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Craving a sauce that’s both creamy and packed with flavor? Look no further! This Vegan Thai Peanut Sauce is not only delicious but also incredibly easy to whip up. Perfect for holidays, family gatherings, or just a regular weekday dinner, this sauce will elevate any dish it accompanies.

Overhead photo of Vegan Thai Peanut Sauce on a grey plate next to a fresh spring roll.

❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe

A Versatile Companion for Many Dishes

Thai cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors and aromatic spices. This flavorful vegan peanut sauce is no exception. Whether you’re drizzling it over a noodle bowl, using it as a salad dressing, or as the perfect dipping sauce for fresh spring rolls, its versatility knows no bounds. Plus, it’s a great recipe to have on hand to add some peanutty goodness to buddha bowls or Thai noodle salads.

Quick and Easy to Prepare

We all have those days when we’re short on time but still want something flavorful. This sauce requires simple ingredients, most of which you might already have in your pantry. And the best part? It takes just minutes to prepare in a food processor. So, next time you’re in a hurry, this easy peanut sauce has got you covered.

Healthier and Allergen-Friendly

Many store-bought sauces contain additives, preservatives, and sometimes even hidden animal products. Making your creamy vegan peanut sauce at home ensures you know exactly what’s going into it. Plus, with options to use coconut aminos for a soy-free version or sunflower seed butter for a nut-free alternative, it’s adaptable to various dietary needs.

Authentic Taste with a Modern Twist

While staying true to the flavors of traditional Thai peanut sauce recipes, this version offers a modern, vegan twist. The natural sweetness of maple syrup combined with the creaminess of peanut butter and a hint of spice from red pepper flakes make it a delightful blend of traditional and contemporary tastes. This is the BEST peanut sauce!

🗝️ Key Ingredients & Substitutions

Overhead photo of individual peanut sauce ingredients on a table, labeled.

Natural Peanut Butter: This is the star ingredient, providing a rich and nutty flavor. You can use either crunchy or creamy peanut butter, depending on your personal preference. If you’re allergic to peanuts, almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter are good options.

Soy Sauce: Adds a salty flavor and depth to the sauce. For a gluten-free option, you can use coconut aminos, tamari, or a gluten-free soy sauce.

Maple Syrup: This natural sweetener balances out the savory elements. If you don’t have maple syrup, brown sugar or agave nectar can be used as substitutes.

Sesame Oil: Gives the sauce a toasted, aromatic touch. If you don’t have sesame oil on hand, a neutral oil like sunflower or grapeseed can be used, though the flavor will be slightly different.

Rice Vinegar: Adds a tangy kick. Lemon juice, lime juice, or apple cider vinegar can be used if rice vinegar isn’t available.

Chili Powder, Ginger Powder, and Garlic Powder: These spices add warmth and depth to the sauce. Fresh ginger and garlic can be used for a more intense flavor, but the powdered versions are great for a quick and easy preparation. Chili flakes are a great substitute for chili powder if needed.

Cold Water: Used to adjust the consistency of the sauce. Depending on how thick or thin you want your sauce, you can add more or less water.

🥣 How to Make Spicy Peanut Sauce

1. Blending the Ingredients

Start by adding all the ingredients, except water, to a blender or food processor, occasionally scraping down the sides. If you’re using crunchy peanut butter and prefer a smoother consistency, blend a little longer. The food processor ensures that all the flavors meld together, resulting in a creamy peanut dressing. You can also use an immersion blender for this. Note: The sauce will seem very thick, clumpy, and dark at first, but that’s okay! The next step will sort it out.

2. Adjusting the Consistency

Once the ingredients are well-blended, it’s time to adjust the sauce’s thickness. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, blending in between each addition.

Adding water to peanut sauce in a blender.

Typically, adding about 3 tablespoons of water gives the sauce the right consistency for dipping, but this can vary based on personal preference. Finally, garnish with sesame seeds, fresh cilantro, crushed peanuts, or green onions if desired.

