Greek Pasteli (Sesame Seed & Honey Snacks)

"While in Greece I saw this "candy" that I loved from childhood...little bites of sesame and honey that were soft because they did not have any sugar. Inspired, I set out to see if I could buy them in the US but found instead that they are incredibly easy to make! So here is a recipe adapted from one found on Each bar is 30 grams, which is a typical food bar you would get in the health food store."
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Ready In:
30 bars




  • In a heavy pan, bring the honey and water to "firm ball stage" (130 degrees C/250 degrees F).
  • Take off the heat and stir in the sesame seeds and lemon zest.
  • On a flat marble surface (or metal trays moistened with water, or a layer of parchment) spread the mixture evenly with a spatula or knife (or try a rolling pin) to 1 cm (1/4 inch) thickness.
  • Before it cools, cut into squares (try a pizza cutter).
  • When it is completely cool, wrap the squares in waxed paper and store in a covered container.

Questions & Replies

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  1. We made these tasty treats for Greek nite - they were a hit and they last forever so we enjoyed them for days afterwards. I'm about the make them again!
  2. I cut this down for 10 bars and they are very good. Think I will add more lemon zest next time. I served this with a Greek meal for dessert. Used parchment paper to spread it on and then flattened it with the sides of the paper. Very easy to do.
  3. WHAT A GREAT TASTING TREAT! I made this for one of the monthly groups I host, & enjoyed the unusualness of this snack! The group loved it & several asked for the recipe! "2 slices of lemon zest," was a little vague, however, since my zester gives long fine strips, so I simply improvised by using a very rounded teaspoonful! This is certainly something I'll be making again & again! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe! [Tagged, made & reviewed for one of my adopted chefs in the current Pick A Chef]
  4. Exactly what I was looking for! Loved the addition of lemon zest to this, really helped temper the sweetness, will be making regularly.
  5. Made this for my daughter's ancient civilization food day and it was a big hit. (I sent a sheet with some of the many interesting facts and history I found on pasteli) My husband sneaked some before it went out the door and then he sneaked some more. (always a good sign he likes something) It was easy to make after I found the sesame seeds in bulk at the local health foods store. I toasted my seeds some before adding them to the heated honey giving it an extra nutty flavor. I would like to try adding chopped almonds next time. I also recommend pouring the mixture onto parchment paper, I just peeled my bars of the back of it after lifting it out of the pan. Definitely try these!


I love old fashioned cooking; as traditional as you can get. Also, I tend to care more about nutrition than flavor; although my DH cares more about restaurant-quality-flavor than nutrition. So my recipes are likely to be a nice blend of both (Of course the traditional recipes have a tendency to have amazing flavor AND nutrition anyway!) Also, I am willing to do the extra work that releases the most nutrition in a recipe, so mine will not necessarily be the easiest recipes. On the other hand, I'm a freak for efficiency, so you can bet I'll find the simplest way to capture it all.
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