This is the peanut sauce that was intended to be easy, quick, every day sauce and then things just kept getting thrown into the blender. Lots of finger dipping, tasting...more ginger! dip. add coconut! dip. more spice! What I have below is a general recipe, but you'll need to taste and adjust as you wish. I may have lost track of a half teaspoon here or there. We didn't want it so peanuty that it resembled more of a spread for toast than an asian sauce, so the coconut milk and bit of toasted sesame oil help rein that in (see note). We like lots of ginger, always citrus, just enough spice to warm your throat and poof, a great sauce that will be used for a number or quick dishes this weekend. The photo here shows it on a simple asian sandwich with seared tofu, cucumber, carrots and scallions but I also plan on using it as a dressing for a quinoa and kale salad or making some spring rolls packed with veggies with this on the side for dipping. However you wish, meals seem to come together quite quickly with a good sauce on hand.

PANTRY PEANUT SAUCE // Makes about 1.5 cups

I imagine this would last a good two weeks in the fridge without comprimising too much on flavor. Don't quote me, I don't see it lasting long enough to tell, but it's an educated guess.

  • 1 cup creamy, unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
  • zest and juice of one large lime
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp. light coconut milk or water, as needed*
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional

Add all of the ingredients besides cilantro to a powerful blender or food processor and run until smooth. Taste and adjust as preferred. Add the cilantro, give it another few pulses and keep in an airtight jar in the fridge.

* I used coconut milk for thinning because I had some open. It also helped cut the peanut butter flavor and made it a bit more savory. Water will work fine to thin, just expect the peanut flavor to be more forward. It will firm up a bit in the fridge, so keep that in mind while choosing your consistency.

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Reader Comments (56)

Brilliant! Now I want to make soba noodles dressed in this... or chicken skewers... or, oh, shrimp crackers with this for dipping! Thanks for the inspiration.

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane, Abroad

As I'm not American, I don't have an unconditional love for peanut butter. But this sauce? Man, I want to make it!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSini

I love love love this sauce. It's so versatile, it goes with so many dishes!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike

yum, yum, yum! i can see this being used for so many things!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimply Life

Beautiful + Delicious. Thank you.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I make a pantry peanut dressing a lot, though I'm am considerably less organized about it, just pulling bottles out of the fridge and shaking it all together in a jar. I'll then change up the consistency as I use it, thickening it with more peanut butter for use as a dumpling dipping sauce, thinning it back out for salads. One of my fav. standbys.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMolly @WonderlandK

If I had to pick a favorite condiment, peanut sauce would be it. Embarrassingly enough, after a month of existing on Thai peanut stir fry dinners, I only just learned how to make peanut sauce at home, last week. I can't wait to try your version with toasted sesame oil - sounds delicious.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshlae

I've never really been completely happy with any peanut sauces I've attempted to make in the past, so I shelved the idea and haven't tried in a while. Your post just changed my mind! This looks delicious and I really love the addition of a bit of coconut milk. Yum!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

This looks soooo good! Can't wait to make some. Thanks for sharing your beautiful food skilzz... ;)

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLogan

Yum. Peeeerfect for spring rolls! Love the addition of the coconut milk. Thanks Sara! :)

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYumi

Looks like a wonderful sauce, will try it soon. Thank you!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartha Perry

This sounds wonderful--tangy & complex. I tend to find homemade peanut sauces too salty for some reason, so I'm always looking for a really great recipe. I think this might be it!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEileen

Allergic to peanuts...looking forward to trying this with almond butter! Congrats to you both on the upcoming book -- can't wait to have my very own copy :-) You are a source of joy and inspiration!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterL

oh. my. heavens. i can't wait to try this! i've never found a recipe that looked worthy of making a peanut sauce, and kept forgetting to start wrangling my own together. OF COURSE i can look to you for a stunner. sounds rich & luscious & complex. thank you!!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterheather

I am thinking about trying it with sunflower butter too.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartha Perry

Ahh! This is too funny, I just (like 5 minutes ago) published a recipe for spring rolls that contain sesame seed-sprinkled tofu like the recipe in your cookbook, and a similar peanut sauce adapted from Mark Bittman to go along with it. Your sauce looks prettier than mine, though—love the addition of ginger, too.

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathryne

one of the many reasons I love reading your blog - you're never tied to *exact* measurements. for me, i love estimating, adding this and adding that, and not being tied down to a specific recipe.

also, i like the 3-way picture montage! i keep meaning to re-format my own blog to be able to adjust my pictures more, but I can't seem to find the time ;(. thanks for the motivation!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterheather @ chiknpastry

This is similar to my go-to sauce for noodle dishes and spring rolls except I don't ever use coconut milk- I think I'm going to have to change that!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Sara, this looks PERFECT for adding a little something yummy and out of the ordinary to plain, routine weeknight dinners! Thank you sooooooooo much! We love peanut sauce, especially quick and easy versions. Yay for you.... always! :) Can't wait to try it!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

This sounds great! Really, anything with peanut butter is a go-to for me, but I see this sauce used on so many things. Can't wait to try it. Thank you!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJill @ 42potatoes

looks incredibly good. you mean REIN! not REIGN!

