Tahini Vs. Peanut Butter | All The Differences You Should Know

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Tahini and peanut butter are both assumed to be kinds of nut butter and are often compared to each other. Some people often misunderstand tahini as another name for peanut butter. So what’s the truth behind these?


If you have doubts in your mind regarding tahini and peanut butter, let’s clear the air. Tahini and peanut butter aren’t the same. There is a considerable difference between the two kinds of butter. 

So what’s the difference between the two? Tahini is made from sesame seeds and oil. It has a significant smell and savory taste to it. On the other hand, peanut butter, as its name suggests, is made from peanuts and has a nutty flavor.

Now that you got a small idea about tahini and peanut butter, you might want to know more about it. If that’s the case, let’s go on this journey together. In this article, we will discuss everything about tahini and peanut butter.

We will discuss its differences, similarities, health benefits, and much more! Without wasting any more time, let’s get into the article.

Tahini Vs. Peanut Butter | Difference Table

Basis Of Difference Tahini Peanut Butter
Main IngredientsSesame seeds, OilPeanut
OriginMiddle Eastern America
Available InPaste Paste/Spreads
TasteSavory taste with a hint of nuttiness.Nutty taste with a light sweetness. 
AppearanceLight yellow with a coarse texture.Light yellow sandy color with smooth or coarse texture.
UsageUsed as a food spread and side dishUsed as spread
NutritionProtein, fibre, copper, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. Fibre, protein, fat, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium
SubstitutesAlmond butter, cashew substitute, sunflower butterAlmond butter, cashew substitute, sunflower butter

What Is Tahini?


Tahini, also called “tahina,” is a food paste made from sesame seeds. It is profoundly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Tahini has been in use for a very long period. The earliest mention of tahini dates back to 3000 years ago.

Tahini is typically made by roasting and then grounding sesame seeds with oil to get a creamy smooth texture. It has a savory taste and earthy aroma to it. It is used as its own and is also part of some famous dips such as hummus and baba ghanoush.

Tahini is a common food ingredient in Armenian, Iraqi, Turkish, and East Asian cuisines. Not just that, nowadays, tahini has also taken its place in American and European cuisines. Whether you want to have some hummus or want some dips to pour over your falafel ..tahini is perfect.

Many people are of the idea that tahini is just for savory food. But that’s not the case. Tahini, even though it has a savory taste to it, blends very well in sweet dishes as well. Tahini is gaining popularity as a baking ingredient as it lends a nutty flavor to banana bread and cookies.

Tahini can be mainly classified into four types – hulled, unhulled, raw, and roasted. 

  • Hulled Tahini – Hulled tahini does not use its outer cover of the sesame seed. The resulting tahini will be pale and creamy. This is less saucy than the unhulled one. Hulled tahini is extremely tasty. However, it loses a lot of nutrients when compared to the unhulled versions.
  • Unhulled Tahini – Just as its name suggests, unhulled tahini is made from whole sesame seeds. Unhulled tahini is nutrient rich. However, it will have a little bitter taste to it.
  • Raw Tahini – This refers to the tahini made from raw sesame seeds. Tahini, made from raw sesame seeds, has a sandy shade.
  • Roasted Tahini – This is made from roasted tahini seeds. Roasting brings out much more flavor from the tahini seeds. Toasted sesame seeds are commonly used for making traditional tahinis.

What Is Peanut Butter?

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a type of food paste made from peanuts. It is widely used all around the world and is a familiar food paste to most of us. It is extremely flavorful and used both as a food spread and an ingredient in many dishes.

Made from peanuts, peanut butter is an excellent source of proteins and many other nutrients. It is one such food item that not only tastes delicious but is also extremely healthy.

About 90 % of peanut butter consists of peanuts only. The rest 10% constitutes its stabilizers and added flavors.

Peanut butter, we can say, is one of the most consumed food pastes in the world. It is assumed that Americans alone consume 700 million pounds of peanut butter per year. With its subtle taste and high nutritional profile, peanut butter has won hearts all over the world.

Many people assume peanut butter and peanut butter spreads as the same things! However, that’s not the case. Peanut butter and peanut butter spread are two different ingredients with distinctive differences.

