Spicy Peanut Sauce – it’s what’s for dinner

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(Linguini and broccoli with spicy peanut sauce – recipe in post)

I was so excited the other night when The Boyfriend requested I make noodles and peanut sauce – I love peanut sauce! I love noodles!

I’ve made peanut sauce I don’t know how many times, and each a little different. Sometimes plain, sometimes spicy – from adding an Asian twist with some sesame oil, to a touch of Thai with coconut milk and sriracha. It all depends on what I have on hand, and what application I’m using it for… because just as much as there is range in the recipes, there are different uses for it. From noodles and stir fry, to salads and summer rolls – and I love it all.

The Boyfriend had a recipe in mind from one of his cookbooks, and I was pleased to see that this one was yet another variation I hadn’t tried – soon, I will be the guru of all peanut sauces!

Before I go into the specifics of this particular recipe, let me lay out my knowledge. While the exact ingredients may vary, they all go something like this:

1 part peanut butter (usually smooth)
1/2 – 1 1/2 parts liquid (water, milk, coconut milk)
Soy sauce, tamari, and sometimes vinegar
Garlic, ginger, or green onion
and optionally, cayenne or sriracha for spice to taste.

The thing this recipe called for that I wasn’t familiar with was molasses – and there was no way I was leaving it out just because it was something new!

The sweetness, in combination with the vinegar, did make this sauce unique. At first I was a little uncertain about it, but as the sauce warmed through it mellowed into one rich experience. If you aren’t a fan of peanut sauces to begin with, this one will by no means change your mind. It isn’t the end-all be-all of peanut sauces, and I won’t go preaching its name to the heavens. BUT. For the lover of all things peanuty, this sauce is definitely another keeper to add to the repertoire!

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Peanut Sauce with Linguini and Broccoli
(Sauce recipe from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest)

For the pasta:

1/2 lb. linguini (use what you like, I chose whole-wheat)
2 large heads of broccoli, cut into florets
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP canola or peanut oil
2 TBSP tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp. ginger powder (or 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger)

Optional: Tofu or other protein

For the sauce:

1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4-1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP tamari or soy sauce
2 TBSP molasses
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)

Optional: chopped peanuts and scallions, for garnish


In a large pot bring water to a boil and salt heavily. Cook noodles until al-dente, drain, and set aside.
In a wok or pan over medium-high heat, add 1 TBSP oil and let heat until glistening. Add broccoli florets and give the pan a shake or a stir. Let cook 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, then pour in tamari and stir until mostly evaporated. Remove broccoli from pan while still bright green and slightly crisp. Set aside.
(If adding tofu or the like, begin cooking the protein over medium-high heat before the broccoli, then add the broccoli and cook as directed.)

For the sauce:
In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, add the peanut butter and 1/4 cup of the hot water, stirring to combine.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients, then add the remaining 1/4 cup water to thin the sauce to desired consistency.

Toss noodles and broccoli in the sauce, and garnish with chopped peanuts and scallions.


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Dinner doesn’t get much easier than that!

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40 Responses to Spicy Peanut Sauce – it’s what’s for dinner

  1. Anonymous December 20, 2011 at 2:36 am #

    i wonder if you remember this by a chance “code willow” (i kno this has nothing to do with post but i figure this is the best way to get in touch with you) -edger

  2. 2peasandapot December 20, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Looks good! make this occasionally – molasses new to me-will try!

  3. Willow December 23, 2011 at 5:08 am #

    @ Edger – … ?

    @ 2PeasAndAPot – thanks! I love how easy it is to change up a basic peanut sauce. Hope you like the molasses!

  4. Renee December 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    This recipe looks great. I just found your blog today via Pinterest & I think it is just awesome! Such creative recipes and great photography ;)

  5. Willow December 23, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    Thank you so much! :D

  6. mrs.guevara December 24, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Just found your blog via foodgawker. I pinned this recipe and can not wait to try it out after the holidays :)

  7. Willow December 24, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    Thanks, hope you like it!

  8. Anonymous December 27, 2011 at 5:53 am #

    soo you can’t figure out who is huh? ill give u a few small hints edger is part of my email 2. i know bebe( i had a hard time trying to find away to get in touch with you again hope that helps you find out who i is) ;)-edger

  9. Willow December 27, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    Alright, I’ll take a guess. Jess? You should e-mail me.

