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peanut sauce and satay
Food,  Meals & Planning,  Recipes,  Sauces and Dressings,  Special Diets

Make Easy, Delicious Peanut Sauce and Dressing in 5 Minutes


Do you want to be able to make restaurant-quality peanut sauce – or a nut-free version – at home, and in less time than it takes to read a take-out menu?


Nothing beats a creamy, coconut peanut sauce – for Pad Thai, on salads, chicken satay, tofu – it’s delicious on almost everything. Recently, I was mixing up some peanut coconut sauce to go with Pad Thai, and had a “lightbulb” moment. What if I used the extra coconut milk from my peanut sauce to make a salad dressing?!

If you have one can of coconut milk, you can make an amazing peanut coconut sauce AND peanut coconut salad dressing. At the same time, in less than 10 minutes total.



2-For-1 Peanut Sauce & Salad Dressing

All you need is a can of coconut milk (I use “light”, but you can use either) and a handful of ingredients to make a creamy, delicious, gluten-free, no-sugar-added, vegan peanut sauce and salad dressing.

BONUS: Easy modification below will make this nut free as well!


Simple Ingredients For Amazing Peanut Sauce & Salad Dressing

Coconut Milk

This is the base of both recipes – it makes up about half of the sauce and most of the salad dressing. Coconut milk gives a smooth, rich texture and imparts a subtle but not overwhelming coconut flavor.

I use the “light” version because it helps the sauce and dressing stay smooth when stored in the refrigerator. Because light coconut milk has less coconut oil/fat, it won’t solidify as much.

Peanut Butter

First, you’ll want to use creamy peanut butter for this recipe. As the name implies, chunky peanut butter will make the sauce not creamy.

Peanut – or any nut or seed butter – adds richness, a nutty flavor, and sometimes some saltiness, too.

Natural peanut butter – the kind that contains only peanuts and maybe salt – works best here. It has a more robust peanut flavor and doesn’t have added sugar, fats, etc.

Note: You can substitute any nut butter, or sunflower seed butter, or tahini for the peanut butter to make this NUT FREE.

Lime Juice & Rice Vinegar

Fresh lime juice is best if you have it, but bottled will work in a pinch. Lime juice is an acid and adds a bright, sour, citrusy flavor.

Likewise, rice vinegar adds a tangy flavor. If you don’t have rice vinegar, apple cider (or any vinegar) will work in a pinch.

Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce

Umami, baby! Umami is a savory flavor typical in meat broths and fermented foods. In addition, coconut aminos and soy sauce have a lot of sodium, so they make the sauce and dressing salty.

Remember that soy sauce usually has a lot more sodium than coconut aminos! This recipe can be made with either, but keep in mind that if you’re using coconut aminos, you may need to add more salt.

Garlic, Ginger, Red Pepper – Flavor Boosters

Garlic and ginger are essential for me; red pepper only if you like some heat.

A note on fresh ginger: For 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, a good “rule of thumb” is to break off a thumb-sized piece (pun!), then peel and mince it with a paring knife.

Peeling fresh ginger with a paring knife.

No worries if you don’t have fresh garlic or ginger. You can use dried ground garlic and ginger powder, and then – bonus – you don’t need a food processor.

Here are the ingredients I used for my last batch of sauce. I happened to have fresh garlic (rare) but no limes, so I used lemon juice instead.

Coconut Peanut Sauce Nutrition Perks

No Added Sugar

Any store-bought sauce will likely have some sugar added, but this sauce you make at home has ZERO, and it tastes awesome.

Protein

Thanks to those peanuts/nuts/seeds, a serving of this sauce provides 4 grams of protein, which is about as much as in one egg or a 1/2 cup of dairy milk.

A Little Fiber, Too

Peanut Coconut Sauce has two grams of fiber per serving as well, which may not sound like a lot, but it’s nearly 10% of the recommended fiber intake for adults.

  • The nutrition information in the recipe is based on using peanut butter, but the nutrition will be similar for any no-sugar-added nut or seed butter.

How This 2-in-1 Sauce and Dressing Recipe Works

There are basically two steps to both of these recipes:

  1. Blend/mix everything except the coconut milk.
  2. Add the coconut milk and blend/mix again.

That’s it! This recipe is super flexible, so here are a few important notes and tips on how to make it work for you:

  • In step 1, if you’re using fresh ginger and garlic, a food processor or blender is helpful because it pulverized those fresh ingredients into a smooth paste. If you aren’t using fresh ginger and garlic, or just don’t have a food processor or blender, that’s OK. Simply whisk the ingredients together, instead of using processor/blender. Note: If whisking, mince the ginger and garlic as small as possible.
  • If you don’t have fresh lime, use fresh lemons, bottled lime or lemon juice, or just extra rice vinegar. I really like the “lime-y” flavor of limes, but I don’t always have them in the house. Lemon works great, and really, you’re adding an acidic flavor, so extra rice vinegar will work in a pinch as well.
  • Peanut butter substitutes: If you don’t have/like/tolerate peanut butter, any nut butter or seed butter will work. Examples are almond, cashew, sunflower seed butters and tahini (sesame seed paste).
  • Soy Sauce substitutes: Whether you’re allergic to soy or hard-core paleo, there are several other ways to get your umami flavor. Tamari, coconut aminos, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos can be substituted just fine.


