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This made-from-scratch spicy peanut dressing comes together in about 5 minutes. It’s creamy, savory from the tamari, and tangy from the lime juice, there’s a little sweetness from the maple syrup, and a little kick of spice from some crushed red pepper flakes.
It’s also super easy to make, vegan, oil-free, and gluten-free (if using tamari). The oil-free peanut sauce can be used in salads, as a dip for veggies, or try a variation of it with my vegan peanut noodles or peanut tempeh bowl.
Peanut butter - For this spicy peanut dressing, I use natural peanut butter, which is typically either just peanut or peanuts and salt. Using peanut butter with added oils and sweeteners may alter the taste and consistency of the peanut sauce.
Tamari - Low-sodium soy sauce can be used instead of tamari.
Lime juice - If you don't have lime juice on hand, try rice vinegar.
Maple syrup - This can be substituted with agave syrup.
Ginger - For the best flavor, freshly grated ginger works best. In a pinch, ground ginger can be used. Start with ⅛ teaspoon, taste, and add more if needed.
Garlic powder - I use garlic powder to get the garlic taste without the harsh bite of fresh garlic, but it can always be substituted with fresh ingredients. Start with one crushed clove, then add more if you think it needs it.
Crushed red pepper - The recipe calls for ¼-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, if you want it spicier add more or use sriracha or sambal oelek.
Water - How much water you'll need will depend on the consistency of the peanut butter and how thick you prefer the sauce. Add the other ingredients first then add 3 tablespoons of water. You can always add more water to thin out the sauce.
- The spicy peanut dressing can be whisked together in a bowl until combined or place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
- The sauce can be prepped ahead of time, but it may firm up from being chilled in the refrigerator. If you’re using it as a dip, start with ½ tablespoon of water to thin it back out once it's been chilled. You can always add more if that wasn’t enough.
Fresh ginger tips
If you don’t use fresh ginger very often, freeze it to make it last longer. Peel the root to remove the papery skin, and then store it in a freezer bag for future usage. When you need fresh ginger use a Microplane to grate the frozen root straight out of the freezer, no need to thaw. Then return the rest of the ginger back to the freezer.
Whisk all of the ingredients in a bowl until they’re smooth; starting with 3 tablespoons of water, then add any additional tablespoons of water depending on your desired consistency. If I’m using it as a dip I keep the sauce a little thicker, if I’m using it as dressing I’ll thin it out more. Now that’s super easy!
- Use it with vegan peanut noodles
- Try it on a rice or noodle dish with vegetables
- Use it as a dip for vegetables
- Toss it with crispy baked tofu
- Serve it with spring rolls
- Use it as a dressing for salads
- Try it in this Peanut tempeh bowl
- Add it to Tofu Buddha bowls or other grain bowls
- Dipping sauce for wraps
Store the spicy peanut dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. If leftovers firm up after chilling in the fridge, thin them back out with a little bit of water.
- Dijon Tahini Dressing
- Cashew Dijon Dressing
- Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Smoky Tahini Dressing
- Cilantro Cashew Dressing
- Oil-free hummus
- Vegan Honey Mustard
As always, I hope you enjoy the recipe for an easy peanut dipping sauce! If you like the recipe, feel free to rate it and leave a comment.Print
Spicy Peanut Dressing (Oil-Free)
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 5 1x
- Diet: Vegan
This made-from-scratch spicy peanut dressing comes together in about 5 minutes. It’s creamy, savory, spicy, and a little sweet.
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons tamari or low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ inch fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3-5 tablespoons water
- Whisk everything together, starting with 3 tablespoons of water.
- For a thinner sauce, add an additional tablespoon of water at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
- Store in an airtight container or jar with a lid in the refrigerator.
If you want it spicier add more crushed red pepper or use sriracha or sambal oelek.
I only tested with natural peanut butter, which only contains peanuts or peanuts and salt. Other jars of peanut butter with added oils and sweeteners may alter the taste.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Category: sauce
- Method: whisk by hand
- Cuisine: Thai inspired
Keywords: What is peanut sauce used for, making peanut sauce from scratch, spicy peanut dressing
I loved this dipping red bell pepper strips into it! I absolutely see what you mean by using natural peanut butter too. I don't think this would be nearly as good with a sweeter peanut butter.
I love it though! Will make it again!
I'm glad you like the recipe, I like it with red bell peppers too!
Thank you for the recipe, I used the dip for some spring rolls. The sauce is very yummy.
I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe!