How to Toast Sesame Seeds

When you toast your sesame seeds, they go from okay to magical. Here are two ways to toast your sesame seeds—we prefer one over the other!

Toasted Sesame Seeds in a Bowl with Some Cascading into the Bowl from a Spoon

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

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.

Toasted Sesame Seeds

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

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. 

Toasted Sesame Seeds in a Bowl with Some on a Spoon

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Recipes Highlighting Toasted Sesame Seeds

How to Toast Sesame Seeds

Prep Time 1 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Servings 8
Yield 1/4 cup

Cook time ranges from 4 to 6 minutes.


  • 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds (white or black)


Stove Top (Preferred Method)

  1. 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.

    Raw Sesame Seeds on a Skillet Mixed Using a Spoon

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

    Toasted Sesame Seeds in a Skillet with Some on a Spoon

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  2. Cool: 

    Immediately transfer the sesame seeds onto a plate to fully cool.

    Bowl of Toasted Sesame Seeds

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Oven Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. 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.

    Raw Sesame Seeds on a Baking Sheet

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  3. Cool: 

    Allow the sesame seeds to cool completely on the baking sheet.

    Toasted Sesame Seeds on a Baking Sheet

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe


  1. 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)
23 Calories
2g Fat
1g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 23
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 19mg 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.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.