If you love tahini, have you tried Easy Tahini Pasta? Flavored with creamy tahini lemon sauce, it's a perfect fast meal for busy weeknights. Ready in minutes and a great alternative to traditional pasta sauces, it's also vegan and dairy free.
I'm always on the look out for recipes with tahini sauce, and this 5 ingredient creamy tahini sauce really fits the bill. It's a great way to use up leftover tahini.
In fact the recipe came about when I was thinking "what can I do with a jar of leftover tahini?" It resulted in this delicious lemon tahini pasta sauce.
If you haven't tried this easy meal yet, you won't be disappointed. The tahini pasta sauce is unbelievably creamy with a subtle nutty flavor, zesty lemon, and a burst of freshly chopped parsley to serve!
The recipe is super healthy - almost reminiscent of al Fredo or carbonara but without the cream. This makes this vegan tahini pasta ideal for anyone following a dairy and/or plant based diet.
Why You'll Love This Tahini Pasta
- The 5 ingredient pasta sauce is a great way of using up a jar of leftover tahini paste.
- Prep time is minimal, it uses only simple ingredients and you can have a delicious bowl of lemon tahini pasta on the table in less than 20 minutes on busy nights.
- The creamy vegan pasta sauce is a hit with kids and adults alike.
- It has a wonderful rich texture and a great umami flavor.
- Vegan tahini pasta is suitable for anyone following a dairy free diet.
- Try some of my favorite easy pasta recipes:
Tahini Pasta Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe card below.
Pasta - I've used spaghetti, but you can use any other type of pasta noodle.
Tahini - I've used a light tahini paste to make the tahini pasta sauce. If you prefer a more intense sesame seed flavor then you can use dark tahini.
Garlic - I use fresh garlic, but you can use garlic puree in a pinch.
Lemon - for flavor I prefer to use freshly squeezed lemon juice, but you can use bottled lemon juice.
How to Make this Creamy Tahini Pasta Recipe - Step-By-Step
Find the full printable recipe below.
Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions in lots of well salted water.
Meanwhile mix together the tahini, garlic, fresh lemon juice and salt in a large bowl.
Carefully remove 1 cup of the pasta water and add to the tahini until the tahini sauce forms a creamy paste.
Drain the pasta, reserving another ½ cup of the cooking water.
Stir the pasta into the sauce. Add a splash or two of the reserved cooking water if needed to loosen the sauce.
Taste and season as needed. Scatter with chopped fresh parsley (if using).
Frequently Asked Questions
What is tahini?
Tahini is a paste made from toasted ground sesame seeds that is both vegan and gluten free. Tahini is a popular ingredient used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking.
You can get both light and dark tahini paste. Light has the husks removed from the seeds, whereas dark tahini paste contains the husk too.
Where can you buy tahini?
Most supermarkets and stores now carry tahini, but you can find it in specialty stores, health food stores, and delicatessens too.
Which brands of tahini do you recommend?
Trader Joe has an excellent and inexpensive tahini if you're lucky enough to have one nearby. Joyva is another popular and good quality brand.
If you are in the UK, Belazi, Meridian and Sunita produce good quality tahini at a reasonable price.
How should I store tahini?
Tahini is best stored in a cool dry place, ideally a store cupboard or pantry. If you like your tahini a little thicker, you can store it in the refrigerator once opened. It will store longer in the refrigerator - for around 5-6 months after opening.
Can you freeze tahini?
Yes, you can freeze tahini in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 12 months.
Variations & Substitutions for This Easy Weeknight Dinner
- I've used spaghetti, but you can use any variety of pasta noodle.
- For a more intense sesame flavor, swap light tahini paste, for dark tahini.
- Add extra veggies, stir through some fresh spinach or kale, or a handful of frozen green peas.
- Sautéed veggies like chopped up zucchini and broccoli are also a good option.
- Cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and fresh basil all go wonderfully with this Mediterranean dish.
- Ramp up the heat with some red pepper flakes.
Can you make this easy recipe Gluten Free?
Yes, it's easy to make a gluten free tahini pasta. There are lots of gluten-free pasta options out there. Lentil pasta, chickpea pasta or quinoa pasta are great alternatives.
Tips & Tricks For Making Tahini Pasta
- This creamy pasta does need careful seasoning, so taste the tahini pasta sauce before serving and if necessary, adjust the seasoning. It really won't taste right without enough salt.
- Make sure your tahini is at room temperature before you start cooking this recipe. It hardens a lot in the fridge, which will make it harder to get a creamy texture.
- Make sure to use your reserved starchy pasta water, which is the key to this recipe. It will thicken the sauce and gives it a wonderful silky texture, as well as helping to coat the pasta in the sauce.
How To Serve Creamy Lemon Tahini Pasta
This is a light, creamy and zesty bowl of pasta, so I like to keep any sides dishes simple too, so as not to overpower the dish.
A dressed arugula salad or some sautéed green beans are my usual go-to options. You can also add some garlic or crusty bread with a drizzle of olive oil if you are especially hungry.
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What Do You Think?!
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More Easy Under 30 Minute Recipe Ideas
Easy Tahini Pasta
- 1 lb Spaghetti - or other pasta of your choice
- 1 cup Tahini
- 1 clove Garlic - finely grated
- ½ Lemon - juice only
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1½ cup Reserved Pasta Cooking Water
- 1 tbsp Chopped Parsley - optional
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil, salt generously and add the spaghetti. Cook the pasta until al dente according to packet instructions.
- Whilst the pasta cooks, mix together the tahini, garlic, fresh lemon juice and salt in a large bowl.
- Carefully remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and add to the tahini until the tahini sauce forms a creamy paste.
- Drain the pasta, reserving another ½ cup of the cooking water.
- Stir the pasta into the sauce. Add a splash or two of the reserved cooking water if needed to loosen the sauce.
- Taste and season as needed. Scatter with chopped fresh parsley (if using)
- Serve immediately.