Looking for a not-so-average pasta dish that’s a flavour-packed bowlful but won’t keep you tied up in the kitchen? Say hello to our Creamy Tahini Pasta recipe! This dish is all about the magic of a velvety tahini sauce laced with lemon and aromatic garlic, perfectly coating each strand of spaghetti. Ready in just 20 minutes, this simple recipe is here to redefine your pasta game without the fuss.
- But First, What Is Tahini and What Can I Use It For?
- Ingredients and Substitutes
- Step-by-Step Method
- Additions and Variations
- What To Serve With Tahini Pasta?
- Storage and Reheating
- Recipe Tips For Best Results
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Quick Veggie Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Tahini Pasta With Lemon and Garlic
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But First, What Is Tahini and What Can I Use It For?
Tahini is a creamy paste made from ground sesame seeds, found in most grocery stores across the globe. It’s a versatile ingredient, lending a nutty flavour to dishes. Often used in sauces, salad dressings and desserts, this creamy paste adds a unique umami flavour that’s both creamy and rich.
If you would like to try some more dishes with tahini, have a look at our favourite recipes below:
Ingredients and Substitutes
Seven simple ingredients are all that’s needed to make this wonderful 20-minute easy meal for busy weeknights. Find the quantities and full method in the recipe card below.
- light tahini (sesame paste): we use and love Meridian Light Tahini.
- lemons: you will need about 30ml of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of zest per portion.
- salt: we use and love Maldon Sea Salt flakes.
- spaghetti or linguini pasta: If you are catering for specific diets, try this recipe with gluten-free pasta: lentil pasta, chickpea pasta, quinoa pasta or brown rice pasta.
- olive oil: can be replaced with vegetable, rapeseed or avocado oil.
- cloves of garlic: fresh garlic should be used. Garlic powder, unfortunately, doesn’t add enough oomph to this pasta.
- tenderstem broccoli: also known as broccolini or sometimes longstem broccoli. You may replace broccoli with other green vegetables, like spinach or green beans.
- fresh herbs (optional): fresh basil, parsley or coriander (cilantro) will work great.
Three easy steps to make this pasta dish: cooking the pasta, making the sauce and assembling it all together. Let’s cook!
Step 1: Cooking Your Pasta Al Dente
First, slice the tenderstem broccoli into thin strings that resemble spaghetti itself.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of water following the instructions on the packet, keeping the pasta al dente. About 2 minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the thinly sliced broccoli.
Make sure to save 120ml (about ½ cup) of the pasta water before draining it.
Step 2: Make Creamy Tahini Pasta Sauce
In the meantime, place tahini, fresh lemon juice and zest and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Gradually trickle in cold water, until you have a thin purable sauce (you may not need all the water depending on the brand of tahini).
Step 3: Assembling Tahini Pasta
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over low-medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, but don’t let it brown too much.
Pour in the tahini sauce and stir until the sauce has warmed through.
Add the drained pasta and broccoli into the sauce and toss to combine, adding some reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce. Season with extra salt and black pepper, if required.
Divide the pasta in creamy sauce between plates and scatter the lemon zest and fresh parsley on top.
Additions and Variations
What does Tahini go with? What else can you add to this pasta dish to make it more filling?
More Veggies: roasted red peppers, green beans, green peas, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes are all great options to stir through this pasta with tahini sauce.
Garnishes: A great way to elevate any meal is to add extra topping. We love red pepper flakes for colour vibrancy and nutritional yeast or some parmesan cheese for flavour.
What To Serve With Tahini Pasta?
Creamy Lemon Tahini Pasta is a decadent meal, so all you need is a vegetable side dish, in my opinion. We love pairing this pasta with Sauteed Spring Greens With Lemon & Thyme or Courgette Ribbon Salad. Alternatively, try our Italian Green Bean & Cherry Tomato Salad.
Storage and Reheating
Creamy Vegan Tahini Pasta is best served immediately after it is cooked. However, if you made too much, cool the leftover tahini pasta down to room temperature, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it in a microwave or in a large skillet over low heat with a splash of water.
This pasta recipe is not suitable for freezing.
Recipe Tips For Best Results
- Use light tahini (dark unhulled tahini will make your pasta sauce too bitter and not creamy enough).
- Mix your tahini well before using it. Avoid using the extremely oil top or very thick bottom of the jar.
- Trickle the water into your tahini sauce little by little to avoid lumpy sauce.
- Customise your garnishes and play around with different veggies or proteins that you add to tahini pasta to make it exciting every time you make it!
Frequently Asked Questions
My Tahini Paste Has Split? Do I Use The Oil On Top?
It is perfectly normal for the oil to surface on top, and the thick paste to settle on the bottom of the jar. All you need to do is mix the tahini well before using. If you have a large quantity, blitz it in a food processor.
What is The Best Shape of Pasta To Go With Tahini Sauce?
The best type of pasta for this creamy tahini sauce is any long noodle-pasta shape, like spagetti, linguini, tagliatelle or bucatini. Short pasta shapes that have lots of nooks and crannies will hold too much sauce, making the overall dish too rich.
Why Is My Tahini Sauce Not Smooth?
The most likely reason is that it was split before you used it, and there was not enough oil in the tahini to loosen enough. But there is nothing that some vigorous stirring (or a quick blitz in a food processor) cannot fix.
Can I Make Tahini Pasta Sauce Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can mix all the sauce ingredients up to 3 days in advance and keep it the fridge. Just give it a good mix again before you use it.
Other Quick Veggie Pasta Recipes
Do you enjoy a quick and effortless pasta dish for an easy weeknight dinner? f you love things spicy, try our Creamy Gochujang Pasta. Some of our other favourite pasta recipes include:
Creamy Tahini Pasta With Lemon and Garlic
- 200 g (0.44 lb) spaghetti or linguini pasta
- 150 g (0.33 lb) tenderstem broccoli thinly sliced lengthways, see photos above
- 120 g (0.54 cups) light tahini
- 60 ml (0.25 cups) lemon juice from about 1.5 large lemons
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 90-110 ml (0.38 cups) cold water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water following instructions on the packet, keeping the pasta al dente. About 2 minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the thinly sliced broccoli into the pan. Make sure to save about 120ml of starchy pasta water before draining it.
- In the meantime, place the tahini, lemon juice and zest and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Gradually trickle in cold water, until you have a thin purable sauce (you may not need all the water depending on how thick your tahini paste is).
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over low-medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, but don't let it brown too much.
- Pour in the tahini sauce and stir until the sauce has warmed through.
- Add the cooked pasta into the sauce and toss to combine, adding some reserved starchy water to losen the sauce. Season with extra salt and black pepper, if required.
- Divide the pasta with tahini sauce between plates and scatter the lemon zest and fresh herbs on top.