Tahini has long been a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, and for good reason. It’s delicious, full of nutty flavor and protein, with a slight but pleasant bitterness to add some complexity to its overall profile. It lends a beautiful creamy texture to sauces, dressings and more, and works just as well with sweet dishes as it does with savory ones.

Pick up a jar of good tahini and flip through these recipes to find delicious ways to use it up.

Cold Sesame Noodles With Shredded Chicken, above. A creamy tahini and peanut butter sauce binds these hot-weather-friendly noodles together into a full meal. Crunchy carrots and cucumber are welcome, cooling companions. Try poaching chicken for a tender addition — or leave it out to keep the recipe vegan.

(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Amanda Soto/The Washington Post)

Chocolate Chunk Tahini Blondies. These blondies are amazing. No, spectacular. No, sensational. Nutty tahini adds a layer of complexity to this classic bar cookie and marries beautifully with dark chocolate chunks — a match made in heaven, with each encouraging the other to shine.

(Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Chile Fish With Tahini. A few tablespoons of tahini in a spicy tomato sauce add a new note to what might seem like a fairly simple slurry. Pull this dish out when you’ve got someone to impress.

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Salad With Crispy Spiced Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing. Think of this as a falafel wrap unfolded and pared down to its simple, base elements. Whole chickpeas are crisped up with a bit of spice, so they sit pretty over a salad of crunchy lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Tahini and lemon whip together into a classic, versatile dressing.

(Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post)

Chewy Cranberry, Millet and Pistachio Bars. Need a snack? These crunchy, whole-grain bars are held together by tahini. With pistachios, cranberries and puffed millet (or rice, if you can’t get hold of millet), this is just the right thing to tide you over until your next meal.

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Tahini-Dressed Zucchini and Green Bean Salad. Tahini and lemon are often paired for their excellent results. But what about combining tahini with orange? The unusual pairing — with a squeeze of honey — make a standout dressing for summery zucchini and fresh green beans. 

(Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post)

Salted Tahini Doughnuts. Tahini in a doughnut? Why not? This recipe leans in the savory direction with a sprinkle of baharat, a spice mix that uses cumin, paprika, nutmeg and cinnamon.

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Crisped Cauliflower With Lemon Tahini Sauce. Deep-fry cauliflower bites until they’re mouth-wateringly crispy, then serve with a simple lemon tahini sauce. Don’t feel like deep-frying? Go ahead and roast those florets!

(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post)

Sweet Potato Toasts With Hummus, Radish and Sunflower Sprouts. Not feeling bread today? Can’t relate, but we still have a solution for you. Swap toasts for thick slices of sweet potato. Pile high with a gorgeous hummus and crunchy veg.

(Scott Suchman for The Washington Post)

Whipped Hummus. Yes, this is a hummus recipe. And it’s too good not to include! We just cannot talk about tahini without talking about its one true love, chickpeas. Consider this recipe the blueprint to any hummus variations you want to make.

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