This curried tahini pasta salad is bright, flavorful, and easy to make. A perfect plant-based lunch dish. The pasta salad makes great leftovers, so it’s a great dish to incorporate into weekly meal prep!
Since #tahinioneverything is pretty much my motto, I guess it was only a matter of time before I put tahini on pasta! This curried tahini pasta salad has quickly become a new favorite of mine: fast, flavorful, and a showcase for my favorite condiment.
The upside of finishing exams each semester is returning to the kitchen with enthusiasm. Even so, I try to make my exam week meals as tasty as they can be, given the time constraints and stress level. Curried tahini pasta salad is easy to prepare, which made it ideal for busy students (and busy people). The leftovers keep well, which is also a plus And it’s great for sharing, which means you can bring it to whatever summery gatherings you’ve got in store.
The pasta here is a tender, light gluten free Italian fusilli from Nuts.com. I love trying new products from Nuts.com, which is my go-to online source of pantry staples. And I’m so glad to have sampled this pasta! While I’m not gluten free myself, I do plenty of cooking for clients who are. I’m always for good GF and vegan products.
This fusilli is a corn and rice blend, and it’s one of the best I’ve tried. The downside of a lot of GF pastas is gummy texture, but this one holds its shape perfectly through cooking. I’d easily have mistaken it for regular pasta had I not known that it was gluten-free.
I use a number of different tahini brands at home in my kitchen. I prefer roasted tahini to raw (raw can be a little bitter), and I like tahini that’s a little “looser” (i.e. easy to pour, rather than thick like nut butter). Any tahini will work in this recipe; it’s really just a question of what you have and like.
The team at Nuts.com specialize in nuts (of course!), dried fruit, grains, legumes, condiments, and spices. In this recipe, I relied not only on the new, gluten-free pasta, but also on the company’s turmeric and curry, both of which are staple spices in my kitchen. The spices give this dish extra flavor, elevating it from something really simple into something bold.
This curried tahini pasta salad is one of many pasta salads that I love and make often in the summer. My tahini pesto pasta salad, avocado macaroni salad, and butternut zucchini pasta salads are all regulars in my recipe rotation. Pasta salad is filling, a fun alternative to whole grain salads, and it keeps well in the fridge.
When I make pasta salad, I usually boil and rinse the pasta before putting all of the components together. I rinse it under cold, running water. I think that this prevents the pasta from sticking together and ensures that all of the ingredients remain cold (it can be nice to fold warm and cool ingredients together, too, but not always).
It’s important to cook the vegetables for this pasta salad (and others) till they’re tender, but not mushy. For most of the vegetables I used in this recipe, including broccoli and green beans, that was about 5-7 minutes of steaming. If you like, you can also rinse the vegetables under cool, running water right after steaming. This will keep them cool, just like the pasta, and help to stop the cooking process. They’ll remain crisp and bright green.
This pasta salad is easy to prepare in advance, either in steps or altogether. You can cook the pasta a day or two ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Likewise for the sauce. On the day you’re ready to eat, you can simply steam your vegetables and fold everything together.
Once the pasta salad has been prepared, you can store the leftovers for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. The recipe makes about six servings, so feel free to cut it in half if you’re only meal prepping for one or two! Personally, I never mind having some extra leftovers 😉
I love how turmeric adds bright golden color to this already vibrant dish. I also love sneaking turmeric and black pepper into recipes for their combined anti-inflammatory properties!
When you make the curried tahini pasta salad, you can adjust the curry as needed. If you love curry or prefer a hot curry powder, go for it. If you’re like me and prefer a milder flavor, use a mild curry and stick to the 2-3 teaspoons specified.
Of course, you can try using different vegetables here, like carrots, zucchini or eggplant. The dish will come together particularly quickly if you use a frozen veggie blend, in which case you can just eyeball the quantities (about 5 cups of veggies is good).
I’m eager to spend lots of quality time here on the blog this summer, sharing my food. I’ll be taking a full summer course load right now, but in spite of the compressed schedule, I find summer classes a little more manageable than their academic year counterparts. Here’s to more food in this space very soon. See you this weekend for the customary roundup!
This post is sponsored by Nuts.com. All opinions are my own, and I love this family-owned and friendly business! Thanks for your support.
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Just made this tonight for a picnic tomorrow after work. So delicious and easy!! Will be making this again!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Keren!
Lovely Recipe for Good Stuff !!
This sounds and looks so Delicious ! Love seeing new recipes!
