Preserving the Nutty Goodness: Can You Freeze Tahini?

Can you freeze tahini?

Tahini is a versatile ingredient known for its earthy, nutty flavor and popular use in dishes like hummus. But what if you have a large container of tahini and can’t use it all at once? Can you freeze tahini to extend its shelf life? The answer is yes, you can freeze tahini, and this article will walk you through the process.

What is tahini?

Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds. It is commonly used in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and North African cuisines. There are several types of tahini, including peeled and raw, unpeeled, and roasted. Hulled, raw tahini is light and creamy, while unhulled tahini has a more bitter flavor due to the presence of the seed shell.

Does tahini need to be refrigerated?

Once opened, it is a good practice to store tahini in a cool place to prevent the oils from going rancid. Refrigeration can extend the shelf life of tahini for many months. However, if you want to store tahini for an even longer period of time, freezing is a good option.

Freezing Tahini

If you have a large container of tahini and want to freeze it, it’s best to divide it into smaller portions. Freezing the entire container can be inconvenient if you need to defrost only a portion. Tahini is sensitive to temperature changes, so keeping it stable during freezing will help maintain its quality.
Follow these steps to effectively freeze tahini:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Scoop the desired amount of tahini into small balls and place them evenly on the baking sheet.
  3. Place the baking sheet with the tahini balls in the freezer, uncovered, until completely frozen. This usually takes 1-2 hours, but can be left overnight.
  4. Once the tahini balls are completely frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible.

Alternatively, you can use ice cube trays to freeze individual portion sizes of tahini. Each cube tray typically holds about 2 tablespoons of tahini. Line the ice cube tray with plastic wrap before adding the tahini. After filling the cube holes, cut the plastic wrap to create individual bundles of tahini. Place these wrapped bundles in a freezer-safe bag or container for long-term storage.

Thawing frozen tahini

Thawing frozen tahini is a simple process. Remove the desired amount from the freezer and place in a small bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate or towel and set it on the counter to thaw. It usually takes 10-15 minutes to completely thaw, but you can speed up the process by stirring occasionally.
Once the tahini is completely defrosted, use a fork or whisk to mix it well to restore its original consistency. You can then use it in your recipes or however you like. If you’re not going to use all of the thawed tahini, transfer it to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Avoid refreezing tahini as this can affect its quality.

Other ways to store tahini

In addition to freezing, refrigeration is a common method of storing tahini. Refrigerating tahini can extend its shelf life and prevent the oil from separating. Before refrigerating tahini for the first time, stir it well to distribute the oil evenly. When using refrigerated tahini, remove the desired amount and return the main container to the refrigerator immediately to prevent the oil from rising to the surface.

Tahini Benefits

Tahini has several nutritional benefits. It is high in fat, most of which is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Tahini is also a good source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Sesame seeds contain specific antioxidants that can cross the blood-brain barrier, potentially providing targeted nutrition to the brain and protecting against neurodegenerative diseases.
Here is the nutritional information for 1 tablespoon (15g) of raw, stone-ground sesame tahini:

  • Calories: 85.5
  • Carbohydrates: 3.9 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.4 grams
  • Fat: 7.2 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 1.0 grams
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2.7 grams
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 3.2 grams
  • Protein: 2.7 grams
  • Thiamin (B1): 13% of Daily Value
  • Riboflavin (B2): 5% of the Daily Value
  • Folate (B9): 4% of the Daily Value
  • Calcium: 8% of the Daily Value
  • Iron: 8% of Daily Value
  • Magnesium: 25% of the Daily Value
  • Phosphorus: 13% of the Daily Value
  • Zinc: 7% of the Daily Value


Tahini is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes, from dips and sauces to spreads and desserts. If you have excess tahini that you can’t use right away, freezing it is a convenient way to extend its shelf life. By following proper freezing and defrosting techniques, you can preserve the quality of tahini for an extended period of time. Whether you freeze tahini in individual portion sizes or use ice cube trays, be sure to store it properly in freezer-safe bags or containers to prevent freezer burn. Enjoy the convenience of having tahini on hand for your culinary creations whenever you need it.


Can I freeze tahini?

Yes, you can freeze tahini to extend its shelf life and maintain its quality.

How should I portion tahini for freezing?

It is best to divide tahini into smaller portions before freezing. This allows for easy defrosting of only the amount needed for a recipe.

Can I freeze an entire container of tahini?

It is not recommended to freeze an entire container of tahini, as you will have to thaw the entire batch if you only need a portion. Freezing individual portions is more convenient.

How long can I freeze tahini?

When stored properly in the freezer, tahini can be kept almost indefinitely. It is recommended that frozen tahini be used within one year for the best quality.

How do I thaw frozen tahini?

To thaw frozen tahini, remove the desired amount from the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes until completely thawed. Stir well before use to restore its original consistency.

Can I re-freeze thawed tahini?

It is not recommended to refreeze thawed tahini as this may affect its quality. It is best to use thawed tahini within a few days and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.