Look out, peanut butter: tahini is the new pantry spread of our dreams. This creamy, rich sesame seed butter gives a nutty appeal to desserts and savory depth to soups, sauces, and marinades. Call it liquid gold in a jar.

By Hannah Klinger
April 15, 2017
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Photo: Jennifer Causey

1. Tahini-Date Shake

Photo: Jennifer Causey

View Recipe: Tahini-Date Shake

2. Tahini-Carrot Soup with Pistachios

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Elevate toast, grilled chicken, or ice cream instantly with a drizzle of tahini straight from the jar. Or go for our quick garlic-infused Tahini Sauce; it's great with grilled or roasted vegetables or meat.

View Recipe: Tahini-Carrot Soup with Pistachios

3. Chocolate-Tahini Banana Bread

Photo: Jennifer Causey

View Recipe: Chocolate-Tahini Banana Bread

4. Homemade Tahini Sauce

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Use this sauce to make a killer hummus. Blend it with a can of chickpeas, some water, olive oil, salt, and cumin until very smooth. We love it with toasted pita.

View Recipe: Tahini Sauce

5. Tahini-Marinated Chicken Thighs with Cucumber-and-Tomato Salad

Photo: Jennifer Causey

View Recipe: Tahini-Marinated Chicken Thighs with Cucumber-and-Tomato Salad

6. Sesame-Ginger-Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Make sure to stir tahini well in the jar before you measure (it should be pourable). If the paste is still too thick, add a splash of water to the jar and keep stirring until the mixture is loose and smooth.

View Recipe: Sesame-Ginger-Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

7. Lentil-Tahini Burgers with Pickled Cabbage

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Why does tahini turn to a gluey paste when liquid is added? Tahini is made of carbs, and carbs stick to water molecules like, well, glue. Keep slowly adding liquid and stirring; the sauce will start to absorb the liquid and smooth out.

View Recipe: Lentil-Tahini Burgers with Pickled Cabbage


How to Buy

Look for tahini that is smooth and pourable, with little separation. It should taste mild and nutty out of the jar; not sour or burnt. Three brands we love:

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

A buttery, velvety mouthfeel, slight tang, and clean finish. Treat like a finishing oil and enjoy on its own. $12 per 9-oz. jar; seedandmill.com

Mild and smooth, with a slightly sweet finish. Sesame flavor comes through in dips and sauces. $6.39 per 16-oz. jar; Whole Foods

Nicely thick, with no oil slick on top. Creamy, with toasty, faintly bitter yet balanced notes. Perfect for spreading. $8.25 per 11-oz. jar; amazon.com