Hazelnut Tahini Pasta

hazelnut tahini pasta with brussels sprouts / loveandlemons.com hazelnut tahini pasta with brussels sprouts / loveandlemons.com

I keep a pretty full pantry (to say the least). I love to have a variety of oils, vinegars, grains & nuts on hand… but every now and then “on hand” becomes completely out of hand. This little sauce came about one day when I was cleaning out my shelves and found five separate stashes of hazelnuts. Some were newly purchased, some were tucked waaay in the back. Also, back beyond my immediate reach was a still-pretty-new-yet-forgotten-about jar of tahini.

hazelnut tahini pasta with brussels sprouts / loveandlemons.com

I had pasta noodles to use up, but this would be great as a dressing drizzled over a farro salad, or over greens with roasted sweet potatoes.

It doesn’t puree as smooth as cashew-based sauces (and it’s definitely not pretty). It’s a bit on the grainy side, but has that nice tahini tang and also a bit of sweetness from the hazelnuts.

You may have noticed already, but this recipe was posted as a little L&L feature over at the The Chalkboard last week. 

hazelnut tahini pasta

Serves: serves 2, with extra sauce
for the sauce:
  • 1 cup unsalted hazelnuts, toasted & shelled
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • water, as needed to thin (about ¼ cup, if necessary)
for the pasta:
  • 8 oz. pasta, plus some reserved pasta water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups of brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • a few pinches of red pepper flake
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Toast your hazelnuts well. (In a 300 degree oven for 15 or so mins, or in a skillet for about 5).
  2. Make the sauce by pureeing the hazelnuts, garlic, tahini, lemon and olive oil in a high speed blender. Drizzle water, as necessary to get your blade moving. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cook pasta according to the package directions.
  4. In a large skillet heat olive oil. Add the shaved brussels sprouts into the skillet in one layer (you might have to work in batches if they don’t all fit). Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Let them cook for a minute or so (until they begin browning), and flip. Cook for another couple of minutes until the edges are golden.
  5. Remove the brussels sprouts from the pan and toss them with the pasta and as much or little sauce as you like. Add a little pasta water, as needed, to create a creamy sauce. Top with toasted hazelnuts and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Raw cashews, walnuts, or blanched almonds can be substituted for the hazelnuts.

I used quinoa noodles but use whatever pasta you like.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. I love these little clear out cupboard/fridge meals. They are the best, love the sound of the dish. So fresh and perfect for spring. Pinned!

  2. Denise from foodlovin.de

    Mhhh, the sauce sounds delicious. I have a major crush on hazelnuts recently 🙂
    I think it would also be perfect on spiralized carrot or zucchini “noodles”. Gonna try that :D!

    • jeanine

      it would be – yum!

  3. I have the same little stashes, although mine seem to be almonds… sliced, blanced, whole… they are everywhere. I also always have an open jar of tahini, and oddly enough, I always seem to have Brussels sprouts… I’ll definitely be making this soon. Thanks for sharing!

    • jeanine

      ha, yea me too – roasted almonds, raw almonds, slivered, etc 🙂

  4. This looks so wonderful! I’ve never thought of pairing hazelnuts and tahini, but I bet it’s so super tasty! I have everything but the sprouts on hand…since they’re my favorite veggie they are eaten pretty darn quick around here 😉 Guess I need to go to the store!

  5. Oh I know ALL about an out of hand pantry. The nuts are the craziest, especially with me experimenting with nut butters and nut milks over the past month or so. This looks absolutely incredible. As usual!!

  6. Tiff from tiffanybee.com

    This looks absolutely fantastic! Congratulations on being featured on the Chalkboard. How exciting! You’re also a finalist for best food blog too on Saveur so you’ve got quite an exciting month & deservedly so too. 🙂

    Love tahini so I’ll have to try this soon & it’s vegan! How delightful!

  7. Sarah from highgatehillkitchen.com

    This looks so great – I love a simple and healthy pasta recipe. And anything with roasted hazelnuts wins me over. Fortuitously, I have all these ingredients on hand! Also that bowl the pasta is in is super pretty.

  8. I saw this recipe on the Chalkboard and had already flagged it! Will definitely be making it. Love how well-balanced it is in veg, fat, protein, etc while still being vegan. This is so my kind of pasta dish, that I wish I had come up with it myself. 😉

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  10. I’ve love to make this soon! My daughter just discovered a love for Brussels sprouts and would devour this! So would I, of course.

  11. Robyn from maclarty.blogspot.com

    Such an unusual combination… Going to have to try it. I think I, too, have some tahini banging around at the back of the fridge!

  12. Love the sound of this. Just finished up the last of some tahini in a collard salad last night, and am already desperate to go run out and get more. I love how it’s really taking off everywhere in such beautiful recipes like this.

  13. I love this pasta! It’s SO unique. I love all the flavor profiles and the brussels sprouts! Very creative – can’t wait to try this!

  14. Isadora from shelikesfood.com

    I didn’t even know quinoa pasta existed! I guess I am not surprised though 🙂 I usually use corn pasta because it seems to be less mushy than brown rice pasta, but I will have to be on the look out for quinoa pasta! Sometimes some of the ugliest foods are the best!

  15. Diala from dialaskitchen.com

    This looks amazing and so creative !
    Can’t wait to try it . Sending hugs !

  16. Debra C. from bowl-me-over.com

    I love the recipes that come together when you think you’re making something out of nothing, or leftovers or whatever is left in the pantry! This looks delicious and uses some great ingredients in an interesting way. Can’t wait to try this, thanks for the inventive recipe!

  17. Suruchi from thesimplylivingblog.com

    Looks delicious, Jeanine! So I know you use quinoa noodles for this dish, but I was wondering if you think they taste a little different than normal pasta? I’ve tried brown rice pasta and other gluten free pasta’s but don’t really like the textures or flavors. I haven’t experimented with quinoa pasta yet though! Maybe I’ll like it better? 🙂

  18. chelsea from thegirlwholovedtowrite.com

    Ugly, yet tasty! Haha, that’s the perfect way to sum up tahini.

  19. Ashley from edibleperspective.com

    Quinoa pasta has THEE best GF texture. So so good. This creamy sauce sounds outstanding and so simple. Always love your creativity. Wishing you luck with Saveur!

  20. I’ve been subscribed to your site for ages now and no idea why I haven’t commented! I love this pasta idea especially with using up ingredients; a process I’m going through myself right now! The tahini sauce sounds divine!

  21. Awesome recipe and I think that plate was tailor-made for this dish! It’s perfect & I want it! 🙂 pinned

    • jeanine

      ha, thanks. Those anthro plates work every time 🙂

  22. Tori

    Just tried a rendition of this. I subbed quinoa pasta for corn pasta and I used fresh avocado slices on top instead of Brussels… It was delish!!! Such a simple easy meal to make. Thanks for the great recipes!

    • jeanine

      sounds delicious, so glad you liked!

  23. Chantal from travellingpapilles.blogspot.fr

    Hi Jeanine,
    I’am Chantal from Travelling Papilles.
    I just discover and like your nice blog!
    This recipe is really original, I’ll give it a try.

  24. So excited to try this recipe as I am gluten-free and this is such an easy clean recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  25. paula

    This was great! i would put WAY more brussels in next time — but i do love a sprout!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the feedback!

  26. Jan

    Was the olive oil for the sauce a 1/4 cup because it just 1/4?

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.