The classic Thai Peanut Sauce gets a paleo makeover but we kept all the fabulous Asian flavors. Thai peanut sauce doesn't require cooking, it whips up in just 5 minutes. Delicious has never been so easy!
We substituted almonds for peanuts for the easiest paleo sauce recipe around. Make it mild or spicy, we have all the tips and tricks for perfect the Thai peanut sauce.
Please read the entire post for tips and tricks to ensure a perfect recipe every time. And don't forget to tag @peelwithzeal on Instagram so we can admire your creation!
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Thai Peanut sauce (regular or our best peanut-free version) should be creamy, a little spicy, a little sweet, and very savory. Use as a dip, a sauce for noddles, or even recreate you favorite Thai takeout dish at home.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions
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 smoked 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.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
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.
- 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.
- Add warm water to thin the sauce. To make a salad dressing I use about 1/4 cup of water.
- Add a small amount of coconut milk for twist and to smooth out the sauce.
- Whether you make this recipe with the 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.
- To make a sweet version, add 1 tablespoon of honey.
How to Use Thai 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 coleslaw
- Use as a marinade for grilled chicken satay
- As a dip for summer rolls
Other 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!
Easy Paleo Thai "Peanut" Sauce
- Food processor or blender
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter sub almond butter for Paleo
- 2 Tbsp tamari gluten free soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 lime, juice and zest
- 1 1" piece of ginger, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper plus more for garnish
- Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend 1 minute or until smooth. Taste for heat and add more red pepper as garnish.
- The sauce can be thinned down with luke warm water to form a dressing.
- Thai peanut sauce can be made up to three days in advance
- This recipe will keep up two months in the freezer