Healthy Thai Peanut Butter Sauce (Vegan & Easy)

by Alena
Oct 10, 2020
glass jar of creamy vegan peanut butter sauce and spoon on a white plate next to ginger, garlic and dates

If you’re into Asian flavors, this healthy Thai peanut butter sauce will totally be your jam! Ready in under 5 minutes and made in a blender, it packs a whole lot of creaminess, nutrients and authentic Thai spices.

Honestly, we could eat this vegan peanut butter sauce with just about anything. It’s become our latest obsession, and we regularly make larger batches of it to pour over quick stir-fries, rice or noodle dishes, salads or tofu!

It’s everything we want a good, slightly spicy sauce to be. Our sauce is made with everyday plant-based staple foods that are most likely already in your kitchen, incredibly creamy and perfect for a plethora of dishes, making it a really versatile delight that can be stored for up to a week!

This Pad Thai peanut sauce packs some serious Asian flavor and is reminiscent of traditional satay sauce — which actually originated in Indonesia, not Thailand.

It’s deliciously tangy, zesty and has just the right amount of spiciness. No matter if used for a salty veggie or summer roll dip, poured over carby noodles or stirred into vegan curry, our healthy Thai peanut butter sauce has serious potential to become one of your staple sauces.

Just like many of our condiments, it’s a simple beginner level recipe that doesn’t even require any cooking and is also great on vegan wraps!

Let’s see what makes this recipe different and so amazing and, most importantly, what’s needed to create some delicious vegan peanut butter sauce in minutes!

white table with a plate and a glass jar containing vegan peanut butter sauce and a wooden spoon

Is Peanut Sauce Healthy?

While recipes for peanut butter sauce can vary widely, they are all based on peanuts which are a health-promoting legume. If you’re looking for an easy, homemade vegan sauce, this is certainly a good option! 

However, be careful what you add to your vegan peanut butter sauce. Most recipes and restaurant versions are made with a good amount of oil, sugar and salt — which make Thai peanut butter sauce irresistibly tasty but doesn’t contribute to our health in the long run.

When ordering a vegetable dish with Thai peanut butter sauce at a restaurant, be aware that it’s not automatically vegan! This cuisine often uses fish sauce or shrimp paste for flavoring, so be sure to ask.

What’s true for pretty much any peanut sauce is that it’s comparably high in calories and fat. Now, this doesn’t mean that it’s unhealthy, just that the calories can easily add up when pouring this goodness all over your veggies and noodles (like we love to do!).

If you’re allergic to peanuts, then this is obviously very unhealthy for you — but our whole food plant-based peanut butter sauce recipe is pretty much the healthiest version for anyone else.

And as we always like to add in terms of condiments: they should only make up a small amount of your plate and won’t make or break your entire diet. It’s what you choose to eat with them (i.e. chicken, tofu or veggies) that will move the needle.

woman in white apron standing in front of a large white bowl with raw vegan pad thai and pouring peanut butter sauce over the vegetables

The Best Thai Peanut Butter Sauce

If you’ve been looking for a way to dress up boring veggies and make them irresistibly delicious, look no further than this Thai peanut butter sauce.

While our recipe calls for dates as a natural sweetener, you can swap them for a drizzle of maple or agave syrup and just whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl!

35+ Healthy Vegan Condiments
top view of table with a bowl of soy sauce and a plate with lime, garlic and ginger on which female hands are stirring peanut butter

Ingredients for This Vegan Peanut Butter Sauce

  • Peanut Butter — hopefully already in your home, this is your nutritious and creamy base.
  • Soy Sauce — adding lots Asian flavor, depth and saltiness; can be replaced for Tamari if you need this peanut sauce to be 100% gluten-free.
  • Lime Juice — a touch of zing, freshness and supports plant-based iron absorption!
  • Garlic — we like to use fresh garlic when possible but you can go for powdered, too.
  • Ginger — every good Asian recipe needs some of that authentic spice.
  • Dates — our favorite natural sugar replacement which can be swapped for maple or agave syrup.
  • Cayenne & Garlic — because we love our Thai peanut butter sauce to be hot and spicy-ish! These can be adjusted to your preference.

We hope that you’re pretty familiar with all of these so you can start making our healthy vegan peanut sauce in just a moment. Let’s check out how to make it!

