Sunny Creamy Tahini Pasta Salad

This creamy vegan pasta salad is made with cashew milk and tahini instead of mayo. Packed with spiralized squash and tons of veggies - perfect for picnics!

Sunny Creamy Tahini Pasta Salad in a bowl with serving utensils

One day last week, I woke up earlier than normal with the sun shining brightly into my eyes. I never used to consider myself a morning person, but when you don’t have window coverings on the windows of your still-new-ish house – guess what? You wake up with the sun… and as the sun rises earlier and earlier, you do too. I laid there for awhile trying to keep my eyes shut and I drifted into a half-sleep where I dreamed about a sunny, breezy picnic on the beach. Most importantly, I envisioned exactly what I wanted to be eating on that beach picnic, which is when this recipe floated into my mind.

This is basically a big bowl of sunshine where curly noodles intermingle with sunny spirals of yellow squash. It’s full of colorful produce, like tomatoes and green beans, with a few briny bites provided by the artichokes and olives. It’s all tossed in a creamy, tangy (no-mayo) dressing that travels extremely well, making this a perfect dish to bring to a cookout or a dreamy beach picnic.

Sunny Creamy Tahini Pasta Salad

This recipe is slightly based off of the broccoli tahini pasta salad that so many of you already know and love. That recipe is a favorite of mine as well, but I love THIS one even more. The tangy dressing is made with a tahini base, but instead of mixing water into the dressing like I normally do, I decided to mix it with my go-to Almond Breeze almond milk. Better yet – the Cashew Blend. It’s so creamy and delicious, and it plays so nicely with the tangy flavors in this dressing.

Below is the undressed shot, I just thought these rainbow colors looked so magical together!

Sunny Creamy Tahini Pasta Salad with components in bowls

While I’ve listed this recipe as a side dish, it can also work as a meal on its own – there’s substantial protein from the navy beans, and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds as a wonderful crunch.

Sunny Creamy Tahini Pasta Salad Sunny Creamy Tahini Pasta Salad

Once you toss it with the dressing, it can be served immediately at room temperature OR it can sit in the fridge for up to 2 days. It’s a great make-ahead salad for parties and picnics.

Sunny Creamy Tahini Pasta Salad in a bowl Sunny Creamy Tahini Pasta Salad in jars with forks

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sunny Creamy Tahini Pasta Salad
Recipe type: Side dish, main dish
Serves: 6 to 8
  • 1 cup haricots verts, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces short curly pasta, such as fusilli
  • 2 medium yellow squash, spiralized
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and sliced into halves or quarters
  • ¾ cup cooked navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • scant ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup Almond Breeze Cashew Blend Unsweetened Original
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and place a bowl of ice water nearby. Blanch the haricots verts for 1 minute, then transfer to the ice water. Drain and pat dry.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the package, cooking until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Make the dressing: In a small-medium bowl, whisk together the milk, tahini, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
  4. In a very large bowl, combine the pasta, haricots verts, yellow squash, artichoke hearts, navy beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and olives. Toss with the dressing. Mix in the parsley, basil, and sunflower seeds. Season to taste with more salt (I add ½ teaspoon).
  5. This salad can be served immediately at room temperature. It can also be made in advance the day before and chilled. Season to taste before serving.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Becky

    Where did you get that beautiful squiggly pasta?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Becky, I’m so embarassed, but I’ll have to go back to whole foods and see what it was called and let you know. It was a long curly pasta that I broke up – but any short fusilli-like shape will work here 🙂

  2. This salad has my name all over it! Tahini, artichoke hearts and haricot verts are some of my favorite things right now! Pair them together, and #swoon.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I hope you love it! We’re obsessed with this combo!

  3. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite

    Can’t wait to make that tahini dressing!!! 🙂

  4. Gaby Dalkin

    This dish is literally a ray of sunshine!

  5. Michele Herman

    Holy fabulous! This was a huge hit at my 4th of July BBQ and I already have a request from a friend (a fellow IIN health coach like myself) to make this for a pool party at the end of the month. Do you have any thoughts about using a bean pasta, e.g. lentil, in place of the regular pasta?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Haha, yay, I’m so glad it was such a hit! I think it would be fine with one of the bean pastas – in my opinion, they never taste as good as regular pasta (of course!), but with all of the veggies going on here, it should blend in just fine. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!

    • Sarah from NA

      Of course, it’s well past July, but I just made mine with a red lentil penne pasta (from Trader Joes because of course, I work there and all my food comes from there ;)) and it was fantastic! I thought it paired well with the tahini dressing!

  6. Incredibly delicious recipe, Jeanine! I was curious as to what kind of pasta you used for your recipe; their appearance kind of reminds me of the noodles from those instant noodle packets or cups. Would it be OK to use honey instead of maple syrup and almonds or pumpkin seeds if there are no sunflower seeds available? We are excited to try this! Kudos!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Thanks Elizabeth! It was actually a long curly kind of pasta that I broke into smaller pieces (I can’t remember the name of the shape). Fusilli works too!

      Yep, it’s ok to use honey instead of maple and almonds or pumpkin seeds – all would be delicious here! I hope you enjoy!

  7. PJ

    This was really very good!
    I used water, as I don’t keep milk alternatives at home, and chick peas instead of navy beans.
    Using tahini as dressing was a new, but very tasty, experience for us!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Lewis Johnson

    I’m obsessed with this recipe.

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.