August 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkim

You read my mind. (Wouldn't be the first time). Want (NEED) a batch of this on hand, for everything, right about now. Have you had it dribbled over seared tofu and steamed broccoli? Unfairly delicious. Or raw spinach, steamed by hot tofu and warmed sauce? Ditto that.

Can you hear my feet tapping (impatiently) for the book? tap tap tap TAP....


August 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermolly

Peanut sauce is such an important pantry staple! Love this!

I just found your blog (thanks Taylor Sterling!) and am in love. Lately I've been trying to pay more attention to what I put in to my body and how it makes me feel. I'm learning along the way that strict diets are not for me, and neither is cutting out a million different food groups (although I am a vegetarian so meat has been gone from my diet for many years). I love that your blog and recipes feature so many different types of food that are super healthy and fresh without having to cut out things like grains and sugers all together. I can't wait to try some of the recipes!

P.S. Hugh, your photography is just absolutely amazing!

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJackie @ Daydreamer

These photos are beautiful and this looks delicious!

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFull Flavored Life

That sandwich looks amazing, I want to take a bit from it! :D

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIlan @ LASIK surgeron

I need some of this peanut sauce in my fridge & in my life. I can't wait to give this a try - love the idea of using coconut milk to thin it down - I think the coconut would be a good foil to the flavour of the peanut butter.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCouscous & Consciousness

I love peanut sauces! Can't wait to try this one.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterallularpunk

Wow-o-wow, made this tonight and put it on veggie spring rolls. Followed your recipe to a T. Had to resist not eating the whole batch with a spoon. I'm a new reader thanks to a great friend who sent me this recipe. I think your blog will become a go-to for me. Thank you!

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Love this idea. I'm in Kenya right now; and you can go down the road to get some fresh peanut butter ground for you. It's amazing, and would be perfect for a sauce like this...I'll try to smuggle some home. Hope you're well! --S

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Love this post! This recipe sounds similar to a peanut sauce I make and mix into chilled soba noodles. So addicting!

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteradrienne

Just made this for lunch! Mixed it with udon noodles and topped with shredded carrot, red pepper, cilantro, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Yum! thanks for the idea.

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSymphonic Chef

Tried this tonight. Can I say... yuuuuuuum. I might possibly be eating it out of the blender with a spatula. Maybe.

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRuth

YES! I love peanut sauce! Only a genius would put peanut sauce on a delicious sandwich to make it even more stellar. Good thinking!

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulia {The Roasted Root}

yum yum yum yum - sounds good enough to eat with my fingers alone!

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa @ Project Zen

I love a good, fast, quick and every day peanut sauce - and with coconut milk, even better!

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAverie @ Averie Cooks

I just discovered you blog thanks to Cannelle Vanille, I'm looking forward to reading you book and following your posts !

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTaste it if you can

Very tasty! I was inspired by your recipe and made raw version of it for myself. LOVE the combination of flavors used!

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFelicia Clark

I made this the other day and have not been able to stop eating it - its like crack! i literally licked the bowl as if it was cake mix

August 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJules

Hi, just found your blog via 101cookbooks! Quick question, what peanut butter would you suggest for this? I usually use one from Whole Foods or Trader Joe's.

August 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

@susan - hi! I like the organic one from trader joes. I use smooth for the recipe.

August 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterSara

I just made my pantry peanut sauce tonight as a side dipping sauce for potstickers - and it was a lot like this one. I didn't think of coconut milk, that sounds like an awesome addition. I use thai chili sauce instead of pepper flakes also. I have in the past used stock to thin out the sauce (either chicken or veggie depending on your tastes) - they work to tone down the peanut flavour a bit as well. Wonderful pictures.

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

This looks absolutely delicious! Too bad my husband's allergic to peanuts...but maybe I can whip some up for myself one of these days. It looks great on that sandwich and it sounds awesome with potstickers, as another commenter said.

August 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Rose

Wow - I am bookmarking this one. My whole family (except me) loves peanut sauce! So, I'll be making it by popular demand!

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

Thank you. I made this the other day and it blew my mind.

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralison

Tried this sauce and is very good with about anything, thanks for the idea. I actually made 2 sauces, yours was one and the other was barefoot contessa 'scechuan noodle' sauce. I like the idea of adding coconut water, I may have to try that with hers, you may like hers too.

September 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

Sara I made this last night and it was AMAZING with oven roasted tofu and veggies over soba noodles! It will now be a staple in my fridge :)

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMegan Labun

Brilliant sauce!!! Absolutely!
Even if I was out of peanut so I swapped for almond butter this time, works wonderfully too.
Thank you so much, will be repeating this!

September 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

I just made a version of this with some sweet curry powder for dinner today, and OH MY GOODNESS it was so yummy! Tasted just like the peanut sauce you get at Thai places :D

January 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMagdalen

Made this today along with the lentil summer rolls-soooooo good. I added a bit more water to loosen it up, but followed the recipe other than that. Definitely a keeper.

April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

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