Easy 5-Minute Thai Peanut Sauce
Get the recipe for this simple, fast and totally delicious 5-Minute Thai Peanut Sauce recipe. Think of it as the cheater’s way to make amazing peanut sauce.
If you’re the type that often digs into the condiments at a Thai restaurant with a spoon (are you looking at me?), you are going to love, super love, this recipe.
It’s not fancy, it doesn’t call for a million unpronounceable ingredients, but it is simple, fast and totally delicious.
Think of it as the cheater’s way to make a really great Thai peanut sauce.
I’ve been whipping this up for weeks now and keeping it in my refrigerator in a mason jar. I pull it out when we feel like our fresh veggies need a little dipping action or when I want a more-than-PB&J-lunch or for a quick dinner (grilled chicken, rice or noodles and drizzled peanut sauce).
As the saying goes: the options are endless.
Lately, for lunch, I take my friend, Lesli’s advice (she’s the one who sent me the recipe), and sauté up some cabbage, onions and maybe some chicken sausage with a bunch of other vegetables thrown in, like peppers and broccoli and kale, and drizzle it all with this peanut sauce.
Lunch heaven, baby.
Keep in mind this is a Thai-style version of peanut sauce which can be different in flavor from peanut sauces in Chinese or other cuisines.
It’s sweeter (even though I cut the sugar down considerably from the original) and creamier and perfect for, say, a Thai chicken satay dish which usually requires a little peanut sauce for dipping.
Because I tend to skim instead of reading in-depth (it’s a bad habit), the first time I made this, I didn’t cook it at all – I just blended everything up.
I’m not sure how I came to the conclusion that the recipe said that (since it clearly did not), but I made the peanut sauce this quick, blender way a good two or three times before glancing back at Lesli’s email and realizing that actually, it calls for the sauce to be simmered. Oops.
The only reason I’m telling you this is to emphasize that the sauce is fantastic simmered and thickened (the flavors blend magically), but hey, if you’re like me and choose to just blend everything up and cut the prep time from a whopping five minutes down to a measly two, well, you’ll always be welcome in my house.
5-Minute Thai Peanut Sauce
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk, light or regular
- 3-4 tablespoons red curry paste (see note)
- 1 cup natural unsweetened creamy peanut butter (see note)
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup sugar or honey
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar or rice vinegar
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- Whisk together all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often so it doesn’t scorch, for 2-3 minutes.
- Let the sauce cool slightly. Transfer it to a container or jar, cover, and keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe sent to me by my culinary fiend of a friend, Lesli (originally from SheSimmers)
65 Comments on “Easy 5-Minute Thai Peanut Sauce”
Super easy, super yummy. I definitely like the thickness best after cooking, but it is tasty either way.
Very tasty! But will omit the water next time. I prefer it thicker. Thank you!
Can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this! I did make a few small changes – lime juice instead of vinegar and replaced 1 Tbsp soy with fish sauce, left sesame oil out. Best peanut sauce ever.
On a mad dash for a quick lunch I tried this peanut sauce over farro. I was happily surprised that it was delicious and so, so easy. And I agree, the natural unsweetened peanut butter is a must.
I leave out the water.
Delicious!! Thanks Mel! I love all your recipes.
So, I love peanuts but developed a peanut allergy last year! Booooo! Well, I made this today and subbed in sunflower butter for the peanut butter and we all absolutely loved it! Thanks so much!
I made this exactly as the recipe instructed. My BFF loves peanut sauce too, so I delev3ered her 1/2..I’m on my 2nd batch now as she insists ONLY I can make it right..shhhhh!
We love your recipe for the Cashew chicken lettuce wraps. I’m wondering if you think
this peanut sauce would go good with them?
Yes, I think it would be delicious!
I just made this~and I can not stop eating it!! Is it wrong to eat it like soup?
