Casual Friday: Sesame and Black Pepper Granola

February 26, 2016 | |

This post may contain affiliate links. Read about my affiliate policy.

savory-sesame-black-pepper-granolaIt’s the last Friday of February, people. I’m glad you’re here. Let’s get casual.

First, we need to talk about this savory granola situation. The inspiration for this oat-based awesomeness actually stemmed from an accident—I mistook a bag of sesame seeds for chia while testing a Dude Diet granola recipe a few months ago. Not wanting to waste a bunch of perfectly good ingredients, I angrily baked off the botched batch anyway, and although the final product was not the sweet breakfast sensation I was going for, it was crazy delicious in its own way. The sesame seeds added a subtle and unexpected savory dimension, thrilling my inner sweet-and-savory fetishist and prompting many more (purposeful) sesame-themed granola experiments.

This black pepper version is my favorite to date. The usual suspects (oats, nuts, maple syrup) are taken off the beaten granola path with sesame oil, a splash of soy sauce, and enough ground ginger and black pepper to give it a mild kick. If you’re weirded out by this flavor medley, I get it, but I really need you to trust me on this one. Savory granola is delightful, and it’s quite the multi-tasking pantry staple. Yes, you can eat it by the handful and over yogurt/fruit (it has just the right amount of sweetness), but I also recommend adding it to salads and roasted or grilled vegetable dishes (like an oat-y crouton!), and sprinkling some on top of stir-fries and grain/veggie bowls for crunch. Maybe treat yo’self and try it with your favorite ice cream? (YAS.)

Since Sesame and Black Pepper Granola is more “festive accent” than main event, the recipe is conveniently small batch. (It makes about three cups.) Oh, and this stuff just happens to be vegan, gluten-free and Dude Diet friendly, so everyone but the paleo peeps should be able to appreciate its wonders. Get on it.

savory-sesame-black-pepper-granola-7Moving on to the internets!

This lady freaking out at McDonald’s made my week. And then I realized it was fake. McSCUSE me?!!

On the off chance you haven’t yet seen “The Day Beyoncé Turned Black,” you’re welcome…

I don’t often discuss politics on this blog, but I do think this guy made some interesting points about the Donald.

I appreciate the real talk nature of these wine drinking do’s and don’ts from Marissa A. Ross (who is an all-around cool chick).

THEY’RE HERE! THE SRIRACHA PACKETS ARE HERE!!! I shall add them to the “Splenda pocket” in my purse. (I got hot sauce in my bag. Swag.)

I do not watch The Bachelor, but I just started watching UnREAL, a drama about the behind-the-scenes shenanigans on a fictional Bachelor-esque dating show, and it is…unreal. Seriously. I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a trashy tv show since Friday Night Lights. So if you’re in the market for something to binge, I highly recommend.

I meant to do a pun-filled, Oscar-themed recipe roundup for you guys (like this one), but I screwed it up in my calendar because I thought the Oscars were NEXT weekend. I may have dropped the ball, but I was thrilled to discover that my girl Phoebe picked up the slack. Check out her best picture-inspired eats here.

savory-sesame-black-pepper-granola-6And now, some things I want to make/eat from around the web:

Crispy Salmon with Winter Fruit Salsa. I think I may have finally kicked my salmon phobia for good, and I want to celebrate with this ridiculously good looking piece of fish.

Lemon Poppy Seed Oat Pancakes. In bed.

Skillet Baked Eggs with Spinach, Yogurt and Chili Oil. Never met a baked egg I didn’t like.

Avocado and Crispy Sesame, Quinoa Rice, and Rice Cakes with Spicy Mustard. Damn, Daniel Jodi.

Chorizo Bolognese with Buffalo Mozzarella. On a Sunday.

I’ll be a birthday princess in less than a month, so I’ve been debating cake options. I’m currently leaning towards one of these three beauties: Fruity Pebbles Funfetti Cake, Salted Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake, Real Deal Southern Caramel Cake. Feel free to weigh in.

Peace out, friends.

p.s. I’m currently on a plane to Miami for a bachelorette. Please pray that Selena survives.

p.p.s. There’s still time to enter the 4-Blade Paderno Spiralizer GIVEAWAY and make all your veggie noodle dreams come true. (And to those who left me book recs, you’re the best! I’ve now got a verrrrry long reading list to tackle. Gracias.)


Sesame and Black Pepper Granola

Author - Serena Wolf
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • ¾ cups coarsely chopped nuts I used a mix of raw almonds and cashews, but you do you.
  • tablespoons sesame seeds white or black are both fine
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoons dark aka toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons light sesame oil You can also use extra virgin olive oil if you don’t have sesame.
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger I sometimes add a little more than that, but I love ginger.
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • Flaky sea salt such as Maldon


  • Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, chopped nuts, and sesame seeds.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the honey, oil, soy sauce, ground ginger and black pepper.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until well combined.
  • Transfer the granola to the prepared baking sheet and spread out in an even layer. Sprinkle the top with a hefty pinch of flaky salt.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir the granola well. Spread it out in an even layer again and pack it down with the back of a spoon or spatula. (This will help you get some clumps later on.) Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes more until golden brown. (30 minutes total.)
  • Let the granola cool on the baking sheet for at least 20 minutes before breaking it up into pieces.
  • Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Shop this post

Never miss a post!

Get new recipes and lifestyle tips delivered straight to your inbox.


  1. Phoebe Lapine on March 7, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    oh mah goodness! just saw my shout out. thank you Selena!! also, i totally flagged Jodi’s crispy rice cakes too. There are so many things I want to do to them. xoxox

    • Serena_Wolf on March 8, 2016 at 9:52 am

      Girrrl, you know I love me a good pun-y roundup! (I can only imagine DM readers feel the same way?) xox

  2. Phoebe Lapine on March 7, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    oh mah goodness! just saw my shout out. thank you Selena!! also, i totally flagged Jodi’s crispy rice cakes too. There are so many things I want to do to them.

  3. Dixya Bhattarai RD on February 26, 2016 at 11:16 am

    savory oatmeal situation shall happen in my kitchen too..the best part i have all the ingredients!

    enjoy Miami – take extra shot for me 🙂

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe