Tahini is a sesame seed paste that is used as a base for many Middle Eastern dishes, such as hummus, baba ganoush, and tahini sauce. It’s made by grinding sesame seeds with salt and oil, so it’s not exactly something you can whip up at home on a whim—but luckily, there are plenty of substitutes for it.
This guide will help you find the perfect alternative for tahini in your cooking, whether you’re looking for something to add to your salads or just want an easy way to make hummus from scratch without buying pre-made ingredients.
What is Tahini?
Tahini, or sesame butter, is a delicious ingredient that is often used in Middle Eastern cooking, and its many applications are well-recognized by anybody who enjoys this cuisine.
Tahini, like peanut butter, almond butter, and other nut butter, is a healthy condiment produced by crushing sesame seeds into a paste.
You may also add salt and sesame oil to your dish.
Tahini is a sesame seed paste, therefore its texture and consistency are quite similar to those of nut butter.
Before being ground into a smooth paste, the sesame seeds used to make tahini may be roasted, raw, hulled, or unhulled.
Tahini is versatile enough to be used in a variety of ways, including as a dip or spread over sandwiches. You’ll find it in many salad dressings and dips, including hummus, baba ghanoush, and others.
Tahini is a sesame seed paste that has its roots in Middle Eastern cooking but is now widely accessible in the United States and other nations.
The condiment department or the foreign foods aisle of the supermarket is often where you’ll find it.
The 7 Best Substitutes For Tahini
#1 Peanut Butter
If you’re looking for an easy substitution for tahini in your recipes, peanut butter is your best bet. It has a similar texture and consistency and adds delicious flavor to dishes like hummus or baba ghanoush.
Plus, it’s much more affordable than buying tahini from specialty stores or online! Just be sure not to use natural peanut butter—it won’t work as well since it doesn’t have enough oil content.
#2 Almond Butter
Almond butter is the perfect substitute for tahini if you’re looking for something a little less nutty and a lot more creamy. It’s also a great option if you don’t have any sesame seeds around, or if you’re allergic to them. Almond butter is an excellent source of protein and fiber, so it’s a great option if you’re looking to add more protein or fiber to your diet.
If you want to use almond butter as a substitute for tahini, just make sure that it’s unsweetened and raw (sometimes almond butters will be roasted). Then just mix it in with your other ingredients until they’re combined! You can use almond butter in recipes like hummus and baba ghanoush—it works especially well as a dip for vegetables or pita breads!
#3 Cashew Butter
Cashews are a popular alternative to tahini, as they have a similar texture and can be used in many of the same applications. Taste-wise, cashew butter has a strong nutty flavor that’s reminiscent of peanut butter.
It also tends to be much smoother than tahini, which means it can help you develop a more spreadable consistency if you’re trying to make something like hummus or baba ghanouj from scratch.
#4 Sunflower Seed Butter
Sunflower seed butter is a mixture of ground sunflower seeds and oil, which gives it its creamy texture. It’s sometimes also referred to as “sun butter,” “sunflower seed spread,” or “earth butter.” You can buy sunflower seed butter in most grocery stores or online.
Sunflower seed butter is best used as a substitute for tahini in recipes that call for tahini. It can be used in any dish that calls for tahini, including hummus and baba ganoush.
The only difference between using sunflower seed butter and tahini is that sunflower seed butter has a milder taste than tahini, so you may need to adjust the amount of salt you add to your recipe if you’re substituting with sunflower seed butter instead of tahini.
#5 Sesame oil
Sesame oil is pressed from toasted sesame seeds and is a popular ingredient in Indian, Chinese, and Japanese cooking. It has a nutty flavor and is often used for salad dressings or drizzled overcooked vegetables.
Sesame oil can be substituted for tahini in many recipes, but it has a lighter taste than tahini and does not have the same creamy texture.
If you are using sesame oil as a substitute for tahini in hummus or baba ghanoush, use half as much since sesame oil is less dense than tahini.
#6 Macadamia Nut Butter
Macadamia nut butter is a spread made from macadamia nuts and a little bit of sweetener. It is similar to peanut butter in texture, but it has its own unique taste that can be used in many different ways.
It’s commonly used as a spread on toast or dipped into with apples, but it’s also delicious when added to smoothies and other desserts!
Because of its high fat content, macadamia nut butter will make your dish very oily if you use too much of it. Try starting with half of what’s called for in your recipe and add more as needed—you may find that you need less than you think!
#7 Black Sesame Paste
Black sesame paste is made from hulled, roasted black sesame seeds. It has a thick, creamy texture and a rich flavor with a hint of sweetness. It’s often used in Asian cooking, especially in Chinese and Japanese dishes.
Black sesame paste can be used as a substitute for tahini in recipes that require a thick, creamy texture and nutty flavors, such as hummus or baba ghanoush. Black sesame paste also makes an excellent addition to salad dressings, sauces, and spreads!
If you’re using black sesame paste in place of tahini, you’ll need to increase the amount used in the recipe. For example: If your recipe calls for 1/4 cup tahini but you’re substituting it with black sesame paste, then you should use 3/4 cup black sesame paste instead.
We hope you found this article helpful in your quest to find a good substitute for tahini. Tahini is a staple in Middle Eastern cooking, and it’s often used as a base for dips and sauces. It can also be used as a spread or made into buttery spreads.
For those who are vegan or gluten-free, it’s important to find a substitute that works well in your diet. We’ve put together this list of the seven best substitutes for tahini so that you have no trouble finding one that works well with your lifestyle.
If you have any questions about the substitutions we’ve provided here, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below!