I tried this peanut sauce before and it was amazing, now I am trying something different with it. I am always trying to figure out slowcooker recipes for the nights I work late using the jumble or ingredients I have in the fridge so this morning I took 8 cups of chopped mixed vegetables I had laying around ( in this case butternut squash, zucchini and grape tomatoes) and a can of chickpeas and threw them into the slowcooker along with the ingredients for the peanut sauce and some onions and garlic and a few cups of vegetable broth. I am going to let that cook together all day and we will have it over rice tonight, if all goes well, boom! hands off thai vegetable curry! I’ll let you know how it worked out but I think it will turn out wonderfully knowing how much I liked this sauce before.
Update, it was delicious!
This sauce is freaking awesome. It really comes out with the right consistency (once cooled especially) and the flavor is spot on.
I didn’t have unsweetened PB on hand so I ground up about 2 cups of peanuts with a bit of coconut oil in my food processor and it was perfect.
You are amazing, Chelsea! I love how you are always making recipes work for you with what you have on hand!
This is one of the best peanut sauce recipes I’ve ever made. I added a little fish sauce and maple syrup and it was PERFECT!! Thanks for sharing!
I used this as the sauce for spaghetti squash phad Thai and it was the best thing I’ve ever tasted!
Amazing! My family loves this sauce. I have made it many times. Always turns out great. I am also recommended it to many. I make it as written including adding extra red curry paste to add zing. Thanks for the awesome recipe.
This recipe is so yummy! How many calories?
I made this sauce and it was really tasty. But I had one big problem: the red oil (from the red curry paste, I guess) separated from the peanut mixture once it was heated. It literally floated to the surface and stayed there. I tried adding water (about a cup) and that seemed to help a lot. I thought the problem was fixed, but by the time I brought it to the party, it had separated again (and didn’t look so nice, although people loved the flavor). Any ideas what I did wrong, or how to fix this?
Darn, Jane! What brand of curry paste did you use?
I used Thai Home red curry paste made in Portland, OR and it worked perfectly. I would try a different red curry paste next time. I also think I used a little less than the recipe called for. I rarely measure and just go by taste. 🙂
This is my go to peanut sauce recipe! Delicious!
Thanks for sharing! Does it last long?
Yes (and it freezes great).
This is seriously the BEST stuff!! I have made it several times. I like to steam some veggies (usually cauliflower and cabbage) in my Instant Pot for 1 minute and use a little bit of this sauce to dip and it makes for a healthy, low calorie, satiating snack (I use the sauce sparingly, there’s a lot of flavor, a little goes a long way!) Sometimes I add chicken to make it a meal. I’d leave 10 stars if I could! : )
I’m allergic to coconut. I know that all Thai recipes contain it and sure wished that I could make it too. Anyway, any advice on a substitute for the coconut milk? Thanks!
Hi Jo – you could try almond milk and see how that goes!
I just made this sauce and it is so delicious. I love the fact that is was so easy to make. I did not have any curry paste. I did not feel like going to the grocery store. I used Sriracha hot chili sauce instead. It came out great! I plan to use this sauce on my pasta, salads and for dipping my veggies. I will freeze most of it for later. Thanks for a great recipe!
I tried this fresh off the stove and thought, “meh. I think it’s missing something.” But not knowing what to add, I threw it in a jar in the fridge until dinner. When I took it out again and re-tasted it I was blown away. So yummy! I guess the flavors just had to meld together. I halved the recipe and was glad I did! No matter how yummy, it’ll take me a while to use what I have.
This is delicious! Do you know if the sauce freezes well? We love it but it made a lot. Don’t want to waste any if we can’t use it all.
Yes, it freezes really well!
Haven’t tried any recipes yet, but I plan on doing so soon.
Made this tonight to go with the Coconut Milk Grilled Chicken. I halved the recipe and used regular Jif peanut butter while omitting the extra sweetener and it turned out fantastic. I will be using it on my salads this week as well. Thanks for the great site!
Easy to make, great with many dishes!
This is tasty! But it makes so much! I’m not sure how to use it all.
Would you be able to use this sauce in some of the recipes you have on your site? Are there any you would recommend?
I don’t have any recipes perfectly suited to this because we mostly use it on salads or sautéed vegetables (cabbage, potatoes, cauliflower). Let me glance through my recipes to see if any pop out at me as good ones to sub this sauce in for.
