8 Best Substitutes For Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seeds

You heard from your friend that sesame seeds could totally buck up the taste of the bagel you are baking. Wanting to try it, you reach for your pantry, but alas! You are out of it.

What can possibly replace sesame seeds and help you finish baking? Let us talk exactly about that – the substitutes for sesame seeds. 

Sesame seeds are those crunchy tiny tots that can amazingly buck up your bagels, buns, or sandwiches. These are some of the oldest oilseeds known to man and have been a prominent ingredient in many cuisines.

Shall we delve more into details about this oil-rich seed and its substitutes? Tag along!

Why Do We Need To Substitute Sesame Seeds?

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are edible seeds that are grown in pods of the Sesame plant. It is also called benne. They have a nutty, sweet flavor with a crunchy texture. Their taste is even more enhanced when toasted.

There are three types of sesame seeds; white, black and golden brown. Black sesame seeds have their hulls intact and are crispy, while white sesame seeds are unhulled with a mild flavor. Golden sesame seeds are also unhulled and have a rich aromatic flavor.

There can be many reasons why you might want to find a substitute for sesame seeds. You are probably out of them and are too lazy to pull yourself to go to the store. Some might not like their nutty flavor and also be allergic to them.

Uses of Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are well known for the oil extracted out of them; sesame oil. Sesame oil is a popular condiment used extensively in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. The famous Schezwan sauce makes use of sesame oil.

Sesame seeds can be utilized for a crispy texture on stir-fries and salads. Ground sesame seeds are an excellent, healthy addition to your oatmeal recipe. For an intensely fresh, nutty flavor, sesame seeds can be added to cakes, pastries, bread, or even muffins.

When it comes to their nutritional benefits, sesame seeds are an excellent source of fiber, Vitamin B, and plant proteins. They help in reducing cholesterol and inflammation. They are vital in boosting bone health and help in blood cell formation.

Nutritional Information

In 100g of sesame seeds, the following values are observed:

Energy563 Kg Cal
Carbohydrates25 g
Dietary Fiber16.8 g
Fats43.3 g
Protein18.3 g
Calcium1450 mg
Iron9.3 mg
Phosphorous570 mg
Copper2.29 mg
Zinc12.20 mg

Well, shall we talk about what’s important? Let us look into the substitutes for sesame seeds. 

8 Best Substitutes for Sesame Seeds

The best eight substitutes for sesame seeds are as follows:

1. Black/White Sesame Seeds

Black/White Sesame Seeds

If you are out of white sesame seeds and looking for a replacement, readily go with black sesame seeds. What can possibly replace sesame seeds other than their varieties? 

That is, black, white, and golden sesame seeds can be used interchangeably in recipes. There might be a slight difference in the flavor profiles. Nevertheless, they work as the best substitutes for each other.

2. Poppy Seeds

Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds are nutritious seeds obtained from opium poppy plants. They have a crunchy texture along with a nutty flavor. They are the best substitutes for black sesame seeds in terms of taste and texture. 

That said, poppy seeds are mildly bitter, unlike sesame seeds. They also look smaller, and you may need more of them while replacing sesame seeds in your recipes.

3. Flax Seeds

Flax Seed

Flax seeds or linseeds are a rich bunch of nutritional oil seeds. They are sometimes called ‘functional food.’ They may not be the preferable alternative for sesame seeds as they have a slightly bitter flavor. 

They are larger than sesame seeds with a chewy texture. While replacing sesame seeds, you will have to grind flax seeds for use in recipes.

4. Hemp Seeds

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds (or fondly called hemp hearts) are actually nuts. A relative of the cannabis plant, they have a sweet, nutty taste with a velvety texture.

They can be good substitutes for sesame seeds in baking recipes and for garnishing purposes. They are similar to sesame seeds with respect to flavor and texture but are a little hard to find.

5. Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are highly nutritious black or white seeds. They are now popularly known as the source of Omega-3 fatty acids. They have a mild taste. As a matter of fact, they don’t contribute an aroma or flavor of their own in recipes.

Also, they swell in size when subjected to moisture. Chia seeds can be used to replace sesame seeds by sprinkling them on top of bread or sandwiches.

6. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Rich in nutrients like vitamins and minerals, pumpkin seeds are edible seeds of the fruit pumpkin. Deemed to be the powerhouse of nutrition, they have a nutty, savory flavor with a fibrous texture. They are bigger in size than sesame seeds but can work as a good replacement for them.

7. Chopped Nuts

Chopped Nuts

What more do you need to get a nutty flavor of sesame seeds other than nuts? Choose a variety you like (walnuts, almonds, and peaches are frequently used), chop them, and mix them into muffins, desserts, or cookies. You are sure to enjoy a flavor close to that of sesame seeds.

8. Sesame Oil

Sesame Oil

If you are okay with not seeing sesame seeds on top, you can use sesame oil for a close flavor in your recipes. It works as a fine substitute for sesame seeds with a promise of a rich aroma and flavor. However, it can’t be used in baking recipes since it gets burned easily.


There you go, you have successfully added the best substitutes for sesame seeds to your cooking expertise. Opt for a substitute that fits in well with your recipes, and let me know what worked out for the best! See you soon!

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