Vegan Thai Peanut Sauce on a grey plate next to fresh summer rolls.

🫙 How to Store Leftover Sauce

Using an Airtight Container

If you’ve made a batch of this creamy peanut sauce and find yourself with leftovers, transfer it to an airtight container. This will ensure the sauce retains its freshness and prevents it from absorbing any unwanted flavors from the fridge.

Shelf Life

When stored correctly in the refrigerator, this delicious peanut sauce can last up to a week. If you notice any off smells or mold, it’s best to discard it.

Freezing for Later

Did you know you can freeze this sauce? If you’ve made a larger batch or simply want to have some on hand for future meals, pour the sauce into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag. This way, you can thaw the exact amount you need for your next dish.

🪄 Recipe Notes & Tips

Choosing the Right Peanut Butter

While any peanut butter will work for this easy Thai-style peanut sauce recipe, opting for a natural version without added sugars or oils will give you the best results. Remember, the sauce’s flavor largely depends on the peanut butter’s quality, so choose one that you love. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try it with crunchy peanut butter for some added texture?

Spice It Up or Tone It Down

The beauty of this vegan peanut sauce is its adaptability. If you’re a fan of spicy food, consider adding some extra chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or even a dash of sambal oelek or chili garlic sauce. On the other hand, if you prefer a milder sauce, you can reduce the amount of chili or omit it altogether.

Fresh vs. Powdered Ingredients

While this recipe calls for powdered ginger and garlic for convenience, using fresh ingredients can elevate the sauce to the next level. If you have fresh ginger and garlic on hand, grate or mince them finely and add them to the mix. The fresh ingredients will impart a more robust and aromatic flavor.

Taste and Adjust

Before serving, always give your sauce a taste test. Depending on the brand of ingredients you use, you might find you need a little more maple syrup for sweetness or an extra splash of soy sauce for saltiness. Peanut sauces also start out a little thick, so water it down as much as needed. Don’t worry, the flavor will still be amazing! Remember, the best Thai peanut sauce is one tailored to your taste buds!

🍽️ What can I serve with Peanut Sauce?

Noodle Dishes

Have you ever tried peanut noodles like Pad Thai? This is the perfect peanut sauce to go with rice noodles or soba noodles. Toss your cooked noodles in the sauce, add some fresh vegetables, and you’ve got yourself a delightful Thai noodle salad. It’s also delicious when drizzled over our Easy Vegan Stir Fry!

Fresh Spring Rolls and Satays

Dip your fresh spring rolls, salad rolls, or summer rolls into this sauce for a burst of flavor. If you like a crispy version, Air Fryer Rice Paper Dumplings are the perfect vegan recipe to try. It’s also the perfect accompaniment for vegan satay, whether made from tofu, tempeh, or seitan, or even as a vegan “chicken” satay sauce.

Buddha Bowls and Salads

Drizzle this creamy peanut dressing over a buddha bowl packed with your favorite grains, veggies, and proteins. It also works wonders as a salad dressing, adding tons of flavor to even the simplest of salads.

As a Marinade

Yes, you heard that right! This Thai peanut butter sauce can also be used as a marinade for tofu, tempeh, or any other protein of your choice. Let your protein marinate for a few hours, then grill or bake for a deliciously flavored main dish.

Dipping a Thai fresh spring roll in vegan peanut sauce in a white bowl.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use almond or sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter?

Absolutely! While peanut butter gives the sauce its classic taste, almond or sunflower seed butter are excellent alternatives, especially if you have a peanut allergy. Just keep in mind that each will impart its unique flavor to the sauce.

I don’t have maple syrup. Can I use honey?

While honey isn’t vegan, if you’re not strictly following a vegan diet, it can be a suitable substitute for maple syrup. Alternatively, agave nectar or brown sugar can also do the trick.

Is there a way to make this sauce gluten-free?

Yes, to make this sauce gluten-free, simply replace the soy sauce with coconut aminos or a gluten-free soy sauce. Always check the labels of other ingredients to ensure they’re gluten-free as well.

