Tahini Paste Uses

Tahini paste is a versatile ingredient used in many Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African dishes. Made from ground sesame seeds, tahini has a rich, nutty flavor and creamy texture that adds flavor and nutrition to both sweet and savory recipes.

Tahini Paste Uses

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds that have usually been roasted and hullled. It has a smooth, creamy texture similar to peanut butter. The paste is then blended with a small amount of sesame oil or other neutral oil to reach the desired consistency.

Tahini’s flavor is intensely nutty, with slight bitterness and sweetness. It enhances many savory dishes well but also works nicely in desserts and baked goods.

Sesame seeds themselves provide many nutritional benefits. They contain healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Specifically, sesame is an excellent source of copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, and dietary fiber.

So by enjoying tahini often, you can increase your intake of these vital nutrients!

1. Make Creamy Hummus

No list of tahini uses would be complete without the most popular one: hummus! This smooth chickpea spread is a delicious plant-based protein enjoyed all over the world today.

And an essential hummus ingredient? You guessed it – tahini paste. Tahini gives hummus its signature velvety texture and nutty sesame flavor. Along with the chickpeas, lemon, garlic, and olive oil, tahini binds it all together into a tasty dip.

The basic hummus recipe calls for:

  • Cooked chickpeas
  • Tahini
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Blend all that up into a smooth paste, adding touches like paprika, za’atar, pine nuts or parsley. Then dig in with fresh veggies, pita bread, or crackers. It’s tasty, good for you, and wildly versatile!

So the next time you open up a fresh jar of tahini, consider whipping up a batch of classic hummus or try inventing your own flavored versions.

Key Takeaway: Tahini is the key ingredient that gives hummus its signature creamy, nutty flavor and luxurious texture.

2. Baba Ghanoush

Alongside hummus, baba ghanoush is another famous Middle Eastern dip that relies on tahini. This recipe uses eggplant as the main ingredient instead of chickpeas, but tahini still plays an integral role.

To make baba ghanoush:

  • Roast eggplants until soft and smoky
  • Scoop out the flesh into a bowl
  • Add olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini
  • Season with spices like cumin or za’atar
  • Blend into a smooth dip

The tahini integrates all the flavors, contributes its distinctive nuttiness, and helps achieve that luscious, spreadable texture.

Baba ghanoush also makes an excellent sandwich spread, pairs nicely with grilled meats, and is perfect for dipping fresh pita bread or crackers.

So when you spy that lonely jar of tahini in your pantry, transform it into this smoky eggplant dip for a tasty change from hummus!

3. Mix Up Tahini Salad Dressings

Vinaigrettes and salad dressings are another excellent way to use up tahini paste. That nutty sesame flavor plays well against bright, fresh ingredients like mixed greens, veggies, beans, grains, and more.

Some delicious salad dressing ideas with tahini include:

  • Tahini ranch dressing – sub tahini for mayo in homemade ranch
  • Lemon tahini vinaigrette – whisk tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt
  • Honey mustard tahini – combine tahini, honey, mustard, vinegar
  • Tahini caesar dressing – blend tahini, lemon, garlic, olive oil, parmesan

That distinctive nutty taste and creamy texture make tahini dressings much more interesting than regular vinaigrettes. They cling nicely to salad components without being too heavy or rich.

So break out your whisk next time you want to jazz up a boring green salad. Tahini paste takes it from boring to gourmet fast!

4. Spread on Toast or Sandwiches

Tahini makes an excellent spread all on its own too. Because it resembles nut butter, it performs similarly when spread on bread products.

Slather some on toast at breakfast, add it to your lunchtime sandwiches, or just eat with bread and crackers as a snack.

To take your tahini toast up a notch, try these fun ideas:

  • Stir in honey or maple syrup
  • Mix with jam like fig or berry preserves
  • Top with fresh fruit slices
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
  • Garnish with crushed pistachios

You can also spread it directly onto pitas, flatbreads, and sandwiches instead of condiments like mayo or mustard.

So put that whole grain toast to work at breakfast or snack time with a generous layer of nutrient-dense tahini!

5. Whip Up Hearty Dips

We’ve already covered classic Middle Eastern dips like hummus and baba ghanoush. But the options don’t end there when utilizing tahini paste.

This nutty ingredient can be blended into all kinds of unique dips, spreads, and pâtés perfect for snacking and appetizers.

Some tasty tahini dip ideas include:

  • Artichoke tahini dip – with spinach and feta
  • White bean tahini dip – use cannellini beans for a twist
  • Beet tahini dip – blend with roasted beets for natural sweetness
  • Tahini yogurt dip – mix Greek yogurt, lemon, garlic
  • Cheesy tahini fondue – melt cheese into tahini and serve with bread and veggies

The options here are limitless, so experiment with whatever sounds good! That sesame seed flavor plays well with herbs, cheeses, beans, veggies, and more.

Use your homemade dips as a snack with crackers and fresh vegetables. Or serve them as a starter course for dinner parties and potlucks. They make great additions to a mezze platter too!

6. Drizzle Over Grain Bowls

Grain bowls have exploded in popularity recently as an easy, healthy weeknight dinner. And while most bowls rely on veggies, protein, grains and legumes, don’t underestimate the power of an amazing sauce!

That’s where tahini paste comes in. Whisked into an easy dressing, tahini can take your boring bowls from bland to brilliant.

Some tasty tahini grain bowl topping ideas include:

  • Tahini mustard dressing - tahini, mustard, ACV, maple syrup
  • Tahini green goddess dressing – tahini, herbs, lemon, garlic, olive oil
  • Miso tahini sauce – blend tahini and miso paste
  • Tahini sauce – thin out straight tahini with lemon juice and water

Then build your perfect grain bowl with quinoa, rice, lentils, roasted veggies, greens, beans, nuts, seeds, and protein. Crown it with your tahini dressing for maximum flavor!

This unique nutty, creamy condiment brings cohesion and adds interest to otherwise boring homemade bowls. Embrace the power of tahini for your next Whole 30 or plant-based dinner.

7. Marinate Meats, Tofu or Tempeh

That distinctive tahini flavor isn’t just for plant-based dishes – it excels at flavoring proteins too! Use it to marinate meats, tofu, seitan or tempeh before cooking.

Some excellent tahini marinade combos include:

  • Yogurt tahini marinade – Greek yogurt, lemon, tahini, garlic, cumin
  • Tahini shawarma marinade – tahini, olive oil, lemon, garlic, cumin, paprika
  • Teriyaki tahini marinade – soy sauce, rice vinegar, tahini, garlic, ginger
  • Tahini BBQ sauce – tahini, ketchup, ACV, spices

The high oil content allows the marinade to tenderize meats beautifully. And it infuses them with mouthwatering Middle Eastern flavors.

Use your tahini-based marinades on chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, portobello mushrooms, tofu, tempeh, eggplant or cauliflower steaks.

Then grill, pan sear, bake or broil the marinated ingredients for intensely tasty main courses and sides.

8. Include In Homemade Sauces

Speaking of sauces, tahini deserves a permanent place in your sauce repertoire too. That nutty sesame taste punches up veggie sides, coats proteins perfectly, and brings salads together.

Some stellar tahini-spiked sauces include:

  • Tahini jalapeño sauce – for grilled meats or tacos
  • Peanut tahini sauce – sweet, nutty sauce for noodles or stir fries
  • Tahini chimichurri – blend into traditional herb sauce
  • Tahini vegan cheese sauce – nutritional yeast gives even more savory flavor
  • Tahini bechamel – sub for some oil/butter in classic white sauce

Get creative mixing tahini into your favorite sauce recipes. Or use it straight up as a condiment for falafel, meatballs, roasted cauliflower or eggplant.

This versatile seed paste takes sauces from boring to brilliant in minutes flat!

9. Enjoy Tahini Butter

Nut butters now come in all different varieties beyond just peanut. So why not try your hand at a homemade tahini butter?

Making your own allows you to control the ingredients. And it costs just a fraction of the price of store-bought.

To whip up smooth, spreadable tahini butter:

  • Toast sesame seeds in the oven or skillet until golden
  • Allow to cool then grind into a flour consistency in your food processor
  • Add a touch of neutral oil or softened coconut butter to reach desired consistency
  • Flavor further with cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa powder, etc.

Then slather your homemade tahini butter on toast, stir into oatmeal or smoothie bowls, use in baking, etc. The options here are endless.

Unleash your creativity to make the perfect flavored tahini butter to suit your tastes!

10. Bake With Tahini

That distinctive sesame flavor isn’t just for savory dishes – it excels in baked goods too! Both sweet and savory baked items benefit from the addition of tahini paste.

Some stellar ways to bake with tahini include:

  • Tahini chocolate chip cookies – use in place of some butter for fudgy dough
  • Tahini shortbread cookies – nutty twist on classic shortbread
  • Tahini brownies or blondies – swap tahini for a portion of the oil or butter
  • Tahini sugar cookies – adds flavor depth versus plain sugar cookies
  • Tahini banana bread – nutty accent to all spice breads and muffins
  • Tahini olive oil cake – use as some of the fat

The options for baked goods are truly endless. Tahini adds moisture, luxurious texture, and toasty sesame aroma to both sweet and savory items.

