Salads are infinitely more interesting when a good dressing is involved. This peanut butter salad dressing comes together in just minutes.
It’s a delicious homemade alternative to store-bought Thai peanut vinaigrette or bottled dressing.
Jazz up your salad with this easy & delicious peanut dressing.
This simple homemade dressing is:
- And zesty!
It is super creamy, thanks to a base of peanut butter. (No dairy here!)
It doesn’t require a blender. And it’s ready in minutes!
Plus, it lasts for about a week in the fridge.
So you can make this salad dressing ahead of time. Then add it whenever you need to liven up your leafy greens.
In addition to salads, you can use it as a dipping sauce. Or toss it with noodles.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this peanut salad dressing recipe.
Peanut butter: You can use either crunchy or creamy peanut butter.
For optimum flavor, choose a natural peanut butter with just two ingredients – peanuts & salt.
(Some brands add all kinds of unnecessary ingredients like sugar & palm oil.)
Toasted sesame oil: This oil adds delicious nuttiness. A little bit goes a long way.
Look for it in the center aisles of the grocery store with other Asian ingredients.
Rice vinegar: This light vinegar lends tang to the dressing.
Sriracha: Vietnamese or Thai chili pepper sauce gives a spicy kick.
Tamari: This Japanese soy sauce gives umami and salt.
Be sure to choose gluten free tamari, if you need it to be GF.
Water: Water is used to thin the dressing to just the right thickness for pourability.
Salt: Depending on the saltiness of your tamari and peanut butter, you may or may not want to add a pinch of salt to taste.
Step by step instructions
Here’s how to make this recipe at a glance. For complete ingredient amounts & instructions, keep scrolling to the recipe card below.
Put the following ingredients into a bowl:
- Peanut butter
- Toasted sesame oil
- Rice vinegar
Use a spoon or whisk to blend until smooth.
Peanut butters vary in viscosity.
If the dressing is too thick, add a splash of water. If it’s too thin, add an additional dab of peanut butter.
Add salt to taste.
Make it your own
You can make this peanut salad dressing recipe your own by varying the ingredients or preparation methods.
- Instead of store-bought peanut butter, make your own peanut butter first using whole peanuts.
- Replace peanut butter with almond butter, pistachio butter, sunflower seed butter, or cashew butter.
- Instead of whisking in a bowl, combine in a blender or food processor.
- Replace tamari with Chinese soy sauce, coconut aminos, or Bragg’s liquid aminos.
- Replace sriracha with sambal oelek or any hot sauce you enjoy. Add more if you like things super spicy or omit if you don’t.
- Replace rice vinegar with white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lime juice.
- Add maple syrup or agave syrup for sweetness.
- Add grated garlic and/or fresh ginger for bite or floral notes.
- For an herbaceous flair, add chopped cilantro.
This peanut dressing is perfect for light, crunchy salads. It’s especially delicious on a green salad with blood oranges & peanuts.
I usually use peanut sauce for spring rolls and satay. However, this peanut salad dressing can be used in that way as well.
Use it with any of the following dishes.
Store the dressing in a covered container in the refrigerator. It will keep for about a week.
The dressing will thicken further in the refrigerator. To thin it out, add a splash of water, and stir to combine, if necessary.
It can also be frozen for up to 4 months. Store in a freezer bag or airtight storage container. Thaw in the refrigerator when you’re ready to use it.
More salad dressing recipes
Tangy peanut dressing for salads
- Use a spoon or whisk to combine peanut butter, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, sriracha, tamari, and three tablespoons of water in a small bowl until smooth.
- If the dressing is too thick, add additional water (up to one tablespoon) until the dressing has reached your desired thickness and intensity of flavor. If the dressing is too thin, add an additional teaspoon of peanut butter. Keep in mind that the dressing will thicken in the refrigerator, and don't add additional water until you're about to serve, if necessary.
- Taste the dressing and add salt, if needed.
Content, recipe, and photos updated April 28, 2022. Originally posted on October 18, 2012 as jack o’ lantern salad with tangy peanut dressing.