How Long Does Opened Tahini Last?

Tahini, the versatile and creamy spread made from ground sesame seeds (and usually nothing more), is a staple in many households. While tahini paste has a slightly nutty flavor, this paste is typically nut-free, dairy-free, and allergen-friendly for most, making it a desirable ingredient to use in a wide range of recipes. There are many unexpected ways to use tahini, in addition to eating it by itself or utilizing it as a spread or dip.

Given that most tahini brands often retail in 16-ounce containers, which is more than you're likely to eat in one go, it's important to understand how long your tahini will last for optimal freshness and flavor once opened. The good news is that opened tahini can last for up to 12 months, providing ample time to use it. The easiest way to double-check this is to look at the label for information about shelf life.

Take note that, regardless of brand, your opened tahini can spoil if it comes into contact with moisture. While it may be tempting to lick the spoon and go back in for more, the best way to prevent contamination is to submerge only dry — and clean — utensils in your tahini jar.

Optimize the freshness of your opened tahini

While the natural oils present in tahini enable it to last for a year, there are some best practices to keep your opened tahini fresh, including where you store it. It's best to choose an area in your kitchen — ideally a cabinet — that is cool and dry. The goal is to avoid excess heat or moisture, both internally and externally. You can also store your opened tahini in the refrigerator if you desire a more solid texture. However, if you intend to use your tahini as a creamy paste, either keep it in a pantry or allow time for your refrigerated tahini to reach room temperature before use.

If your tahini starts to separate, fear not. Separation is normal and does not indicate that your tahini has spoiled. Simply give your tahini a stir (or shake) to mix the solids and oils together before using it. You will know that your opened tahini is no longer fresh if it smells rancid and it likely tastes unappetizing, as well.

Perhaps you're now inspired to make an easy homemade tahini paste. If you're motivated to DIY, just remember to take the same precautions and store your leftovers properly. Although, leftovers may not be a problem if you make a small batch; it's so delicious that you may be adding tahini to your pesto or eating it straight from the jar, with no storage necessary.