This peanut sauce recipe combines creamy, nutty peanut butter with rich and savory soy sauce, fresh lime, a touch of sweetness, and a subtle hint of spiciness.
The recipe is inspired by Southeast Asian flavors; it's easy to make without cooking, and you can use it to level up your meals, from bowls and salads to skewers and noodles.
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You'll love our peanut sauce recipe because it's quick and easy to make; there's no need to cook it, it's dairy free and we use pantry staples that are easy to find in Western supermarkets.
The sauce is so creamy and tasty that you'll want to drizzle it on everything!
Our recipe is inspired by Thai cuisine and differs from Indonesian satay sauce.
Unlike satay sauce, our Thai peanut sauce is not cooked, and there is no coconut milk.
You can whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, or if you want it extra smooth, you can use a blender.
You can expect an ultra-creamy, rich, nutty sauce with hints of freshness, sweetness, and spiciness.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.
We recommend using 100% pure peanut butter. Read the label; it's best if it says 100% peanuts.
Many brands cut the peanuts with poor-quality oils, sugar, and emulsifiers that aren't the best for us.
You can use smooth peanut butter or chunky peanut butter. If you use chunky, we recommend blending the peanut sauce.
You can substitute almond butter for peanut butter, but the flavor will change. You can also use half tahini and half peanut butter to add a mild sesame taste to the sauce.
Soy sauce adds a rich, savory flavor to this recipe. You can use regular or low-sodium soy sauce.
Substitute tamari or coconut aminos for soy sauce to make the recipe gluten-free.
Fresh lime juice adds freshness and lightens the richness of peanut and soy sauce.
Substitute rice vinegar for lime juice.
Brown sugar adds sweetness and helps balance the rich, savory flavor. We think sugar is necessary in this recipe; however, if you are on a sugar-free diet, please leave it out.
Alternatively, substitute coconut sugar, palm sugar, maple syrup, or agave syrup for brown sugar.
Grated garlic, just a touch, adds a mild, garlicky, and zesty flavor that is perfect with the rest of the ingredients.
Ginger is for freshness. We recommend grating it finely.
Sriracha sauce, or any other spicy sauce, add a spicy kick to this creamy peanut butter sauce recipe.
Substitute Tabasco sauce, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, or chili powder for sriracha.
How to make peanut sauce
Add all ingredients to a blender - a food processor works too but a blender makes it smoother. We recommend grating the ginger and garlic.
Note: You can also make peanut sauce by hand. In this case, add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until combined. In this case, the sauce won't be as smooth as the one made with a blender.
Blend until you reach your desired consistency and texture. Taste and adjust for lime juice and sugar.
Note: The sauce has a strong flavor and is best served with something else.
Tahini peanut sauce
You can make tahini sauce by substituting creamy tahini for half the peanut butter. Here, we also add sesame oil to boost the sesame flavor.
This sauce is unbelievably delicious and balanced. Try it with sesame noodles; we are sure you'll love it!
Make it by blending:
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or lime juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce or hot sauce
This easy peanut sauce recipe is excellent for dipping, drizzling, or using as a sauce for noodles and pasta. Here are some recipes with it:
- Peanut noodles - toss the noodles with the sauce.
- Asian cucumber salad - you can dip the cucumber or drizzle some sauce on top.
- Buddha bowl - drizzle.
- Mango salad - drizzle.
- Grilled tofu - drizzle or dip.
- Air fryer tofu - drizzle or dip.
- Marinated tofu - drizzle.
Also, it goes well with pickled red onions, finely chopped green onions, fried onions, and sesame seeds.
Satay sauce, bumbu kacang, or sambal kacang, is an Indonesian sauce made from roasted or fried peanuts, coconut milk, soy sauce, tamarind, galangal, garlic, and spices.
The sauce is generally cooked for a few minutes to allow the ingredients to meld. It's often served with chicken satay.
Thai peanut sauce doesn't exist in Thailand and is an American invention.
In Thai food, you'll often find ground peanuts on dishes, accompanied by a squeeze of lime, a sour sauce, a spicy sauce, and sugar.
But these ingredients are not combined into a peanut sauce. Our peanut sauce recipe uses Thai flavors to create a Thai-inspired peanut sauce.
Make ahead: You can make this peanut sauce recipe about a week in advance, so it's excellent for meal prep.
Refrigerator: Keep it in an air-tight jar in the fridge for 5 to 7 days. The sauce dries out after a couple of days, so you might want to stir in a dash of water or a squeeze of lime before serving it.
Freezer: We don't recommend freezing this recipe.
More sauce recipes
If you love creamy sauces, find more easy condiments here:
- Tahini sauce (garlic, lemon, tahini, water, etc.)
- Chipotle sauce (pepper in adobo sauce, lime, salt, mayonnaise, etc.)
- Romesco sauce (roasted peppers, almonds, garlic, hazelnuts, vinegar, etc.)
- Cilantro lime dressing (cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, maple syrup, etc.)
- Tzatziki sauce (cucumber, Greek-style yogurt, mint, dill, garlic, olive oil, etc.)
More Asian-inspired dishes
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ⅓ cup soy sauce low-sodium, or tamari sauce
- 3 - 4 tablespoons lime juice fresh
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup
- 1 - 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce or hot sauce
- 1 small clove garlic grated
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- To a blender, add ½ cup peanut butter, ⅓ cup soy sauce, 3 - 4 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 - 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce, 1 small clove garlic (grated), and 1 teaspoon ginger (grated).Note: You can also make peanut sauce by hand. In this case, add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until combined. The sauce won't be as smooth as the one made with a blender.
- Blend until you reach your desired consistency and texture. Taste and adjust for lime juice and sugar.