One Peanut Sauce, Endless Recipes

Listen up, family cooks! I’ve got important advice: never underestimate the power of a tasty all-purpose sauce, like my favorite Peanut Sauce. This recipe will save you hours in the kitchen, while keeping things fresh.

I learned the power of a good sauce when my first son was a baby. After he was born, I’d started keeping an all-natural, store-bought curry simmer sauce in the fridge at all times, you know, for emergencies. On nights when things got crazy, the sauce made dinner easy. Though I’m not generally into packaged foods, it was that simple. Necessary, even.

Over the years, I’ve used that curry simmer sauce to cook vegetables, meat and legumes. I’ve mixed it with rice and topped the whole thing with a fried egg. I’ve even nestled halved hard boiled eggs in warm sauce spooned over quinoa.

The curry sauce was such a lifesaver that I stared to dream up other, homemade sauces that would be just as great to have on hand, and peanut sauce is my favorite so far. It’s as versatile as the curry sauce and—even better—is delicious hot or cold.

I’ve experimented with several peanut sauce recipes, some my own and others not, and this one, from Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners, is my favorite. It comes together in the whiz of a food processor and keeps for up to 5 days in your fridge stored in an airtight container.


You can pour this Peanut Sauce over (hot or cold) soba noodles or pasta. You can use it to baste grilled chicken, beef or salmon. You can use it as a salad or slaw dressing (this would be killer with kale slaw!). You can use it to make a stir fry with veggies, tofu and/or meat. Sara even uses this sauce in another recipe in her book for ground turkey lettuce wraps. 

You get the point: one sauce, endless possibilities.

I most recently tossed a batch of this Peanut Sauce with angle hair, peas, broccoli, cilantro and black sesame seeds. It was a delicious Asian-style Pasta Primavera. It was done in a snap.

Do you have a favorite multi-purpose dressing, sauce or simmer sauce that saves dinner time after time? Do share! And add this one to your repertoire, too. You’ll be happy you did.


  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • sriracha or your favorite hot sauce


1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Process until smooth, adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time (up to ¼ cup), as needed to thin sauce. Use immediately, or sore in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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