Everyday Satay Sauce


Satay sauce is a wonderfully rich, peanut sauce that tends to be naturally dairy-free. It’s also extremely versatile. You can use it as a marinade for chicken or tofu, as a dipping sauce, with noodles, or even as a Thai-style sauce on pizza (no cheese required!).

Everyday Satay Sauce Recipe - use it as a marinade, dip or sauce. Naturally dairy-free and vegan with gluten-free, soy-free and peanut-free options.

Special Diet Notes: Satay Sauce

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

For soy-free satay sauce, you can swap in coconut aminos. This substitute is a little sweeter and less salty, so I would up it to 3 tablespoons and reduce the brown sugar to 1 tablespoon.

For peanut-free and nut-free satay sauce, use sesame oil or your cooking oil of choice and use sunflower seed butter in place of the peanut butter.

Everyday Satay Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: about 16 servings
  • 4 teaspoons peanut or sesame oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (see note below)
  • ⅓ cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons soy sauce or wheat-free tamari (for gluten-free)
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute more.
  2. Whisk in the peanut butter, coconut milk, chili sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar until relatively smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
  3. If it thickens too much for your needs, whisk in a little water to your desired consistency.
Coconut Milk: This is regular coconut milk that comes in cans or little aseptic packages, not coconut milk beverage. It should be quite rich. For a thinner sauce, you can use light canned coconut milk. Using coconut milk beverage will produce a runnier sauce.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Florentino Killion on

    Whipped up a rich, exotic pasta sauce with the peanut butter, soy sauce, crushed garlic, coconut cream, sesame oil and a dash of chili sauce. Tossed with hot spaghetti and garnish with fresh cilantro. This spicy peanut sauce is perfect for tossing with pasta and veggies.

  2. I am loving this satay sauce, especially because I’ve been in to fresh spring rolls lately and this would be so much better than the store bought version! Pinning for later!

  3. Ooooo I love new sauces I can try!!! We have been grilling up a storm this summer – but plain chicken breasts are getting kind of bleh. I bet this satay sauce would be a perfect dipper for my bland chicken (and a million other things). Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Peanut sauce is one of my favorite things. I could eat it with a spoon!! I don’t think I’ve ever used coconut milk in mine…sounds delicious!

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