Home Substitutes 7 Best Tahini Substitutes (Flavorful Alternatives)

7 Best Tahini Substitutes (Flavorful Alternatives)

If you’re looking for the best tahini substitutes, try cashew butter, sunflower butter, and almond butter.

Some other great alternatives include sesame oil, peanut butter, and Greek yogurt. The result won’t taste exactly the same, but it’ll mimic the nutty flavor you’re after!

Bowl of Tasty Tahini with Lemon, Bread, Sesame Seeds and Spinach
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Whether you’re seeking alternatives for dietary reasons or want to try new flavors, these tahini alternatives will deliver.

Each one offers a unique twist to elevate your dishes. Say hello to a world of delicious creativity with tasty tahini substitutes!

What Is Tahini?

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It’s creamy, nutty, and has a slightly bitter flavor.

It’s an essential ingredient in many Middle Eastern recipes such as hummus and baba ganoush. Add it to salads and soups for extra flavor or use it in desserts. 

It also makes an excellent replacement for butter or other fats in baking recipes. With its versatile uses, tahini is a favorite among cooks around the world! 

Tahini Uses

  • Hummus: Tahini is a key ingredient in traditional hummus, adding a creamy texture and nutty flavor to the dip.
  • Salad Dressings: Incorporate it into salad dressings for a creamy and rich consistency. It pairs well with lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil.
  • Sauces and Dips: Tahini can make delicious sauces and dips like tahini sauce. It’s commonly drizzled over falafel, kebabs, or grilled vegetables.
  • Baked Goods: Add it to cookies, brownies, and cakes for a unique and nutty twist.
  • Smoothies: Blend it into smoothies for a creamy and protein-packed addition. It pairs well with fruits like bananas, dates, and berries.
  • Marinades and Dressings: Use tahini as a base for marinades or dressings for grilled meats, roasted vegetables, or grain bowls.
  • Tahini Swirls: Drizzle it over soups, stews, or grain bowls. It adds a flavorful and visually appealing touch.

Best Tahini Substitutes

A Bowl of Cashew Butter and Cashews Nuts on a Wooden Table

1. Cashew Butter 

Cashew butter serves as a fantastic substitute for tahini! It has a similar creamy texture. The smoothness adds richness to dishes, making it a viable replacement. 

It has a mild nutty flavor that’s reminiscent of tahini. Cashew butter is also incredibly versatile, so you can use it in many recipes.

It’s not a perfect match for tahini, but it’s close.

Sunflower Seeds on a Bowl, Sunflower Butter in an Opened Jar

2. Sunflower Butter

Sunflower butter makes an excellent substitute. With its smooth and creamy consistency, it closely resembles the texture of tahini. It also has a similar mild and nutty flavor profile. Because the taste is virtually the same, it seamlessly blends into recipes. 

It’s also a great option for those with nut allergies or sensitivities since it’s made from seeds. 

Whether you’re making hummus or other Middle Eastern dishes, sunflower butter can successfully fill in for tahini.

Almond Nuts and Creamy Almond Butter in a Glass Dish

3. Almond Butter

Almond butter has a similar texture and consistency. It’s an ideal replacement in recipes like hummus and baba ganoush. It also provides much of the same flavor profile as tahini, with its nutty taste.

Almond butter is rich in protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium. These important nutrients are beneficial for your health. 

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Replacing tahini with almond butter helps reduce the fat content of dishes. You really can’t go wrong with this alternative.

A Bowl of Sesame Oil on Top of Sesame Seeds

4. Sesame Oil

Sesame oil and tahini are both excellent sources of healthy fats. Both can be used interchangeably since they’re derived from sesame.

Sesame oil has a mild flavor that is slightly nutty. It’s a great substitute to add creaminess or thickness to your dish.

The flavor is weaker than tahini. That’ll appease those who aren’t fans of the strong flavor. This oil is also much more affordable.

Last, it has more unsaturated fatty acids than regular butter or vegetable oils, making it a healthier alternative.

Greek Yogurt on a Wooden Bowl

5. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great substitute, thanks to its high protein content. It’s also rich in calcium and probiotics, which makes it a healthier option than tahini. 

It has a creamy texture and contains less fat and fewer calories. So it’s a great choice to lower the calorie intake or reduce the amount of fat in recipes.

It can be used in savory dishes as well as desserts, making it a great all-purpose substitute.

If you don’t have any tahini on hand, consider using Greek yogurt instead!

jar of peanut butter and peanuts

6. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is another excellent substitute for tahini. It has a similar creamy texture and nutty flavor, so it’s an ideal stand-in.

Tahini and peanut butter are both high in protein and healthy fats. So substituting one for the other won’t affect the nutritional value of your dish.

In terms of taste, peanut butter tends to have a milder flavor than tahini. If your recipes need an extra punch, add some additional seasonings.

Peanut butter can also create a slightly thicker texture. If you use it as a replacement, be sure to add more liquid.

A Bowl of Black Sesame Paste on a Wooden Table

7. Black Sesame Paste 

This paste is made from grounded sesame seeds and oil or sugar. It can be used in many of the same dishes calling for tahini. 

It has a richer flavor, as it contains more fat and sugar. The paste also adds more texture and color to recipes. This is because of its darker hue compared to traditional tahini.

Black sesame paste contains high levels of antioxidants, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated fatty acids.

When substituting black sesame paste for tahini, consider the flavor and texture. It has a more intense and nutty taste than tahini. So some recipes will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Unhulled vs Hulled Tahini

Unhulled tahini and hulled tahini differ in several aspects, including flavor, texture, and appearance.

Hulled tahini is made from sesame seeds with the outer husks removed. It has a lighter color and a smooth, creamy texture. It’s milder in flavor, allowing other ingredients in a dish to shine. Its consistency is perfect for spreading or incorporating into dressings, dips, and sauces.

Unhulled tahini retains the outer husks of the sesame seeds. This results in a darker color and a slightly thicker texture. It offers a more robust and pronounced sesame flavor. The grainier consistency of unhulled tahini gives it a hearty and rustic quality.

Visually, hulled tahini appears lighter and smoother. Unhulled tahini has a darker and more textured appearance due to the presence of husks.

The choice between hulled and unhulled tahini depends on personal preference. Also, take into account the desired flavor and texture for a specific recipe.

7 Best Tahini Substitutes (Flavorful Alternatives)

The best tahini substitutes are almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, and sunflower butter. All provide plenty of nutty flavor.


  • Cashew Butter

  • Sunflower Butter

  • Almond Butter

  • Sesame Oil

  • Greek Yogurt

  • Peanut Butter

  • Black Sesame Paste


  • Select your favorite tahini substitute.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a delicious recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Tahini Substitutes

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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