Ultra creamy, fresh, and healthy, this Greek Tahini Pasta Salad is the perfect easy dinner or picnic food! Enjoy the mix of fun textures with gluten-free pasta, creamy tahini, olive oil, and fresh salad vegetables. Chop, mix it all together, and enjoy! It’s that easy.
While I could eat this salad any day of the week all year-round, I enjoy it most frequently as a fresh Spring and Summer recipe. The vegetables are in season, the lemon compliments the sunshine, and it’s perfect for making ahead and bringing on an outdoor adventure.
Vegan Tahini Pasta is friendly to many dietary restrictions. This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan, and plant-based as written!
Ingredients and Substitutions
This recipe uses 11 ingredients for the most perfect tahini pasta ever. Read through the ingredient notes for easy substitutions, gluten-free products I use, and more tips!
- tahini - the star of the show! Choose one with no additives. In the USA, you’ll find that the textures vary significantly. Any kind will work, and I use Once Again brand because it is certified gluten-free.
- olive oil - adds necessary richness to balance the astringent taste of vinegar and lemon juice.
- red wine vinegar - while red wine vinegar will give you the most authentic Mediterranean flavor, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar will work too.
- lemon juice - I prefer fresh, and one large lemon will provide just the right amount of lemon juice.
- garlic - press the garlic for maximum flavor! And if you don’t have a press, mincing will work well too.
- salt and black pepper - only simple spices needed here.
- dry fusilli pasta - I use gluten-free pasta and recommend choosing a rice and lentil blend like Bionaturae Gluten-Free or a chickpea pasta for extra protein. Penne is another good choice if you don't have the fusilli shape.
- red bell peppers - these provide the perfect crunch. You can also replace one of these with halved cherry tomatoes.
- cucumber - it goes so well with both tahini and dill. Plus the cooling crunch is very summer-worthy!
- broccoli - to add texture, nutrients, and catch all that extra sauce for a super flavorful and healthy bite.
- kalamata olives - if you’re not an olive fan, leave these out. I use Mezzetta halved Olives and make sure to drain them first.
- red onion - just a little bit so as to not overpower the other flavors.
- Optional: white beans or chickpeas - add these for extra protein, especially if you are using traditional or rice pasta.
- fresh or dried dill - I personally LOVE dill and this salad is my favorite way to enjoy it. Other herbs like basil or parsley will work well in its place. However, if using dill, I recommend not adding additional herbs since it can easily be overpowered.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Tahini Dressing: Add all tahini dressing ingredients except water to a medium bowl or two-cup liquid measuring cup. Whisk until smooth. Note that it will be lumpy at first, but keep mixing until it's ultra creamy. Add water in small increments until you reach your desired consistency.
Make the salad: Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl or pot. Pour the dressing on top, and toss until everything is coated and well-mixed. Garnish with fresh dill if you like and serve at room temperature.
Voila! So easy, bright, and healthy.
Chef's Tips and Troubleshooting
To make this Vegan Tahini Pasta ahead of time...
Store the dressing and tahini sauce separately until just before serving for the best taste and texture. Keep the salad mix in a sealed container in the refrigerator overnight and the sauce at room temperature.
When I make this recipe to eat right away, I mix everything together at once. Next-day leftovers may have a slightly tacky texture since the noodles absorb some of the sauce. This is fine with my family, but if you prefer that super creamy fresh taste, you may want to store them separately.
If the sauce stays lumpy...
At first whisk, it may seem that these ingredients won't mix well. But don't be fooled! Just a little more time is needed until it turns into the super creamy texture we love.
If it seems truly resistant, add more olive oil in small amounts -- it's possible your tahini has a little less oil than mine.
Olive oil can stop pasta from sticking to itself. After cooking the pasta, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir gently to coat the noodles to prevent sticking.
What to serve with Vegan Tahini Pasta?
- glass measuring cup
- large pot
For best texture, store the tahini pasta sauce separately from the mixed salad ingredients in airtight containers in the fridge. Toss together when ready to eat. This recipe will last for 3-4 days when stored properly.
More Vegan Pasta Recipes:
- Flashy Vegan Vodka Pasta from your pantry
- One Pot Lentil Pasta
- Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pasta
- Creamy Avocado Pasta
- Herby Vegan Alfredo Pasta
- Sneaky Pea Pesto Pasta
- Vegan Broccoli Mac and Cheese
We're experts in gluten-free and vegan pasta dishes over here!Print
Greek Tahini Pasta Salad
Ultra creamy, fresh, and healthy, this Greek Tahini Pasta Salad is the perfect easy dinner or picnic food! Enjoy the textures of gluten-free pasta, creamy tahini, olive oil, and fresh salad vegetables.
- Prep Time: 20
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4-5 servings 1x
- Category: Lunch, Dinner, Side
- Method: Salad
- Cuisine: American, Greek-inspired
- Diet: Vegan
- ⅔ cup Tahini
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I got 3 tablespoons from one large juicy lemon)
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ - ½ cup water (add last to thin as desired. The amount will depend on tahini texture which I find varies a lot in the USA)
- 12 ounces (340 grams) dry fusilli pasta (I used gluten-free)
- 2 medium red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 large cucumber, chopped
- 1 medium head of broccoli, florets only, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ¾ cup halved kalamata olives, drained
- ⅓ cup minced red onion ( about ¼ of a medium red onion)
- Optional: 1 can white beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 1 ½ cups)
- ⅓ cup loosely packed fresh dill, chopped and with stems removed, plus more to garnish if desired
- Prep: Make the pasta according to instructions. Set aside to cool.
- Tahini Dressing: Add all tahini dressing ingredients except water to a medium bowl or two-cup liquid measuring cup. Whisk until smooth. Note that it will be lumpy at first, but keep mixing until it's ultra creamy. Add water in small increments until you reach your desired consistency.
- Make the salad: Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl or pot. Pour the dressing on top, and toss until everything is coated and well-mixed. Garnish with fresh dill if you like and serve cold!
Tip: After cooking the pasta, add just a little drizzle of olive oil (1-2 teaspoons) and stir together gently to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other.
Storage: For best texture, store the tahini pasta sauce separately from the mixed salad ingredients in airtight containers in the fridge. Toss together when ready to eat. This recipe will last for 3-4 days when stored properly.
Note on Leftovers: On the second day, the pasta salad texture can be a little tacky because the noodles absorb some of the sauce. To maintain creaminess, store separately and add the sauce right before serving. My family doesn't mind the texture change on day 2, so we usually mix it all together the first time we eat it anyway!
Keywords: tahini pasta sauce, vegan tahini pasta, healthy greek pasta salad