Herby Lemon Tahini Pasta


Herby, creamy and made with just 10 ingredients in 15 minutes, this tahini pasta is perfect for quick weeknight dinners!

Overhead view of green spaghetti and chickpeas in a white bowl

Recipe features

  • Diet-friendly: vegetarian, vegan, nut-free, gluten-free optional (just use tamari and gluten-free pasta!)
  • packed with bright, herby flavors from parsley and basil
  • made with just 10 ingredients in 15 minutes
  • versatile and easy to customize

Ingredients and substitutions

Labeled ingredients used to make tahini pasta
  • Tahini is made from ground hulled sesame seeds. It is traditionally used in Middle Eastern cuisines for dishes like hummus and baba ghanoush. It is creamy, nutty and is great wherever you would use nut butters.
  • Whole wheat spaghetti is my preferred pasta, but any kind works! Try protein pasta, white pasta, short pasta shapes, etc.
  • Parsley and basil: I use flat-leaf parsley but curly works too. This recipe leans more on the parsley side than basil. You can use more basil than parsley if you prefer. I haven’t tried this out with dry herbs.
  • Lemon: One lemon usually has ~3 tablespoons lemon juice.
  • Soy sauce adds depth and is the main source of salt in the sauce. You can use tamari to make it gluten-free. Choose reduced sodium soy sauce for a lower sodium sauce.
  • Garlic: Use 2-3 (or more) garlic cloves. I like to roughly chop the cloves before adding them to the blender to ensure that they actually get broken down. You can use ¼ teaspoon (or more) garlic powder in place of fresh garlic.
  • Chickpeas are the main source of protein. Any kind of white bean or edamame would also work.

Step by step instructions

This recipe is as easy as:

Steps 1 through 4 to make tahini pasta
  1. Boil pasta, making sure to reserve at least ½ cup pasta water
  2. Blend together ingredients to make sauce. I use a blender but a food processor also works.
  3. Toss pasta with the sauce
  4. Add chickpeas, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Taste for salt and enjoy!

Pro tip: I always reserve more pasta water than I think I’ll need. It’s no fun to need more water to thin your sauce, only to have poured it all down the drain!

Recipe FAQ and expert tips

  • Protein: Double the chickpeas, use protein pasta or add chopped cashews or pine nuts for a higher protein meal.
  • Always stir tahini before measuring it out because the oils and solids separate as they sit (this is completely normal!). Stir until it’s a uniform texture.
  • Use up leftover tahini in coleslaw, salad dressing, or try your hand at homemade hummus.
How do you store and reheat leftovers?

Keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. The sauce thickens up and isn’t as pretty as leftovers, but it still tastes great. You can add a splash of vegetable broth to thin it before reheating in the microwave or on the stove.

Can I freeze the sauce?

Yes, tahini sauce freezes well on its own (without the pasta). Store in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge. It may separate in the fridge/freezer, so make sure to whisk it before serving. You may need to add vegetable broth to thin the sauce.

What veggies go well with this?

I like to add a couple handfuls of fresh spinach or kale. Roasted zucchini, broccoli, peas or sautéed mushrooms would also be great additions.

Can I make this without the herbs?

Definitely! You can make a plain tahini sauce by just using tahini, pasta water, soy sauce, garlic, lemon juice and black pepper.

Gold fork twirling green spaghetti in a white bowl

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Overhead view of green spaghetti and chickpeas in a white bowl

Print Recipe

Herby Tahini Pasta

Tahini, lemon and fresh herbs combine in this beautifully smooth and spring-y pasta sauce! Toss with your favorite pasta and a can of chickpeas and dinner is served.

Prep Time15 mins

Total Time15 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Instructions

  • Cook spaghetti to al dente in well salted water according to package instructions. Reserve at least ½ cup pasta water before draining the spaghetti.

  • While the spaghetti is cooking, prepare the sauce. To a blender or food processor, add the tahini, soy sauce, chopped parsley, basil, black pepper, garlic cloves, juice from one lemon and reserved pasta water. Blend until creamy and smooth.

  • Toss the cooked spaghetti with the sauce and chickpeas. Serve topped with additional fresh chopped parsley, basil, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Protein: Double the chickpeas, use protein pasta or add chopped cashews or pine nuts for a higher protein meal.
  2. Storage and reheating: Keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. The sauce thickens up and isn’t as pretty as leftovers, but it still tastes great. If needed, splash of vegetable broth to thin it before reheating in the microwave or on the stove.
  3. Freezing instructions: You can freeze the tahini sauce in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge. It may separate in the fridge/freezer, so make sure to whisk it before serving.

Check out the full YouTube video for Tahini Pasta that has step by step instructions.

Calories: 553kcalCarbohydrates: 80gProtein: 23gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 162mgPotassium: 646mgFiber: 10gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 765IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 138mgIron: 7mg





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