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  • Writer's pictureSusie Csorsz Brown

Pasta Salad with Tahini Dressing

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Pasta salads are a backbone to many a weeknight dinner because they are quick to pull together, infinitely flexible, and generally make good take-for-lunch options. This particular variety has a tangy creamy dressing thanks to a general amount of tahini, but enough bright and crunchy veggies that you won't feel like it is at all heavy.

If you don't happen to have broccoli, and love your salad with peppers or brussels sprouts or love a good radish, swap out the veggies to make your tummy happy and accommodate what your fridge has to offer.

Pasta Salad with Tahini dressing
Vibrant, crunchy and creamy pasta salad

Pasta Salad with Tahini Dressing

Yield: 4 servings


1 pound pasta (your favorite shape)

1 small onion, chopped fine (optional: soaked in cool water for 5 minutes and drained to reduce the bite)

1 to 2 carrots, peeled and grated

1 large head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces

½ to 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

½ cup toasted slivered almonds

Lime wedges for serving

Tahini dressing

⅔ cup tahini

1 large lime, zested and juiced

1 to 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

Kosher salt and black pepper

1/2 to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, use Aleppo pepper for a milder, less spicy option

1 garlic clove, finely minced or grated

1 inch fresh ginger, grated

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Cook the noodles. 5 minutes before the end of their time, add the broccoli to the water. Continue boiling to cook both until al dente. Drain and rinse thoroughly under cold water.

Make the dressing: In a large mixing bowl and whisk together ⅔ cup tahini, the juice and zest of 1 lime, 1 to 2 teaspoon vinegar, and a little cold water (start with 1 tablespoon). Add kosher salt, black pepper, 1 or 2 teaspoons chili flakes or Aleppo pepper, and whisk again.

You can also add 1 teaspoon cumin to add even more depth of flavor. Keep whisking, adding more cold water a little bit at a time, until you have the consistency of a creamy dressing. (It should be slightly runny and not too thick.) Add garlic and grated ginger. Drizzle about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and mix. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Add the drained pasta, drained onions, carrots and cilantro to the bowl with the dressing, tossing well to coat.

Sprinkle ½ cup slivered almonds on top. Serve the salad immediately with lime wedges on the side. Makes a great lunch option, too.


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