(To have a clear idea, read the Peanut Butter Vs. Peanut Butter Spread article).

Tahini Vs. Peanut Butter | Similarities Between The Two

Peanut Butter

Just by briefly reading about the two food spreads, it’s clear they aren’t the same. There are considerable differences between tahini and peanut butter. But there are also some similarities between the two! So before going into differences, let’s quickly look at their similarities.

Both Are Used As Food Spreads

Both peanut butter and tahini are commonly used as food spreads. They are widely used as a spread on bread, sandwiches, burgers, etc.

Both Have Similar Culinary Usage

Both tahini and peanut butter are food pastes and have similar culinary usage. Both of the products are used as a spread in pieces of bread and sandwiches. It is also used as an ingredient in baking cakes and cookies.

Both Have Similar Appearance

If you are asked to look and tell the difference between tahini and peanut butter, it could be a little hard because they have a similar appearance. They are slightly yellow with a coarse texture. 


Running out of a culinary thing is a common thing. Thus if you are out of either tahini or peanut butter, try using its substitute. Almond butter, cashew substitute, sunflower butter, and Greek yogurt work great as both tahini and peanut butter substitutes. 

Tahini Vs. Peanut Butter | Differences Between The Two


Now that we have seen some of the similarities between the two spreads let’s explore some of the major differences between the two. Knowing the difference between the two ingredients will help you choose the right one.

1. Origin

Tahini and peanut butter are so widely used that it has now become hard to pinpoint their origin. Even though both are food pastes, they originated from different places. Tahini has its origin in the Middle East. Peanuts, on the other hand, have their origin in America. 

2. Ingredients Used

Both tahini and peanut butter are commonly used food pastes. However, both of them are entirely different from each other as their base ingredients are different. Tahini is made from hulled sesame oil.

We just need some hulled and roasted sesame seeds and some oil to make the tahini paste. We can make tahini either from raw sesame seeds or roasted ones. However, if you are planning to make some, make sure to have them roasted.

Peanut butter, on the other hand, is made from roasted and ground peanuts. Just like tahini, peanut butter can be easily made at home. However, most of the peanut butter available in markets has some preservative forms of preservatives and added flavors like sugar and salt.

3. Taste And Aroma

Tahini and peanut butter have a very distinctive taste of their own! Tahini’s taste tends to be more savory, with a bit of bitterness and nuttiness. The taste of tahini is highly dependent on the fact that they are made from hulled or unhulled seeds.

Tahini, made from unhulled seeds, is much more bitter than the one made from hulled ones. Also, tahini tastes best when they are made from roasted sesame seeds rather than raw ones.

Peanut butter, on the other hand, has a very nutty taste. It has a slight sweetness to it, which is not very prominent. The peanut butter will also have a light saltiness to it. It has a very delish and sweet aroma to it.

4. Texture

Tahini and peanut are both food pastes. However, there is a slight textural difference between the two pastes. Peanut butter comes in both creamy smooth and chunk form. Regardless of its consistency, it gets blended very well with most of the food items.

On the other hand, tahini has a coarse texture, and it takes some time to blend with other food materials.

5. Nutritional Profile 

It is quite clear that tahini and peanut butter are two different kinds of the food spread. Hence the nutritional content of both food items are also considerably different. If you are wondering which is healthier, this section will give you the answer. 

Both tahini and peanut butter are those food items that are not only tasty but also healthy. Tahini is a great source of fiber and protein. Other than that, it also contains some other nutrients like copper, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. 

When it comes to peanut butter, it is also a good source of fiber and protein. But besides that, it also contains important nutrients like vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium. Peanut butter is also a great source of copper.

When compared between the nutritional value of tahini and peanut butter, both are good sources of carbs, fiber, and protein. But when compared between the two, peanut butter has a higher caloric value than tahini.

6. Expiry Date

Both tahini paste and peanut butter can be made at home and used accordingly. However, if you plan to purchase it from a shop, check its expiry date before using the products. Tahini has a longer shelf life when compared to that peanut butter.

Tahini lasts almost up to a year after opening. It is safe to use until it goes bad. But that’s not the case with peanut butter. Peanut butter has a shorter shelf life. It is only good within 3 to 4 months after opening the package.

