Weeknight Ponzu Pasta

Weeknight Ponzu Pasta

This one is for semi-lazy nights when you still want to get something vibrant and seasonal on the table. All things green in a quick, weeknight pasta option. It's feel-good food that won't weigh you down. The ponzu dressing comes together in a flash, boosted with a good dose of garlic and a thread of toasted sesame oil. The broccoli and green beans are cooked in the same water as the pasta, and everything gets tossed together in one big bowl to serve family style.

Weeknight Ponzu Pasta Recipe
The recipe is incredibly versatile - it is vegan as written, you can use GF pasta if that is a consideration, and there is very little added oil, if you're keeping an eye on that. It can adapt through the seasons - swap in asparagus/favas in spring, roasted cubes of winter squash or sweet potatoes later in the year. 

Weeknight Ponzu Pasta Recipe

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Weeknight Ponzu Pasta

4.34 from 6 votes

Use your favorite pasta, preferable whole-grain or something made from legumes - I've been enjoying this chickpea pasta lately - made from chickpea flour. It's nice because if you're serving a crowd, it works for GF, etc. On the ponzu sauce front I've been liking the "From Japan" brand organic ponzu - but there are a good number of vegan ponzu options out there. Just choose one that tastes good, preferably organic, without too much salt. A twist on this would be to skip the pasta, and swap in the equivalent of a can of garbanzo beans (rinsed, drained). Or trade out the tofu for chickpeas. If you want to make this ahead of time, for a party or picnic later, run each ingredient under cold water to stop the cooking, and assemble just before serving.

  • 8 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 8 ounces small pasta
  • 6 tablespoons ponzu sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 8 ounces green beans, chopped
  • 8 ounces broccoli florets
  • a small bunch of cilantro (or basil), chopped
  • bonus: cherry tomatoes, hemp hearts, crumbled kale chips, also we have a makrut lime tree, and if you finely slice a leaf or two into fine threads, then add it here...magic.
  1. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the ponzu, garlic, chile, and sesame oil. Taste, adjust, and set aside.
  2. When the pasta water is boiling, salt the water, add the pasta, and cook per package instructions. Use a strainer to transfer the cooked pasta into a large serving bowl. Use the same boiling pasta water to cook the green beans for about a minute, add the broccoli, and allow to cook another minute. Until both are just tender. Quickly drain and transfer to the bowl with the pasta. 

  3. Add the tofu, and the ponzu dressing, and toss well. Add the cilantro, and any other bonus ingredients, give one last toss, and serve immediately.


Serves 3-4.

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating


I’ll try it. I’m new to WFPB.

Ben Uscinowicz

this is so good! got the chickpea pasta and ponzu from iherb, will definitely be making this again.

Ariane Baayens

Perfect for summer! I just love this recipe!


Love the blog, and your photography work Heidi! Did you make this with Thai eggplant, or are those tiny heirlooms? Would love to try the eggplant, suggestable?

HS: Hi Mark - yes, absolutely Thai eggplants (roasted?!) would be nice. I didn't use them in this version, those are tomatoes, but yes to the eggplant addition for sure.

Mark Luke

Heidi... I made this last evening for dinner. It was very satisfying. Very. The flavours were not strong but pleasing. I am wondering what else one can add to green it up.... the whole look was so happy... thx so much!


Heidi... I made this last evening for dinner. It was very satisfying. Very. The flavours were not strong but pleasing. I am wondering what else one can add to green it up.... the whole look was so happy... thx so much!


I love ponzu!


I made the lentil polenta casserole, easy and delicious! I love getting your emails, they always seem to come at the right time....thank you!!

Nancy Brennan

Hi Heidi, I don't know much about ponzu. Is it vegan?

HS: Hi Nicki - you can find versions that are - ones that use kelp / mushrooms in place of fish.


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