Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Rice

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Rice - cookieandkate.com

Please tell me that I am not the only girl who leaves her keys in the door. Or loses her car in parking lots. Or drops her wallet on the sidewalk. Distracted is my middle name, but committing all three of those mistakes over the past few weeks is a personal record.

sweet potatoes

I suppose I have to tell you the stories now, don’t I? I’ll start with the best one. A couple of weeks ago, I took Cookie outside before dragging myself to bed. I was exhausted—apparently so exhausted that I left my keys in my door when I shut it behind me. Dumb, right? The next morning, I woke up and searched around for my keys. I couldn’t find them in any of the normal spots. It finally occurred to me to check the door. Aha! Keys. Relief.

Then I walked down the front steps, looked over to my left, and saw my car. My car was parked in front of the fire hydrant with a white ticket flapping underneath the window wiper. That’s not where I parked my car, you guys. I walked over to my car with trepidation and peered through the windows.

Everything inside my car seemed to be in order. Not a serial killer in sight. I got in and noticed that the seat had been scooted back a few inches. All I know about the thief (borrower?) is that he’s a few inches taller than me, drives a manual transmission and has an iPhone, apparently, since he took my cord with him. That leaves a lot of suspects.

red bell pepper and peanut butter

I’m still wondering what that stranger did in my car. Maybe he just wanted to cruise around the neighborhood. Maybe he ran out of beer and decided to drive over to the gas station. Maybe he intended to steal it, but quickly realized that stealing my beat-up car was a waste of time and brought it back. Maybe he dropped off some drugs. Let’s hope not. I just wish he’d dropped off the stuff in my trunk at Goodwill while he was at it.

The other stories aren’t so exciting. I was thirty minutes late to Bev‘s baby shower (she’s having twins!) because I lost my car on The Plaza. Then my wallet fell out of my grandmother’s little black purse in between Sur la Table and the corner. Thankfully, a good samaritan found the wallet and brought it to customer service, which is what I would have done for him. All said and done, I’ve really lucked out in all of these situations. I have a sixty dollar ticket to pay but that’s not the worst that could have happened.

green onions

Sometimes I wish I had someone around to catch my silly mistakes in real time. I make a lot of them. I do have you all, though. You let me know when I list garlic twice in a recipe, or when there’s a little too much pumpkin in my pancakes. You leave feedback for me in the comments section and tweet/instagram/email me photos of the recipes you’ve made at home, which makes me super happy. Even if I don’t respond right away, know that I’m listening and glad you’re here.

This recipe, for example, was inspired by a convincing comment left on my sweet potato fries recipe. Carla said, “These are wonderful and are even more unbelievable with THAI SPICY PEANUT SAUCE. Sorry to yell, but these two things were born for each other. Ketchup, honey, mayo based sauces do not do them justice.”

She sounded like she was onto something, so I grabbed a bottle of San-J Thai peanut sauce at the store and roasted up to sweet potato fries. She was indeed onto something. I did my best to recreate San-J’s version based on the ingredient list and made it a full meal by adding jasmine rice, red bell pepper, cilantro and chives. Thanks, Carla!

roasted red bell pepperSpicy Thai peanut sauce recipeRoasted sweet potatoes with spicy Thai peanut sauce recipe - cookieandkate.com

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Rice
4.9 from 11 reviews
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Bold and spicy Thai peanut sauce drizzled over roasted sweet potatoes and bell peppers on a bed of rice. The sauce would also be great on stir-fries and salads, or as a dip for raw vegetables. This is a healthy vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free recipe.
Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons water
Roasted vegetables
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1 inch long, ½ inch wide chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, deseeded, and sliced into bite-sized strips
  • about 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • Sea salt, to taste
Rice and garnishes
  • 1¼ cup jasmine brown rice (or any variety of long-grain brown rice)
  • 2 to 3 green onions/chives, sliced into thin rounds (green and white parts)
  • Handful cilantro, torn
  • Handful peanuts, crushed
  • Sriracha/rooster sauce on the side (optional)
  1. Prep: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the middle and another rack near the top.
  2. Roast the vegetables: Toss the sweet potato chunks with a generous tablespoon of coconut oil, the cumin and a sprinkle of salt. Toss the bell pepper with about a teaspoon of coconut oil and salt. The vegetables should be lightly coated with oil on all sides.
  3. Arrange the sweet potatoes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Arrange the red bell peppers on a separate, smaller baking sheet. Roast the sweet potatoes on the middle rack for about 35 minutes, tossing halfway, and roast the peppers on the top rack for about 20 minutes, tossing halfway. The vegetables will be tender and caramelized on the edges when they are ready.
  4. In the meantime, cook the rice: Once the water is boiling, pour in the rice and give it a stir. Boil the rice for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat and drain the rice. Return the rice to the pot and cover the pot. Let the rice steam that way for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the rice with a fork and season with salt to taste.
  5. Make the sauce: in a bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients. If the sauce is too thick or too spicy, whisk in a little more water.
  6. Serve: Top rice with roasted vegetables, a heavy drizzle of sauce, and a sprinkle of chopped green onions, cilantro and peanuts.
Storage suggestions: Leftover sauce should keep well, refrigerated and covered, for a couple of weeks. Wake up the flavors with a little bit of apple cider vinegar or tamari if necessary.
Make it gluten free: Tamari is a Japanese soy sauce that has a great flavor and is gluten free, unlike most other soy sauces. I like the San-J brand.
Make it vegan: Use agave nectar instead of honey for vegan sauce.
Other recipes you might like: my summer rolls with spicy peanut sauce, peanut soba noodle bowl and Thai green curry. Jeanine is also on a peanut sauce kick with peanut noodles and salad wraps.


