Broccoli and Zucchini Pasta Salad No Mayo

Cold pasta dishes are perfect for summertime al fresco dining.  This one is super creamy but mayo-free, dairy-free and nut-free.  I used tahini as the base for a slightly sweet and garlicky dressing.  Fresh basil and spring onions make this dish really pop in terms of flavor.  It is loaded with fresh veggies: broccoli, zucchini and cherry tomatoes.

With summertime pot lucks in full swing this is a great recipe to keep in your back pocket.  It is easy to pull together and you can even make the dressing ahead of time and then throw the pasta salad together last minute.  I blanched the broccoli for 2 minutes and left the zucchini raw but thinly sliced.  The cherry tomatoes are raw as well and simply sliced in half.  So not too much prep work for this colorful, healthy and crowd-pleasing dish.

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

You can use gluten-free or regular pasta.  Either will work well in this recipe.  If you give this recipe a try, I would love to see how your pasta salad turns out.  Please tag me in your pics on social media: @eatingbyelaine – I love to see your recipe creations!

And don’t forget to follow me on snapchat (eatingbyelaine) to see behind the scenes in my kitchen and what I eat throughout the day to stay healthy and energized.


Creamy Broccoli & Zucchini Pasta Salad (vegan + gluten-free)

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 7 mins
  • Total Time: 22 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x


This gluten-free and vegan cold pasta salad is a great one to have in your back pocket for summertime. It is loaded with fresh veggies and made creamy with a mayo-free tahini-agave dressing that is incredibly addictive.



  • 2 cups uncooked gluten-free pasta (penne or fusilli)
  • 4 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced and cut into half moons
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes (I halved mine)
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced into ribbons
  • Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (make sure it is runny)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the package, cooking until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Prepare a large pot of salted boiling water and a large bowl of ice water. Place the broccoli in the boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes, until tender but still bright green. Remove and immediately immerse in the ice water to stop the cooking process. Keep in the ice water long enough to cool completely, about 15 seconds. Drain and and place on paper towels to dry.
  3. In a mini food processor blend together the tahini, olive oil, water, agave, garlic, salt and pepper. Alternatively you can whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, spring onions and basil. Pour the dressing on top of the pasta and veggies and toss. Season to taste with more salt and pepper as desired. Chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


This dish was inspired by Love & Lemons ( but I simplified it a bit, made it nut-free and changed up the dressing so it was more mild and less acidic.

  • Category: Side Dish or Entree