We tried 12 brands of this rich, creamy sesame seed paste and picked our top 3. 

Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

It’s no secret that we love tahini—in hummus of course, but also in banana bread, milkshakes, and marinades. No two spreads are created equal; it all depends on where the sesame seeds come from and how they’re toasted and milled. Here is the cream of the tahini crop.

Seed + Mill

Credit: Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

This tahini had a buttery, velvety mouthfeel, a slight tang, and a beautifully clean finish (not bitter or gritty). Treat this tahini like a finishing oil and enjoy on its own, drizzled over toast or grilled vegetables. —$10 per 11.6-oz. jar, seedandmill.com

365 Organic

Credit: Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

This tahini was pleasantly mild with a slightly sweet finish and a thin, smooth consistency that makes it excellent for measuring. The sesame flavor comes through in dips, sauces, and marinades. —6.39 per 16-oz. jar, Whole Foods


Credit: Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

This tahini is about as close to peanut butter as you’ll find—thick and unctuous, with no oil separation on top. It has a wonderfully creamy texture with a toasty, faintly bitter yet balanced flavor. —$8.25 per 11-oz. jar, amazon.com

More Tahini Tips

Be sure to give the tahini a good stir in the jar so that it’s well blended and pourable before you measure. The paste will seize up when any liquid is added; this is perfectly normal. Just keep slowly adding liquid, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches the desired consistency.