Thai Peanut Sauce

$1.75 recipe / $0.22 serving

I’ve been really digging Asian food lately. As I was deciding on my main entree and side dish for this week, I decided to give Thai peanut sauce a shot. I had never made it before so I looked at a good 20 recipes. Some recipes were simple and sweet with only about 4 ingredients, others were long and complex with 10-15 ingredients. I do like to keep things simple but as it turns out, I had a lot of those ingredients anyway. So, why not use them, right? Right. Well, I know a lot of you may not have all of these ingredients on hand so I will list which ingredients are optional or that you could probably get away with not using and still have a decent sauce. Here is the catch: the fewer ingredients you choose to use, the flatter and less complex your sauce will be. If you can, use all of them because this sauce turned out absolutely AMAZING (I wanted to drink it with a straw). Plus it’s versatile. I used it as a salad dressing, pasta sauce and a flavoring for rice pilaf.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Thai Peanut Sauce

5.0 from 6 reviews
thai peanut sauce
Prep time
Total time
Total Cost: $1.75
Cost Per Serving: $0.22
Serves: 8 (1/4 cup ea.)
  • ¾ cup natural style peanut butter $0.82
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (optional) $0.16
  • juice from ½ a lime $0.17
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled, grated (optional) $0.24
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.06
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce (rooster hot sauce) $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.03
  • ½ tsp sesame oil (optional) $0.02
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.03
  • ¼ bunch cilantro $0.17
  • ¼ – ½ cup water $0.00
  1. Make sure your natural style peanut butter is thoroughly mixed before measuring (you don’t want to get all oil or all solids). In a blender or food processor combine all of the ingredients except the sriracha sauce. Begin with only ¼ cup of water and add more until you get the consistency you want (I used ½ cup total). Add the sriracha sauce a little at a time (blending between) until it is to your desired heat (I used about ½ tsp).
  2. Enjoy the peanut sauce on salads, pasta or as a dipping sauce!


NOTE: If you do not have sriracha sauce, you can use red pepper flakes. Again, begin with a small amount and add more until it is as hot as you’d like. Remember, when using dried spices, the sauce will get spicier as it refrigerates and the flakes rehydrate.

My recipe calls for 1/4 cup of coconut milk which is only about 1/8th of a can. If you are looking for something to do with the rest of it (because no one likes to throw stuff away, especially delicious coconut milk), you can make some Savory Coconut Rice with the remainder. It is also really tasty when poured over oatmeal with fruit and nuts. If you make smoothies, coconut milk will add a lot of creaminess and a tropical flavor!

When buying fresh ginger, don’t be shy about breaking off a small nub from the large roots they have at the grocery store. It is perfectly acceptable. I never use a lot of ginger so I always just break off an inch or two so that I’m not paying for more than I need. Ginger is easily peeled with a regular vegetable peeler and then you can grate it using the smallest side of a cheese grater.


  1. Deidre says:

    Great sauce! We have used this recipe now for about a year as our stir fry sauce. I dropped out the sugar (don’t need it) and the cilantro (don’t like it) and added 1 tsp tamarind paste to give it more thai flair. Thank you so much for this!

  2. Natalie says:

    Could you make a big batch and freeze it, like in single servings?? Thanks!

    • Hmm, I’m honestly not sure how well this would freeze. I’ve never tried to freeze this kind of sauce before.

  3. Molly says:

    Oh, also, I did grate the ginger and mince the garlic, but otherwise didn’t blend or puree the sauce at all. I also used crunchy peanut butter, which adds in little chunks of peanut throughout, which I like :)

  4. Molly says:

    This sauce is seriously SO. GOOD.

    I’ve made it a couple of times, both times adding a bit more liquid to make it coat noodles more easily.

    I also left out the brown sugar, as I tend to add in sauteed red bell peppers, frozen green pea+carrot mix, and caramelized onion, which all add some sweetness.

    I also toss in a little tofu to up the fillingness, and serve it over soba noodles (which add an awesome earthiness).

    Great recipe that I’m SO glad I found!

  5. kyrsti says:

    Whats the shelf life for this?

  6. Finally, I have a hint I can share!

    You can load up on fresh ginger root when you see it for a good price and FREEZE it!! Yes, you can!!

    I just stick it in a zip-top bag and store it in my freezer, and when I’m ready, I run it across my microplane grater into whatever I’m making. It tastes just as fresh as when you bought it, and I’m pretty sure it keeps forever this way.

    Nothing beats the taste of fresh ginger in a sauce like this — or in your Sesame Ginger Dressing, which I would eat like pudding if my family wasn’t watching. ;-)

  7. Tonya C. says:

    WOW! I’ve tried many of your recipes and they’ve all been wonderful, so I shouldn’t be so surprised at how good this sauce is, but WOW! This stuff is dangerous. Mainly because I nearly sliced my tongue licking the blades of my food processor. (Don’t try this at home, kids.) All kidding aside, thank you Beth for sharing not only this but all your wonderful recipes. You’ve renewed my love of cooking!

  8. TinaPete says:

    I love you for saying that about ginger. I almost always break up the larger piece of ginger in the store but feel guilty about it; now I won’t! Thank you.

  9. How much lime juice? 1/2 of a lime?

  10. Needed to add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 3 more cloves of garlic and 2 more tbsp of soy sauce and this recipe is delicious! Thanks for sharing!!!

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