Tahini is an essential Middle Eastern ingredient with a rich, nutty flavour that is made from ground sesame seeds. It’s also hands-down one of my favourite pantry staples because it’s very versatile and takes the taste of my recipes to the next level.
You can find tahini paste in most supermarkets nowadays, or you can make your own from scratch with sesame seeds, oil, and a trusty blender. Just make sure you use hulled seeds for your tahini as the unhulled ones will give it a more bitter and slightly overpowering flavour.
Before using tahini, you might notice that it usually separates into the jar, leaving a layer of oil on top. Most of the time, trying to stir it to combine is quite a messy and challenging task. However, there’s a simple trick I’ll share with you that is going to help you with that.
All you have to do is to store your jar upside down. This prevents the oil and sesame paste from separating and makes it ready to go when your next recipe calls for tahini paste. Also, you don’t necessarily have to store it in the fridge; your pantry would do just fine.
Apart from its widespread use in hummus, you can add tahini to sauces, salad dressings, meat mixtures, and even cheesecakes, as you’ll see below. Still, most recipes will require you to turn the tahini paste into tahini sauce (they’re not the same thing!).
The tahini paste is too strong and overwhelming to be drizzled as is onto your food. That’s why you’ll have to thin it out first by adding garlic, lemon juice, and water to it.
From your basic and beloved hummus to the most decadent of cheesecakes, here are 11 easy and delicious recipes that include tahini:
If you’re ready to say that you’ve never tasted tahini, think again. Tahini is one of the five main ingredients of the traditional hummus, a dish that most of us tried and instantly fell in love with. For all my hummus lovers out there, don’t forget to check out my journal on the most delicious ways to eat hummus.
Have some leftover hummus? Then it’s the perfect time to make a tasty chickpea and hummus salad for dinner. This meal is the best combination of creamy hummus, crunchy bread, and fresh herbs and vegetables. It’s also vegan-friendly!
Chickpea Fateh is a traditional Lebanese dish that involves delicious layers of chickpeas and fried bread in yogurt and tahini sauce. I used to have this almost every day for breakfast when I was a child back in Lebanon. The tahini paste is a delicious addition to the yogurt sauce, but depending on the region in which you grew up, you may or may not include it in your recipe.
The best part about this savoury dish is that you can prepare all the elements ahead of time and assemble them later. Adding the tahini to the yogurt sauce is something I like to do, not everyone does it. Nevertheless, those that tasted my Chicken Fatteh loved it especially for that extra boost of flavour.
These brussel sprouts drizzled with tahini sauce and garnished with slivered almonds make a delightful vegan side dish. If you’re one of those people who don’t know if they like brussel sprouts or not, I advise you to try this.
This is one of the easiest recipes you’ll come across: the tahini sauce won’t take you more than 5 minutes to make, and the rest of the cooking is done entirely in the oven. If you’re vegan or you have a friend that is, this is a must-try.
This dish is a flavourful Middle Eastern twist to the classic oven-roasted cauliflower. Also, it’s a simple and quick recipe that will be a beautiful addition to your entertaining table.
If you need a healthy side dish for your dinner party, this one is a winner. I just love how the flavours come together in this meal. For more plant-based recipes, check out the 7-day menu I created which includes some of the most delicious plant-based Middle Eastern recipes you’ll ever try.
These homemade tahini sausage rolls are a real favourite among my friends and family. The tahini and the spices give them a unique yet subtle flavour. They’re also freezer-friendly and great to have at hand when you’re having guests over.
Tahini can be used in much subtler ways such as in the case of these spicy lamb pastries. This recipe is the modern adaptation of my mum’s signature dish, Laham-B-Ajeen, as I use puff pastry instead of the traditional dough. I usually make these in batches and freeze them for later.
You just cannot make falafel and serve it without tahini; at least, not in our house. This modern and much healthier version of the traditional falafel is a delicious everyday vegan meal. Not to mention, its presentation makes it great for entertaining
Enjoy and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you try any of these recipes!