Hummus in a bowl garnished with paprika and chickpeas

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Craving some homemade hummus but don’t have any tahini? Worry no more as this recipe makes the most delicious hummus without tahini, which is every bit as smooth, tasty and silky as the traditional dip you know and love. If you are particularly fond of peanuts then you might actually prefer this version!

What is tahini?

Tahini is a sticky and rich Middle Eastern sauce made from sesame seeds. It’s one of the main ingredients in hummus and baba ganoush amongst other things. It’s also sometimes eaten as a dip or drizzled over kebabs.

Tahini is made by crushing and soaking sesame seeds to separate the small kernels. They are then crushed into a paste – and that’s it. It’s a super-pure, simple ingredient. Sesame seeds naturally contain a lot of oil which is why the paste is so smooth and silky.

Whilst unique in taste, there are actually several ways to substitute tahini in hummus, so read on to find out more!

Why use tahini in hummus?

Tahini adds two key things to hummus. Firstly, extra flavour. The rich sesame taste. It’s not sweet and it tastes quite nutty and earthy and has a slightly bitter after-taste. It packs a bit of punch and adds a lot of underlying flavour to traditional hummus. Secondly, texture. Tahini is oozing and sticky and helps to create that smooth and oily hummus texture we know and love.

What can you use instead of tahini?

So you are probably thinking, is there truly a good substitute for tahini? Honestly, no substitution is going to give you exactly the same result as it’s a pretty unique ingredient. However, you can use a few different alternatives which will help result in a flavoursome dip with that same smooth texture. As an added bonus, you may also find that some people and often kids, prefer the adjusted version more!

Hummus served in a bowl with pitta bread

In this recipe, I simply use peanut butter instead of tahini. And I have to say, I kind of like both versions equally! The salty, sweeter taste of peanut butter works surprisingly well and is extremely moreish!

Other alternatives include almond butter or you can even use sesame oil and a little Greek yogurt to retain the sesame flavour.


As mentioned, this recipe is fairly traditional and just makes the substitution of peanut butter instead of tahini. The main ingredients are chickpeas, peanut butter and oil. With a little spice and garlic to add extra flavour.

Hummus ingredients without tahini

How to make it

Hummus is much easier than most people imagine. You simply need to blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor. You can add the oil a little at a time until you get the texture you like.

I also like to boil the chickpeas for 20 minutes in a small amount of bicarbonate of soda/baking soda before blending and skim the skins that separate from the water. This is absolutely not necessary but results in an even creamier texture.

Hummus recipe steps

Looking for other great Arabic side dishes or dips? You might want to try:

Moutabal (aubergine dip)

Beetroot hummus


Products that work well for this recipe:

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Hummus in a bowl garnished with paprika and chickpeas

Hummus without Tahini

  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


No tahini? No problem. This hummus without tahini uses peanut butter to give an incredibly smooth dip with a fabulous nutty texture. You may even prefer it to the traditional recipe! 

The default recipe serves 3-4 as a dip.


  • 400g / 15oz tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda / baking soda (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 1 lemon – juice only


  1. This step is optional – but results in an extra creamy, smooth result. Place the chickpeas in a saucepan and cover with water. Add the bicarbonate of soda/baking soda and bring to the boil. Boil for 00 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to skim off any skins that rise to the top while boiling. (It doesn’t matter if you don’t get them all). Drain and allow to cool. 
  2. Add the chickpeas, cumin, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and peanut butter to a blender and blitz together until you have a smooth hummus texture. Season to taste. 
  3. Serve with warm pitta bread or crudites and topped with an extra drizzle of oil and some paprika dusted over.


  1. You can also try almond butter or sunflower seed butter instead of the peanut butter. Or you can use sesame oil in place of half of the olive oil and add some greek yogurt instead of the peanut butter. 
  2. The prep time does not include the optional step of pre-boiling the chickpeas.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Dip
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Arabic


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 213
  • Fat: 18.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.5g
  • Protein: 4.5g

Keywords: hummus, tahini substitute, arabic, middle eastern, dip, side, sauce, starter

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