This flavorful and EASY peanut sauce recipe uses just 5 ingredients and can be whipped up in under 2 minutes! Peanut butter sauce is delicious as a dip for veggies or spring rolls, a salad dressing, on cold noodles, or over chicken.
Easy Peanut Sauce
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that foodies are passionate about their peanut sauce. If you google it and click on 5 different recipes, you’ll probably find 5 very different techniques for making it, along with a wide variety of ingredients…
Some peanut sauce recipes use a food processor, some call for simmering the sauce, while still others just stir everything together. And then there’s the debate between sambal oelek and sweet red chili sauce. Oh, and should you roast and grind your own peanuts, or just press the easy button and use peanut butter?
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Quick 2-Minute Peanut Sauce
If you’ve been hanging around for any length of time, I’m sure you can guess which end of the spectrum my peanut sauce recipe falls on in most of these debates. Which is pretty much whatever is the easiest, quickest, and most flavorful way to achieve the desired results!
If I don’t need to wash another pan or dirty up my food processor, you can bet I’m not dragging either one out. And I FOR SURE am not wasting my time roasting and grinding peanuts when a good dollop of creamy natural peanut butter will do the trick.
As for the spice factor? Well, I personally would gravitate toward the extra heat sambal oelek provides, but sweet red chili sauce is a little more family friendly (and easier to locate at the grocery store), so it’s what I’ve used in this recipe.
All that to say this: if you’re looking for an authentic Thai peanut sauce recipe, you’ll probably want to move on to another recipe. Or maybe not… Because if you’re looking for an amazingly flavorful and EASY peanut sauce that’s super versatile? You’ve DEFINITELY come to the right place.
How To Make Peanut Sauce
Once you see how ridiculously easy it is to make this peanut butter sauce, you’re going to want to have a jar on hand at all times. We’re talking under 2 minutes using just 5 simple ingredients: creamy natural peanut butter, sweet red chili sauce, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and honey. That’s it!
I’m betting you already have most of these ingredients on hand, excepting perhaps the sweet red chili sauce. No worries! Nearly every grocery store carries it in the Asian foods section, so pick some up on your next trip. It adds a tangy sweet and sour flavor with just the barest hint of heat, making this a perfectly family-friendly peanut sauce.
As for how to make peanut sauce? Well, you simply stir the ingredients together with a spoon or a whisk! A whisk is a little quicker, but just grab whatever is closest, so you can dive into this luscious homemade peanut sauce all the faster.
A Few Peanut Sauce Tips
After having made this easy peanut sauce dozens of times (my kids simply CAN’T GET ENOUGH!), I’ve learned a thing or two along the way:
- Kicking it up a notch — I intentionally kept this peanut butter sauce on the mild side to make it kid friendly. Upping the heat is super simple, though. Stir in a little more sweet red chili sauce to increase the heat just slightly. Or if you want to go really bold (my preference), stir in some of the sambal oelek I mentioned previously. I recommend starting slowly and tasting as you go.
- How to thin peanut sauce — Adding water is the simplest way to thin peanut sauce out, but I wait until I’ve combined the other ingredients to do so. We like it thicker for dipping, but if you want to drizzle it as a dressing, you’ll want to thin it out a little more.
- Adding texture — Sometimes I like a little texture in my peanut sauce, especially when I’m using it over chicken or with noodles. I feel like chunky peanut butter just doesn’t give enough, so I always make it with creamy natural peanut butter and then add my own texture in the form of chopped unsalted roasted peanuts. They also make for a beautiful garnish!
However you customize it, you can be sure that this easy peanut sauce is going to become a family favorite. I’ll just go ahead and warn you now that it’s more than slightly addictive… But when a recipe is this simple to throw together, I’m okay with that!
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How long will peanut sauce keep in the refrigerator?
Peanut sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to one week. Although, chances are, it will be gone long before that!
Can peanut sauce be frozen?
Yes, this peanut sauce recipe freezes well! Again, place it in a covered container, and it will keep in your freezer for up to 3 months.
What does peanut sauce go with?
Um, anything and everything?! This peanut sauce recipe is perfect for Asian slaws, cold peanut noodle salads, as a chicken satay sauce, as a dip for spring rolls. Oh, and it makes THE most amazing peanut butter chicken! It’s also delicious as a salad dressing or slaw dressing when it’s thinned out.
And last, but not least, it’s a fabulous dip for both fruits and veggies — blackberries, carrots, peppers, and snap peas are some of my faves. I’m thinking about making these fun veggie cups with peanut butter sauce, instead of ranch dressing… All the fun, but less worry of spoilage on a hot summer day!
I’d love to see how you’re using your easy peanut sauce… Tag me @Unsophisticook on Instagram or use the hashtag #Unsophisticook so I can check it out. Enjoy!
Thursday 23rd of March 2023
I've never thought about pairing peanuts/Peanut sauce with blackberries! hmmm. May have to give it a shot ;P
Saturday 18th of February 2023
Hi there. I’m very basic and kindof wimpy with flavors. Could I leave the chili sauce out completely? Thanks.
Saturday 18th of February 2023
Hi Ellie! Sweet red chili sauce is really not very spicy at all, and the fat content of the peanut butter dulls it even more. The peanut sauce would be very thick without it. Maybe you could try adding just a tablespoon and go from there?
Tuesday 24th of January 2023
This is so delicious! I was in the middle of preparing a chicken broccoli bowl and realized the bottled peanut sauce we had was way past expiration date. I whipped this up in a few minutes and will never buy peanut sauce from the store again! My fiancé raved about it, too.
Sunday 21st of November 2021
What can I substitute the chili sauce with?
Sunday 21st of November 2021
Hi Dori! It won't be quite the same, but you could substitute sriracha or spicy ketchup for the chili sauce.
Friday 8th of January 2021
We were already grilling our chicken satay and realized that we didn't have any peanut sauce. This 2 minute recipe was easy and tasted it great! It was a hit with the family.
Saturday 9th of January 2021
So happy you all loved it, Cheryl!