How to make an easy peanut sauce with simple ingredients and a few minutes–perfect for dipping, drizzling, and dressing! This Thai-inspired peanut butter sauce is salty, savory, and slightly sweet with an optional hint of spice. Better yet, it’s vegan (dairy-free), and you can even make it gluten-free and nut-free!
Creamy and quick Thai-Inspired Peanut Sauce
This peanut sauce is simple to prepare and makes for a wonderfully versatile dressing, drizzle, or dipping sauce! It’s the perfect accompaniment to healthy summer rolls. In fact, that’s where I first shared this recipe several years ago and have since spent years ‘perfecting’ it.
I love the versatility of this easy recipe, too. Just like my tahini dressing, you can use this recipe as a dip and drizzle or adapted to a thinner peanut dressing, so it’s an impressive addition to your recipe repertoire. Plus, leftovers can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. I often have some sitting alongside my vegan mayo and Yum Yum sauce.
If you love peanut butter, learning how to make peanut sauce should definitely be on your to-do list. It’s the perfect blend of savory, salty, spicy, umami, and sweet flavors. You’ll be wanting to eat it straight from the jar with a spoon! And while it’s not traditional, I love the Thai-inspired additions of lime juice, coconut sugar, ginger, and (optional) chili flakes!
- Peanut butter: I use a creamy variety without tons of added sugars and salts for this easy peanut sauce. For a nut-free alternative, you can use sunflower seed butter.
- Soy sauce: If you’re gluten-free, you can use tamari or coconut aminos. You can also use reduced-sodium soy versions if preferred.
- Acid: You can use rice vinegar or lime juice as your acidic flavor element. I’ve previously used balsamic vinegar, too, with good results–though that isn’t classically a Thai flavor.
- Coconut sugar: A bit of sugar really helps balance all the flavors in this sauce. I’ve used maple syrup several times, too, with good results.
- Aromatics: I used freshly grated ginger and garlic. You could also use fresh ginger/garlic paste.
- Coconut milk: or water, used to thin the sauce.
- Spices (Optional): You can add a pinch of red pepper flakes (or even a little chili sauce like sriracha makes for a delicious spicy sauce) for heat. I also like to add extra flavor with cumin powder.
Please read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
How to Make Peanut Sauce
This Thai-inspired peanut sauce requires just a couple of minutes (and steps) to prepare!
- If the peanut butter is very thick, I recommend heating it briefly in a double boiler beforehand.
- Add all the ingredients (except coconut milk or water) to a bowl or jar. Use a small whisk to mix it well.
- Then slowly add in the milk/water, one tablespoon at a time, to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.
You can easily adapt this peanut dipping sauce to a dressing with extra milk/water.
- Taste it and adjust any of the ingredients to personal preference. I.e., for vinegar/lime juice for tang, sugar for sweetness, soy sauce for saltiness, etc. Then enjoy!
How to Serve
Like I said above, this peanut sauce recipe is surprisingly versatile as a dip, drizzle, or dressing. For example, you can use it:
- As a peanut dipping sauce with summer rolls, lettuce wraps, for crudités and crackers
- Sauce mixed into homemade coleslaw
- Dressing for grain bowls and salad bowls—like this chickpea buddha bowl and brown rice salad
- Drizzle over rice, pasta, and noodles—like this peanut butter noodles dish
- Optional sauce for roasted veggies—like these cauliflower steaks
- With meat alternatives and tofu skewers
How to Store
Once prepared, store the sauce in an airtight jar/container in the refrigerator for between 1-2 weeks. If the sauce separates slightly, just whisk it again before serving, adding more water, if needed.
Though I haven’t tried, you may also be able to freeze the sauce for up to two months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature before using.
- Choosing peanut butter: Try to avoid brands filled with extra sugars and salts, as it can throw off the balance of flavors. Instead, choose a creamy natural peanut butter that’s high-quality.
- Adjusting the ingredients: This peanut sauce recipe is super versatile, and pretty much every single element is adjustable to personal taste. I recommend adding the soy sauce (or tamari) a little at a time. Especially if you know you don’t particularly like salty flavors.
- For a dressing: While you can thin the sauce into a dressing simply by adding more coconut milk/water, I also like to add a little oil when adapting it to a dressing for an improved silky mouthfeel. I recommend adding a little sesame oil for extra flavor, though neutral oils will work well, too.
- Using a mini food processor: You can also prepare this recipe using a mini food processor or immersion blender rather than manually whisking.
Other Vegan Peanut Butter Recipes
- The best peanut butter noodles
- 5-Ingredient peanut butter crunch bars
- Peanut butter mousse
- Healthy peanut butter cookies
- Peanut butter truffles
- Peanut butter banana ice cream
- White chocolate peanut butter cups
If you try this peanut butter sauce recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan #elavegan – I love seeing them.
- 1/3 cup (80 g) creamy peanut butter (see notes)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari or coconut aminos
- 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar or lime juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar (see notes)
- 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger grated
- 2 small cloves of garlic grated
- 2-3 tbsp coconut milk or water, to thin
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder (optional)
- You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.I recommend heating the peanut butter in a double boiler (or microwave) until softened. Mix all ingredients, except the coconut milk (or water), together in a bowl with a whisk.Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender.
- Then slowly stir in the milk/water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to thin the sauce. Use more milk/water for a peanut dressing.
- Taste the sauce and add more rice vinegar/lime juice, sweetener, and/or soy sauce, if needed. Enjoy!
- Peanut butter: Use sunflower seed butter for a nut-free version.
- Sweetener: I used coconut sugar, but made the recipe a couple of times with maple syrup, which tastes great too.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically