Does Tahini Go Bad? How to Store, What are Spoilage Signs, and More!

Does Tahini Go Bad?

Almost everyone loves tahini. Its nutty and earthy taste pairs well with salads, soups, burgers, etc.

As the recipes only call for a small portion of the paste. But what should be done with the remainder? Does it go bad? As mentioned, Tahini Paste comes with a use-before date printed on the label, and it is around one to two years from the date of production. Typically, the paste keeps its peak quality for a couple of months past its use-by date.

If you have a few more questions regarding its shelf life, storage techniques, or how to distinguish a bad tahini paste from a good one, continue scrolling.


How long does tahini last? What is the shelf-life of tahini? 

What is the Shelf-Life of Tahini, How long does tahini last

How long will an opened bottle of Tahini last? 

After opening the jar, it lasts until the printed use-before date or for at least five to six months, provided that it is stored properly in a refrigerator.

Since the paste comprises sesame seeds and its oil as primary ingredients, it has a longer shelf-life. However, Tahini paste starts degrading with time, and you must always look for the quality and spoilage signs before using old Tahini paste.

The use-by date on the label tells how long it keeps peak quality. It is not the expiry date because the past keeps its quality for a couple of months past its use-by date.

After opening the jar, the process of oxidation and spoilage starts, and hence you must ensure to consume the paste within a couple of months after opening.

How long does unopened Tahini last? 

On the other hand, an unopened bottle of Tahini lasts for at least 6 months past its best-by date. You need not refrigerate it. It will retain its quality and taste in the kitchen pantry itself. However, you must keep it away from direct sunlight.

How long does Tahini last at room temperature?

You can expect unopened Tahini to last for six months over its use-by date. At the same time, if you have an open bottle of Tahini, it will only last for five months.


Items Pantry Fridge
Unopened Tahini Use-By Date Plus Six Months
Opened Tahini Best-Before Date or Five to Six Months Use-By Date Plus Six Months

   These periods are the rough estimates for the best quality and must not be confused with the expiry date.


How Can You Tell if Tahini Is Bad?

How to tell if tahini is bad

You must trust your taste, smell, and sight to distinguish between a rancid and good Tahini paste. Below are some spoilage signs that can help you know when your Tahini paste has gone bad.

Rancid Smell

The oil that floats on the surface of the Tahini paste is supposed to preserve the paste below it. But, when the condiments are exposed to air and oxygen, the oxidation process starts, developing a rancid smell with time.

If you experience a soapy, bitter, or metallic smell in your Tahini paste, discard it as it is a sign of spoilage.

Foul Taste 

If you want to confirm the freshness of the paste, taste a small scoop of paste. Unless the paste has visible mold, you can taste it to know if it has gone bad or is still edible.

So what does expired tahini taste like? If you observe any bitter petrol-like taste or overstayed cooking oil, discard the paste as it indicates that your Tahini has gone bad.


Tahini paste that has lost its freshness will turn harder and lose its smooth consistency. It is common in Tahini paste that has been stored for too long or exposed to air or oxygen.

So, after every use, you must ensure to seal the jar tightly. After opening, consuming the paste within the shortest time possible is good.

Mold Formation

Mold on the surface of the paste is not a good sign. The oil in the jar of Tahini paste prevents the mold from growing. But it is not effective enough to rule out the chances of mold growth completely.

So, you must check around the edges of the jar to see if there is any mold growth. Mold may also grow in the paste with time and if you see any sign of mold growth, discard the jar.


Is expired tahini safe to eat? Can expired Tahini make you sick?

What Happens If You Eat Bad Tahini

Tahini paste has a long shelf-life, and it takes a long time to go bad. According to, the oil in the Tahini paste makes it challenging for the bacteria and mold to grow. But, there is a high chance of mold growth, especially on the lips and edges of the jar.    

You must avoid using the Tahini paste exposed to mold spores. It is dangerous to consume such contaminated Tahini paste. If you accidentally consume the moldy Tahini paste, you may suffer from severe symptoms like tummy aches, and in serious cases, it may also cause kidney failure.

Tahini paste won’t cause symptoms if you eat it a couple of weeks or even months past its use before the date. But, it must be free from spoilage signs, such as mold growth.


Can You Freeze Tahini?

Freezing Tahini is a smart choice, especially if you want to preserve it longer and keep it fresh indefinitely. However, freezing Tahini for a prolonged period may affect the taste and texture of the paste, and it won’t be as vicious and smooth as it was when you first opened the jar.

So, to prevent the side effects of freezing, you must ensure to keep certain things in mind.

