Nourishing Vegan Pasta Primavera with Lemon Tahini Sauce


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(Note: this post was originally published on August 25, 2022. It has since been updated with a few tweaks.)

Vegan Pasta Primavera for Busy Evenings

On busy evenings, I think many people (including us) find it easiest to cook pasta. It's hearty, quick to make, and comforting. However, pasta made from refined flour and a jar of store-bought sauce don't necessarily yield the most nourishing meal. Let's rethink the easy pasta dinner, shall we? I can't wait to introduce you to this veggie-filled tahini pasta dish.

I've designed this colorful and vegan pasta primavera to be a fast weeknight dish, but with healthier ingredients than the classic. In particular, I wanted to design a recipe that could (a) come together very quickly, (b) be flexible with regards to ingredients, and (c) still nourish the body. This is a recipe that we enjoy again and again at home, and each time it's a little bit different based on what veggies I have on-hand (accordingly, you'll see a variety of different photos below). Make sure to bookmark this tahini pasta, since I'm confident you'll keep coming back to it.

All you need is a handful of veggies (even frozen veggies work fine if that's all you have), some pantry staples, and about 20 minutes to bring this dish together. If you don't mind multi-tasking, you can cook the pasta, prepare the veggies, and make the lemon tahini sauce at the same time. Even on the busiest evening, I still think it's important to make a nice meal, and this one is sure to be a savior at the end of a chaotic day.

Serving bowl of colorful vegan pasta primavera garnished with a lemon tahini sauce and fresh basil

Nutritional Upgrades

This vegan pasta primavera has a couple key nutritional upgrades over the classic. Because of that, it's a meal that's not only easy but also good for the body and something you can feel good about eating regularly.

The first upgrade is to use a bean-based pasta. Look for versions made with only one ingredient (i.e., chickpeas, red lentils, or green lentils). If you use a bean-based pasta, this entire meal just becomes a big bowl of beans and veggies: a real nutritional winner! If you're a pasta lover, make sure to check out my High-Protein Vegan Taco Pasta and my Lemon Blueberry Thyme Pasta Salad too.

The second upgrade is the sauce. I've seen many pasta primavera recipes that call for loads of butter or oil to bring richness to the dish; sadly, this takes an otherwise okay dish nutritionally and really downgrades it. But in this version, you'll use just a bit of olive oil to cook the veggies. The rest of the richness comes from a decadent, creamy, lemon tahini sauce that you'll drizzle on top. I'm a long-term lover of Seeds of Collaboration tahini, which is unbelievably creamy and smooth; use the code ROGUE to save 20% on your order.

Close-up of healthy pasta primavera with colorful vegetables

Tahini Pasta Variations

This vegan pasta primavera is an incredibly flexible dish, meaning you can make it work with pretty much anything you have on-hand. Feel free to use a different cut of pasta, switch up the crunchy garnishes, add some chickpeas for additional protein, use more or fewer veggies, or even serve it cold as a pasta salad.

Want to switch up the veggies? Anything you can get your hands on will be great; the more the merrier. My only suggestion is to stick with veggies that cook quickly, and to add them to the skillet in order from hardest to softest to make sure they all cook fully. You can also easily use frozen veggies if that's what you have access to. You can even theme this dish seasonally, for example by making a zucchini, corn, and tomato version at the height of summer and an asparagus version during spring.

Make-Ahead Tips

Want to make this easy tahini pasta ahead of time? It works great made in advance or as a healthy meal-prep option. You can cook the pasta and veggies as directed, combine them, and store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a few days. You can also make the lemon tahini sauce ahead of time; store it separately from the pasta, then add it just before serving (if the sauce thickens up during storage, just add a dash of water). You can either reheat the pasta or enjoy it cold.

