Everyday Paleo Thai “No Peanut” Sauce

Thanks to my adventurous mother, as far back as I can remember I have had a huge interest and affection for international cuisine with one of my favorites being Thai food.

I hope someday to travel to Thailand and immerse myself in the culture, eat the food, visit the beaches, and ride around in a TukTuk.  Truthfully, I want to travel the entire world and explore exciting food destinations and I will admit that now and then I’ll close my eyes and imagine myself as the female equivalent to Anthony Bourdain, especially now that he has given up cigarettes!

However, my dream of traveling to distant countries is not tangible at the moment so in the meantime I can experiment at home by making paleo versions of my favorite dishes for my family and share my creations with you.

I hope you enjoy this sauce as much as we did!


Everyday Paleo Thai “No Peanut” Sauce.

½ cup almond butter

½ cup canned coconut milk or coconut cream concentrate

½ cup applesauce

Juice from ½ a lime

½ tablespoon fish sauce (I used Red Boat Fish Sauce, an awesome gift from Nom Nom Paleo and this stuff rocks!!!)

1 ½ teaspoons fresh grated ginger

½ teaspoon crushed garlic

Hot chili oil to taste

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl and serve as a dipping sauce.  Below is how we have eaten the sauce over the last couple of days.

Over Grilled Chicken

This was John’s favorite.  We simply grilled some chicken breasts seasoned with a little sea salt and pepper and topped the chicken with shredded carrots, diced cilantro, and the sauce.

Prawn Lettuce Wraps

I found some wild caught large prawns at our local health food store and I sauteed them in coconut oil with green onions, fresh basil and garlic and we wrapped the prawns in lettuce topped with the Thai “No Peanut” sauce and diced cilantro.  The boys and I voted this one as our favorite.

Thai Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps

Last but not least, I browned up 1 lb of ground beef with some diced zucchini and seasoned with 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon coconut aminos, and 2 teaspoons crushed garlic.  We wrapped the beef in lettuce with shredded carrots, cilantro, and topped it with the sauce.  It was good but we liked the chicken and shrimp the best.



  1. says

    Your mom sounds like the bomb-diggity! Now tell me, does she curse as eloquently as Mr. Bourdain? If so, I’m even more sorry that our paths never crossed!

    Your dressing sounds FANTASTIC! I have all those ingredients in my pantry so I’ll be whipping up a batch pronto. I can’t wait to see what else you make with the Red Boat fish sauce!

  2. Kim says

    That looks so good. I love the thai lettuce wraps from cheesecake factory and this recipe looks as though it will satisfy my craving!

  3. Sarah says

    This is perfect timing. I have been passing some Thai restaurants and reminiscing about peanut sauce and pad thai noodles. I can’t wait to give it a test drive on some chicken my husband is grilling tonight. Thanks bunches!

  4. Vanessa says

    It is so interesting to see that you used the Red Boat Fish sauce. I acually ordered some yesterday to use in making some curry and stumbled on your site today to see that you used it for some Thai “no peanut” sauce. Can’t wait until the sauce comes in the mail so I can try some:D Love your website!

  5. alexis says

    Looks so yummy Sarah! I have an almond, and various other tree nuts, allergy. Is there an alternative nut out there you could recommend I experiment with to create another version of your delicious looking sauce?

    • Sarah says

      Hi Alexis! I honestly thing ANY nut butter would be great for this sauce – sunflower, and cashew butter come to mind first. : ) Hope it turns out delicious!

  6. Sara says

    I tried this sauce out last night, and it was VERY tasty! I followed your method for the ground beef filling above, but drained it really well, mixed in some shredded carrots and chopped cilantro, and then stuffed some parboiled red and yellow peppers with the mixture. Baked at 350 for 20 minutes, then topped each with a generous portion of the sauce. Delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  7. says

    Just made this for chicken satay skewers tomorrow! I added a lot more ginger and garlic chili paste and it was perfect! Thanks!!

  8. Trisha says

    This recipe looks so delicious…can’t wait to try it!! Is there another substitute for Almond Butter? I have tried to eat it, but I really can’t stand the taste of it.

