10 Best Sesame Seeds Substitutes to Try in your Recipes

Sesame seeds are known to be super healthy foods used in bakery, cooked meals, salads, roasted dishes, desserts and many more. It is a great source of vitamins and often included in healthy diet recipes. There are two types of sesame seeds: black and white. They are basically used to provide dishes with more vitamins and protein as well as add an esthetic undertone as a dressing. 

If you are into a healthy lifestyle and also want to find sesame seeds substitutes that contain protein, fiber, and healthy fats, then we’ve got you covered!

Today, our guest blogger Ester from CookonMonday, a food blog that is all about cooking substitutes, will present you top 10 substitutes to sesame seeds. So let’s dive in.

Best Sesame Seed Substitutes

  1. Poppy Seeds

Sesame seeds can be replaced with poppy seeds as they come with similar nutty taste and texture. These seeds are produced by opium poppy plants. 

They are used as topping for salads, breads, cakes and pancakes and even candies, which means you can widely use them in dishes that go well with sesame seeds. You can also choose poppy seeds for savory dishes and cooked meals to add that mild nutty flavor. 

Compared to sesame seeds, poppy seeds are smaller in size and a bit bitter in taste.

  1. Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are other good substitutes to sesame seeds especially when you want to make your dish crunchy. It is one of the most popular ingredients in vegetarian diets. It has many healthy benefits such as helping to regulate your metabolism and support your immune system. 

Since hemp seeds are similar to sesame seeds in size and appearance, you can safely use them in different recipes. 

They are often added to baked goods, salads, yogurts, breakfasts and other dishes as toppings. You can add them in cooked meals as well for a mild nutty flavor. 

The usage of hemp seeds is versatile and it is widely used in popular Asian, Middle Eastern and European dishes. 

  1. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are perhaps the most available alternatives of sesame seeds as they are relatively easy to find anywhere on the globe. Of course, they come with another texture and taste but they do taste awesome on breads, sweet baked goods, desserts and different pastries. 

Sunflower seeds are a great source of Vitamin E. When substituting them with sesame seeds make sure you use the unsalted version of it. 

  1. Pumpkin Seeds

Although pumpkin seeds are larger in size than sesame seeds, they are great alternatives to use in breakfast bowls, cream soups, stir-fried dishes, noodles and breads. You can use them just the way you use sesame seeds.  

If you want to make them texturally similar to sesame seeds then first roast them and then chop into smaller pieces. 

  1. Flax Seeds

Do you have flax seeds in hand? Use them instead of sesame seeds in drinks such as fresh juices, smoothies and cereals. You can safely add flax seeds in bread dough and sweet bakery. 

Flax seeds offer a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. They look like sesame seeds and taste similar in dishes. They both come with the same texture. Perhaps the only difference is the color; flax seeds are dark brown. 

They are added to healthy diet recipes as they tend to improve heart health and fight against heart problems. 

  1. Roasted Almonds

Roasted and chopped nuts are often perfect to add to stir-fries, salads and desserts just like sesame seeds. Almonds are one of the best nuts to substitute for sesame seeds when roasted. Only roasted almonds can provide a similar flavor like sesame seeds. So, avoid using them the way they are. 

You can roast them and chop into small pieces and sprinkle over raw dishes. It will taste good in cooked meals too. 

  1. Roasted Pine Nuts

Roasted pine nuts come with a nutty flavor, which is similar to sesame seeds when it is added to baked goods. Although they are a bit more expensive in some places than other substitutes, you may sometimes use them instead of sesame seeds if you have them in hand. 

If you buy raw pine nuts, then first lightly roast them and chop into small pieces to use as topping or to add in any dish you want. They differ from sesame seeds in color and texture but they still provide a nutty taste to the end dish. 

  1. Pistachio seeds

Although raw pistachio seeds are not edible, roasted pistachio is a good substitute to sesame seeds. The best part about this alternative is that it works well both in sweet and savory dishes. 

You can just chop them off, roast and use in pastries, breads, sweet baked goods and cooked dishes. Just make sure you add it at the end of baking as they tend to burn a little. It will be better if you add them into the dough. 

  1. Chia Seeds

Thanks to their health benefits, chia seeds are becoming more and more popular in a number of recipes. We meet them in diet-friendly breakfast bowls, yogurts and bakery. 

These seeds can replace sesame seeds in baked goods, raw and cooked dishes. However, when added to liquids they become double their size. Therefore, use less chia seeds when substituting with sesame seeds. 

You can choose them for breakfasts, salads and baked goods as topping and add into cooked dishes for a little bit of flavor. 

  1. Sesame Oil

If your dish doesn’t require the texture of sesame seeds, you may opt for sesame oil to have the same flavor and taste in the meal. 

It goes without saying that sesame oil is a perfect choice for salads, stews, and stir-fries. You may just avoid using sesame oil in the bakery as it tends to burn faster than other oils. 

Some FAQs on Sesame Seeds:

Can I eat sesame seeds daily?

Eating a small handful of sesame seeds daily is good for your health. It comes with a number of health benefits and is good especially for the health of the heart, diabetes, and arthritis. Eating too many sesame seeds can cause blood glucose levels to drop below normal.

Black sesame seeds vs White sesame seeds: What’s the difference?

The main difference between these two seeds is the color and taste. While white sesame seeds come with a lighter taste, black sesame seeds come with a stronger taste and flavor. 

Can I use black sesame seeds instead of white?

Yes, you can if the color doesn’t matter. You may just feel some difference in tastes: black sesame seeds have a stronger taste. 

How can I eat sesame seeds?

Good news! You can eat them anyway you like: raw, baked or toasted. That is to say, if you want to get that nutty taste, then eat them on baked goods and toasted. If you just want to eat them as a healthy food, then eat them raw and add them to dishes as a dressing. 

Are sesame seeds gluten free?

Almost all nuts are gluten-free and yes, sesame seeds are naturally gluten-free. You can safely use them in diets and in case you have allergies from gluten. 

Final Thoughts

Sesame seeds are versatile foods in many recipes. If you have allergies from it, then consider using these substitutes in your dishes. Go for experiments and try different tastes to find the most suitable alternative for a particular recipe. 

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