The classic Thai Peanut Sauce gets a gluten-free makeover but we kept all the fabulous Asian flavors. Gluten-free peanut sauce doesn't require cooking, it whips up in just 5 minutes. Delicious has never been so easy! Make it mild or spicy, we have all the tips and tricks for the perfect Thai peanut sauce.
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Peanut sauce (regular or our best peanut-free Paleo version) should be creamy, a little spicy, a little sweet, and very savory. Use it as a dip for spring rolls, a sauce for noodles, or use it in our quick and easy Thai chicken recipe.
Peanut butter is the main ingredient in peanut sauce. I really hope that wasn't a surprise. You may be wondering if we can really make a reasonable substitution.
Nut Butter- We use almond butter for a paleo version of everyone's favorite Thai sauce. The sauce will look more grainy but it will taste smooth and creamy. But that isn't the only option. You can use sunflower butter for a nut-free version.
I like cashew butter for a change of pace. You can even make it with cashew butter for a fun twist. Or course if you stumbled over here and you aren't actually avoiding peanuts- then peanut butter is fine too.
Ginger- Fresh ginger is a must for this peanut sauce. Dry isn't going to cut it.
Garlic- Always use fresh. If you aren't a big garlic fan you can use roasted garlic to tone down the pungent flavor.
Soy Sauce- We use tamari, a gluten-free soy sauce. You can also substitute coconut aminos to keep it soy free.
Lime- You are going to need the juice and zest of one lime. This rich salty sauce needs acid to keep the flavor bright.
Rice Vinegar- Always a must in just about every Asian sauce I can think of. You can substitute white wine vinegar if you're out of rice vinegar.
Crushed Red Pepper- This is where many peanut sauces differ. Often they call for Sambal Olek or a Chili Paste. And while I love both of those flavors I prefer simply crushed red pepper. The flavor is easier to control and I always have it on hand.
The recipe, as written, is light on spice. Personally, I prefer to double up the crushed red pepper.
This peanut sauce is sugar-free. Traditional peanut sauces often add sugar either by using processed peanut butter or adding hoisin that has added sugar. I don't find it necessary.
However, if you are going to add sweetener I recommend adding coconut sugar or honey. About 1 tablespoon will do.
⏲️How to Make Gluten-Free Peanut Sauce
Typically we go into detail about how to make our recipes. But in this case, it seems rather unnecessary. Pile all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Whirr to perfection. Taste for heat. Done.
So instead we are going to give you a few tips and tricks before sending you on your way.
- Add warm water to thin the sauce. To make a salad dressing I use about ¼ cup of water. I typically always add at least 1 tablespoon of warm water when using a dip.
- Add a small amount of coconut milk for a twist and to smooth out the sauce.
- Whether you make this recipe with almond butter or decide to stick with the classic peanut butter make sure it is all-natural. Just the nuts and salt. No added sugar.
How to Use Peanut Sauce
This sauce has so many uses from grilled chicken to salads. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use this recipe.
- Use it as the base for a swimming rama sauce
- As a dip for veggies
- Sub out the avocado sauce and make a Thai-style spicy coleslaw
- Use as a marinade for grilled chicken satay
- As a dip for summer rolls
Peanut sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and chill. Bring to room temperature before using it.
You can make a double batch of this Asian peanut sauce and store it in the freezer for up to two months.
More Easy Sauce Recipes
We are big fans of simple sauce recipes. Plain food is not allowed in this house! Here are a few more of our favorites. And they all take between 5 and 10 minutes. Woot woot!
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Gluten- Free Peanut Sauce
- Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend 1 minute or until smooth. Taste for heat and add more red pepper as needed.½ cup peanut butter, all-natural, 2 tablespoon tamari gluten free soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, ½ lime, 1 1" piece fresh ginger, 2 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- The sauce can be thinned down with lukewarm water to form a dressing.1 tablespoon warm water
- This recipe can be made up to three days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- This recipe will keep for two months in the freezer.