  10. Anonymous December 27, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    i dnt have your email thts why i used this site to get in touch :D-edger

  11. Dawn December 28, 2011 at 12:51 am #

    This looks amazing. Gorgeous photos!

  12. Willow December 28, 2011 at 3:32 am #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. vegetarianepicurean December 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    I just discovered your blog. Its beautiful. I’m excited to try some of your recipes. I’m relatively new to the blogging world, but I’ve really enjoyed exploring new sites. I look forward to reading more from you.

  14. Willow December 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Thank you! Your blog looks great, by the way. Following you on Twitter, now. :D

  15. Bridget January 10, 2012 at 4:12 am #

    Saw your blog for the first time today and went home to try this recipe. So good and so easy! It will be a good one for parties…thanks!

  16. Willow January 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    So glad you liked it! And you’re right, it would be perfect for parties or potlucks.

  17. Made in Sonoma January 22, 2012 at 5:28 am #

    I made this for dinner tonight after seeing it on Foodgawker. Both my boyfriend and I loved it!

    • Willow January 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      Yay! I love hearing when things turn out well, thank you.:)

  18. Vicky Bryant January 30, 2012 at 3:52 am #

    Can’t wait to make this tomorrow. Will let you know how it turns out.

    • Willow January 30, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

      Great – I hope you like!

    • Vicky Bryant January 31, 2012 at 1:06 am #

      I hope this isn’t a duplicate…I posted one time and it’s nowhere to be found. Anywho…I forgot the “spicy” part…but I have chili-garlic paste and red chili flakes. It was absolutely wonderful…the simply baked chicken was a nice addition to the flavorful pasta. Thank you for a great recipe!

    • Willow January 31, 2012 at 1:10 am #

      So glad you liked it! And chicken would be great, I’ll have to do that next time. :)

  19. Parsley Sage March 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    Mmmm! Saw this over on Katherine’s blog hop. Bookmarked!

    • Willow March 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

      Thanks – hope you like it!

  20. Giovanna Schult March 13, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    definitely will try this sauce! awesome! thanks for sharing

    • Willow March 13, 2012 at 11:30 am #

      You’re welcome! Hope you like it. :)

  21. Anonymous April 4, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    This is one of my favorite recipes! I make it all the time… Thanks!

    • Willow April 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

      Aw, you’re welcome! I’m so glad you like it. :D

  22. Anonymous July 20, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    nice posting. thanks for sharing

  23. Anonymous January 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Allergic to peanuts, I wonder if you can get close to this recipe/flavor using something else?

    • Willow January 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      Hmm, I don’t know… perhaps cashew butter would work as a substitute? Not sure how it would taste, though.

  24. Anonymous March 12, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    My husband & I made this and it turned out yummy! We both really loved it and will definitely make it again. Thanks!!!

    • Willow March 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      Wonderful, I’m glad you both liked it!

  25. Tawnya Wickli January 18, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

    Just made this and it is amazing! Did fail on the amount of broccoli however- better to err on the side of using too much than not enough.

    • Willow Arlen January 18, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

      Thanks for the comment, Tawnya! I’m glad you liked it. It’s crazy how good the broccoli is in this… definitely better to go for too much than too little!

  26. Susan November 14, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    Okay, I have probably already commented on this before, but this is literally one of my fav vegan recipes, and its definitely a go to in our house! My non vegan boyfriend loves is and asks for it all the time! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Willow Arlen November 14, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

      Thank you so much, Susan, this comment made my day! So glad you your boyfriend like it!

  27. Lauren Smith | The Oatmeal Artist December 10, 2017 at 5:14 pm #

    I’ve made this many times as written, but I had an urge to make it tonight but didn’t want to go to the store to buy ingredients. I ended up using soba noodles and a mixture of peanut butter, cashew butter, PB2, and tahini because I was very low on peanut butter. Lo and behold, it still ended up tasting as I remembered, and the soba noodles worked out just fine. Yay!


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