Thus, whether you have an opened peanut butter or tahini paste at home, make sure to check its expiry date before having it!

7. Health Benefits 

Regardless of being a healthy food paste, tahini and peanut butter are extremely nutritious. Hence having it will not only lends taste to your food but also enriches your food with a lot of nutrients.

Tahini has a lot of health benefits to it. Tahini not only makes your falafel tastier, but it is also good to keep a lot of diseases at bay. Tahini is a great source of vitamin B6 and phosphorus; these nutrients are extremely good for bone health.

Tahini is also a great source of many anti-oxidants, especially lignan. It prevents the growth of free radicals in our body and, in that way, helps our body to fight many diseases like cancer.

Not just that, tahini also prevents type 2 diabetes and heart diseases to an extent. It also has got many anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Now that we have seen some of the health benefits of tahini let us look at the health benefits of consuming peanut butter. If you are someone who is trying to follow a diet, peanut butter can be your thing!

Peanut butter creates a sense of fullness and helps to keep you away from all your food cravings. Peanut butter also contains many nutrients, like monounsaturated fatty acids, niacin, and vitamin E, which are good for our heart health.

Apart from all these, peanut butter is a great source of protein that helps to keep up muscle mass and is good for people who are into bodybuilding. 

Can Tahini And Peanut Be Used Together?

Peanut butter tahini noodles

Tahini and peanut butter are great on their own. But if you are a fan of both ingredients, then some dishes use both ingredients together. Below is one such dish that uses tahini and peanut butter together.

1. Thai-Inspired Peanut Tahini Sauce & Dressing

 Suppose you are looking for a go-to salad dressing for your favorite salad bowl or noodles. Stop right here! We have found one of the best salad dressings for all your food recipes. It’s nutty and savory and brings so much flavor to your recipe.

The ingredients for making this recipe are limited. All you need is peanut butter, tamari, ginger and garlic peeled, sriracha sauce, tahini, lime juice, and pure maple sauce. Think you have all of these, let’s dive into the process. 

If you have all of these, grab all of them into a blender and give them a good blend. Your Thai-inspired tahini sauce and dressing are ready for use. Make it as a side dish for your favorite roll, or drizzle it all over your salad bowl! The choice is all yours!

2. Peanut Butter Tahini Noodles 

These peanut butter tahini noodles are ideal if you want to cook some yummy food in under 15 minutes. These noodles aren’t just easy to make but are also gluten-free! Thus if you have some time to cook, make sure to try it at least.

For this recipe, we need oil, leftover chicken or beef, spring onion, carrots, noodles, tamari, tahini, lime, peanut butter, and chili sauce. To make the noodles, start by mixing tamari, lime juice, peanut butter, tahini, and sweet chili in a small bowl.

In another pan, cook your chicken or prawn in a pan. Once done, cook all the vegetables you have in high heat. Cook the noodles, and add them to the vegetable, and chicken mix. Add the peanut butter tahini sauce over the noodles and keep mixing.

Serve them hot! For an extra kick of spice, add some oregano or chili flakes over the noodles before serving them.

3. Peanut Butter Tahini Cookies

If you adore the nutty flavor, these peanut butter tahini cookies can be the cookies of your dreams. It is soft and crispy and just melts in your mouth, allowing you to enjoy all the nuttiness and sweetness. 

The ingredients used for making this recipe include tahini, peanut butter (as you can assume), brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence, 1 beaten egg, and some sugar. Before you start mixing the ingredients, preheat the oven.

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. While mixing, make sure not to scoop the oil out of the tahini paste. Once done, give it a good whisk to avoid any lumps. Pour it into a baking tray and bake for 8 minutes if you need soft cookies and 10 minutes if you love some crispiness.

Top Dishes To Make With Tahini

If you only have some tahini at hand and want to try some yummy dishes, here are some suggestions! Most of these dishes use tahini as one of their main ingredients and are extremely easy to cook.

1. Easy Hummus Recipe


If you are a fan of tahini, then most probably, you would also love hummus. Hummus, like tahini, is a food paste widely used as a side dish in many Middle Eastern dishes. This is one of the easiest recipes you can try!

