This tahini pasta salad with grilled halloumi, sugar snap peas, radishes, arugula, and mint is loaded with bright and fresh flavors and a creamy tahini dressing, making it a delicious vegetarian lunch or potluck side dish.


I’m always looking for do-it-all dishes—ones that travel well for picnics or potlucks but are also nourishing and satisfying enough to stand on their own. Pasta salads often accomplish both of these things, which is probably why I have so many recipes for them. Just like my green goddess pasta salad and my Mediterranean orzo salad, this tahini pasta salad is chock-full of fresh veggies and healthy ingredients. It’s also vegetarian yet super filling, making it perfect for a light lunch or dinner.

This pasta salad starts with a bright and nutty lemon tahini dressing that you can whip up quickly and easily. Then you add fusilli pasta (this is one of my favorite pasta shapes for salads like this one because the nooks and crevices give sauces and dressings something to cling to). This salad gets its heft, color, and crunch from a generous trifecta of veggies—arugula, radishes, and sugar snap peas plus some fresh mint for an herbaceous punch. But the star of this pasta salad may be the grilled halloumi cheese.


What’s in Tahini Pasta Salad

This salad is teeming with fresh ingredients and veggies, for a light and healthy pasta salad you can feel good about. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Olive oil
  • Tahini
  • Lemon zest and juice
  • Garlic
  • Honey (or maple syrup)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fusilli pasta (or any other short, ridged noodle you like)
  • Halloumi cheese—a Mediterranean style cheese made of goat and sheep’s milk with an extra high melting point, keeping it’s form when grilled or baked
  • Snap peas
  • Arugula
  • Radishes
  • Mint

How to Make Tahini Pasta Salad

This easy tahini pasta salad comes together in just about 20 minutes. While the pasta cooks, you can whip up your dressing and grill the halloumi cheese.

Here’s how to make it:

Make the tahini dressing. Add the dressing ingredients to a large serving bowl and whisk to combine. Why not save one more bowl to clean?!

Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in salted water according to package instructions. So that the pasta doesn’t stick together as it cools, give it a quick rinse under cold water before draining it. The pasta should be cool before adding it to the other ingredients so the veggies don’t wilt.


How to Grill Haloumi

Grill your halloumi. Bring an indoor grill pan to medium-high heat. Brush the grill with a generous amount of olive oil so the cheese doesn’t stick. Add a second drizzle of oil to both sides of the halloumi slabs, then reduce the heat to medium. Grill each side of the halloumi for about 5 minutes, or until the grill marks are golden brown and the cheese softens.

Assemble the salad. Add the cooled pasta, snap peas, arugula, radishes, and mint to the bowl with the dressing, and toss well to combine. Add the halloumi slabs as they are or cut them into bite-sized chunks before adding them to the salad. Top with more freshly grated lemon zest and more mint before serving.

Note: This salad is great served at room temperature or chilled.


Or, Serve This Tahini Pasta Salad Sans Halloumi

If you’re vegan or just want to simplify, this salad is outstanding even without the halloumi cheese.

Pasta Salad Substitutions

  • Instead of fusilli pasta, try this with any other short pasta such as penne or rotelle
  • Add roasted chickpeas for more protein
  • Use dill or basil instead of mint
  • Add toasted sesame seeds or almonds for crunch

What to Serve with Tahini Pasta Salad

You can easily enjoy this dish on its own, but it would also be an excellent accompaniment to any of the following:

More Pasta Salads to Try

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