    • Sarah says

      You can use any other nut butter that you would like, I’m sure that cashew butter or sunflower butter would be amazing!

  9. Sue Twyford says

    You would love Thailand .. I’ve been there twice and intend to go back many many times .. The food, the weather, the people, the food and the Tuk Tuk rides lol are the Best !

  10. Daria says

    OK this was amazing. I thought applesauce and almond butter with lime juice would be a strange combination honestly but this worked so well. It reminded very much of the flavors that I loved from Pad Thai. I used it on grilled chicken lettuce wraps. Thank you!

  11. Lyndsay says

    This sauce was amazing!!! I used it to make a Paleo version of swimming angel with cauliflower rice! It was so delicious and just what I was craving.

  12. kel says

    i think im having a reaction to coconut products :-( . . . what can i do?? ive had severe IBS and a fructose malabsorption for about 20 years, could it be the fructose in the coconut? are there any substitutes for the coconut milks and oils in your recipes?? they sound so good, im totally bummed and irritated with my dang irritable bowel!!
    Thanks for your help Sarah

    • Sarah says

      Yes, you could be reacting to the coconut products because of the fructose in coconuts, and in fact, here is a compelling article for you to read by Chris Kresser that might really hit home for you! http://thehealthyskeptic.org/3-reasons-why-coconut-milk-may-not-be-your-friend

      Do you tend to react negatively to just coconut milk or all coconut products? It could also be that you have a slight allergy to coconut if it’s not the fructose malabsorption issue but I could almost be that’s what it is. For cooking, I would suggest you use either grass fed ghee or clarified butter. Also, here’s a great article by Mark Sisson that gives you a guide to what oils to use and which to avoid, and that might also help you finding substitutes as well. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/healthy-oils/

      Finally, for subbing out the coconut milk, it would totally depend on the recipe, and I’m happy to help you along the way when you come across a recipe that needs a sub. For this one in particular, you could use unsweetened almond milk and see how it tastes!

      • kel says

        Wow! thank you so much for taking the time to link me to this info . . . super helpful! as far as my reactions, honestly i have never strictly tested the coconut products one by one. although, it seems to be the worst if i eat straight up shredded coconut (unsweetened). also, the coconut milks i have tried do not contain any gums, so that is not the issue, but i dont think ive ever tried the milk without also including shredded coconut in the recipe too. but i would now be curious (/hopeful) to see if i could at least tolerate coconut oil while eliminating all other coconut products.
        i will try the almond milk sub for this recipe and let you know how it goes!
        thanks again for your help, youre such a bright light!

  13. says

    This is so good! We are loving it with our green curry, er, YOUR green curry. didn’t have chili oil so used cayenne pepper, and extra lime and ginger. YUM!

    which almond butter do you use? raw? salted? roasted? curious to see which would work best…

  14. Lonnie says

    thanks for the great recipe. When I started the Paleo diet I didn’t want to give up peanut sauce. Yes, I ate it once a week with rice, veggies and chicken. I was in Thailand several years ago and it was hard to find dishes with peanut sauce. It wasn’t until I got to Bali that I found the best peanut sauce I have ever had. I was told peanut sauce is actually Indonesian. Anyway: great site, very happy I found it.

    • Sarah says

      Interesting about where peanut sauce actually comes from! I love that I learn something new everyday from my blog readers. Thank you Lonnie!

  15. Carla says

    New to the Paleo lifestyle, are peanuts and peanut sauce not considered Paleo? Also is cheese/ dairy not considered Paleo?

  16. Bee says

    Tried this tonight with grilled chocken thighs and LOVED it! Thank you, Sarah :)
    Not even a single complaint from my boys (6 & 3), who complain about every.little.thing. We’ll definitely be making this one of our staples.

  17. Kelli says

    This is probably one of my favorite recipes, love love love it. I just put the Thai chicken on top of organic shredded broccoli to still kind of have the texture of the noodles.

  18. Jessica says

    Hey Sarah,

    I’m a looong-time reader of the blog and I just came across this blog post from 2011. Can I just point out how cool it is that your dream has come to fruition?! I love seeing how far you and the whole Paleosphere have come! Congrats and here’s to many more posts, cookbooks and delicious recipes!

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