Cooked by TFW: Tahini

Hey, y’all. Let’s just cut to the chase: Did you know I was in fight camp? (For those playing the #CookedByTFW drinking game… go ahead and take a shot.)

With that said, one of my biggest fears about this recipe series has resurfaced: when I’m in fight camp, I really just eat the same three or four meals, so how could I possibly keep going with a new recipe each week? Luckily, this summer, I embarked on a fun adventure of making my own hummus from scratch. In the process, I learned about tahini, a staple ingredient in several Middle Eastern, North African, Greek, and Turkish dishes. Hummus, obviously, Baba Ganoush, Salad Dressings… EVEN COOKIES and other Desserts. So… I got to researchin’, as I am known to do (wait… did y’all know I’m a legal researcher? Like… that’s my day job outside of gym stuff. Well, now you do), and now I have a plethora of dishes for y’all in the upcoming weeks…

Actually, I need to say it right now: I’ve spent the last few days making the next four weeks’ worth of meals and… y’all… Y’ALL!!!!! You have no idea how excited I am to share all of these recipes with you. They’re each amazing. I legit CRIED eating the meal I have prepared for two weeks from now. Hold on to your butts!!!!

Tahini on its own is like peanut butter… I HAAAAAATE peanut butter. Don’t ask me “have you tried it with…” because, yes, I have. Almond butter is gross, too, and I will fight you over it. I hate all nut spreads. AND BEFORE ANYONE ASKS ME “ooooh, but Tym! Isn’t Nutella technically a nut spread, too” lemme just say…

Shut up, okay? Bite your tongue before I bite it for you… Where was I?

Given how much I despise nut spreads, it comes as no surprise that I actually hated tahini when I first made it. Tahini in hummus, yes please. Tahini on toast… Please, get out of my life. Honestly, even when making this batch, I still wasn’t sold on it as a standalone dish even though I know plenty of people who will eat the stuff straight…  Despite my own feelings, I’m a believer in tahini. It’s – say it with me, kids – VERSATILE (drink!) and really enhances a dish. I added a dollop to my roasted veggies and… WHOA!

Tahini is such a great ingredient in other meals, I’m going to show you how to make it today just so we can use it the next THREE meals I share with y’all. I can’t wait until after my fight to make tahini cookies and share that with y’all, too, which is saying a lot… They apparently taste like peanut butter cookies and as we now know TYM HATES PEANUT BUTTER!


Tahini is incredibly simple to make. In fact, this might be the fewest ingredients we’ve ever had in a #CookedByTFW recipe: three…  It’s almost foolproof! So, without further ado, let’s get to the recipe!


  • 1 Cup Sesame Seeds (preferably hulled)
  • 2 – 4 Tablespoons Neutral Flavor Oil (I used Canola, but you can try Grapeseed, or even a light Olive Oil)
  • Pinch of Salt


1. Add the sesame seeds to a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Continuously stir until the seeds darken BUT DON’T BURN THEM! You’ll know you’ve roasted them long enough when they fill you kitchen with this heavenly aroma. Trust your nose and your eyes… Don’t trust a clock; time is relative… Einstein been saying that for a century.

2. Remove your roasted sesame seeds from heat and let them cool. If you cool them in a plate, you can leave them for about 20-30 minutes. If you’re like me, just leave them in your skillet, but make sure you continue to stir them so that they don’t burn… Listen, if you burn these seeds, you don’t deserve tahini. It’s that simple. Roast, don’t burn… That’s the lesson today, both with sesame seeds and with insults.

3. Transfer your cooled seeds to your food processor and set it on the highest speed for a few minutes until your seeds turn into a coarse paste. Add 2 Tablespoons of oil to the paste and process for another minute or two. Take breaks in between processing to scrape the sides. Here’s the “Choose Your Own Destiny” part of the recipe: the consistency of your tahini is up to you. If you’d like it a little thinner, continue to add a little more oil. When I made mine, I think I ended up using about 3 tablespoons of oil total. It’s up to you. Once your tahini is nice and smooth, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate. It will stay good for about a month.

And there you have it! Try tahini on toast. Put a little in your hot chocolate. Make a Tahini S’More. Use it however you would peanut butter… gross… But save some for our upcoming recipes, kids. Don’t thank me just yet, but be sure to share your own homemade tahini on all the social medias using the hashtag #CookedByTFW. I’ll catch y’all next week!

LA Jennings