This is the best Peanut Sauce you’ll want to use on everything and it only takes 5 minutes! Easy to make with everyday ingredients, it has rich, nutty flavors and a subtle spicy kick. Perfect for dipping spring rolls and drizzling over noodle dishes and Buddha bowls!
If there’s one sauce I could eat for the rest of my life, it would be this Vegan Peanut Sauce. It’s layered with nutty, tangy, salty, and sweet flavors that enhance everything you use it on! You’ll always find a batch of peanut sauce in my fridge (and freezer).
Not only does this peanut sauce recipe feature bold flavors that make my tastebuds dance, but it’s also just plain easy to make! No blender, food processor, or special equipment needed. Simply add all of the ingredients to a bowl, whisk until smooth, then enjoy!
Just like my Chipotle Sauce and Ranch Dressing, you’ll want to pair this sauce with everything. Put out a bowl at parties with a platter of crisp veggies, fried tofu, and spring rolls for dipping, or pour it over a bowl of rice, noodles, or greens with vegetables. It’s sure to become a new staple in your kitchen!
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Creamy peanut butter – Any kind of creamy peanut butter will work, whether natural or the no-stir variety. This recipe works just as well with almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter, although the flavors will change slightly.
- Rice vinegar – For a bright tanginess that balances out the rest of the sauce. Use lime juice if you don’t have rice vinegar.
- Soy sauce – This gives the sauce a rich, savory, and umami flavor.
- Maple syrup – Warm and sweet maple syrup is crucial for balance! You can substitute brown sugar or agave as well.
- Ginger – While fresh ginger has the best flavor, ground ginger works in a pinch.
- Sriracha hot sauce – This only adds a subtle heat that’s well hidden behind the peanut butter and coconut milk. Feel free to omit it if you don’t like spicy food.
- Coconut milk or water – I usually just use water and the sauce turns out very creamy, but to take it to the next level, use a little coconut milk (from a can or carton) until you reach the desired consistency.
How to make peanut sauce
Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.
Add all of the peanut sauce ingredients (except for the coconut milk/water) to a medium-sized bowl.
Whisk in 2 tablespoons of coconut milk, then add more to achieve your desired creamy consistency.
Tip: A whisk is my tool of choice because it almost always gives the sauce the smoothest consistency. However, to make this recipe even easier, feel free to blend the sauce in a blender or in the bowl with an immersion blender instead.
Keep whisking until you have a smooth sauce, then enjoy!
There are two amazing ways to use peanut sauce: (1) as a dipping sauce and (2) as a dressing! Use these ideas for inspiration when thinking about how to serve the sauce:
- Dipping sauce – Put out a bowl of sauce garnished with crushed peanuts and surround it with sliced vegetables, fresh spring rolls, tofu satay, marinated tofu, vegetable wraps, fried tofu, and more.
- Dressing – Drizzle the sauce over tofu and rice bowls, noodles and vegetables, stir fry, Buddha bowls, salads, lettuce cups, and more.
- Make it spicy – Add an extra teaspoon of sriracha or a pinch of red chili flakes to turn up the heat.
- Less sugar – Use only ¼ cup of maple syrup if you want to make the sauce less sweet.
- Instead of peanut butter – Use cashew butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or your favorite nut or seed butter!
- Gluten free – Use tamari instead of soy sauce to make gluten free peanut sauce.
Whether you make it ahead of time or end up with extras, the sauce will stay creamy and fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. It will firm up as it chills but you can thin it out with a splash of water or more coconut milk.
It freezes well, too! My favorite way to freeze peanut sauce is in ice cube trays. Once the cubes are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let the cubes thaw or zap them in the microwave before serving.
Want more homemade sauces?
5 Minute Peanut Sauce
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk all the ingredients together until smooth. Start with just 2 tablespoons of coconut milk or water, and add more as needed to thin the sauce.
- Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It can also be frozen in a freezer safe container.
- May use no-stir or natural peanut butter.
- Peanut allergy? Use almond, cashew or sunflower seed butter.
- May use lime juice instead of rice vinegar.
- Gluten free? Make sure to use gluten free tamari instead of soy sauce.
- For the additional liquid, I usually just use water, but coconut milk will take it to the next level of creamy and delicious!