tahini into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Pour back into the original jar and store in the refrigerator – it won't separate again.

Beetroot Hummus


  • 250g of cooked beetroot 
  • 1 tin of chickpeas in brine
  • 2 tbsp of tahini paste
  • Juice of ½ lemon 
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp of zaatar
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse lightly. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor.
  2. Pulse until you have a smooth but thick paste. Season to taste.
  3. Serve with pita chips, lavosh crackers or crudités. The hummus can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 Visit Longboys.co.uk

Adam Byatt, Trinity

Apart from using tahini in hummus, this is a wonderful dressing for grilled vegetables and light meat dishes like grilled chicken. The best tahini is from Belazu. Also look out for red tahini, which is awesome in cashew nut hummus. 

Tahini Dressing 


  • 100g of tahini
  • 100g of natural yoghurt 
  • 50g of lemon juice
  • 50g of cold water
  • 50g of olive oil


  1. Mix the tahini and yoghurt, then add the lemon juice, water and olive oil. 
  2. Mix well – in a Nutribullet is best – and dress over your vegetables.

Visit TrinityRestaurant.co.uk 

Liam Dillan, The Boat Inn

Tahini is obviously great with humus to give a silky rich finish. This recipe is a smoked aubergine puree finished with tahini. Serve it with lamb, or on its own as a tasty dip.

Smoked Aubergine Puree


  • 375g of aubergine, cooked and chopped 
  • 50g of lemon juice 
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 10ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 10g of salt (smoked salt is good for this but not essential)
  • 5g of tahini
  • Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
  • 110g of creme fraiche 


  1. To get a smokey flavour to the aubergines I blowtorch them first until the skin goes a kind of silver. Or over a gas flame similar to burning a pepper. Once this is done all over put them under the grill or oven to get them cooked all the way through.
  2. Squeeze some of the liquid out of the aubergines and then blitz them with the lemon juice and garlic. Slowly add the olive oil.
  3. Next, add the salt, tahini and cayenne pepper and then slowly combine with the creme fraiche to finish.

Visit TheBoatInnLichfield.com

Tahini, Vanilla and Berry Sundae, Belazu

Adding a drizzle of tahini and a sprinkle of marcona almonds elevates what is usually a basic pudding to an elegant and rich dessert. Layer the elements together in tall sundae glasses, allowing all the ingredients to combine together so with every spoonful you get a delightful mix of each. It is also important to get a good quality vanilla ice cream for this dessert, as the quality will really come through.


  • 250g of natural full fat yoghurt
  • 50g of tahini
  • 25g of icing sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 500ml of vanilla ice-cream 
  • 500g of frozen berries
  • 100g of icing sugar
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 50g of salted marcona almonds, chopped
  • Toasted sesame seeds, to sprinkle


  1. In a heavy bottomed pan place the frozen berries, sifted icing sugar and lemon juice. On a medium heat, cook until the berries are soft and the sauce syrupy, approximately 12 minutes.
  2. In a bowl whisk together the yoghurt, tahini, icing sugar and salt until combined. Chop the marcona almonds.
  3. In a dry pan lightly toast the sesame seeds on a medium heat moving regularly. In 4 wine glasses, alternate the berry compote, tahini yoghurt and ice-cream then top with the nuts and sesame seeds.

Tahini Dressing 3 Ways

Tahini is an incredibly versatile ingredient, especially when it comes to dressings and sauces. The smooth texture can be used make a variety of creamy dressings for salads, grilled vegetables or meats. We developed a simple recipe to go with three tahini dressings as easy inspiration.


  • 1 head of broccoli
  • Salt

For the mustard & caper tahini dressing:

  • 2 tsp of dijon mustard
  • 10 tbsp of tahini
  • 90ml of water
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 4 tbsp of capers, drained of liquid and finely chopped
  • ½ clove of garlic, crushed to a paste
  • Salt

For the shawarma paste, yoghurt & tahini dressing:

  • 2 tbsp of shawarma paste
  • 6 tbsp of tahini
  • 4 tbsp of natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 pinches of salt

For the grapefruit and tahini dressing:

  • 1 grapefruit, juiced
  • Equal amount of tahini
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 Small garlic clove, crushed to a paste
  • 2 pinches of salt


  1. Put a large pan of salted water on a high heat and bring to the boil.
  2. Cut 1cm from the base of the broccoli, then peel the stalk of the broccoli to remove the tough, green outer skin. Cut in half, starting at the base and cut down towards the dark green outer part. Then cut each half into small wedges, around 5–6 per half.
  3. Drop into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, then remove and allow to drain on a rack with a tray underneath, until cool. You can prep the broccoli ahead of when you want to BBQ it.
  4. Place on a hot BBQ grill and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side, until the edges of the broccoli are nicely charred and starting to crisp.
  5. Remove from the BBQ and dress with one of the tahini dressings while still warm.

For the mustard & caper tahini dressing:

  1. Combine the mustard, tahini, water, lemon juice and sherry vinegar and stir or whisk until completely combined. 
  2. Add the capers and garlic, stir again and taste. Add salt if you think it needs it. This makes quite a thick dressing, so add a little water if you want it looser.

For both the shawarma dressing & the grapefruit dressing:

  1. Mix all the ingredients with a spoon in a small bowl till smooth and well combined. 
  2. Taste then add salt and mix again. Repeat if you think it needs more salt.

Visit Belazu.com

Tahini & Turmeric Granola Bars, The Groovy Food Company


  • 300g of gluten-free oats
  • 150ml of dark agave nectar 
  • 5 tbsp of tahini
  • 2 tbsp of The Groovy Food Company organic virgin coconut oil infused with turmeric
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp of cinnamon 
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 100g pistachios, shelled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds
  • 75g of dried cranberries, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin with parchment paper. 
  2. Spread oats evenly on a large baking sheet and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.
  3. Combine agave nectar, tahini and turmeric infused coconut oil in a small sauce pan. Cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile put the dates in a blender along with 100ml warm water and blitz until smooth.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, add the date puree, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and ¼ tsp salt. Mix well then add the dates and set aside to cool slightly.
  5. Combine oats, pistachios, dried cranberries and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Pour over the tahini and date mixture, and combine well making sure the oats are well coated. Tip into the prepared tin and press the mixture down using your hands (compressing the mixture helps the bars hold together better).
  6. Bake for 15-20 mins, then leave to cool in the tin for 15 mins before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Visit GroovyFood.co.uk

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