What Does Tahini Taste Like?

While tahini may look like peanut butter, it’s actually made with sesame seeds. Perhaps best known for its inclusion in hummus, tahini is more than a one-hit wonder. 

Tahini has a nutty flavor and a creamy texture, not unlike peanut butter. However, it’s also a bit bitter and can have an oiler consistency. 

Raw tahini is known for being fairly bitter. It can be mixed with some honey or molasses.

Uses For Tahini

Most popular in hummus, tahini does have multiple other uses. However, be wary that even though it looks like peanut butter, there is no sweetness in tahini. You certainly would not be the first person to presume sweetness and get a bite of bitterness.

Tahani is commonly used by vegans as, at its core, it’s nothing more than ground-up sesame seeds. This creates a paste that can be used for a number of things. 

Tahini Sauce

After hummus, perhaps the most common use for tahini is a sauce. It can be made either sweet or savory by using either maple syrup or lemon juice as your ingredient.

A more tart, fresh-tasting tahini sauce might go well when used as a salad dressing or to dip vegetables in. This type of sauce is often more on the creamy side, but still thin enough to drizzle.

However, you can also have a sweeter tahini sauce that can be made with maple syrup or honey. This would be less creamy and gooier, sort of like caramel sauce. Great ideas to use this are over ice cream to pies.


Halvah is a Middle Eastern dessert made with tahini. It is similar to fudge. It’s sweet, rich and nutty in flavor.

It has a somewhat flaky, crumbly texture that is still smooth enough to melt in your mouth.

On Falafel

One of the easiest and most common uses for tahini is as a drizzle on falafel. 

Typically, when putting tahini on falafel, you would mix it with a little bit of hot water and lemon juice. This would thin out the tahini so it’s less of a paste and more of a thin sauce. You would then drizzle to your desired application.

While lemon juice and hot water are common, you can add whatever you like to thin out your tahini. Instead of lemon juice, maybe you’d like to add hot sauce, olive oil, or soy sauce.

In Summary

Tahini is a paste with a nutty flavor and thick, creamy texture. However, while it has the appearance of peanut butter, it’s made with sesame seeds and fairly bitter.

However, you can add whatever you like to your tahini to change the flavor. It’s easily adaptable and takes on sweet, savory, or sour tastes readily.