How to Make an Inexpensive Peanut Sauce (and What to Do with It)

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

By the author of The Ultimate Guide to Frugal Living and The Flat Broke Cookbook 

I love, love, LOVE peanut sauce, and it’s gotten me through some hard times in a tasty way.

According to Wikipedia, peanut sauce originated in Indonesia, and then many other countries took up the mantle. I was first introduced to it in Thai food and then used it to make a cheapo “sesame noodle” dish. It’s flavorful and filling, and loaded with nutrients. Peanuts are a good source of healthy fats and vegetarian protein.

If you have a peanut allergy, you can use other nut butters with reasonably good results. I haven’t tried it, but I suspect sun butter (sunflower seed butter) would also be a good substitution.

First, I’ll give you my recipe for thrifty peanut sauce, and then I’ll give you some suggestions for using this delicious condiment.

How to make peanut sauce

Here’s the easiest and thriftiest way I know of to make it. Whatever you do, do NOT leave out the cumin. That’s the “secret ingredient” that I finagled out of the cook at our favorite Thai restaurant back in Virginia. It makes all the difference in the world.


  • 1/3 cup of peanut butter (I greatly prefer smooth)
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of ginger powder
  • 1 tsp of sugar or honey
  • Optional: Crushed red chili pepper flakes


  1. In a cooking pot, add peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic powder, ginger powder, cumin, and broth or water.
  2. Warm this up on low heat and whisk constantly.
  3. When the sauce is smooth and creamy, add the sugar or honey and whisk for another minute.
  4. Remove from heat.

You can alternatively make this sauce in a food processor without using any heat. Peanut sauce will keep in the fridge for about a week. You may need to thin it down with water or a vinegar/sugar mixture.

How to use peanut sauce

Drizzle this deliciousness over all sorts of stuff, or serve it as a dipping sauce. Here are some ideas for you:

1.) Use it as a dip for grilled chicken or pork skewers.

2.) Chill it in the fridge and then use it as a salad dressing. Make a salad with sturdy greens, chopped green onion, shredded carrots and radishes, and a protein. Toss the salad with cool peanut sauce and sprinkle it lightly with crushed red chili flakes and finely chopped peanuts.

3.) Make an Asian slaw with it. Use shredded cabbage and carrots, thinly sliced grilled chicken, and fresh cilantro for the slaw and toss it with peanut sauce. I like to crush some crunchy chow mein noodles on top to give it some added texture.

4.) Use it as a dipping sauce with spring rolls, potstickers, or lumpia. (Swoon.)

5.) For a cheap, filling meal, toss cold cooked noodles with peanut sauce. If you have a bigger budget, add some green onion, cilantro, and chicken. This is an awesome lunch to take to work with you.

6.) Make your favorite stir-fry. When it’s just about done, add peanut sauce to the skillet and stir constantly for two more minutes, coating everything with deliciousness.

7.) Dip your veggies in it: carrot sticks, red bell pepper strips, and cucumber all work nicely with peanut sauce.

8.) Top a Buddha bowl with it. In a large bowl, build a concoction using fresh ingredients such as rice or quinoa, matchstick veggies like carrot, radish, cucumber, and bell pepper; crunchy roasted chickpeas; roasted sweet potatoes; roasted broccoli and cauliflower; fresh greens; and even some sliced avocado. Drizzle the entire thing with a generous serving of peanut sauce. You’re going to feel like a million bucks after you eat this bowl of health!

9.) Add it to a bowl of kitchen-sink fried rice.

10.) Adapt this insanely delicious Indian Masoor Dal Peanut Soup to make it more frugal. I use powdered spices to make it, as opposed to the whole ones that the recipe calls for. I’m sure that it’s even better with the fancier seasonings, but it’s still quite delicious if you hack it.

Do you use peanut sauce?

Does peanut sauce make a regular appearance at your dinner table? Do you make it yourself or buy it readymade? If you make your own, is your recipe similar to mine? Share your peanut sauce secrets in the comments!

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

How to Make an Inexpensive Peanut Sauce (and What to Do with It)
Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is an author and blogger. She's the single mom of two daughters and credits extreme frugality and a good sense of humor for her debt-free lifestyle. She is the author of numerous books, the editor of, and is the founder of a small digital publishing company in the emergency preparedness niche.

4 thoughts on “How to Make an Inexpensive Peanut Sauce (and What to Do with It)”

  1. For noodles, we use just plain spaghetti sometimes. The kids love “Peanut Noodles.” Our sauce recipe is similar to yours, Daisy. At the end we add some crushed unsalted peanuts and a squeeze of lime… cilantro if we have it, and chopped scallions. One of our favorite side dishes for anything remotely asian. It went with our banh mi last night.

    I suppose I could add some grilled chicken breast to it as well and make it more of an entree.

  2. While I love peanut butter (base of food pyramid for me), never used it as a sauce. I’ll have to try it and I’m sure food-venturous daughter will be up to the challenge.

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