Ground sesame seeds deserve a place at your table beyond the hummus and crudites platter. Try these healthy recipes that use tahini in totally fresh ways
Lay It On Thick
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Tahini, a creamy paste made from ground sesame seeds and typically, a little olive oil, is commonly found in hummus, but it's a delicious spread in its own right. Chock full of vitamins E, B, and healthy fats, tahini has a naturally sweet but nutty taste that can also add an unexpected flavor twist to any dishes where you would normally use nut butter. It's also a great sub for dairy when you need something creamy—like in this Tahini Slaw alongside Bulgar Veggie Burgers. Here are 10 more recipes to inspire new ways to use tahini in your kitchen.
Chocolate Tahini Cookies
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Just when you thought chocolate and peanut butter were the ultimate match made in heaven, these Chocolate Tahini Cookies came into your life and made you second guess all that. The sesame seeds on top are just the figurative icing on the cake—er, cookie.
Photo: Salted Plains
Charred Romaine Salad with Tahini Dressing
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No grill necessary; just slice a head of romaine lettuce in half length-wise and cook on a skillet using medium-high heat until edges are blackened. The sesame ginger dressing on this Charred Romaine Salad will elevate the dish above any salad you'll find on a restaurant menu.
Photo: The Pancake Princess
Vegan Carrot Cake Tahini Pancakes
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The psyllium husk makes the texture of these Carrot Cake Tahini Pancakes more like a cake-like than flapjack-y, and adding banana gives this recipe natural sweetness without added sugar. Now, if you want to go ahead and drizzle maple syrup on a stack of these vegan pancakes, that's a whole other—and totally acceptable and delicious—story. (Looking for more ways to indulge without piling on the sugar? Try these 5 Desserts You Won't Believe Are Sugar-Free.)
Photo: Nutrition Stripped
Dill Tahini with Freekeh and Lentils
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You can substitute quinoa for freekeh in this Dill Tahini Bowl, but you should really give the ancient grain a try (it's one of 10 Ancient Grains to Switch Up Your Healthy Carbs). Roasted cauliflower is the perfect addition to this bowl-based dish, and the powerful flavor of dill takes tahini to a whole new level.
Photo: Apollo and Luna
Carrot Tahini Quinoa Burgers with Tzatziki
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This isn't your typical dense imitation-meat burger. The sriracha, cumin, and tahini in these Carrot Tahini Quinoa Burgers are anything but boring, and as far as color goes—the picture alone is worth 1,000 stomach growls. Try these Veggie-Based Buns to make the entire dish veggie-heavy!
Fig Tahini Halva
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Halva is a traditional Indian dessert made of tahini and sugar. This Fig Tahini Halva recipe uses maple syrup, dried figs, and coconut oil for a fun take on the classic. Freeze for five hours to get a thick, fudgy treat that tastes far more complex than the short ingredient list suggests.
Photo: Susan Jane White
Soba Noodles and Ginger Tahini with Crispy Kale, Shallots, and Romaine
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Substitute cream for tahini in this Soba Noodle Bowl with Tahini and Crispy Kale to get rich, velvety noodles without the dairy or mega calories. The noodles sit on a bed of romaine lettuce, which makes this bowl half-salad, half-takeout.
Photo: What's Cooking Good Looking
Raspberry Tahini Smoothie
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Buckwheat Tahini Caramel Balls
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Toasting buckwheat gives these Buckwheat Tahini Caramel Balls a seriously complex flavor. The combo of dates and tahini yield a familiar caramel flavor, so you're left wondering whether these treats are better as a dessert or eaten as a post-workout protein ball. We say, both! Duh.
Photo: Delicious Everyday
Vegan Zoodle Fresh Rolls with Mango Tahini Sauce
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Spiralized veggies work for so much more than just as a pasta alternative. (Psst... Check out our 7 Creative Combos for Spiralized Veggies.) Case in point: these Zoodle Fresh Rolls with Mango-Tahini Sauce. Combine the tahini dressing with a drizzle of chili sauce to get a deliciously creative flavor and to create a fun swirled pattern on top.
Photo: Heather Christo