What Is Tahini Made of and Used For?

Tahini is a versatile nutty-tasting sauce used in many healthy recipes. Find out what Tahini is made of, how to make it, and what food you can eat it with.

By Carmen Slabbert
Edited by Taj Schlebusch

Published September 30, 2021.

Tahini is the thick spread that results from grinding hulled and lightly roasted sesame seed. The word tahini is an Arabic name for ground sesame seed. It is smooth and nutty-tasting full of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

Is Tahini Made With Nuts?

Even though tahini has a nutty-tasting, it is not made with nuts but with sesame seed paste. It has the same nutritional value as nut-butter but without all the fat.

How to Make Tahini


  • 1 cup tahini sesame seed paste
  • ¾ cup lukewarm water
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


Grind the tahini paste, lukewarm water, garlic, lemon juice and salt together in a food processor or blender until the sauce is creamy and ivory in colour. Add water depending on the desired thickness of the sauce.

What Is Tahini Used For?

Tahini is known for being versatile and it pairs well with many healthy recipes, like baba ghanoush. You can eat tahini by itself, or it can be used as a sauce, a dip, a dressing, on desserts and vegetables. It is often the key ingredient to a good-tasting hummus, and because of the nutty flavour is can be used as a condiment with savoury or sweet food.

Tahini tastes best on the following food:

  • Dip raw vegetables in it.
  • Spread tahini on toast.
  • Drizzle it on falafel.
  • Use it to make tarator sauce.
  • Dressing your salad.
  • Condiments used on meat.
  • Stirring it in a soup as a flavour booster and thickener.

Using tahini is not only a tasty addition to food but also contains a lot of health benefits. Making it not only a tasty snack but also a healthy one.