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Chili Crunch Ground Bison and Zucchini Noodles

Stop wondering what to make with ground bison and get your shopping list together for these bison and zucchini noodles. The bison is cooked in a sweet, spicy, and umami chili crunch sauce and served over homemade zoodles tossed in a tahini lime sauce. Everything comes together to create creamy noodle bowls that have no business being as low calorie as they are.

eating chili crunch bison and zucchini noodles with chopsticks

Chili Crunch Sauce for Ground Bison

This is an easy sauce to throw together, and I bet you have everything on hand already. The only question mark might be the black vinegar, but that’s totally replaceable with something like balsamic, malt, or rice vinegar. A little Worcestershire sauce may even get the job done in a pinch.

As for the chili crunch, I used Momofuku, but any chili crisp or chili oil with some crispy bits works fine. Lao Gan Ma is the classic choice that most people have stocked in their pantry.

tomato paste, black vinegar, soy sauce, chili crunch, and honey in a mixing bowl

With the honey and tomato paste, this sauce isn’t overly spicy. Especially once it’s served with the tahini lime zoodles or other noodles/rice.

But if you’re spice adverse, you might try another sauce like my sesame ginger chicken crumbles, Japanese barbecue sauce, or the slightly less spicy sauce from my firecracker ground bison.

You can also cool things down after the fact with garnishes. The acidity in lime juice or vinegar or the sweetness in a bit of extra honey all work well in reducing the spiciness.

Making Zucchini Noodles By Hand

I’ve seen pre-made zucchini spirals in my grocery store for years, but I’ve recently been unable to find them in stores. So I figured I should learn how to make zucchini noodles at home. And since I don’t own a spiralizer, I watched a great video on making zoodles with a vegetable peeler and knife.

peeling zucchini to make noodles

It’s really easy to do! Just peel thin strips from a zucchini squash, stack them tall, and use your knife to slice the stacks into thin noodle-size strips.

I found peeling a few times on one side of the zucchini before flipping it over creates a stable base so you can firmly press down and create thicker pieces. If you peel too thin, your noodles may break in half and get lost in the sauce.

using a knife to slice strips of zucchini into noodles

You can also make zucchini noodles at home with other tools like a julienne peeler or mandolin. Check out this guide for more techniques.

holding hand cut zucchini noodles

I was really surprised at how great these hand cut zoodles are. Honestly, I think I prefer them over zucchini spirals.

Since they’re so thin, you don’t need to cook them at all. Just toss in a sauce and top with this chili crunch ground bison (or your choice of protein) and dig in!

Making Tahini Lime Zoodles

If you’ve seen my chili crisp chicken noodle bowls, you know how much I teetered on a tahini sauce and peanut butter sauce.

Ultimately, I decided the peanut butter sauce worked better with the rice ramen. And I’m glad I made that call now. Because a tahini and lime sauce is perfect for zoodles.

zucchini noodles in a glass mixing bowl with tahini being drizzled over the top

It goes perfectly with the rich chili sauce on the ground bison and turns into this creamy sauce that coats the noodles once the bison is added. So good!

One thing I’ll add about the sauce is that you will probably want to keep the zucchini noodles and sauce separate if you plan on having leftovers. The zoodles may get a little soggy hanging out with everything else. But it’s easy to store extra zoodles on their own to serve with reheated ground bison and fresh tahini lime sauce later in the week.

Building Bowls and Other Ways to Serve

Not a fan of zoodles or veggie noodles? I totally get it!

Since this chili crunch ground bison is made with 90/10 bison and a more calorie-rich sauce, I figured it worked best with a lower calorie pairing. If you’re less concerned about that, you’ll never go wrong with rice bowls. You can throw in some roasted broccoli or another veggie to round out the meal.

If you want rice bowls while keeping the calories under control, check out my half calorie rice that combines bone broth jasmine rice with riced cauliflower to make a high volume rice solution.

two chili crunch ground bison bowls with lime wedges, scallions, chili crunch, and sesame garlic crunch

And if you go with another carb source like rice or noodles and want another garnish option, my yum yum sauce or the creamy kimchi sauce from my bulgogi bowls would both be great with this bison. The latter is made by just blending kimchi with a bit of gochujang, honey, light mayo, and water. Easy peasy!

Do you have any questions about making this recipe? Need an ingredient swap for the ground bison sauce or more clarity on making homemade zoodles? Drop any questions in the comments at the bottom of this post, and I’ll do my best to help.

You’ll find the printable recipe card below. If you make this recipe and dig it, I always appreciate recipe reviews!

zucchini noodles in a bowl topped with chili crunch ground bison, sesame garlic crunch, and sliced scallions

Chili Crunch Ground Bison with Zucchini Noodles

Yield: 4 Bowls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Lean ground bison cooked in a sweet and spicy chili crunch sauce over homemade zucchini noodles in a tahini lime sauce.


For the Chili Crunch Bison

  • 1 pound Ground Bison
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) Chili Crunch (I used Momofuku)
  • 2 Tablespoons (42g) Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) Black Vinegar or Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (64g) Tomato Paste
  • 1/4 cup (60g) Water

For the Zucchini Noodles

  • 3 medium (about 20 oz) Zucchini Squash, cut into noodles*
  • 3 Tablespoons (48g) Tahini
  • Juice of 1 Small Lime
  • Pinch of Lime Zest

For Garnish (optional)

  • Thinly Sliced Scallions
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Lime Wedges
  • Additional Chili Crunch


  1. Mix the chili crunch, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, tomato paste, and water together and set aside.
  2. Toss the zucchini noodles in a large bowl with the tahini, lime juice, and lime zest until evenly coated. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the ground bison on one side for 3-4 minutes before breaking apart and fully cooking.
  4. Add the chili crunch sauce to the cooked ground bison and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the sauce begins to caramelize.
  5. To make each bowl, add 5.5 oz of zucchini noodles and 4 oz of ground bison. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds or sesame garlic crunch, slice scallions, lime wedges, and additional chili crunch, if desired.


*To cut whole zucchini squash into noodles without a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler to peel thin strips from the zucchini, stack the strips, and cut them into noodles. You can use an equal weight of pre-made zucchini spirals or zoodles if you find them in stores.

Nutrition Notes

The ground bison on its own has 1,155 calories, 95g protein, 60g carbs, 9g fiber, and 65g fat.

If you swap 90/10 ground bison for 96/4 ground beef, each the beef will have 915 calories, 87g protein, 60g carbs, 9g fiber, and 37g fat.

One serving of the zucchini noodles with tahini lime sauce has 95 calories, 4g protein, 8g carbs, 3g fiber, and 6g fat.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 5.5 oz zucchini noodles with 4 oz ground bison
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 385Total Fat: 22gCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 5gProtein: 28g

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