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Tahini Paste Substitutes

If there is one thing I enjoy more than hummus,- it’s homemade hummus. I have been making this creamy umami dip ever since I stumbled on a recipe I found online. My homemade hummus recipe has three indispensable chickpeas, olive oil, and tahini paste ingredients.

Yes, I love this Middle Eastern condiment (tahini), and I add it to almost everything from hummus to meats and veggies; it even tastes delicious when eaten on its own or used as a spread.

Tahini paste is made from sesame, which may be disappointing for people who are allergic to sesame. But no need to feel left out because you could still get to enjoy delicious homemade hummus without tahini paste, and in this article, I will be telling you what you can use to replace tahini paste in any recipe that calls for it.

First, let us look at what tahini paste is all about.

Tahini Paste Substitutes

What is Tahini?

Tahini (also called tahini) usually comes in a buttery or paste-like texture, and it is made with hulled sesame seeds, oil, and salt. Sesame seeds may have a bitter taste, so before the hulled sesame seeds are ground to make tahini paste is made, the seeds are toasted to reduce bitterness and bring out the nutty flavor ever so slightly; however, they stand out the flavor of tahini paste is somewhat savory and earthy.

Tahini paste is a condiment popularly used in Middle Eastern cuisines, although you can find it in North African and East Mediterranean cuisines and some South Caucus countries.

Uses of Tahini Paste in Recipes

The majority of the tahini pastes we buy from the store are vegan to integrate well with vegan recipes. It will also act as a non-dairy cream substitute in recipes like sesame noodle salad, carrot tart with cashew-tahini sauce, or just a simple tahini coleslaw.

Tahini is popular in hummus recipes, but you can also use the Middle Eastern condiment as a spread for bread slices or a dip for veggies. The nutty flavor of tahini suggests it is just a sesame version of peanut butter, so feel free to try it out the same way you use peanut butter. Have you tried drizzling some tahini on falafel? If you have not tried this, be sure to try it and thank me later.

Below are fifteen recipes that would put that can of tahini paste to good use.

Substitutes for Tahini Paste

Tahini paste adds hints of nuttiness to recipes like hummus and baba ghanoush. It is good for vegans and people who do not consume dairy. But if you have a sesame allergy, tahini paste would not be something you would consider. So how can you make hummus and baba guanoush without tahini paste? I have tried out a couple of ingredients, and I will be sharing some of them in this article and how you can successfully swap them in for tahini paste.

Without further ado, let’s get into the substitutes.

Cashew Butter

Cashew Butter


Cashew butter is a type of spread made from baked or roasted cashew. It contains oil which gives it its creamy texture. It does not contain animal extracts, so it is also safe for vegans and people who cannot withstand dairy.

The nuttiness of cashew butter is more eminent than tahini, but this nutty flavor can add an exotic tang to your dish.

Use cashew butter as a one-to-one replacement for tahini paste in your recipe.

Almond Butter

Almond Butter

Almond butter is a food staple, and just like cashew butter, it can be used to replace tahini in any recipe where it is needed. Almond butter may have a crunchy or smooth texture; this depends on the production process.

Almond butter has a very noticeable nutty flavor that may add a layer of extra flavor to your dish. Also, use almond butter as a direct swap for tahini in recipes that call for tahini.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

This butter is very versatile, and it is pretty easy to get from grocery stores. Peanut butter is gotten from dry-roasted peanuts, and just like other vegan butter on this list, it has a nutty strong nutty flavor; the flavor may even become overpowering when used in some recipes. Nevertheless, you can use peanut butter as a last-ditch substitute for tahini paste. You may consider a different option if you have a peanut butter allergy.

Use peanut butter in small quantities when subbing for tahini; gradually add more peanut butter to your choice.

Sunflower Butter

Sunflower Butter

Sunflower butter is an edible paste made from sunflower seeds. It works well as a peanut butter substitute, so there is a possibility it would flourish as a tahini paste substitute.

Sunflower seeds are a good source of protein, vitamin E, fiber, zinc, and iron, and just like every other butter on the list, it is dairy-free and safe for lactose intolerant vegans.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I use sesame paste instead of tahini?

Yes, you can use sesame paste if you run out of tahini but have some sesame paste on hand. They are very identical but slightly different.

What is the difference between tahini and sesame paste?

These two pastes are very similar; they are even mistaken for one another most times. The only difference is in the flavor of these pastes; tahini paste has a lighter flavor that complements both sweet and savory dishes.

How can I store opened tahini paste?

Tahini has a good shelf life, whether opened or unopened, so it may not go bad quickly even if you do not refrigerate it (but refrigeration helps retain quality better).

The best way to store would be to keep tahini in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.


Tahini paste is a creamy Middle Eastern condiment famously used in hummus recipes. If you need tahini for hummus or any other recipe, but you can’t get it, there are many alternatives for it. Now that you know what can replace tahini in your recipes, will you be making more hummus dip?