We all have those fall-back meals, those comfort foods, those simple, flexible recipes that we make on the fly for an easy dinner. For me, most of those dinners are Asian-influenced, and a few involve peanut sauce. How I make it varies on our cravings and other components of the meal, but this version is what I refer to as our go-to Thai Peanut Sauce.
Dairy-Free Thai Peanut Sauce made with Everyday Ingredients
I’m quite sure this Thai peanut sauce isn’t authentic, but it also doesn’t require any specialty ingredients – just simple pantry ingredients that you likely keep on hand and some fresh limes. But it is delicious and the flavor is definitely Asian influenced.
I use lite canned coconut milk, which is richer than coconut milk beverage, but much lighter than full-fat canned coconut milk. It’s the perfect consistency, and usually sold in Asian food section of most supermarkets. I also use San-J Wheat-Free Tamari, Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter if we’re feeling fancy), local honey, and spices from Simply Organic (my favorite!).
Suggestions for Serving Thai Peanut Sauce
Pictured here is a simple dish of rice, steamed sweet potatoes and spinach, topped with the Thai peanut sauce. I enjoyed this for a light lunch.
But this 10-minute Thai peanut sauce is amazing with most leafy greens, broccoli, bok choy, bell peppers, cauliflower, parsnips … I could go on. You can serve it over rice noodles, brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower-rice and optionally pair it with a neutral protein, chicken, pork or tempeh (for vegan). It is a fantastic addition to basic bowl meals.
This post was originally sponsored by So Delicious Dairy Free, but they discontinued the product we used. The recipe has been updated.
Special Diet Notes: Easy Thai Peanut Sauce
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, optionally grain-free, tree nut-free, optionally vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
For peanut-free Thai peanut sauce (yes, you read that correctly), use creamy unsweetened sunflower seed butter or almond butter in place of the peanut butter. It will change the taste slightly, but is still versatile and delicious.
For soy-free Thai peanut sauce, you can substitute coconut aminos for the soy sauce. Coconut aminos are definitely not a true sub for soy sauce – the flavor is a bit different and it has less salt – so I recommend taste testing and adjusting the sweetness and saltiness of the recipe to taste if using coconut aminos.
For paleo, use both the peanut-free and soy-free options.
- ½ cup lite canned coconut milk
- ¼ to ⅓ cup unsalted or lightly salted creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons honey or agave nectar (can sub maple syrup)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or wheat-free tamari (for gluten-free)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon powdered ginger
- Place all ingredients in your blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan, and heat over medium heat, while whisking, until it thickens to your desired consistency ~ this takes about 3 minutes for a thick sauce.
- Serve warm. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
This sauce looks delicious! Any sauce using peanuts is my favorite. Haha
I love this recipe! And I was *just* doing meal planning, so I’m integrating it 🙂
I have to admit, I usually use jarred sauce, but this looks totally doable – and delish!
you know what’s funny is I have been trying to figure out a new sauce. I tend to just use hummus as a sauce on anything, ha! I am such a salad sink kind of meal planner, every veggie and whatever protein is available make a lot of my meals!
I’m with you on the salads! I wish my husband would do salads for dinner sometimes, but at least I’ve got him trained on greens for lunch 🙂
My favorite easy sauce is Isa’s miso tahini sauce on her Roasty Soba Bowl!
Oh yum, that whole combo sounds amazing Jacky!
I am in love! This looks just perfect and I can’t wait to tackle it.
Thanks Ginny – I hope you do get the chance to enjoy!
My go-to meal will always be a big bowl of oatmeal with protein powder or a tofu and vegetable stir-fry. Quick, easy, and delicious.
Yes, you can’t beat oatmeal or a good stir-fry – both quick and comforting!
I just discovered the culinary coconut milk last week – I LOVE it, so much easier than opening up a can for a tiny bit of milk!
I know, it’s so awesome that they’re resealable!
My fav go to sauce is pesto. Olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and any fresh herb. Last one I did was dill, I live mint.
Dill! What a fun idea!
Sounds awesome! Super easy (thank you!) and delicious. And of course, everything is better with coconut and peanut butter. 🙂
I love peanut sauce and always find an excuse to use it for our dishes so this is a very handy recipe for sure! I love the zing from the ginger and love that you also added some alternatives for other dietary needs! Thanks!
Anything with peanut butter is a winner! This sauce looks perfect and it’s so versatile for pasta, grains and potatoes, fantastic recipe, Alisa!
Peanut Sauce is so good on almost everything! I love how easy this recipe is.
Agreed Marye – I simply can’t get enough of it!
That’s my favorite coconut milk to cook with!!! So great for sauces and perfect for peanut!
I know, mine too, I can’t believe how rich it is!
Have never made a coconut milk based sauce. Defo going to give this a try
Really? Yes, a must! So many great Asian sauces to explore – I mean, where would curry be without coconut milk? 🙂
Peanut sauce always makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Love this! Thanks for creating this wicked AWESOME recipe Alisa! Love that it’s not drenched in oil as well, which some recipes / restaurants tend to make it as. YUM! Will go great with rice paper rolls.
Thanks Levan and agreed – TOTAL comfort food!
Looks good. Too bad my children are picky :(. I find it hard to cook something that they will eat. I recently bought Family Friendly Fat Burning Meals, so I got a huge list of healthy recipes that helps me and my husband stay fit. Oh, and my children love them. 🙂
That’s great Lisa! But it would be great if you stop spamming my posts with comments about your reviews 🙂
This looks amazing, I love peanut sauce! But I don’t eat it often because I have a peanut allergy kid, so thanks for providing a peanut free option 🙂
Always happy to give options – and we’ve made peanut sauce many times w/ SunButter or almond butter – still great!
peanut sauce is often my quick go to, usually over a bowl of quinoa + veggies. I love your addition of ginger!
Yes! And ginger makes it so much better than garlic.
I love how simple this sauce is! I can think of at least 100 ways I could use it. I can’t wait to try it for lunch this week!
I hope you get the chance to enjoy it Susan!