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Bowl of pasta, veggies and baked tempeh.

Tahini Ranch Pasta Salad with Smoky Tempeh

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  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


A creamy Tahini Ranch Pasta Salad that is topped with oven roast smoky tempeh. Rich, flavorful and a great vegan lunch box meal idea.



Tempeh Marinade

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 block tempeh cut into the thin bite sized pieces

Pasta Salad

  • 16 oz orecchiette pasta
  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Tahini Ranch

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup plain unsweetened plant based yogurt
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 tsp brown or dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dry parsley
  • 1 tsp dry dill or 5 sprigs fresh dill, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 34 tbsp water


  1. Preheat your oven to 425F. In a small bowl, combine all of the tempeh marinade ingredients and whisk together. Then add the sliced tempeh and toss to coat.
  2. Pour all the contents of the bowl onto the center of a 12 inch sheet of foil. Fold the two long edges toward one another and fold over once or twice then crimp tightly. Fold and crimp each short end of the foil towards the middle so that the edges are all tightly sealed.
  3. Place the foil packet on one side of a parchment lined baking tray, and place the broccoli and cherry tomatoes on the other side. Toss the broccoli and tomatoes with some oil, salt and pepper and spread out on the pan.
  4. Place the tray in the oven to roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, open the foil packet and remove the tempeh with a fork or tongs and place back on the baking tray on a single layer. Place back in the oven and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  5. Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil and prepare the pasta according to the package until cooked al dente.
  6. As the pasta cooks, make your ranch. Add all the ranch ingredients to a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  7. Drain your pasta, then dump your veggies in and pour in your dressing. You can also stir in your tempeh at this time, or if you prefer, you can top your serving of pasta with the tempeh.


Feel free to double the dressing if you’d like more of it to pour over your salad when ready to serve.

Add the baked tempeh right at the time of serving. It helps to preserve it’s texture and provide a nice contrast to the creamy pasta.

If you don’t wish to make your own marinated tempeh, feel free to use a pre-marinated tempeh to help save even more time.

Cut your tempeh into nice thin strips so that the marinade penetrates the tempeh better.

If after a few days the pasta has absorbed a lot of the sauce, you can rehydrate by mixing your pasta with a few splashes of water to make it saucy again.