Tahini Noodles

February 17, 2015
11 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

I really love this recipe, like, in an unhealthy, almost obsessed way… Why? Because it so damn tasty! If you bring this to a potluck, I promise there will be nothing left over! With a few things that stay great in your fridge or pantry and a few items I bet you already have on hand, you are 20 minutes away from delicious! Did I mention it’s vegan? Well, it is, and it is good enough to show off for company. —Alexandra V. Jones

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Alexandra V. Jones is a beer-loving food blogger based in Portland, Oregon.
WHAT: A lightly spicy tahini sauce kicks up your weeknight spaghetti game.
HOW: Prep green beans, carrots, and a tahini dressing while your pasta boils—then toss it all together for fast, better-than-takeout sesame noodles.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The key to the tahini noodles is the sauce, and while many tahini noodles are tahini-heavy, this one is nicely balanced. It's umami-heavy, but light from the ginger and rice wine vinegar. And it's just a little spicy (like all sesame noodles should be, in our opinion). —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Dressing
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Noodles and toppings
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 cups fresh green beans, blanched in salted water, chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  1. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the pasta in it until desired toothsomeness is achieved, about 10 minutes.
  2. While the pasta cooks, combine dressing ingredients in a blender or processor and pulse until creamy.
  3. Add the dressing to the warm, drained pasta, carrots, onion, and green beans. I topped mine with Japanese togarashi pepper (found in Asian markets), black and white sesame seeds.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Martin
  • TXExpatInBKK
  • Emily
  • Claire
  • Ginger Smith
    Ginger Smith
Chef de cuisine @Shelburne hotel Seaview, WA

33 Reviews

Martin August 20, 2023
I can't believe I haven't written a review of this yet. This was the recipe that introduced me to food52. After looking for a bunch of recipes for my (then) vegan wife, I happened on this one. We ate it for New Year's, just the two of us, I think in 2013. I have been around Food52 ever since, and this recipe is obviously still awesome.
GDawg July 15, 2020
The sauce was delicious! Next time I make this, I probably will add pan-fried tofu to give it more protein.
Lara Y. March 26, 2020
This was amazingly delicious for dinner tonight! A totally new taste for noodles for us. Thank you!
Just discovered Food 52 on an internet channel on our new LG OLED TV and I'm addicted.
TXExpatInBKK November 25, 2019
This was so good! Now, I'm only sharing this in case someone was in the same boat as me but I didn't have any tahini the second time I made this so I subbed peanut butter instead and it was STILL delicious. Even though it's no longer "Tahini Noodles"... I love how flexible this recipe is. Thank you, Alexandra!
Anna S. November 28, 2018
Made this for dinner last night and the critics gave it an A+! We had just returned home from Thanksgiving travels the night before, so I needed to make something using mostly pantry ingredients, preferably something quick and easy too. This fit the bill. I liked that the dressing was less sweet than other sesame/peanut noodle dishes I've made. The tahini balances the flavors so well, and also gives the dish a lovely rich texture without being heavy.

Changes I made (this is a very adaptable recipe):
- reduced amount of pasta to 10oz egg noodles so I could bulk up the veggies
- used lots of shredded red cabbage and about 8 thinly sliced green onions instead of the veggies listed in the recipe (at least my tired brain remembered to pick up *some* veggies during our late-night post-vacation trip to the store)
- reduced soy sauce to 1/4 cup
- honey instead of agave (same amount)
- added a dash of toasted sesame oil to the dressing
- added a splash of pasta water to loosen up the dressing, per other reviewers' suggestion
- topped with TJ's yuzu hot sauce (highly recommend) for those who like things spicy!
- for the sake of ease, I didn't use a food processor or blender (and don't think it's necessary!) Just mix dressing ingredients in the bottom of a big bowl, add warm noodles + veggies, toss it all together and done!

Next time I plan to try this with soba noodles and other seasonal veggies. I can see this becoming a fun year-round staple!
LULULAND November 28, 2018
Sounds good to me, thanks for the recommendations!
Lisa L. September 15, 2018
I took this to a school potluck. Huge hit! Especially great that it contains no peanuts or tree nuts, and being vegan was a nice bonus.
Sam July 13, 2018
Tried this last week on a friend's recommendation! Seriously delicious-wouldn't change a thing! Doubled the tecipe because I liked the ingredients list.....made the first night as the noodle recipe- a week later a chinese chix salad and the 3 dinner was pasta with shrimp, red pepper, onion and all three were exceptional- A total keeper and make ahead dinner party pasta entree- thanks!
LULULAND June 11, 2018
Excellent! I had to use 5 T of honey to balance the saltiness, next time less soy sauce.
Amy February 8, 2018
I made this tonight and it was outrageous. Admittedly, I used leftover tahini dressing that I had from the other night's "tahini roasted broccoli" that I wanted to use up. I don't know how I haven't ever had this before. It reminded me of cold sesame noodles from the restaurant......but so much better. I have leftovers and I can't wait to have them cold for lunch tomorrow!
Natalia J. May 18, 2017
Such a flavor packed recipe!!! I made half of the using cucumber "zoodles" (I know, totally a lame thing to admit!) and half with regular pasta for my boyfriend, and both versions we perfect! Definitely making this again!
Brenda November 2, 2016
Am I the only person who thought that 1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce was a bit much? I reduced it to 1/3 cup and the dressing still tastes too salty...
Jaimie M. November 2, 2016
I've made it at least 15 times and taken it to multiple parties and never heard that complaint. Just requests for the recipe! But I think that's one good thing about the recipe - it can be modified slightly and still be delicious.
Brenda November 2, 2016
Never mind! After I let the noodles marinate in the dressing for a few minutes, everything was perfect!
Emily September 23, 2016
This would be great cold!

Claire April 4, 2016
This recipe is AMAZING! We've made it so many times, and they're just as good for leftovers the next day!
Alexandra V. April 18, 2016
So glad you enjoyed it!
Ginger S. February 3, 2016
I do not have agave, is honey a good substitute or would you recommend something else?
Alexandra V. April 18, 2016
Yes, although it will no longer be considered technically "vegan".
Ntombi N. December 23, 2015
And its vegan...need i say more.
Ham November 19, 2015
I already want to make this again! It's superb. I added a bit of white pepper to the dressing and baby broccoli along with the other vegetables. I also had some extra time so I ended up making fresh noodles, which soaked up the sauce nicely. Many thanks, Alexandra!
Alexandra V. January 26, 2016
My pleasure! So glad you enjoyed it!
roryrabbitfield November 1, 2015
I'm going to try the tahini sauce on raw zucchini noodles, keeping the other vegetables in the mix for variety.
Megan October 31, 2015
I usually make a version of sesame noodles from Cook's Illustrated, but I liked these better! The sauce did get very thick and dry after it sat for a while. Wish I had saved some pasta water to refresh it a bit. Still super tasty!
Peder S. October 4, 2015
For the agave syrup in the dressing, should I use dark or light agave? Thank you.
Alexandra V. January 26, 2016
I used light, but im sure dark would be tasty as well.
Can I. September 28, 2015
Alexandra, do you serve this warm or can it be served at room temperature?
Alexandra V. September 28, 2015
Either or, you can make the night before and refrigerate it! Room temp is fine as it won't spoil, since there is no dairy, eggs, or meat. I just like to add the dressing to warm pasta, I think it releases the flavor and aroma in the garlic and seasons the pasta.