Peanut Sauce

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peanut sauce with satay

5-Minute Peanut Sauce



  • Author:
    Brook Hagen

  • Prep Time:
    5 minutes

  • Total Time:
    5 minutes

  • Yield:
    4 servings 1x

  • Diet:
    Gluten Free

Description

With a handful of ingredients and 5 minutes, you can make a delicious peanut sauce that has no added sugar, is gluten-free, and vegan. Make it nut free with an easy modification.

This sauce is perfect for dipping veggies or skewered meat, pouring over stir-fries, noodles or rice, or using as a Pad Thai sauce (my favorite).

 


Ingredients


Scale

2 tbsp fresh-squeezed (or bottled) lime juice

1 clove garlic (or 0.5 tsp garlic powder)

0.50 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos) or more to taste

2 tsp rice vinegar

3 tsp fresh ginger, minced (or 1 tsp dried powdered ginger)

0.25 cup peanut butter

0.25 cup canned light coconut milk


Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients except coconut milk.
    • If using a food processor or blender: put all ingredients except the coconut milk into the processor/blender and blend until smooth. Video demo here.
    • If mixing by hand: Put the peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power, or until the butter is warm. Then, wisk in all the other ingredients except the coconut milk until smooth.
  2. Add the coconut milk and continue blending, or whisking by hand, until the sauce is smooth.
  3. Taste and add more soy sauce/coconut aminos as needed.
  4. Enjoy as a sauce for meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, rice, or noodles.

Check out a short and very amatuer video of sauce prep at this link: https://youtu.be/r3Mir1TxQNY

Notes

  • I use light coconut milk for smoother texture (not as thick and globby when cool), but you can definitely use full-fat canned coconut milk. Note that the fat and calories will increase if you use full-fat canned coconut milk.
  • Peanut-free version: Substitute your favorite nut butter in place of peanut butter.
  • Nut-free version: Substitute sunflower seed butter or tahini in place of the peanut butter.

  • Method: mix
  • Cuisine: Thai

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3 Tablespoons
  • Calories: 106
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 225 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: gluten-free, no added sugar, vegan, nut free version, dairy-free




Creamy Peanuty Dressing

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peanut dressing on salad

5-Minute Creamy Peanuty Salad Dressing


  • Author: Brook Hagen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This is a thinner, lighter, and more vinegar-forward version of the sauce, perfect for dressing salads and using on meats, fish, eggs, veggies. It’s also a great way to use up a partial can of coconut milk.


Ingredients

Scale

2 tbsp fresh-squeezed (or bottled) lime juice

1 clove garlic (or 0.5 tsp garlic powder)

0.50 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos) or more to taste

2 tbsp rice vinegar

3 tsp fresh ginger, minced (or 1 tsp dried powdered ginger)

0.25 cup peanut butter

0.75 – 1 cup canned light coconut milk


Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients except coconut milk.
    • If using a food processor or blender: put all ingredients except the coconut milk into the processor/blender and blend until smooth.
    • If mixing by hand: Put the peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power, or until the butter is warm. Then, wisk in all the other ingredients except the coconut milk until smooth.
  2. Add the coconut milk and continue blending, or whisking by hand, until the sauce is smooth.
  3. Taste and add more soy sauce/coconut aminos as needed.
  4. Enjoy as a salad dressing or light sauce for meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, rice, or noodles.

Notes

  • I use light coconut milk for smoother texture (not as thick and globby when cool), but you can definitely use full-fat canned coconut milk. Note that the fat and calories will increase if you use full-fat canned coconut milk.
  • Peanut-free version: Substitute your favorite nut butter in place of peanut butter.
  • Nut-free version: Substitute sunflower seed butter or tahini in place of the peanut butter.
  • Method: mix

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
  • Calories: 44
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 76 mg
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: gluten-free, no added sugar, vegan, nut free version, dairy-free


In Summary …

After reading this post, you’ll be able to: 

1. Create a fabulously tasty Coconut Peanut Sauce, with a few basic (and very substitute-friendly) in 5 minutes

2. Have a nutritious sauce recipe that has no added sugar, plus some protein and fiber

3. Make this Coconut Peanut Sauce recipe do double duty – with the same ingredients, you can make either a rich sauce or light, tangy salad dressing (or both)! 


Did you found this post helpful or did you try the recipe?

If so, please leave questions and comments down below and share on social media.


Other Helpful Resources: 

2- Minute Vinaigrette Dressing – an even easier salad dressing and marinade recipe!

Magic Sauce – A tahini-based all-purpose sauce and salad dressing.

4 Steps to Amazing Salads – How to create delicious, healthy, and exciting salads.

Peanut Sauce – Want to learn more about the origins and international uses for peanut sauce? Check out Peanut Sauce’s own Wikipedia page.

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Make Easy Delicious Peanut Sauce & Salad Dressing in 5 Minutes


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