How spicy is this sauce?

The spice level can be adjusted to your liking. The recipe as is has a mild kick, but you can amp up the heat with more chili powder or red pepper flakes. If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, feel free to reduce or omit the chili components.

Can I make this sauce ahead of time for a party?

Of course! This sauce tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld. Just store it in an airtight container in the fridge, and it’s ready to serve when you are.

What if my sauce is too thick or too thin?

No worries! If the sauce is too thick for your liking, simply add a little water or coconut milk to thin it out. If it’s too thin, blend in more peanut butter until you reach your desired consistency.

Thai Vegan peanut sauce in a white bowl next to summer rolls on a grey plate.

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📖 Recipe

Overhead photo of Vegan Thai Peanut Sauce.

Easy Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe

Bethany Galloway
This Vegan Peanut Sauce is not only delicious but also incredibly easy to whip up. Perfect for holidays, family gatherings, or just a regular weekday dinner, this sauce will elevate any dish it accompanies.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Sauces & Condiments
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 229 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter smooth or crunchy, see note 1 for alternatives
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce see note 2 for alternatives
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup see note 3 for alternatives
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder see note 4
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2-4 tablespoons water see note 7

Instructions
 

  • Add everything except the water to a blender or food processor and blend until it is completely mixed, scraping the sides down occasionaly. Note: if you add crunchy peanut butter, you may want to blend it a little longer to make it smoother.
    Thai peanut sauce ingredients in a blender.
  • Add water 1 tablespoon at a time and continue to blend until it’s the right consistency for dipping.
    Adding water to peanut sauce in a blender.
  • Serve it as is, or garnish with toasted sesame seeds, fresh cilantro, crushed peanuts, or green onions if desired.
    Overhead photo of Vegan Thai Peanut Sauce.

Notes

  1. Peanut Butter: While any peanut butter will work for this easy Thai-style peanut sauce recipe, opting for a natural version without added sugars or oils will give you the best results. For peanut allergies, almond or sunflower seed butter are excellent alternatives.
  2. Soy sauce alternatives: To make this gluten-free, you can replace the soy sauce with coconut aminos, tamari, or a gluten-free soy sauce.
  3. I don’t have maple syrup. Can I use honey? While honey isn’t vegan, if you’re not strictly following a vegan diet, it can be a suitable substitute for maple syrup. Alternatively, agave nectar or brown sugar can also do the trick.
  4. Spice level: If you’re a fan of spicy food, add some extra chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or even a dash of sambal oelek or chili garlic sauce. On the other hand, if you prefer a milder sauce, you can reduce the amount of chili or omit it altogether.
  5. Fresh vs. Powdered Spices: While this recipe calls for powdered ginger and garlic for convenience, using fresh ingredients can elevate the sauce to the next level. If you have fresh ginger and garlic on hand, grate or mince them finely and add them to the mix.
  6. Taste and Adjust: Before serving, always give your sauce a taste test. Depending on the brand of ingredients you use, you might find you need a little more maple syrup for sweetness or an extra splash of soy sauce for saltiness.
  7. What if my sauce is too thick or too thin? If the sauce is too thick for your liking, simply add a little more water or coconut milk to thin it out. If it’s too thin, blend in more peanut butter until you reach your desired consistency.
  8. Can I make this sauce ahead of time? Of course! This sauce tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld. Just store it in an airtight container in the fridge, and it’s ready to serve when you are.
  9. Storage: To store leftovers, transfer them to an airtight container. This will ensure the sauce retains its freshness and prevents it from absorbing any unwanted flavors from the fridge. When stored correctly in the refrigerator, this delicious peanut sauce can last up to a week.
  10. Freezing: Pour the sauce into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag. This way, you can thaw the exact amount you need for your next dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 229kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 8gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gSodium: 513mgPotassium: 219mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 74IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mg
Keyword avocado dip, easy, peanut sauce, quick, side dish, Thai Peanut Sauce, Vegan Peanut Sauce
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