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Tahini Pasta Salad

If you’re someone who loves a creamy dish, but doesn’t like mayonnaise then this could be just the pasta salad for you. The creamy base is made from tahini, a ground sesame paste that gives just the right hint of flavor for a dish like this. Combined with the white beans and many veggies in the recipe this could be a complete meal. It’s pretty much a full meal in a bowl, but perfect for side dishes and potlucks -or any night when you don’t really want to spend a long time cooking.

To start this recipe you’ll need to cook any type of short pasta to the package directions. You can use ditalini, macaroni, gemelli, twists, or even wagon wheels.

Tahini Pasta Salad

The next step is to bring some water to boil in another pan and gently blanch the yellow squash and green beans. To blanch all you need to do is to cook the veggies for 1 minute in the boiling water then dunk them in cold water to stop the cooking. When you do this the veggies remain crisp, but aren’t raw.

This technique works wonders when you want to strike the perfect balance between fresh and cooked vegetables.

Tahini Pasta Salad

For this pasta salad I used canned artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, and some Kalamata olives. This last ingredient adds a savory umami flavor to the salad that’s irreplaceable. These olives really elevate this dish in a special way. I used the ones from the deli section that are marinated in herbs and oil.

The creamy dressing is a mix of tahini, dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar. There’s also lemon zest and juice to contribute some citrus flavor to the recipe.

Tahini Pasta Salad

To add to the bright flavor there’s also some red onion and some fresh basil, too. It all comes together for a really flavorful and hearty side or main dish. Even if you love mayo you won’t miss it in this extra creamy, extra flavorful pasta salad.

Serves 8-10

20m prep time

14m cook time

221 calories

4.5
Rated 4.5 out of 5
Rated by 6 reviewers

Allergens: Wheat, Gluten, Sesame, Citrus

Diet: Vegan

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For the salad:
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 oz short pasta, like macaroni, fusilli, gemelli, or pinwheels, cooked and drained
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cut in half and sliced
  • 1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and sliced into quarters
  • 3/4 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup tahini (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste
Preparation
  1. Fill saucepan halfway with water. Bring to boil and then blanch green beans and squash for 1 minute. Have a bowl of cold water nearby to place them in to stop the cooking.
  2. Combine cooled blanched vegetables with remaining salad ingredients in large bowl and toss well to combine.
  3. In small bowl whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and toss well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from Love and Lemons.