Tiny, flavorful sesame seeds have more uses in cooking than I can count. I sprinkle them generously over rice bowls, in buttery cookie dough, on yogurt, and much more. For many of these dishes, toasted sesame seeds have way more to offer in terms of taste and texture. Since most store-bought sesame seeds are sold raw, it’s handy to know how to toast them yourself.
Two Ways to Toast Sesame Seeds
You can approach toasting sesame seeds one of two ways. Either fire up the oven—if you’re toasting a bunch at once—or toast them in a skillet on the stovetop—this is much easier to control and is faster. Since sesame seeds are rich in healthy fats, there’s no need to add oil to the skillet.
I Use Both Black and White Sesame Seeds
I like to stock both black and white sesame seeds in my pantry, since the contracting colors offer visual appeal. The method for toasting them is the same, though when it comes to black seeds, you can’t use color as your guide for doneness. Instead, I typically ballpark the time and then wait for a nutty fragrant aroma, which indicates they are perfectly toasted. Either way, keep a close eye because sesame seeds are quick to burn.
Store the Sesame Seeds Well
Sesame seeds will keep perfectly fine in a sealed jar in a cool dark place in the pantry. That said, if you’ve got a bigger batch that you hope to have around for a while, store them in the fridge, or even the freezer.
Recipes Highlighting Toasted Sesame Seeds
How to Toast Sesame Seeds
Cook time ranges from 4 to 6 minutes.
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds (white or black)
Stove Top (Preferred Method)
Toast on skillet:
Set a small skillet on the stove over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame seeds. After 30 seconds, swirl the sesame seeds in the pan with a spoon so that they brown evenly for 3 to 4 minutes. Lower the heat if you see smoke or the seeds brown too quickly.
Immediately transfer the sesame seeds onto a plate to fully cool.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the sesame seeds:
Spread the sesame seeds in a small baking sheet. Bake until nicely browned, using a spatula to stir them halfway through so that they brown evenly. Start checking at the 4 minute mark since they burn quickly. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes.
Allow the sesame seeds to cool completely on the baking sheet.
Transfer to a container:
Transfer the cooled sesame seeds into a jar or lidded other container with a tight seal and store in the pantry for up to 1 week, the fridge for up to 3 months or freezer for up to 6 months.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2g||2%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 1g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||2%|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|