This recipe is a long time family favorite! Growing up, and still to this day, my siblings and I could not keep our hands out of this salad while it was marinating in the fridge for dinner.

The original recipe is from The Pasta Salad Book by Nina Graybill and Maxine Rapoport. My late grandmother was good friends with Maxine which makes the recipe even more special to share in their memory.

Traditionally this salad is made with chicken and the dressing contains an egg yolk and a full cup of oil. My mother always omitted the egg and used half the oil. I took it a step further and veganized it with seitan – I sometimes half the oil to 1/4 cup too.

I hope you love this recipe as much as my family does!

Sesame Pasta Salad

Servings 6


  • 16 oz pasta twists regular or gluten free
  • 8 oz package of seitan optional
  • 8 oz can water chestnuts drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 6-8 scallions sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 cup shaved red cabbage optional
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • pink salt & pepper to taste


  • 4 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4-1/2 cup neutral oil grapeseed, avocado, etc.


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and rinse under cold water.
  2. While pasta is cooking prepare the dressing by simply whisking together all ingredients or combing in a blender or food processor
  3. In a large bowl, gently toss the pasta with with setian if using, peas, scallions, water chestnuts, sesame seeds and red cabbage.

  4. Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss well. Cover and place in the refrigerator.
  5. Best served cold after marinating in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours or overnight.