Two words: tahini toast.

There is something about having to purchase an ingredient that is new to you for a specific dish, and then having a lot left over. If you have ever decided to jump in on making your own hummus from scratch, chances are you may have a three-quarters-full jar of tahini taking up some shelf space. But tahini is an amazing ingredient, and if you are up for getting a little creative, you just might find that not only can you use up your current jar, but you might also even buy the larger jar next time. Here are my 5 favorite ways to use tahini in ways that don't involve hummus.

Credit: Getty / LauriPatterson

Swirl it!

Brownies, blondies and other bars can often get even prettier and more delicious with a swirl of something on top. Think about those marbled bars made with cream cheese or peanut butter swirls. Tahini is a very grown-up flavor to swirl in and bakes up beautifully. I top with flaky sea salt for even more oomph. The swirl is great for savory as well: Give a twirl over a bowl of soup like pumpkin or carrot, or in a mash with sweet potatoes or butternut squash.

Use in place of peanut butter!

While many tahinis are pretty liquid, if you let them settle and pour off the oil that collects on top (save for amazing salad dressings) they will have a thicker, more spreadable texture similar to natural peanut butter. You can then use it anywhere you would use peanut butter: in sandwiches (try with honey or drizzled with date syrup or pomegranate molasses for a grown-up PB&J), baked in cookies, or as a flavoring for marshmallow cereal treats.

Add it to ice creams, mousses, and custards!

Tahini is an amazing flavor for ice cream and mousse. You can find any peanut butter ice cream or mousse recipe and swap in tahini. Or try this no-churn version. Make a pastry cream and fill a tart with it. It also makes for amazing milkshakes: Just add a generous dollop in with your vanilla or chocolate ice cream for a halvah-flavored shake that will amaze you.

Stir it into sauces and dips!

Tahini sauce is delicious on everything from steamed vegetables to falafel sandwiches, and is as simple as adding some water, lemon juice, garlic, and seasoning to tahini, and drizzling it on everything. Add some olive oil and you have an instant salad dressing; stir in some Greek yogurt or labneh and you have a great dip.

Spread it on toast!

Tahini can up your toast game for breakfast or lunch. Try a tahini English muffin, change up your avocado toast, or go sweet with an apple tahini toast or pear toast with honey tahini ricotta.