How to Make Hummus without Tahini

I ran out of tahini recently.   How I’m not sure, but it happened.  At the moment I realized I was out of tahini, I was making hummus, and everything else was in the food processor all ready to blend.  How do you make hummus without tahini? My friend Chris, a seriously skilled cook, was over and said, “Don’t you have sesame oil?  I use that all the time.”

Hummus Without Tahini

Sesame Oil in Hummus

Really?  REALLY?  There were, and almost always are, a couple of open bottles of sesame oil in the fridge (it’s a total staple ingredient in our house, for all kinds of Asian dishes), so that was easy.  And now, while I’ve always thought Chris was smart, I think he’s a genius. Hummus with sesame oil instead of tahini is fantastic, different and similar at the same time.

How to Make Hummus without Tahini

What is Sesame Oil?

Sesame oil is literally oil pressed from sesame seeds. You cant to buy toasted sesame oil, not raw sesame oil, which doesn’t have as pronounced a nutty flavor. Raw sesame oil is often used for cooking/frying in Asian cuisine. Toasted sesame oil is more potently sesame-ish than tahini, so start with a smaller amount than you would normally use of tahini – say 1 tablespoon, blend it up, and taste and add more if you want a more pronounced sesame flavor.

Hummus with No Tahini

No problem! Sesame oil makes a terrific substitute in this delicious 10 minute hummus.

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Hummus with Sesame Oil and Tahini

My favorite hummus is now made with a combo of tahini and sesame oil.  I also read that sunflower butter is a smart subsitute for tahini in hummus, which makes sense.  Peanut butter was another suggestion I’ve heard, though I would think that would give you a very different hummus….but still one that I’ll be curious to try. 

And finally, I have made hummus without tahini and without subbing in another nutty type of alternative, and it’s also just delicious – the flavors of lemon and cumin and garlic really shine through, along with the chickpeas of course.  I think of that as a chickpea dip, though, not really hummus.

Anyway, there are a lot of ways to play with no-tahini-in-the-house hummus.  Just don’t run out of chickpeas.  But if you do, make this instead.

Hummus Recipe Without Tahini

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Hummus Without Tahini

No tahini? No problem! Sesame oil makes a terrific substitute in this delicious 10 minute hummus.
Yield: 8 People
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian


  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cans 19-ounce chick peas , drained and rinsed
  • 3 to 5 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling if desired
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup water approximately


  • Place the garlic and chickpeas in the food processor and pulse a few times.  Add 3 teaspoons of the sesame oil, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, and salt and pepper.  Puree and with the motor running add about 1/3 cup of the water.  Allow the mixture to process for about two minutes (see Cooking Tip), adding more water if you’d like a thinner consistency.  Taste and add additional sesame oil if desired.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with a bit of olive oil if you like,  and sprinkle with the paprika or cayenne.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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  1. I made your hummus today, SO delicious! I made lettuce wraps using the hummus mixed with tuna fish. I will also be using it to dip tortilla chips and carrots. My kids did not care for how “lemony” the hummus tasted, so next time I will cut the lemon in half. Thank you!!

  2. Wow! I just made this hummus and I can’t believe how delicious it is! I love it! I will never se any other recipe! Thank you for posting it! Yummy!

  3. This sounds soooo yummy – I just had dinner, but I want to make some now. And have it with carrot/celery strips!

    1. I made the Sesame oil Hummus exactly as directed and o was absolutely thrilled. The Hummus turned out amazingly delicious.
      Thanks so much for the recipe.

  4. I just had some at a restaurant with SO. They probably had tahini in it too but it was the best I have ever had.

  5. I’m going to try this. I have all those ingredients and I’ve always wanted to make hummus. Thanks Katie! xo

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