In this post, you’ll not only learn how easy to toast sesame seeds in the oven and on the stove but also learn the benefits of eating sesame seeds! You’ll probably want to add these gluten-free and vegan seeds into your food whether it is a dessert or a salad!
I’ve used toasted sesame seeds in my sesame bars and sesame cookies. There is a part in each of these posts where I mention how to toast them. I toast the sesame seeds for their nutty flavor and crunchy texture.
Today I want to share it as a separate post in more detail with questions & answers where you may refer to as you need.
Unhulled vs. Hulled Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds can be unhulled(with an exterior coat/husk) or hulled(without the exterior coat). Both unhulled and hulled sesame seeds are edible. Unhulled sesame seeds have a dark color whereas the hulled ones are white.
I always use hulled sesame seeds. At the beginning of my bakings, I was using the hulled ones as they were the only ones used in our house since I was a kid. But after I’ve learned that unhulled seeds have a bitter taste, I knew I should use hulled sesame seeds in my baking recipes.
Below you can see hulled sesame seeds before and after toasted:
Before toasting the sesame seeds, I want to talk about the benefits.
Sesame seeds are very healthy. They are vegan and gluten-free. Learning something new is the best part of blogging. Although I knew that sesame seeds are healthy, I learned so much more after writing this post while referring to sources. Today I even sprinkled them over my very simple salad. So you don’t need to make something special, you can sprinkle them over your food when you can.
If you are craving sweet you can make my 2 ingredient crunchy sesame bars or sesame cookies but if you want to eat something savory, you can make my easy sesame crackers. I haven’t used toasted sesame seeds in these crackers as the sesame seeds slightly toast as they bake. In contrary to these crackers, I toasted sesame seeds when I made my sesame cookies as I liked the toasted version better than the untoasted one (although they were slightly toasted as they baked).
Besides crackers and cookies, you can use toasted sesame seeds when you make zaatar. Or you can sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on your Asian pasta as a last touch.
Actually, the benefits may change whether they are hulled or unhulled. All the benefits I mention below is valid for both hulled and unhulled sesame seeds. If you click the link, you can read more about the benefits of sesame seeds in detail.
Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds
- Good source of protein, especially when they are hulled and toasted. By this way, they will be free of oxalate and easy to digest.
- Low in carbs and may control blood sugar.
- Contain Vitamin E which serves as antioxidants and good for the immune system.
- High in copper, which is important for blood cell formation.
- Rich in Vitamin B1 and B6(especially hulled ones) which is important for cell function.
How Long Do Sesame Seeds Last
Whether toasted or not, I keep them in the fridge if I am not using them right away.
You can keep the sesame seeds in an airtight container in the pantry/a dark place up to 6 months or in the fridge/freezer up to a year.
Let’s talk about toasting the sesame seeds;
It is so simple to toast them but there are some points you should be careful of.
How Long Should You Toast the Sesame Seeds?
You should toast them until they give off their aroma and become lightly golden brown. The smell is the key. They can suddenly change color, so be careful. Don’t go anywhere and stir often as they can burn quickly. And don’t look for a dark golden brown color, the lightly golden brown color is nutty enough.
Be Careful When Toasting The Sesame Seeds on The Stove!
Keep your distance with the sesame seeds when you are toasting them on the stove. 🙂 Don’t look from above to understand if they are toasted or not. At the end of the toasting process, some of them may jump out from the pan!
The first time I had this experience, I was surprised and question myself if I saw it correctly. I know popcorn jump out as we all know, but sesame seeds sounds/seems very interesting.
So, whenever I toast sesame seeds, this is the method I use: After I hear a pop voice from the pan or the color is very close to what I am looking for- lightly golden brown, I remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir.
Normally when we remove the pan from the heat, we are supposed to transfer the seeds onto a cool baking sheet or another dish so they won’t continue to cook inside the pan. As I remove the pan from the heat, I don’t transfer them somewhere else but continue to stir, they continue to toast without burning.
Alternatively, you can toast them in the oven. It takes 7-8 minutes.
I mostly toast them on the stove as I find it fast(no need to wait for the oven to preheat). However, because of the “jumping out” feature, toasting the seeds in the oven may be a good idea.
As long as you follow the directions below for both methods, you can easily toast them.
Toasting Sesame Seeds on the Stove
Place the sesame seeds in a large pan. 1 use max 1 cup when I toast them so they can toast evenly. It takes 4-5 minutes anyway so no need to take a risk of burning some of them. If you need more than 1 cup, you can toast again.
Toast the sesame seeds over med-low heat and stir them in 20-30 second intervals so that they can be toasted evenly without burning.
After almost 2 minutes they will give off their aroma and start to change color. At this point stir often. They will be almost lightly golden brown after 3-4 minutes and some of the sesame seeds may jump out so be careful during the process.
Remove the pan from the heat after 4 minutes or when the seeds become lightly golden brown. Keep stirring for a minute as they will continue to cook in the pan. I continue to stir after I remove them from the heat if I think I can toast them just a little more but I don’t prefer to make this process over the heat as they can burn very fast.
If you believe they are toasted enough after 4 minutes or so, don’t stir outside, immediately place them onto a cool baking sheet or any other dish so they will stop cooking.
If you are using a small pan, it will take longer to toast them.
Toasting Sesame Seeds in Oven
Place the sesame seeds as a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I use a large baking sheet for 1 cup so they don’t overlap.
After 3 minutes they will give off their fragrance. Once it happens, open the oven and give a stir. Repeat this step 3-4 times until they toast. It takes almost 7 minutes for 1 cup in a large baking sheet. It will take longer with a half sheet pan.
After 7 minutes, they will look almost lightly golden brown. At this point, remove the baking sheet from the oven and continue to stir outside for almost a minute. It will continue to toast without burning. If you believe, they are toasted enough when you remove them from the oven, immediately place it in a cool baking sheet or any other dish to stop cooking.
I hope you find this post useful and get answers to your questions about sesame seeds.
Enjoy sesame seeds in any dish!
How to Toast Sesame Seeds
- 150 grams(1 cup) sesame seeds
- Place the sesame seeds in a large pan. Put the pan over medium-low heat. Stir in 20-30 second intervals to avoid burning.
- As they give off their aroma in almost 2 minutes and change color, start to stir often. After almost 3-4 minutes when they are lightly golden brown(we are not looking for a dark golden brown), some of the sesame seeds may jump out, so be careful. At this point, remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir for a minute as they will continue to toast in the pan. (I do this step if I think I can still toast them for some time but I prefer to do this step not over the heat as they can burn fast.) You should skip the removing the pan from the stove and stirring step if you believe they are already toasted enough. Place them in a baking sheet or any other dish so they will stop cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F(177C°).
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper and place the sesame seeds as a single layer as much as possible. As they give off the aroma after 3 minutes, open the oven door and stir with a spoon so they can toast evenly. Repeat the stirring 3 more times. After 7 minutes they should look lightly golden from. (We are not aiming for a dark golden brown.) At this point, remove the baking sheet from the oven and stir outside for almost a minute. They will continue to toast without the risk of burning. You should skip the removing the baking sheet from the oven and stirring step if you believe they are already toasted enough. If so, you should immediately remove the baking sheet from oven and place the sesame seeds on a cool baking sheet or any other dish to stop cooking.