  • You must freeze Tahini in small portions to avoid thawing the entire paste whenever needed. If you freeze the entire jar, you have to invest several hours thawing it, and re-freezing it again may ruin the texture of the paste. So, freeze in a small portion so that you can use the needed amount without thawing the entire jar of Tahini.
  • After thawing the Tahini paste, you will see a texture change, and hence you must give it a stir to fix it and restore its authentic texture.
  • You must ensure to freeze Tahini at a stable freezer temperature. It would be best if you consume it sooner rather than later for the best quality and taste.       



Chilling the Tahini paste in a fridge after opening heightens the shelf-life and quality of the sesame paste. However, refrigerating the Tahini paste is not always required as it keeps the quality and taste when stored on kitchen shelves.

If you plan to use the contents of the jar for months or even years, refrigeration is necessary after opening. It is best to read the storage instructions printed on the label.

How Long Does Tahini Last in the Fridge

Refrigerating the Tahini paste after opening often makes it thicker, and the consistency turns like ice cream. However, the texture can be restored by blending with sesame seed oil and water. If you intend to complete the Tahini paste within a couple of months, store it outside the refrigerator as it won’t go bad.

Read More: Does Hummus Go bad



Unopened and opened jars of Tahini are shelf-stable, so even after opening, you don’t have to refrigerate them. As mentioned, chilling only sustains its quality and extends shelf-life a bit longer.

But, if you intend to use the Tahini paste for a couple of months, store it in your kitchen cabinet away from heat sources in cool and dry places. It will keep its quality and taste without refrigeration.

However, you have to ensure that the half-open jar of Tahini paste is sealed tightly when not in use. You must store it in cool and dry places in your pantry.


How to Store Tahini

How to store tahini after opening?

You can keep your Tahini paste fresh for longer with proper storage conditions. It will help you enjoy the Tahini paste a couple of months more after its use-before date.

Store in Cool and Dry Places

As mentioned, both the unopened and opened jar of Tahini is shelf-stable. Thereby, you can store it in your kitchen cabinet or pantry. But, you have to ensure that it is stored in cool and dry places, away from direct sunlight and other heat sources.

You must keep the paste in places with no humidity, and it must be away from the stove and other heat sources.

Keep the Jar Sealed Tightly

After opening the jar of Tahini paste, you have to ensure that it is sealed tightly. Keeping the jar’s lid half-open or loose may accelerate the oxidation process and is the main cause of rancidity.

So, ensure that you store the jar well sealed tightly after every use to prevent oxidation and exposure to oxygen.

Use Right Storage Container

After opening the jar of Tahini paste, you must store it in an airtight container to prevent oxygen, moisture, and other contaminants from leaking. A slight amount of moisture or air can quickly make the paste go bad.

You may also store the Tahini paste in the original container. But, if you have prepared homemade Tahini paste, it is best to store it in a fridge-friendly airtight container.


What are the Alternatives to Tahini if it has gone bad

In case your tahini starts giving out a rancid smell, you must toss it out and use other alternatives instead, like:

  • Peanut butter
  • Sunflower seed butter
  • Greek yogurt
  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter

Frequently Asked Questions

My Tahini Paste Is Separated – Is It a Sign of Spoilage?

By now, you are aware that Tahini paste has high oil content, and with time the oil may separate on its surface. It is normal to see the oil separating on top of the Tahini paste. It must not be considered a spoilage sign. You can fix it by giving it a good stir to restore the original consistency.


Does Tahini Go Bad After Printed Use-By Date?

No, Tahini paste won’t go bad for a couple of months past its use before the date printed on the label. But, you have to check the spoilage signs before consuming the Tahini paste past its use-by date. If you don’t see any spoilage signs on it, feel free to consume it as it won’t make you sick.

What does rancid tahini taste like?

When tahini is exposed to air and oxygen, the oxidation process starts, developing an unpleasant bitter taste.

How Long Does Homemade Tahini Last?

As soon as you prepare homemade tahini, you must transfer it to an airtight container and place it directly in the fridge. Such a storage technique will help you retain its quality and taste for at least 6 months.

The Bottom Line

By now, it is clear that Tahini paste doesn’t last indefinitely as it can go bad with time. Fortunately, with proper storage conditions and methods, you can sustain its quality longer and maximize the shelf-life of the Tahini paste.

You can extend the shelf-life and quality of the paste by storing it in an airtight container in cool and dry places. It prevents the paste from oxidation. If possible, you must consider consuming the Tahini paste as soon as possible after opening.

Rancidity is the prime issue with the spoiled Tahini and if you notice any signs of rancidity, feel free to discard the jar of Tahini.

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