This Creamy Vegan Tahini Pasta Salad is the perfect summer recipe. Jam-packed with all the healthy stuff to keep it nice and fresh but still creamy and delicious thanks to the tahini dressing (who says you need mayo for perfectly creamy sauce?). This salad is best served cold therefore perfect for summer picnics.
This is definitely my favorite summer pasta salad which, to be honest, I tend to eat all year round. First of all, it's made with chickpea pasta which is packed with plant-based protein. It's also full of colorful produce, like tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, and spring onions. It's all tossed in a deliciously creamy (NO mayo) vegan tahini dressing which brings all the aromas of the fresh ingredients together in this indulgent (BUT super healthy) pasta dish.
Overview & Quick Links
Ingredients for the vegan pasta salad
What I love the most about this salad is that you don't need many things to make it work. It's just pasta + veggies + tahini dressing = a delicious meal ready in no time. Of course, you can go crazy and add all the toppings like seeds, olives, legumes and so on. Who am I to stop you?
- Pasta - our most important ingredient, for this recipe works best a short cut of pasta like fusilli, penne, farfalle, etc. I like to use legume-based pasta as they are gluten-free + high in protein.
- Broccoli - I love steamed broccoli in this dish, feel free to add it raw if you prefer, skip it or add steamed green beans.
- Bell pepper - red, orange, yellow - anything will work + it will give your salad a splash of color.
- Tomatoes - I chopped some normal tomatoes in cubes, but you can use cherry tomatoes and halve them.
- Spring onion - known as green onion, you can use red onion too.
- Pumpkin seeds - they act as a crunchy element in our salad. You can use raw or roasted seeds. Think sunflower seeds, pine nuts, etc.
- Creamy tahini dressing - this dressing is simply the best! A mixture of creamy tahini, tangy lemon juice, dijon mustard, and just a pinch of salt & pepper. No need for mayo at all, this dressing is so creamy and flavorful, you'll just keep coming back for more!
How to make the best creamy tahini salad?
First, you need to prepare all your ingredients: steam the broccoli, boil the pasta according to packaging instructions, chop your tomatoes, green onions, bell pepper, and make the tahini dressing.
For the tahini dressing, blend together tahini, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt & pepper, and a little bit of hot water until creamy but not too thick not too thin. Feel free to add one tablespoon of maple syrup for extra sweetness.
How to store the salad?
You can store this salad for up to 4 days in the fridge. You can pour a little more dressing on top when you are ready to serve it. What I like to do is make a big batch of the creamy tahini dressing, keep it in the fridge and add it to my salad last moment throughout the week.
It's a great meal prep dish too! Just prep all your ingredients at the beginning of the week, store them separately in airtight glass containers, and when you're ready mix everything together in a bowl. Lunch/dinner is served 😉
Tips & variations
I love this salad as it is but it's fully customizable too! You don't like broccoli? You can skip it, have some cucumber on hand that is about to go bad? - then use it! Some other ideas you can try:
- Greek version - add some olives, dill, chickpeas, and vegan feta cheese (if you want) for a delicious Greek-inspired pasta salad.
- Add some spinach for extra added greens.
- You can use a little bit of maple syrup in the tahini dressing - makes it sweeter & even tastier.
- The brand of tahini that you are using is very important. Look for natural tahini - just sesame seeds, nothing else.
- Add any veggies you like and I promise you'll love it!
- Add some herbs! Think dill, parsley, basil, add lots of them fresh herbs because #summer.
Looking for more satisfying & delicious salads? I've got you covered!
- Easy Baby Spinach & Quinoa Salad
- Sweet Potato Falafel Salad
- Mexican Style Quinoa Salad
- Arugula Quinoa Salad With Mustard Lemon Vinaigrette
I love to see all your yummy creations! ♡
- 250 gr Pasta, I used chickpea pasta
- 2 cups broccoli florets, slightly steamed or raw
- 3 tomatoes, diced, or cherry tomatoes - halved
- 1 bell pepper, any color
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, raw or roasted
For the tahini dressing
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 lemon, juiced
- salt & pepper , to taste
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 tbsp maple syrup, optional
Creamy tahini dressing
- Add all the tahini dressing ingredients in a blender or bowl. Blend or whisk until the ingredients are well incorporated and the dressing is smooth. Set aside.
- Boil your pasta according to packaging instructions. Add in a big bowl the cooked pasta and the remaining ingredients (tomatoes, green onions, bell pepper, pumpkin seeds, and broccoli). Drizzle with the tahini dressing and mix until combined and the salad is all coated in the creamy dressing.
- You can serve as it is or place in the refrigerator for two hours and serve chilled. Enjoy!
- Add water slowly until the right consistency. You might need more or less water depending on the brand of tahini you are using.