You most likely know tahini as the star ingredient in hummus, but this ground sesame seed paste is also a supporting character in sauces, marinades, salad dressings, and dips, and is a staple in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. The sweet, nutty flavor adds depth and richness to any recipe, and while it should move into the category of staple pantry ingredient, most people don’t keep a jar of this seed butter on standby. If your recipe does call for a dollop or two of tahini and you don’t have it on hand, don’t get discouraged.
While it plays an important role when it comes to taste and texture, there are several alternatives that can stand in for tahini in a pinch and tick those same boxes without skimping on flavor, texture, and overall deliciousness of whatever you happen to be making. From nut butters and oils to a version of tahini you can mix up right at home, use our guide to the 5 best substitutes for tahini to give your recipe the palate-pleasing kick it deserves.