How to Make Healthy Peanut Butter Sauce From Scratch

Just a few minutes and a blender are needed to make our healthy vegan peanut butter sauce from scratch.

Since our recipe isn’t just oil-free (saving you a bunch of calories and saturated fats) but also refined sugar-free, you need a blender to incorporate the dried dates we use as a natural sweetener.

All you have to do is to add all of the ingredients to a blender jar (starting with only half of the water and working your way up to your desired consistency) and blend until smooth.

If you don’t have a good quality blender to work with, it’s best to soak and drain your dates first.

For a lower fat version, you can even swap some of the peanut butter for PB2 powder, which offers all the flavor but 85% fewer calories from fat. Just follow the package instructions to replace the peanut butter.

Finally, adjust to your taste preference by adding more soy sauce, cayenne pepper or any other component. Serve immediately as a dip or dressing — here’s how we like to enjoy this healthy peanut butter sauce.

white table with a small white plate and a glass jar filled with creamy peanut butter sauce and a wooden spoon

How Do You Eat Vegan Peanut Sauce?

Often served with chicken or beef, here are many delicious plant-based options for what goes well with peanut butter sauce!

The best and arguably most traditional way to have Thai peanut butter sauce is with a good old Pad Thai!

Easy Raw Pad Thai Recipe

How to Store Vegan Thai Peanut Butter Sauce

Since this healthy peanut sauce works well for meal prep, you can make a larger batch of it and place in an airtight container in the fridge where it keeps well for up to a week. 

It can also be frozen (either as one large serving or smaller servings in ice cube trays!) and thawed at your convenience. Should the consistency change over time, simply whisk and add more liquid as needed!

two bowls of colorful spiralized veggies topped with edamame, tofu and a creamy peanut butter sauce

Allergic to Peanuts?

We’ve made this delicious Thai peanut butter sauce with almond butter and cashew butter before — both of these are wonderful replacements for peanuts if you cannot have them.

Be aware that they change the flavor of the sauce, and if you go with another nut or seed butter instead of peanut butter, we recommend adding some thick coconut milk for an authentic Thai touch.

More Easy Vegan Sauce Recipes

Our favorite way of enjoying whole food plant-based dishes that include lots of veggies is to drown them in some secretly healthy homemade sauce or dressing! Here are a few recipes you can try next.

Have you tried our healthy vegan peanut butter sauce? Share with us in the comments below, rate our recipe and Pin it for later. You can also tag us on Instagram if you made it – we’d love to see your creations.

white table with a small white plate and a glass jar filled with creamy peanut butter sauce and a wooden spoon

Healthy Thai Peanut Butter Sauce

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Easy 5-minute vegan Thai peanut butter sauce that’s whole food plant-based, sugar-free and secretly healthy! Perfect for any stir-fries, veggie dishes, tofu, summer rolls or to serve traditionally as a Pad Thai peanut sauce. Easy to make gluten-free and as spicy as you like!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (low-sodium if needed)
  • 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 dates, pitted
  • ½ tsp cayenne or red chili flakes
  • ½ cup water (120 ml)

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender jar, starting with only half the amount of water. Blend to create a smooth consistency, adding more of the water if needed.
  2. Try some of the peanut butter sauce and adjust with more cayenne, soy sauce or lime juice as needed.
  3. Serve as a thick dip for raw veggies or crackers (topped with crushed peanuts) or thin it out more to pour over Pad Thai salad, Buddha bowls, Asian noodles and tofu dishes.
  4. This Thai peanut butter sauce should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge where it keeps well for up to a week. It can also be frozen and thawed at your convenience.

Notes

  • If you’re strictly gluten-free, swap the soy sauce for tamari.
  • Instead of water, you can use some creamy coconut milk for a different flavor and some added calories. Any other plant-based milk works, too.
  • For some more spiciness, you can add vegan Thai chili paste to the mix!
  • You can use powdered instead of fresh ginger and swap the dates for any vegan sweetener such as maple or agave.
  • If you’re not working with a good-quality blender, make sure to soak and drain your dates first.
  • You can choose between lime and lemon juice or swap this component altogether for a spritz of rice vinegar.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: ¼ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 77Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 371mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!

Did you make this recipe?

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Alena enjoying a bowl of fresh plant-based food and coffe in a restaurant
Alena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.
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