Sweet & Spicy Tahini Peanut Sauce & Crunchy Thai Granola

Sweet & Spicy Tahini Peanut Sauce & Crunchy Thai Granola

Sometimes the best recipes come from joining 2 recipes together.  I'm going to introduce you all to something that may sound a bit strange at first, but it is incredible. Thai inspired crunchy granola on top of a tahini/peanut butter soy sauce drenched in zucchini noodles and layered with crispy apple slices.

Or, you can use brown rice noodles for a heartier meal.

This sauce, oh my goodness. Sweet. Salty. Spicy. Perfection.

I first learned how to use chopsticks while living in Japan many, many years ago. I became hooked ever since.

This recipe may be a bit unusual, but it is the merging of two dishes that I love. The first merging dish is what I used to eat practically daily in Japan that I never, ever grew tired of....a HUGE bowl of noodles, some veggies and lots of crispy apples, and I always ate it with chopsticks. Soooo delicious. In fact, I kept a daily journal of my stay in Japan and always wrote about this food. I let my Dad read it upon my return and one thing he commented on was how many noodles and apples I ate. Lol.


That was my jumping point for this recipe and the 2nd part of it is a Thai flavor inspired sauce, but I gave it my own twist. This tahini peanut sauce was inspired by a recipe from when I first started my old blog, The Healthy Flavor, called Sweet & Spicy Asian Salad. You can see the original recipe here. It was a dish that my Mom used to make for me religiously before, and especially, during my pregnancy. She originally found the recipe in a newspaper I think, so I don't know the original source.

I would eat it by the spoonful and I'm 100% serious. Only issue, it was loaded with 1/2 cup of peanut oil and almost 1/2 cup peanut butter. Kind of a ridiculous amount of oil! I cannot, in any way, consume that much oil anymore. I decided to take those similar flavors of peanut, 'sweet and spicy' and create my own and I changed it up a bit. I created a whole new recipe using equal parts of tahini and peanut butter and added more soy sauce.

Furthermore, I added chipotle chile pepper spice for heat. I know, it has nothing to do with these traditional type of dishes, but trust me here, it enhances the sauce beautifully by giving it heat and a slight smokiness. So good. Worth the investment. I confess to eating this one by the spoonful too.

To complete the dish and make it unique, it is topped with a granola that has been baked in the sauce. Strange? Maybe. Delicious and something you likely haven't tried before? Definitely. This is not your traditional sweet breakfast granola you are used to, it is more savory, slightly sweet and a little spicy. I first heard about the idea of savory granola from my friend, Erika at The Pancake Princess, and was SO intrigued! Mine is more of a combo of sweet & savory and it is different, but I found it quite addicting and it goes amazing on top of this dish, making it unique compared to other noodle dishes.

Let me know what you think of this Sweet & Spicy Tahini Peanut Sauce & Crunchy Thai Granola!

If you make this, I'd love to hear what you think of it, so please leave me feedback here! You can also tag me on Instagram (@thevegan8) and hashtag #thevegan8 so I don't miss it!

Yields 1

Sweet & Spicy Tahini Peanut Sauce & Crunchy Granola

This dish is bursting with a Thai inspired sauce that can go well with just about anything you desire. Whether you use brown rice noodles, zucchini noodles, or just veggies, it will taste amazing. Garnished with sliced sweet apples and a Thai inspired granola, your tastebuds will be dancing. The flavors are strong and delicious and the meal comes together very easily and quickly.

15 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

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    Tahini Peanut Sauce
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon tahini (80 g) (Raw or toasted tahini will work)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter (80 g) (with no added sugars or oils, mine only has salt)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper spice
  • 2-3 tablespoons Bragg's liquid aminos (45 mL) (I used 3 because I wanted it to stand out in the noodles. Start with 2 and adjust to taste)
  • 2-3 teaspoons coconut vinegar or rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar (this is optional, but it does give it a nice acidity)
  • 3 tablespoons agave (63 g)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Granola
  • 6 tablespoons of above prepared sauce
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats (80 g)
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds (optional, but gives a little extra flavor and presentation)
  • Note
  • Do NOT use regular soy sauce in place of the liquid aminos, it will be way too salty. If you can't or don't find the liquid aminos, you can try subbing tamari. Also, I know the chipotle chile pepper is unusual, but trust me, it is worth it! It gives a smoky heat, that is so different than cayenne or red pepper, so try to use it. It is located in the spice isle at any grocery.


    To serve the sauce: I chose to serve this over gluten-free brown rice noodles and also over zucchini noodles, but you could serve it any way you like, even over a bunch of greens and veggies. I personally loved the noodles because the meal is very filling that way.
  1. Add all of the sauce ingredients and whisk really well until completely smooth. If your tahini or peanut butter are stored in the fridge, you will need to slightly heat them to soften and become smooth before measuring. Set aside. Taste & adjust if desired. Preheat an oven to 300 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Add the oats and only 6 tablespoons (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) of the prepared sauce to a small bowl. Stir really well until it is all combined, sticky and comes together in a ball. Spread out onto the prepared pan evenly and flat, about 1/2 inch high.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven, add the sesame seeds (if using) and stir around the granola, so it can cook evenly. Bake for 10 more minutes, watching it closely the last couple of minutes so it doesn't burn. It should be very golden brown. Set aside to cool and crisp up for 10 minutes. Tip: While the granola is baking the last 10 minutes, start to boil your pasta (if using) or spiralize your zucchini noodles or prep your veggies.
  4. Brown rice noodles tend to stick together. To prevent this, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add a tablespoon of oil to the water and 1/2 tablespoon of salt. It is important to flavor the noodles while they are boiling. I used fettucini noodles because I like thick ones and they hold up better. Feel free to use whatever kind you like and check them to reach aldente.
  5. Drain the noodles, reserving a bit of liquid if desired to thin out the Ta-Peani sauce. Add to serving bowls and pour lots of sauce over the noodles and garnish with sliced apples and crunchy granola. Feel free to add in any other veggies if you like. Broccoli or mushrooms would be good.


*Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free

*Nutrition for each heaping 2 1/2 tablespoons of sauce: 138.1 calories, 10 g fat, 9.75 carbs, 4.375 g protein, 6.625 g sugars


  1. Ingenious!!!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much Cindy! You are too kind! xoxo
  2. This salad is wow!!! And this combo: tahini and peanut butter...OMG! I love both of them, I can't imagine how beautiful can be their combo!!! I'll try it over the weekend! Definitely!!! Hopefully I can find the chilipote chili pepper! A question: what the "Bragg's liquid aminos" is?!?! I've never heard of that :( Sorry! I'm sure you already have your great recipe for pancakes, but I just posted a GF and vegan pancakes recipe :)! Have a lovely day :)!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Oh, yay!! I can't wait to hear what you think of it, thank you! I have seen the spice at any grocery store in the spice isle, so hopefully you won't have any issues. The sauce really is taken to another level with this type of smoky heat. Oh, and the liquid aminos is a soy sauce alternative that is much less salty and you can find it in the condiments section of the specialty health sections. If you can't find it, you can use tamari or a low sodium soy sauce, although I'm not a huge fan of how salty even the low sodium soy sauce is. But tamari should work too :) I'll check out your pancake recipe now :)
      • Great! I have to find the chilipote chili pepper then :)! I'll have a good look at the supermarket :)! I'll make my home made granola with quinoa flakes and I'll add your beautiful sauce! Can't wait to taste it :)!!! And for the pancakes, let me try to make them without banana :) almond butter can substitute oil, but you need the batter more fluffy...I like this challenge :)! I'll let you know asap darling!!!
        • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
          Sounds wonderful Ema, thank you! Let me know how it turns out :)
  3. Wow Brandi talk about creative this is incredible. Love the sauce and crunchy granola with the zucchini. A delicious combination.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much Suzanne, it is one of my favorite creations so far, for sure!
  4. I would have never thought to put this combination together, but it sounds fabulous!!! I'm lovin' the apples with granola with zucchini noodles topped with your heavenly sauce! Holy yum!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thanks Melanie, the apples really taste so good with the sauce and granola!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much Melanie, yes strange sounding, but SO GOOD, haha!
  5. Brandi, you're making me salivate at my desk. This. looks. AMAZING! Such an interesting combination of flavors and textures! Adding it to my list of your meals I need to try. :)
  6. Aww thanks for the link love, Brandi! This looks so ridiculously amazing!!! I'm actually sad I have dinner plans tonight because I just want to go home and make a big bowl of noodles + apples + granola. Apple on top of noodles sounds like such a good combo right now!!! And I had no idea that was a thing in Japan. Also wait! Why were you in Japan?! So fun!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Oh, it's NOT a thing in Japan, lol! It was just MY thing that I started eating and got hooked on :) I was there a looong time ago when I was 18 for a modeling contract. Lived there a few months. Was an awesome experience, but modeling was definitely not for me.
  7. OH MY am I drooooling or what!! What a unique combination of flavors, I love!! I am terrible with chopsticks, but I always give it my best shot. HA!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thanks Brittany! I got used to the chopstick thing and they are actually so fun to eat with :)
  8. The name alone has me convinced- "Ta-peani"- so cute! But beyond that, the dish looks fantastic. I'm pretty sure I'd be eating that granola by the handful!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Haha thank you Emma! Yeah, that name popped in my head and it just fits perfectly, teehee! It's SO scrumptious and easy too!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thanks Emma! Yeah-different granola for sure, but honestly I was eating it by itself too...I LOVED the spicy kick!
  9. this is totally my kind of food. crunchy savory clusters and apples. love the ta-peani sauce and the name :)
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thanks Richa! It all works well together, even if it seems strange at first!
  10. HOLY COW!! I can not tell you enough GOOD THINGS about this recipe!! Everything was a MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN! Anyone "thinking" about making this... STOP THINKING... just get everything you need and make it! I made it with spiraled Zucchini and my husband HATES zucchini. I told him not to come into the kitchen while I cooked... He kept telling me how amazing everything was smelling... Well, he ate it.. ALL OF IT. This recipe got my husband to eat zucchini! The sauce is divine, the granola is divine. I even plan on making a little play off of this recipe tomorrow with leftovers on a salad!I sautéed my zucchini with minced garlic. Garlic first until fragrant and then the zucchini for about 2 minutes. I seriously wish I could go back a few hours and eat it all again!This is now my new GO TO site for recipes... Cant wait to try more!! <3THANK YOU!!Aly
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      You are the best Aly! Thank you so much for such awesome feedback and woohoo for the hubby even eating it ALL!!! I truly appreciate you leaving feedback and for sharing your photo and tagging me on Instagram!! Thank you!! I love your tip on the zucchini too, I am TOTALLY doing that next time! :)
  11. You make Thai food even better? How is that even possible! :PCheers Choc Chip Uru
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Haha, thank you!
  12. Speechless. One thing though. You should double the amounts for the sauce and granola here cause there's no way I'd NOT eat up that first batch of granola before the noodles were ready. Granny Smiths?
  13. This recipe might be my favorite ever! The second day we used the leftovers and warmed the sauce and added peas. It was almost like a fettuccine sauce! So yummy

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