Store-bought tahini is expensive, especially considering that it’s nothing more than puréed sesame seeds. If you have a high-speed blender, you can make your own tahini in minutes.

Yield: about 1 cup

Time: 5 minutes


  • Vitamix or other high-speed blender (dry container)
  • jar with lid


  • 2 c sesame seeds*


Place seeds in the blender container, secure the top, and turn on the blender, quickly moving to the highest speed. Use the tamper to constantly push the seeds/paste back down toward the blades.

If the blender starts whining before the tahini is ready, that’s a sign that the blades are not catching the paste properly. I’ve found the best way to deal with this is to turn off the blender, scrape everything into a bowl, and then loosely pack it back into the blender container and turn it on again. After another 20-30 seconds, the tahini is ready.

Transfer to a jar and keep refrigerated.


* You can use hulled or unhulled sesame seeds, as well as raw or roasted. They’re all good, just different. Unhulled sesame seeds will make the tahini stronger and more bitter than unhulled seeds. Roasted seeds will make a richer, darker paste. You can also use a mix of seeds. The tahini in the photo was made with toasted, unhulled sesame seeds.

Some people use the terms "tahini" and "tahini sauce" interchangeably, but they are not the same thing at all. Tahini refers to the above sesame seed paste, while tahini sauce is a delicious, pourable sauce from Lebanon.


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