To make this recipe, simply blend tahini, chickpeas, lemon, and spices in a food blender. To make this recipe more flavorful add aquafaba instead of water to make this recipe much more creamy and flavorful.

2. Green Tahini Sauce

Green Tahini Sauce

If you are looking for a simple sauce to accompany your favorite chicken roast, then give this green tahini sauce recipe a try! It is zesty, has a punch of nutty flavor, and is extremely flavorful. 

It is just like hummus but just without some chickpeas. For this recipe, add some cilantro while blending the tahini sauce. It brings a lot of zestiness to your recipe. 

3. Flourless Brownie Pie

Flourless Brownie Pie

Everyone loves to indulge in desserts at least once in a while. If you are a sweet lover, then this flourless brownie pie is the idle recipe you can try! This is easy to make and, of course, gluten-free. 

For making this recipe, follow any simple recipe and make some brownies. To make the tahini spread, mix some tahini, maple syrup, espresso powder, vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a blender and blend it well. Serve it along with the brownies. 

4. Creamy Tahini Date Banana Shake

creamy tahini date banana shake recipe

If you want an easy healthy shake, try this creamy tahini date banana shake recipe. It is extremely easy to make and tastes delicious. It is extremely healthy and is a perfect breakfast recipe.

To make this recipe, we need some frozen bananas, dates, tahini, unsweetened almonds milk, and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Just grab all of these into a blender, and give it a perfect blend. Your shake is ready to serve.

5. Baba Ganoush 

baba ganoush

Even if you haven’t had tahini as its own, it’s possible that you must have had baba ganoush at least once. Baba ganoush has a lot of hype around it, and it is all worth it. It is easy to make and is extremely delicious.

We don’t need so many ingredients to make this recipe. All you need is 1 eggplant, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, tahini, and some cilantro or parsley. For making this recipe, start by roasting the eggplant.

Once roasted, remove all the skin and add it to a blender. Add some lemon juice, tahini paste, and a pinch of salt to it. Blend it very well until it achieves a thick creamy consistency. Taste and add some more tahini paste or salt if needed. Serve it with some pita chips or salads.

Top Dishes To Make With Peanut Butter

Now that we have seen some of the recipes using tahini let us look at some recipes that use peanut butter as their main ingredient. These are the best recipes to try this weekend if you have peanut butter at home.

1. Peanut Butter Granola Bar

peanut butter granola bar

Most of us love to have a snack in between our meals. If you are into a healthy routine, you must carry a protein bar or two in your bag. It’s time to ditch all of that protein bar with this healthy easy peanut butter granola bar.

This is extremely easy to make and requires just 5 ingredients. The best part is that you know what you are eating. It is sweet and free of any added sugar. Grab some rolled oats, peanut butter, maple syrup, chocolate chips, and eggs.

Give all of this a good mix and bake for some time. Cut it into your favorite shape and size, and your peanut butter granola bar is ready to eat.

2. Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

peanut butter cookie recipes

Everybody loves cookies. They can be your evening snack and can also satisfy your midnight hunger. Thus if you love cookies as much as I do, try making these easy peanut butter cookie recipes

This just needs three ingredients. You don’t have to be a pro chef to cook this recipe. Start by grabbing some eggs, peanut butter, and sugar. Mix all of these ingredients in a bowl and bake it. Your peanut butter cookies are ready to use. 

3. Peanut Butter Noodles 

peanut butter noodles

If you are someone who loves Asian cuisine, then this sesame peanut butter noodles recipe could be your favorite recipe from now on. It is extremely easy to cook and is extremely flavorful.

To make this recipe, we need some noodles, sesame oil, peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and some ginger. Cook the noodles and drain all the water out of them. In a bowl, mix all other ingredients and make a lump-free sauce.

Toss it over some noodles and serve it hot!

 4. Peanut Sauce

Peanut Sauce

If you enjoy peanut butter, this peanut sauce will quickly become one of your favorites! This sauce is the ideal fusion of herby flavor with peanut flavor. Use it as a dip or a dressing.

To make this recipe, you’ll need peanut butter or peanut butter spread, soy sauce, minced ginger, garlic, and rice vinegar. Simply combine everything in a bowl. If you feel it is too thick, add some water to thin it down.

