Oil Free Asian Sesame Pasta Salad! We love all pasta salads, but there’s something special about this Asian-inspired version that is our new favorite summer recipe.
Healthy, flavorful, and oh-so-satisfying, this Oil Free Asian Sesame Pasta Salad is light, yet filling and a real crowd pleaser. Perfect for lunch, potlucks, and picnics alike; it is a delicious mix of pasta, carrots, red bell peppers, green onions, chickpeas, and sesame seeds and topped with mandarin oranges and peanuts. The Asian-inspired dressing is bursting with sweet and savory umami flavors.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients.
Hi there, Ameera here!
This delicious Asian-inspired pasta salad was gone in a flash. Yasmeen loved it too! If you love Asian-style dressings and pasta salads, this delicious mash-up is right up your alley.
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: The flavor profile of this healthy pasta salad is inspired by delicious Asian flavors only made healthier as there is no oil. The flavor is vibrant and delicious.
- Base Salad Ingredient Amounts: We suggest not using more than the indicated amounts or you could end up with a dry salad.
- Pasta: Feel free to use your short-cut favorite pasta. Do not use more than 8 oz. to avoid a dry pasta salad.
- Chickpeas: Feel free to substitute with your favorite bean. Or you can leave them out altogether and slightly increase the amount of pasta.
- Prepared Horseradish: While the prepared horseradish is an optional ingredient, we strongly endorse it. You can leave it out, but the flavor profile changes, and you may need to slightly adjust other ingredients to compensate. Prepared horseradish is simply grated horseradish in a vinegar and salt brine. It typically comes in small jars and is often found near the pickled items section in most grocery stores. Other brands are found in the refrigerated section of the store. Read the ingredients label to ensure that the only ingredients are horseradish, vinegar, and salt.
- Chopped Roasted Peanuts: The peanuts add a nice crunch and flavor to this pasta salad. We suggest not adding it to the pasta salad but rather put it on individual servings to avoid losing the crunch.
- Mandarin Oranges: Topping with mandarin orange segments adds some additional flavor and beauty to the salad. We tried adding them into the salad with mixed reviews. We had family members who absolutely loved the mandarin orange slices in the pasta salad while others only wanted it as a topping. Ultimately, you can decide if you want them at all as either an ingredient, topper, or not at all. We landed on only adding as a topper.
- Fresh Mandarin Oranges: If you decide to top with fresh mandarin oranges, we suggest removing all the pith to avoid bitterness.
- Traveling and/or Dressing the Salad: If traveling or serving for guests, we strongly suggest adding the salad dressing about 5 minutes before serving as the salad ingredients (pasta) tend to really soak up the dressing and slightly mellow it out over time. The refrigerated leftovers flavor may not be as vibrant but can be spruced up with a splash of distilled white vinegar. Additionally, keep the toppers separate to avoid losing the crunch of the peanuts and sesame seeds.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container.
This pasta salad cannot be frozen.
- Whisk (or fork)
- Large stock pot (to cook the pasta)
If you try this flavorful pasta salad, we would love to know if you enjoy it as much as we do! Please leave us a review! Post a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag us! We would love to hear from you.Print
Healthy, flavorful, and oh-so-satisfying, this Oil Free Asian Sesame Pasta Salad is light, yet filling and a real crowd pleaser.
Base Salad Ingredients:
- 8 oz. farfalle pasta, cooked and cooled *
- 1 – [ 15 oz. can ] chickpeas, drained and rinsed *
- 1 red bell pepper, small dice
- ¾ cup match-stick carrots (or grated)
- 6 to 8 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari *
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon tahini
- 1 Tablespoon white miso *
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger (+/-)
- 1 Tablespoon horseradish (optional) *
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
Optional Ingredients and/or Toppings:
- Sprinkle chopped roasted peanuts
- Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds
- Mandarin orange segments *
- Place all the Dressing Ingredients into a bowl, whisk well until smooth and emulsified, set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, run under cold water until cold, shake well to remove excess water; set aside.
- Place all the Base Salad Ingredients (including the cooked and cooled pasta) into a large bowl, mix well, set aside.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, gently mix well to completely coat the salad ingredients. Taste test and add more seasonings as needed.
- Serve topped with chopped peanuts, toasted sesame seeds and about 8 to 10 mandarin orange segments.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: makes 7 ½ cups
This post contains affiliate links, and we may receive a very small commission if you purchase through those links at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures! For more information, see our disclosures here.