Ridiculously easy Thai peanut sauce recipe that’s slightly spicy, made in the blender and doubles as a dressing. You can add it to stir-fry, noodles, salads, and satay!
It never fails. Every year when the temperatures start to warm, I crave salads. My Costco-copy sweet kale salad is really good, and so is Panzanella salad with homemade Caesar dressing. But this time I was craving something very specific: chicken salad with Thai peanut sauce.
Thai Peanut Sauce
If the sauce is the star of the show (which this magic Thai peanut sauce DEFINITELY is), I don’t want a mediocre sauce. I wanted a sauce so good you couldn’t help but lick the spoon.
I wanted a sauce that could double as a sauce OR a dressing. You know the kind I’m talking about, right? Where it’s thin enough to work into some crunchy vegetables and get solid coverage as a dressing, but thick enough to stand up to dunking spring rolls or chunks of grilled chicken.
Yeah, and I wanted a Thai peanut sauce that would KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF too and make you feel like there was a flavor explosion in your mouth with every bite.
I wanted peanut + tang + sweet + depth with every dip, every crunch, on every forkful of whatever I was eating.
And this is it!
Thai Peanut Sauce Ingredients
Don’t be fooled by the long list of ingredients. You stick it all in the blender and whip it up in about a minute. (I use this blender.)
And just for the record, every ingredient is necessary. I’ve tried reducing and subbing and the results were not nearly as good.
For the best results, I use:
- Peanut butter
- Rice vinegar
- Lime juice
- Olive oil
- Soy sauce (I use liquid aminos; use tamari if you’re gluten-free)
- Crushed red pepper
- Fresh ginger
- Honey (or maple syrup)
Notice that I’m NOT using fish sauce or sesame oil. I love both ingredients, but this recipe is perfect without them!
How to make Thai Peanut Sauce
It is really simple:
- Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor EXCEPT the cilantro.
- Once it is creamy, add cilantro and pulse until cilantro is in small pieces.
- Use your dressing on your salad or meal and that’s it!
Put Magic Thai Peanut Sauce on a Salad
One of my favorite ways to use Thai Peanut sauce is on a Crunch Salad, which is basically a bunch of crunchy vegetables chopped up in a bowl.
You can make your own Crunch Salad by starting with 4 cups of thinly sliced Napa cabbage (which is MUCH milder in flavor than typical green cabbage) and adding 4 more cups of crunchy vegetables. Some examples:
- Matchstick carrots (use a julienne peeler to cut them quick!)
- Bell pepper (I suggest red, orange, or yellow for the mild flavors)
- English cucumber (seeded)
- Broccoli stems (buy the whole bunch and use the florets in easy homemade Alfredo sauce!)
- Sliced Brussels sprouts
- Matchstick radishes
Mix/match with what you have, what’s on sale, what’s in your garden and what your family likes. Once you top it with this Thai peanut sauce, your people will forget they’re eating a big bowl of vegetables.
And of course, feel free to top with chicken for a boost in protein.
Any chicken will do, but I recommend all-purpose slow cooker chicken, especially in the summer. All the benefits of having chicken ready for your favorite meals, without having to heat up the house!
Watch How to Make Our Thai Peanut Sauce:
Using Thai Peanut Sauce
- Add it to any Asian dish (like pad Thai!)
- Use it as a stir fry sauce
- As a dipping sauce for chicken satay or steamed shrimp
- In any noodle dish
- As a salad dressing
- With Spring rolls or dumplings
- Mix with coconut milk for an AMAZING sauce
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp lime juice (about 1½ limes)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce (I use liquid aminos)
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- 1" fresh ginger, sliced
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic (about 2-3 garlic cloves)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp honey
- ¼ cup cilantro
Adapted from Once Upon a Chef.