Use it in place of part of the butter or oil in just about any recipe. Or go savory by blending into biscuit, scone or loaf bread doughs before baking.

Key Takeaway: Swap out a portion of the fat for tahini paste in both sweet and savory baked goods recipes.

11. Blend Tahini Smoothies

Here’s an out-of-the-box idea for using more tahini: add it to your daily smoothies! This nutritious seed butter blends beautifully into both fruit- and veggie-based drinks.

That mild nutty essence pairs nicely with various smoothie flavors too. Try adding a spoonful or two into:

  • Chocolate smoothies
  • Green fruit smoothies with mango/pineapple/banana
  • Berry smoothies like blueberry, strawberry or mixed
  • Green veggie smoothies with kale/spinach
  • Nut butter smoothies with almond butter or peanut butter
  • Protein smoothies with vegan protein powder

Tahini contributes nutrition, creaminess, and its signature flavor to homemade smoothies. So don’t overlook this handy kitchen staple next time you blend up a drink.

12. Craft Creamy Desserts

Tahini deserves a coveted place in your dessert arsenal too. That luxuriously smooth paste mimics the texture of dairy cream or butter in sweets.

So ditch the dairy and experiment with tahini in these decadent desserts:

  • Tahini milkshake – blend tahini, banana, vanilla, and milk
  • Tahini ice cream – mix into classic vanilla or chocolate ice cream base
  • Tahini mousse – fold airy whipped tahini into sweetened cream cheese
  • Tahini cheesecake – use in place of some cream cheese and sour cream
  • Tahini chocolate pudding – mix cocoa powder and maple syrup into thinned tahini
  • Tahini buttercream frosting – fluffy frosting without powdered sugar

Let your creativity run wild with luscious no-bake desserts utilizing tahini! Its natural sweetness and smooth consistency excel in all types of creamy sweets and confections.

13. Mix Up Tahini Drinks

We’ve covered smoothies, but why stop there? Tahini deserves a place in your evening cocktail rotation too!

That distinctive nutty quality makes a fantastic addition to both sweet and savory libations.

Some fun tahini drinks to mix up include:

  • Tahini white Russians – sub tahini for dairy creamer
  • Tahini mudslides – blend with ice cream and chocolate or caramel liqueurs
  • Tahini martinis – add just a spoonful to dry martinis
  • Tahini margaritas – run rim in mixture of tahini, salt and chili powder

Don’t limit tahini just to food – unleash its potential in your home bar too! That nutty sesame flavor plays well against booze, enhancing countless classic cocktails in minutes.

14. Make Homemade Halva

Halva is a traditional Middle Eastern confection made from sesame paste or flour, sugar, and nuts. Sort of like a dense, fudgy candy bar.

And it’s delicious! But quality halva can be hard to find and pricy to buy.

Luckily, homemade halva is easy with just a few ingredients:

  • Tahini
  • Honey or sugar
  • Nuts like pistachios, almonds or peanuts
  • Vanilla and spices

Simply cook the sugar and tahini to 230°F for a fudgy texture. Stir in nuts and any flavorings, then pour into a pan and chill until set. Cut into squares and enjoy this nutty sweet treat!

Much better than heading to the international market and paying big bucks. Make your own anytime with quality ingredients.

15. Whip Up Sesame Brittle Candy

Here’s another fun way to use tahini in candy form: sesame brittle. This sweet-and-salty treat has a light, crispy texture when made properly.

To make the brittle:

  • Combine sugar and corn syrup in a pot
  • Cook to 300°F for hard crack stage
  • Stir in tahini and baking soda
  • Add sesame seeds and nuts
  • Pour onto a baking sheet
  • Break into pieces once set

This old-fashioned brittle candy combines that wonderful tahini nuttiness with light, crispy texture. The perfect sweet-and-salty fix for tahini lovers!

Common Tahini Paste UsesDetails
HummusBlended into the classic chickpea spread
Baba GhanoushEssential for the smooth eggplant dip
Salad DressingsWhisked into nutty vinaigrettes
Sandwich SpreadsSlathered onto breads and pitas
Hearty DipsGreat base for bean dips and cheese fondue
Grain Bowl ToppingsThinned into creamy sauces for bowls
Meat MarinadesTenderizes and infuses flavor
Homemade SaucesAdds depth of flavor and texture
BakingReplaces some fat in doughs and batters
SmoothiesContributes nutrition, creaminess and nutty essence
Creamy DessertsMimics texture of butter and cream
Cocktail MixerNutty accent to both sweet and savory drinks
Halva CandyPrimary ingredient along with sugar and nuts
Brittle CandyLight, crispy texture with sesame seeds
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