This Creamy Tahini Pasta with Lemon and Garlic will totally shake up your traditional pasta night! The nutty, garlicky tahini sauce is absolutely addicting and the lemon adds a perfect, bright freshness! Best of all, this is on the table in less than 30 minutes!
If you are bored with your regular pasta night, ya’ll NEED TO MAKE THIS!!! It’s such a nice change from traditional red or alfredo sauce. If you never tried tahini, you may just be addicted! It’s nutty flavor is so rich and delicious–then paired with lots of lemon and garlic…heaven!!
This tahini pasta is also vegan and dairy free, unlike most creamy pasta dishes that are loaded with butter and cream.
If you like pasta on the lighter side, you also have to try my Roasted Pasta with Parmesan and Pepper!
What is tahini?
Tahini is simply toasted, ground up sesame seeds! The seeds are ground to thick paste and is the basic ingredient in hummus. Tahini is full of healthy fats and antioxidants, making it a great alternative to butter or cream if you want a rich, creamy pasta dish.
Where can you buy tahini?
Most “regular” grocery stores carry tahini these days, although you might have to ask where to find it! At my store, it was near the nut butters, but it can also be hidden in the “ethnic” section. Trader Joe’s tahini is near the olives and canned food section. And of course, there is always Amazon! You can try this Organic Sesame Tahini here!
How to make Creamy Tahini Pasta with Lemon and Garlic: The Game Plan
I love giving you a “game plan” or “order of operations” to make recipes come together super quickly and help you make the best use of your time.
- Boil water for pasta
- Make tahini sauce
- Cook pasta, drain **reserve one cup of pasta water**
- Return pasta back to the pot, toss with tahini and heat through, adding reserved pasta water as you toss.
- Garnish and serve immediately.
Delicious additions to tahini pasta
This pasta is perfect in it’s own, but there are SO MANY amazing variations to spice it up! Here are my favorites:
- Toss in jarred roasted red peppers to your pasta.
- Adding roasted veggies! While the pasta is cooking, roast up some veggies to throw in! My favorites are broccoli, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, onions and zucchini.
- Although this recipe as written is vegan, feel free to add in some protein! Chicken is obviously the perfect match and shrimp would be amazing too.
- Forget the pasta and just drink the sauce! (kidding, not kidding). The sauce makes an excellent dip for veggies, falafel or crackers! It’s also great drizzled over a salad or rice bowl of any kind!
Recipe notes and tips
- When making the tahini sauce continue adding water until the sauce resembles a thin pancake batter (see picture above). It should be around 1/4 to 1/2 of a cup depending on the brand of tahini you are using.
- Make sure to reserve at least a cup of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.
- When adding the tahini sauce to the pasta, have your reserved pasta cooking water on hand to mix in, The sauce will “tighten up” a bit when you add it to the hot pasta, so having the water on hand will keep in nice a creamy. Add the water in slowly until you get the desired consistency.
- Honestly, this pasta is best eaten on the first day. However, if you have leftovers, they can be reheated with a little water or chicken stock to add back in the bit of creaminess. You can also save a bit of the tahini sauce and toss it into your reheated pasta.
Other recipes you’ll love
- ROASTED PASTA WITH PARMESAN AND PEPPER
- ONE PAN CHICKEN WITH CHERRY TOMATOES
- 2 MINUTE RIGATONI MEATBALL SOUP
Will you make this Creamy Tahini Pasta with Lemon and Garlic?? If you do, please be sure to rate it and tag me @get.on.my.plate on Instagram--I’d love to see your creations!!
Creamy Tahini Pasta with Lemon and Garlic
For the Tahini Sauce
- 3/4 cup Tahini
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest (or zest of one lemon)
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4-1/2 cup water See Note 1
For the Pasta
- 1 lb fettuccine or your favorite pasta
- 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
- lemon juice, parsley, lemon zest and black pepper to garnish optional
Make the Tahini Sauce
- In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and salt. Add in water slowly and whisk until a medium-thick sauce is formed. See picture–it should be about like a thin pancake batter so it's easy to toss with the pasta. Set sauce aside.
For the Pasta
- Boil pasta according to package instructions–al dente is best because you will be reheating the pasta and tossing it in with the tahini sauce.
- Reserve about a cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.
- Drain pasta and return to the pan.
- Toss pasta with tahini sauce. Add in a little pasta water as you toss so the sauce stays nice and creamy. Plate pasta immediately and garnish with extra lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley and fresh black pepper.