Spicy Peanut Sauce

$1.75 recipe / $0.22 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 13 votes
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I was really craving a good creamy-spicy peanut sauce this week, so I thought I’d try my hand at making one. What I came up with is based on Thai peanut sauce, but using the ingredients I had on hand. While it’s not authentic by any means, it’s super delicious with complex flavors that left me wanting to drink it with a spoon. AH-MAZ-ING. Plus it’s versatile. I used it as a salad dressing, pasta sauce, and as a flavorful drizzle over a rice pilaf.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

Thai Peanut Sauce in clean bowl and garnished with cilantro

Adjust the Heat

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.

How to Use Leftover Coconut Milk

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!

Tips for Using Fresh Ginger

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.

Try These Authentic Peanut Sauce Recipes

As I mentioned above, this is just sort of my “wing it with what I have” version of peanut sauce. If you want to try an authentic peanut sauce, check out these awesome recipes (various versions from various countries):

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Spicy Peanut Sauce

5 from 13 votes
This Spicy Peanut sauce is quick and easy to make at home and the flavor will blow you away.
Servings 8 (1/4 cup ea.)
Prep 15 minutes
Total 15 minutes


  • 3/4 cup natural style peanut butter ($0.82)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk, optional ($0.16)
  • juice from 1/2 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)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil, optional ($0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.03)
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro ($0.17)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup water ($0.00)
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  • 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 1/4 cup of water and add more until you get the consistency you want (I used 1/2 cup total). Add the sriracha sauce a little at a time (blending between) until it is to your desired heat (I used about 1/2 tsp).
  • Enjoy the peanut sauce on salads, pasta or as a dipping sauce!

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Serving: 0.25CupsCalories: 160.88kcalCarbohydrates: 8.53gProtein: 5.68gFat: 12.81gSodium: 134.64mgFiber: 1.4g
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  1. A fantastic sauce. I’m finally commenting because I decided to use the version without coconut milk as a dressing for a salad wrap (kale, chicken, yellow bell pepper, fresh coriander, mango). Delicious, and definitely something that I will make again.