This recipe was born out of a real practical need. I spent time in a small town and couldn't find it in the local grocery store of any kind tahini. Absolutely nothing like that.

I couldn't even believe it at first, so I casually went through the shelves one by one and thought that it must be here somewhere. It's just shelved in a slightly different place than I'm used to.


Minutes passed and the sauce just couldn't be found.

At this point, I was already less relaxed and worryingly anxious, checking the same shelves over and over again. After fiddling here and there, I finally had to admit that no - this product was definitely not in the store's selection.

So what to do?

The lunch menu I had carefully planned was about to go awry just because a single but very essential ingredient was missing.

What can you replace Tahini with?

Fortunately, the internet was able to tell that tahini could very well be made from sesame seeds. Absolutely awesome! At least you can find sesame seeds in every store now.

I thought so.

Now we were clearly in a very different store than what I was used to at home. Okay, so no sesame seeds either.

I continued googling and learned that perhaps the Tahini could have been replaced with sunflower oil or peanut butter. At this point, you're probably already guessing that they weren't found either...

However, since sunflower was mentioned, I finally decided to try if tahini could be made from shelled sunflower seeds. Because they were found after all! Hooray!

The end result was incredibly delicious. Really NAM!

Everyone who tasted the new tahini was completely sold. The end result is so good that I will always prepare it this way in the future.

Roasted sunflower seeds in a pan

How does Tahini made from sunflower seeds taste?

Sunflower seed tahini (it's a long word!) has a wonderful nutty aroma. It's a bit like peanut butter.

Roasted, ground sunflower seeds spread such a delicious smell in the kitchen that our dog sniffed the air wildly and also tried to climb on the table after this wonderful smell.

In the end, it was absolutely necessary to give it a little powder to taste, and it tasted good - it could have eaten everything. (Fortunately, sunflower seeds are not harmful to dogs.)

Preparation of tahini

Making tahini from sunflower seeds

If you can get your hands on shelled sunflower seeds, making Tahini is extremely easy.

In addition to sunflower seeds, all you need is some oil with a mild taste, such as rapeseed or sesame oil. Please note that olive oil has too strong and penetrating a taste for this purpose. I tried that too, and that batch went straight to the trash.

The recipe has four easy steps:

  1. Toast the sunflower seeds.
  2. Grind them.
  3. Add oil.
  4. Add a pinch of sea salt.

Equipment needed

An ordinary frying pan is suitable for roasting the seeds.

To grind the seeds, you definitely need a blender, a food processor or some kind of small power cutter, which can be obtained as an add-on to a hand blender, for example.

Fortunately, since sunflower seeds are much softer than sesame seeds, this recipe does not require any high-powered blender.

Preparation of tahini

Storing tahini

Ready Tahini will stay good for at least a couple of weeks if you keep it in an airtight jar or box in the fridge.

I have used well over a month old tahini, and it had not gone anywhere.

I don't think you'll keep it for very long, though, because it is way too delicious!

Tahini in a glass jar and spoon
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Tahini in a glass jar and spoon

DIY Tahini

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  • Author: almost vegan
  • Total time: 10 minutes
  • Diet: Vegan

Reseptin kuvaus

Tahini made from sunflower seeds is quick and easy to prepare.


  • 3 dl shelled sunflower seeds
  • 0.751 dl rapeseed oil (more if needed)
  • a pinch of fine sea salt


  1. Toast the sunflower seeds in a hot pan without oil. This only takes a few minutes. Turn with a ladle or spatula throughout the roasting process so that the seeds get an even, golden brown color. Be careful not to burn the seeds too dark. In order to get color in them, you have to use a fairly high temperature, but on the other hand, you don't want them to turn black.
  2. Grind the seeds into a very fine flour using a blender or food processor.
  3. Add the oil a little at a time and mix well.
  4. Add sea salt and mix well.
  5. Store the finished Tahini in an airtight jar or box in the refrigerator.
  • Prep time: 5
  • Cooking time: 5
  • Category: Seasoning sauces
  • Cooking method: In a pan
  • Cuisine: Middle East

Keywords: homemade tahini, tahini made from sunflower seeds, what to replace Tahini with, what to replace Tahini with

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