This incredibly rich and creamy tahini pasta recipe is SO easy to make and only calls for 5 simple basic ingredients. The oil-free sauce is done within minutes without requiring any cooking. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners!
You know how much I love any dairy-free pasta sauces. Well, I found myself a new obsession recently that I am more than happy to share: creamy tahini pasta.
And guys, you have got to try this. I would never have thought of using tahini for pasta dishes, but now that I did, all I want is to dig in a large bowl of garlicky saucy tahini pasta.
The combination of tahini, lemon and garlic makes this sauce super rich with such a great balance in the flavors. It is nutty and zesty with just enough garlic to temper the slight bitterness coming from the sesame paste.
And what's even better about this pasta sauce recipe is that it is done sooooo quickly. No cooking, no stirring around, no large pile of dishes to clean. You can simply make yourself a satisfying pasta dish using pantry ingredients under 15 minutes, just enough time to cook the noodles (psst... check out this creamy tomato pasta for another extra fast pasta pantry recipe!).
Tahini is simply sesame paste made by grinding sesame seeds into a butter consistency. I love how sesame butter has a thin and saucy consistency, often even pour-able. You can use it for either sweet or savory recipes, such as tahini caramel or spicy tahini buddha bowl sauce.
Is this tahini pasta healthy?
Sesame butter offers all of the same health benefits from whole sesame seeds. Although, make sure to use a tahini that's only containing sesame seeds, maybe with a little salt as they often do. But avoid any added oil!
What makes sesame seeds so healthy? Well, they might be tiny, but they are a powerhouse rich in fiber, healthy fats, protein, magnesium and many other vitamins and minerals. And they are so easy to sprinkle around and include in any diet!
You can find more nutritional information about sesame seeds here: Health and Nutrition Benefits of Sesame Seeds
How to make tahini pasta
This has got to be the easiest pasta sauce to prepare!
To make, blend together tahini, vegan milk, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast and salt.
Then, combine with the noodles of your choice and enjoy!
Watch how to make it
Tips when making this tahini pasta recipe
- Different brands of tahini can vary in consistency. Some can be more grainy and others more pour-able, with or without a separation between the oils and the solids. This article compares different brands of store-bought tahini, which can help you choose one. In any case, you will have to make sure to stir the tahini butter in its container very well before using and depending on the brand, you might end up with a thinner or thicker paste. If you have a thicker tahini butter, then you might have to add a little more vegan milk to the blender to reach the desired texture.
- I love making this sauce using a blender. This allows me to throw the garlic clove whole into the blender and it reaches a very smooth and almost whipped texture very fast. I have to say though that this recipe only gives you 1 cup of sauce, which is plenty for a meal, but can be harder to blend (because of low volume). You will have to take breaks and scrape the walls to keep the sauce at the bottom of the blender and blend again (I do this a few times). You can also crush the garlic yourself and whisk all the ingredients in a bowl, if that's easier. Or even better, make a double batch as the sauce stores very well!
Additions to this tahini pasta dish
As you can see in the pictures, this recipe makes for a great basic creamy sauce for pasta that can be customized with so many delicious additions. I chose green peas and mushrooms and it paired so perfectly. I simply thawed frozen green peas using the microwave and cooked sliced mushroom in a pan while the noodles were cooking.
Other great additions would be:
- Veggies: while the pasta is cooking, you can roast vegetables in the oven to combine to this dish. Great choices would be broccoli, cauliflower, carrot or zucchini. Caramelized onions is also delicious combined with the creamy sauce.
- Greens: add any wilted greens to this dish, like spinach, kale or collard greens. Simply wilt in a pan before adding to the pasta.
- A hint of fresh: add any fresh herbs, like basil or parsley. Also, if you want a stronger zesty flavor, you can adjust the amount of lemon juice you add to the sauce or even add lemon zest (in the sauce or top your bowl at serving).
- Spicy: you can turn this sauce into a spicy tahini sauce very easily. Simply add hot sauce to the blender or drizzle with sriracha at serving. Also goes great with a generous sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
- Plant-based protein: edamame, pan-fried tempeh, roasted tofu or lentils.
This recipe is best when enjoyed right away, as the noodles can soak up the sauce as it rests.
If you have leftovers, then keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. To eat the leftovers, add a splash of vegan milk, stir and reheat in the microwave.
Other creamy pasta dishes you might like
- Cajun pasta
- Vegan bechamel
- Primavera pasta bake
- Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Vegan white sauce
- Cauliflower Alfredo
- Pasta with hummus and roasted vegetables
- Vegan avocado broccoli pasta
- Vegan green pasta sauce
- Gochujang pasta
I hope you enjoy this tahini pasta recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
- Blender, optional
To make the sauce
- ½ cup tahini paste
- ½ cup vegan plain milk
- 1 clove of garlic
- ½ tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- In a blender, blend all the sauce ingredients until smooth.
- Serve over warm pasta of your choice with veggies.
- Using a blender creates a very smooth and almost whipped texture that's so pleasant. But, if you have a larger blender that cannot handle smaller volume like this sauce, then you can also simply combine the ingredients in a bowl (you will have to crush the garlic in this case) and whisk very well until super smooth. Or what I do often is double the recipe and keep the leftover sauce in the fridge for another meal later in the week.
- Simple roasted mushroom (roast in a pan) with peas (frozen then thawed) pair so well with this sauce. You can also add steamed broccoli, carrot, cauliflower or caramelized onions with this meal.
- Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days (store better when the sauce is apart from the noodles). To reheat, you might have to add a splash of vegan milk to loosen up the sauce, then reheat in the microwave.