Colorful pasta primavera drizzled with a vegan lemon tahini sauce

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here's what you'll need for this vegan pasta recipe and the lemon tahini sauce, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • Lentil or chickpea pasta. This is the key protein component in this vegan pasta primavera. I've shown rotini in these photos, but feel free to swap in your favorite short cut of pasta.
  • Lemon. You'll use both the zest and the juice.
  • Tahini. I adore Seeds of Collaboration; make sure to use the code ROGUE for 20% off.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Carrots
  • Bell peppers. I like to use both a red pepper and an orange pepper for extra color, but feel free to use what you love.
  • Red cabbage
  • Green kale. You can easily swap in your greens of choice; just make sure to opt for greens that can stand up to some heat without wilting.
  • Fresh basil
  • Roasted salted almonds
  • Sesame seeds. Optional, but they're a pretty garnish and make so much sense with the lemon tahini sauce.

Beautiful vegan tahini pasta with vegetables, fresh herbs, and almonds

Closing Thoughts

Isn't this the perfect quick dinner? It's fast, flexible, easy, and sure to please everyone. Yet it's also good for the body, unlike many other fast meals. This tahini pasta is definitely one that you can feel good about throwing together in a pinch (even if that pinch seems to happen more frequently than you'd like to admit!).

My tip: always keep a couple boxes of red lentil rotini in your pantry, some citrus and tahini in the fridge, and a few bags of veggies stashed in the freezer. Cabbage keeps for ages in the fridge too. I pretty much always have these ingredients on-hand and can whip this up even if we get back from traveling and haven't been to the store in a couple weeks. As long as you have some pantry and freezer staples, there's always a nourishing meal that can be made!

Colorful tahini pasta dish with abundant vegetables

Share It!

It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.

Suggested Pairings

Honey Fig Gin and Tonic

Healthy Vegan Patatas Bravas

Loaded Lemon Hummus

Farinata (Chickpea Flour Flatbread)

Healthy Fig, Pistachio, and Lemon Truffles

Disclosure: Seeds of Collaboration is a long-term partner. I receive free product from Seeds of Collaboration and take a small commission on sales using the discount code. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.

Nourishing Vegan Pasta Primavera with Lemon Tahini Sauce

Loaded with a rainbow of veggies, this vegan pasta primavera is a fast, versatile, customizable meal that I come back to again and again. A few key upgrades over the classic make this version a nutritional winner.



  • 12-oz box of red lentil or chickpea rotini (or other short cut of pasta)
  • Whole lemon
  • 0.25 c creamy tahini
  • 1 tbsp rich, flavorful olive oil
  • Generous salt and pepper
  • 2 large carrots
  • Red bell pepper
  • Orange bell pepper
  • Small wedge of red cabbage
  • Several large leaves of green kale
  • Few sprigs of fresh basil
  • 0.25 c roasted salted almonds
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds


  1. Boil a large pot of water, salt the water liberally, and cook the pasta as directed.
  2. Zest the lemon and set the zest aside, then juice the lemon.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini and lemon juice. Add the lemon juice slowly, just until you achieve a rich, thick sauce that you can drizzle.
  4. While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Slice the carrots and add them to the skillet with salt and pepper. Sauté until barely tender.
  5. While the carrots cook, dice the bell peppers. Once the carrots are barely tender, add the peppers to the skillet. Sauté for another few minutes.
  6. Cut the red cabbage into thin ribbons and add them to the skillet. Cook for another minute or two, until the cabbage is tender but not wilted.
  7. Remove the ribs from the kale leaves and then cut the leaves into ribbons. When the other veggies are tender, add the kale and turn off the heat.
  8. Add the lemon zest to the cooked veggies and toss it while still hot; this will release the fragrant oils from the lemon peel.
  9. Add the pasta into the skillet of veggies. Mix well so that the oil and salt from the veggies coats the pasta. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish the pasta with a very generous drizzle of the lemon-tahini sauce, torn basil leaves, almonds, and sesame seeds. Serve additional tahini sauce on the side for drizzling on individual portions.

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Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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April 5, 2024
Thankyou for sharing this easy, healthy recipe. We have made this one many times on busy school nights. Each time it is different based on what vegetables are available.
March 21, 2023
This is absolutely contrary to how we usually eat pasta- but it was delicious! I doubled the lemon but otherwise followed the recipe. The cabbage and tahini were a wonderful combination.
August 31, 2022
Bookmarked!! I love the idea of adding tahini, that's so much better than the butter that I often see in pasta + veg recipes.