This looks really good. I intend making it tonight. So looking forward to it and I know my partner is going to luv it. Thanks for sharing your food ideas.
Ohhh, I just love pasta.. Very delicious. Thanks for sharing this
I was literally just chatting with a friend today about how I almost never make pasta salad…and then I came across your recipe…and I may just be changing my tune! This looks delightful!
love curry, will have to try this combo.
OMG Gena, I made this last night and it really blew my socks off! My wife thinks I’m a master chef now, lol. My only changes were garlic power for fresh and lime juice from a bottle (gotta get to the store). I roasted the red peppers beforehand and I think that really made a difference. I roasted 3 and I think probably 4 would be a good amount for this. Roasting the peppers is kind of a pain in the butt but I think it’s totally worth it. i chopped up parsley but will probably go with cilantro next time. I served it with a side bowl of chili beans (pinto beans in a spicy sauce). A+ recipe. Thank you Gena for another knockout recipe.
Amazing idea. Excellent job. Keep writing
I just made this and really enjoyed it! I cut down the pasta amount a bit. I’m a long time reader but had been so busy for awhile (also doing a MSRD program ) that I hadn’t been back for quite some time. Just wanted to say I’m loving the Weekend Reading and your recipes, and am amazed that you find time to do this and the MS program. Thank you for the work you do and for being so open and honest about your struggles. I’m sure tons of people can relate one way or another (like me) and appreciate reading about it.
This is a really great recipe! The flavor combination works well and the vegetables add a sweet crunchy touch to the taste. The recipe is easy to make and follow too. I also used a Whale Shaped Colander which is really easy to use for prepping the vegetables and draining the pasta.
This looks really good. I love pasta and make it quite often but I have never tried anything like this recipe. I am going to give it a go this week when I am cooking for my family 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Gena!
I made this for dinner last night and I loved it! I subbed sundried tomatoes for the roasted red pepper and added chickpeas. I was very happy with the way the flavors balanced each other out. I might make more of the sauce next time and possibly add some soaked cashews and blend them with the rest of the sauce ingredients in my vitamix for more creamy goodness. Excited to eat leftovers for lunch tomorrow 🙂
In my experience, adding creamy cashews to almost anything doesn’t hurt 🙂 So glad you enjoyed!
Good luck with any exams you have left, Gena!!
I love Nuts.com , especially their mulberries! (the white & the black ones!)
I made this last night. There are no words to describe how delicious this salad is.
It was so good that at one point, I put down the fork and started eating directly from the salad bowl…with my FINGERS!
I’m so happy to hear that, Melissa!
I prepared this last night and almost CANNOT wait for lunch time to come around so that I can have an entire portion and not just “sampling” it, haha. I made half of the recipe and am sure that this will cover two more week time lunches. YAY for meal prepping in stressful times. I wish you all the best for your exams, dear Gena.
Wonderful to hear this, Charlotte! I hope you enjoy the meal for the next couple of days 🙂
Good luck with the end of exams Gena! You are such a wizard managing this space and taking a full course load still, and in summer too! Is it bad that you mentioned Christmas baking and I immediately was craving the holidays?! Good thing it’s almost halfway to Christmas celebration time ;). Hope you are doing well this week girl, and happy weekend now too! Xx
Girl, you and me both with the holiday cravings 😉 XOXO
This sounds delicious! I don’t consume agave or maple syrup (or any sweetener) … would you adjust the sauce dressing in some other way other than simply omitting? Thanks!
The amount of sweetener there is very subtle, just enough to give the slightest hint of sweet contrast to the tartness of vinegar and lime juice. Because it’s so minimal, I think you’d be fine simply omitting it. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
I don’t care for tahini, but I will definitely try this recipe using either this tasty sweet potato curry sauce I made and froze into ice cube portions or the even tastier coconut-peanut sauce that Whole Foods carries — this will be great for a Memorial Day cookout! Thank you for the recipe – love the sunny tumeric color!
I don’t know how anyone could look at this dish and not be wowed by it! Simply stunning!
Ooooo YUM! I could live on pasta alone and curry is one of my very favorites. Until now it never occurred to me to put the two together. Lime juice instead of lemon juice is a perfect twist. Off I go to the market for the ingredients for THIS dish! Thank you, Gena. Brilliant!
I sounds and looks yummy. I haven’t been using the nuts.com website, but will give it a go!
I love spicy curry but I think for a dish like this a milder one would work better. Sounds like it would be delicious served warm or cold. It’s a nice simple and comforting dish.
This looks so delicious – I love all the flavours!
Izzy | Pinch of delight