5. Stir-Fried Peanut Butter Tofu

Peanut tofu fry

You are mistaken if you believe peanut butter is only appropriate for sweet meals. If you feel that way, you should give this stir-fried peanut butter tofu try. This will no doubt come as a pleasant surprise to you. This recipe begins with sautéing tofu in a pan.

Sauté cabbage, onion, and garlic in a separate pan. When they are tender, season them with salt & pepper to taste. Mix it with the tofu once it is finished. In a bowl, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Add it to your tofu after giving it a thorough whisk!

 Tahini Vs. Peanut Butter | Which Is Healthier?


Both tahini and peanut butter are excellent food pastes. Not that they just look alike, but they also have a very similar nutritional profile to them. Hence picking the healthiest among the two would be a little difficult.

But if you have to choose, get for tahini. Tahini has lower calories and very less sugar content when compared to that peanut butter. Peanut butter doesn’t have much sugar content on its own. However, most peanut butter comes with some added sugar in it.

Thus, compared to the two, we could safely say tahini is much healthier than peanut butter.

Tahini Vs. Peanut Butter | Which Is Tastier?

Peanut Butter

Tahini’s taste is more savory, with a hint of light bitterness and a nutty taste. On the other hand, peanut butter has a very pleasant nutty taste and a light sweetness. When compared between the two, we could say that peanut butter is tastier than tahini.

Peanut butter has a very mild flavor profile to it. Not just its flavor, peanut butter has a very delicious aroma to it. But when it comes to tahini, it has a very pungent sesame seed aroma, which might not be to everyone’s liking.

Tahini Vs. Peanut Butter | Which Is More Versatile?


When it comes to versatility, we have to give that up for tahini. Tahini comes in wide varieties and can be used to make many dishes. Peanut butter is also great, but tahini works well in most sweet as well as savory dishes. 

Tahini Vs. Peanut Butter | Which Is Better?


Now that we have read everything about tahini and peanut butter, it’s must choose the best of both. Tahini and peanut butter are great on their own. But when compared between the two, tahini is better than peanut butter.

Tahini has a very profound flavor to it. They go well with both sweet and savory dishes. Not just that, when it comes to its nutritional profile, tahini has a similar nutritional value to that of peanut butter but has lesser fat and calorie content. 

Peanut butter on its own is free from any sugar, but most peanut butter we get to buy from the market does have a small amount of sugar present in it. Its calorie value and fat content are also on the higher side. 

Thus looking at the taste, culinary uses, and nutritional value, we could say that tahini is better than peanut butter. However, tahini is a little underrated, and it’s time for us to give tahini the love and hype it deserves!


This article is finally at its conclusion. The discussion about tahini and peanut butter continued for some time. While comparing peanut butter and tahini during the conversation, we learned a lot of new information about each.

In addition to looking at the recipes that employ peanut butter and tahini as their main ingredients, we learned about the product’s benefits and flavor. Despite being nut butter, tahini, and peanut butter have distinct flavors that set them apart from one another.

In contrast to the milder flavor of peanut butter, tahini has a strong sesame seed flavor. Beyond their flavor qualities, both food pastes are highly healthful and offer various health benefits.

Knowing everything there is to know about nut butter, we can confidently say that tahini is better than peanut butter. It tastes good and contains a lot more nutrients than peanut butter. Having said that, we cannot ignore peanut butter’s mild flavor and health advantages.

By the time we’ve concluded this post, I hope your question has been addressed. In addition, if you have any extra tahini or peanut butter at home, try any of the foods on the preceding list. I’ll be back in a little while with another interesting piece.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is healthier; tahini or peanut butter?

Tahini has a lower calorie value and less sugar content in it. Thus we could say that tahini is healthier than peanut butter.

Can I replace peanut butter with tahini?

Yes, Tahini works great as a peanut butter substitute and vice versa.

Is tahini more expensive than peanut butter?

Yes, when compared to peanut butter, tahini is little expensive.

What’s a healthy alternative to peanut butter?

 Almond butter, cashew butter, and sunflower butter are some of the healthy alternatives to peanut butter.

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