These 15-minute garlic sesame noodles are the perfect dish to whip up for a quick, healthy dinner. The creamy sesame sauce is made with tahini, garlic, and sesame oil – so it’s vegan too! Customize this dish with your favorite noodles or vegetable to create a well-rounded meal that’s fast, easy, and comforting!
Sesame noodles are a hearty noodle dish that contains garlic sesame-flavored Chinese noodles. They’re traditionally made with eggs, but I use a vegan version here that’s just as tasty!
The sauce is creamy and nutty from the tahini (sesame paste), garlic, peanut butter, and toasted sesame oil. It coats the noodles perfectly and creates a delicious, quick meal.
You can make the garlic sesame sauce in just minutes by whisking the ingredients together. Toss with your favorite cooked noodles, and it’s ready in a pinch.
You can customize this main dish by tossing in your favorite stir fry vegetables or using any noodles. Serve hot, warm, room temperature, or as cold sesame noodles.
Also check 25 Easy Vegan Noodle Recipes Perfect For Dinner!
Ingredients You’ll Need
The ingredient list may look long, but this recipe is super simple and relies on ingredients that are easy to find to prepare it.
For the sauce:
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce is a staple in Asian cooking. It’s made from fermented soybeans, wheat, water, and salt.
- Maple syrup: You can also use raw brown sugar.
- Sesame oil: Sesame oil is a fragrant, flavorful oil extracted from toasted sesame seeds. You can substitute it with extra virgin olive oil or canola oil, but you won’t get the same depth of flavor.
- Tahini: It adds creaminess, nuttiness, and an earthy flavor to the sauce. If you find it, you can use Chinese sesame paste (darker and has more flavor since the sesame seeds are toasted).
- Peanut butter: Creamy peanut butter adds more nuttiness to the sauce, along with a hint of natural sweetness.
- Rice vinegar: Slightly sweet, and acidic, it’s made from fermented rice. It’s often used in Asian cooking for its subtle flavor.
- Fresh ginger: Adds a spicy kick to the garlic sesame sauce and complements the garlic flavor. You can also use dried ginger.
- Minced garlic: It adds depth of flavor to the sauce.
- Hot chili flakes: Chili flakes are a spicy, flavorful addition to the garlic sesame sauce if you enjoy dishes with a bit of heat.
For the noodles:
- Uncooked noodles: You can also buy fresh Chinese noodles at Asian markets or specialty stores, or feel free to use whichever noodles you enjoy.
- Green onions: A mild onion that adds a slightly sweet flavor to the noodle dish.
- Sesame seeds: Gives the noodles an additional boost of toasted sesame flavor.
- Peanuts: Adds crunch and nuttiness to the dish while pairing with the flavors of the sauce.
- Edamame: Young soybeans have a nutty flavor and you can find them frozen in most grocery stores. They’re perfect for quick dishes as they cook up quickly and add protein, fiber, iron, and vitamins to the dish.
- Toppings: Garnish this noodle dish with additional green onions and sesame seeds. You can also add some fresh cilantro for a touch of green.
Best noodles to use: Many different types of noodles would work well in this recipe, so it really depends on what you prefer. You could also use rice noodles, buckwheat noodles, ramen noodles, udon noodles, soba noodles, or even whole wheat pasta.
How To Make
- Prepare the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Soak the noodles in hot water or boil the noodles until al dente, following the package directions. Drain and rinse when ready.
- Mix the tahini sauce: In a small bowl, or jar with a lid, add the sauce ingredients and whisk or shake until it combines and emulsifiers.
- Combine the noodles and sauce: Add the prepared noodles to a large bowl or pan, then pour the sauce over the top, along with the green onions, peanuts, and edamame. Toss with tongs to thoroughly coat the noodles.
- Garnish and serve: Plate the noodles and top with additional green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
How to Store
Fridge: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. These easy sesame noodles will keep for up to four days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add a bit of water to loosen up the noodles.
Freezer: You can also freeze garlic sesame noodles for up to two months. Pack up portions in individual containers or freezer-safe bags. When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with a bit of water.
Flavor Variations & Add-Ins
Try these fun flavor ideas!
- Make it peanut-butter-free: If you are allergic to peanuts, you can substitute the peanut butter for the same amount of tahini. Add a tiny bit more maple syrup to compensate for the bitter tahini taste.
- Turn down the spice: If you don’t enjoy spicy food, you can omit the chili flake or hot sauce to keep it non-spicy.
- Add vegan protein: Cooked tofu, tempeh, or chickpeas add a dose of protein to round out these delicious sesame noodles.
- Add shredded vegetables: Julienned or spiralized carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, and other seasonal vegetables like snow peas or bok choy are a delicious way to add more nutrients and color to the dish.
- More sesame flavor: If you love the intense flavor of sesame oil and tahini, feel free to add an extra tablespoon or two of each into the sauce. This will give the garlic sesame noodles a more robust flavor.
- Gluten-free garlic sesame noodles: To make this dish gluten-free, use a gluten-free noodle and swap out the soy sauce for tamari.
How to Serve These Noodles
Serve these garlic sesame noodles as a main dish or side with fresh greens and other veggies.
You can also try serving this garlic sesame noodle dish with extra protein like eggs, tofu, tempeh, salmon, or teriyaki chicken.
Yes, you can definitely make these garlic sesame noodles ahead of time. In fact, they’re even better when made in advance as the flavors have a chance to meld together. Just store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
Any peanut butter will work in this recipe, whether it’s creamy or chunky. However, we recommend using peanut butter made with 100% roasted peanuts and no salt variety to keep the sodium levels low (since we’re already adding plenty of soy sauce).
You can still use this garlic sesame noodle recipe even if you do not have any tahini in your pantry. Just replace the creamy sauce with additional peanut butter and soy sauce or tamari for a similar flavor.
Why I Love These Sesame Noodles
- A quick and easy recipe: the whole dish comes together in just 15 minutes.
- It’s easily customizable.
- Made with simple ingredients.
- Perfect as a complete meal with extra veggies or great as a side dish.
- You can add protein to make it even more hearty and filling.
- It can be enjoyed cold or hot, making it a great option for leftovers or meal prep.
More Asian Recipes You’ll Love
- Vegan Stir Fry Noodles (with crispy tofu)
- 15 Minute Vegetable Stir Fry Noodles
- Vegan Bento Box
- Chicken Teriyaki Bento Box
- Red Cabbage Salad
- Healthy Fried Rice
If you try this sesame noodles recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!
15-Minute Sesame Noodles
For the sauce:
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup - or raw brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- ½ tablespoon peanut butter - note 1
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger - or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- ¼ teaspoon hot chili flakes - or ½ teaspoon sriracha
For the noodles:
- 10 ounces uncooked noodles - note 2
- ½ cup green onions - finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon peanuts - chopped (optional)
- 1 cup edamame - defrosted, optional
- Extra green onions
- Sesame seeds
- Soak the noodles in hot water, following the packet directions.
- Mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl or a jar until you get a smooth sauce.
- Once the noodles are ready, drain, and rinse under tap water to prevent them from sticking together.
- Place the noodles in a pan or a bowl and toss them with the sauce, sesame seeds, green onions, peanuts, and edamame.
- Garnish with extra sesame seeds and green onions. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature (see note 2).
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