Butternut Squash-Tahini Spread Recipe

This butternut squash dip with date syrup uses tahini, for an unforgettable flaro combination.

May/June 2017

  • The flavor combination of squash and tahini is simultaneously unusual and comforting.
    Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Total Hands-On Time: 1 hr 30 min

Preparation Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 1 hr 10 min

Yield: 8 servings

Date syrup is a natural sweetener with wonderful richness and treacly depth. It’s available from health-food stores and Middle Eastern groceries but can be substituted with maple syrup or molasses. This dip is fantastically popular with anyone who tries it. There is something magical about the combination of tahini and squash. Serve as a starter with bread.


• 1 large butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into chunks
• Salt
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 5 tablespoons light tahini paste
• 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
• 2 small cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 teaspoon mixed black and white sesame seeds (or just white)
• 1 teaspoon date syrup, maple syrup or molasses
• 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Spread squash in a medium roasting pan. Pour olive oil over squash, sprinkle on cinnamon and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Mix well, cover with foil or tight-fitting lid, and roast 70 minutes, stirring once during cooking. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

3. Transfer squash to food processor, along with tahini, yogurt and garlic. Roughly pulse to make a coarse, not smooth, paste; you can also do this by hand using a potato masher.

4. Spread paste in a wavy pattern over a platter, and top with sesame seeds, syrup and cilantro, if using.

Find more delicious whole-food dips and spreads in Take a Dip!: Whole-food Appetizers.

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