Dip it with fish cracker or prawn cracker perhaps? Long time ago when I was working as a waitress in a Thai Restaurant, they used to serve it as snack for Customer while waiting for their food to be served.
I am confused. You say JIf or Skippy are too sweet but yet you add sugar or honey. This is a contradiction. Most people have these brands in their pantry. So, I will nix the sweetener or sweeten to taste using Agave or other other sweetener like stevia. I also use Tamari (no wheat). Otherwise looks great. Thanks! : )
This Thai peanut sauce is amazing!! I typically reduce the sugar amount but absolutely love the flavour. Great receipe!
Is the rice vinegar sweetened?
I usually use unsweetened.
Tried this tonight for the first time – it was YUM!! I’m a diabetic, so I skipped the sugar, and used agave instead – worked like a dream.
ohhh myyy….I simply don’t have words for the deliciousness of this sauce.
Thanks for yet another great recipe.
Mel – My husband and I LOVE your website. Your website is the only one that we continually come back to and love. I am starting to refer to you as Mel in our home and grocery shoppping just like you are our friend! LOL. Quick question – how long does the peanut sauce stay good in the fridge?
Thanks, Davy! This sauce can stay good for a week or so, especially if the ingredients you are using are fresh.
Is there something that could replace the curry? Not a fan of it at all. But I love Thai sauce!
You’d have to experiment with different flavors – you might try googling another recipe to get inspiration.
A previous comment said Sriracha worked great. 🙂
I used honey instead of sugar – Angels were dancing on my tongue! So easy, so delicious, so versatile!! Your recipes are ALL amazing! Mahalo Nui Loa!!
I just made this for lunch. Another name for it should be Awesome Sauce!
Simply fabulous. Kids and adults loved this with pasta. We are eager to try it on chicken, veggies, etc.
The Thai peanut sauce is delicious. I made it yesterday and my family loved it. My husband, who lives with a bunch of rice lovers, and he is not, mentioned that the peanut sauce made eating rice tolerable. Thanks…
Mel – I plan to make this sauce right away and have a question about the sugar in it. I, too, like to reduce the sugar in a recipe. Is the 1/4 c. sugar here the amount you reduced it to or do you add even less? Thanks so much!
The 1/4 cup sugar in the recipe is the already reduced amount. 🙂
Oooh…I love Thai peanut sauce! The recipe I make requires lots of ingredients, though. I’m so excited to try your simplified version! Happy Easter to you and your beautiful family, Mel!
Hi Mel, I love your site! Thanks for all the great bread recipes and tutorials, I love bread. I just wanted to share a tip I got from one of my favorite cookbook authors, Ken Haedrich, who is also responsible for my favorite bread recipe, double oat bread. He says the secret for a tall loaf is to put enough tension in the dough so it springs up in the oven and not out. He recommends the jelly roll method: After punching down the dough and giving it a 5-minute rest, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a tapered oblong about 12 inches long and about as wide as your pan (kind of like a guitar pick with the narrow part pointing at you). Don’t flour your surface or the dough will not be sticky enough to get a good seal. Starting at the narrow end, roll the dough up like a jelly roll, keeping tension on it, but not so much you tear the dough. Pinch the seams together and tuck under the ends slightly. Then lay in your pans seam side down, pressing them down slightly with the palm of your hand. Try it, It works!
Amazing – wonderful taste – love your salad lunch idea !! Also look forward to grilling out soon and pouring it all over chicken kabobs – fresh peppers – onions and rice!!! Soon I hope ……warmer weather is right around the corner here in Northern Michigan !! Really love your site Mel
Great minds think alike: I’ve been making this with less sugar too! So glad you liked it.
So quick and easy! And yummy! Love this one, Mel!
I absolutely love how “real” you are! Rushed over to the video and I think it is your best. And I think most of us can identify with “skim” reading and not such good results with recipes. I always make your bread into rolls but this is good to know. Sauce ingredients sounds delicious and the method is so easy. Another exciting recipe to put forth to the family. Thank you for all the hard work behind the scenes to produce such a worthwhile, informative website.