  1. says

    That was quite a week! Look at it this way, someone returning your wallet made your day and theirs, and the phantom car borrower gave you a great story to tell FOREVER. I too have many distracted little mishaps. A few weeks ago I stuffed a check in my back pocket which apparently worked it’s way out on to the sidewalk and some kind stranger raced 3 blocks after me to return it. It’s the kind of thing that gives you hope, you know? :)

    Rambling. Sorry about that.

    Yes, I think Carla gave some sage advice! This dish looks mouthwatering.

    • says

      Oh, I’m glad you got your check back! Thank goodness for all the nice people out there who return our things (although I’m not sure that taking my car was very nice in the first place). Anyway, have a great weekend, Marissa!

  2. says

    did the phantom driver get the car keys from your keys left in your front door? I’d be worried phantom driver went to make a copy of my keys…or do you sleep walk and think you were taller than you are? Or do you have a brother leaving near by that likes to freak you out? Eeery…
    Oh, but your sweet potatoes with spicy peanut sauce look divine.

    • says

      All excellent questions, Giulia. :) I got my locks on my door changed, so I’m not worried about him getting into my apartment. I think he would have taken my car and my stuff that night if he’d really wanted it. As I walked over to my car, I wondered if I had sleepwalked (sleep driven?), but the seat was definitely scooted back. I actually thought the incident was kind of funny at first, because it is something my younger brothers might do, but they live in other states! Who knows.

  3. says

    Man, I’m sorry you’ve had such a crummy run of circumstances! If it’s any consolation, I’m the person that’s looking desperately for the iPhone/pencil/spoon that they’ve already got in their hand, and I’ve definitely been known to leave my keys all manner of places. You are not alone!

    This recipe looks amaze-balls, by the way. Sweet potato and peppers go so so well together, and I love the addition of the sauce!

  4. says

    Maybe he wanted to steal your parking spot :) I used to lock my keys in the car or forget the lights on very often, but luckily it’s been a few years since the last time. I’m definitely going to be making this soon.

  5. says

    I bookmarked your site awhile ago and am so happy I checked in today. So excited to make this recipe! I’m gluten free and love finding new recipes to try. It gives me an excuse to find the perfect wine pairing for the food, too, which I often do on my blog, Wander & Wine. Check it out if you’re interested! Keep the beautiful photos and recipes coming. Cheers!

  6. says

    When it rains it pours, eh? Sorry to hear about your troubles! So weird someone did that to your car. Might be a good idea to change the locks just in case. I’m pretty paranoid when it comes to stuff like that though. :)
    This recipe looks right up my alley. I was just thinking about pairing a SP with peanut sauce the other day. Glad to hear it’s so good!
    Hope the rest of the month is smooth sailing for you!

    • says

      Hey Angela! Don’t worry, I changed my locks. Definitely give sweet potato and peanut sauce a shot! I’m into it. Hope the cookbook is coming along well (it looks beautiful!).

    • says

      Hey Nora, I ate the recipe as is and found it to be very filling. The sweet potatoes and brown rice are complex carbs, and the peanuts add a little protein. I don’t cook meat, but one of my friends added shrimp to it and liked it that way.

  7. Sarah says

    I just made this and it was amazing. Everyone that ate it rated it a “love it” on our food scale. Thank you for sharing :)

  8. says

    Thai and sweet potatoes are made for each other. I love the combo and this is gorgeous. So my kind of meal!

    Oh and trust me, I am the girl talking on her phone well searching the house for my phone! Loved your stories!

  9. says

    I am still in shock that whoever took your car returned it. Impressive.

    Also – peanut sauce and sweet potatoes is totally a genius move. I need this. Like…for a second dinner.

  10. says

    This is exactly the kind of meal that could be in the top ten of my Favourite ones !!! I love love love sweet potato and everything that has a hint of Asian food( or more) I’ll definitely make this !!!

  11. Peg says

    Thank you so much for this recipe!
    I will be making it for our Thanksgiving this weekend:-)
    You have made me famous in the neighbourhood
    for your Gingerbread Granola recipe !
    It gets shipped to a nephew in the airforce in South
    Korea- shipped to my kids who live out of town and
    sent in cookie tins – and recently made for a neighbour
    who needed some comfort.. You are the best!
    I have told all my friends about your blog!
    Please change the locks or re key them!
    I’m the one who looks for my glasses and they are
    on my head! Love your blog!

    • says

      Peg, thank you so much for your delightful comment! I’m glad to know you’re out there enjoying and sharing my recipes. Thank you. And don’t worry, I got my locks changed the next day! Have a terrific weekend.

  12. says

    Oh my goodness, now THAT is a story!! The keys bit I totally get because I’ve done it several times before, but the car moving thing?! That’s crazy! And while we’re talking about crazy… this Thai peanut sauce. I’m trying it this weekend FOR. SURE. :)

  13. says

    What a week! I’m so glad that at least everything turned out ok for you, it could have been much, much worse.
    Thai peanut sauce is one of my favorite things to make – but I’ve never considered mixing it with sweet potatoes, one of my other favorite ingredients! The spicy-sweet combo sounds perfect. I’ll add some tofu and try this for dinner! Thanks!

    • says

      Well, I’m pretty sure I filled up my tank while the car was running once, and it didn’t kill me! :) I am usually pretty good at hanging my keys on my coat rack by the door, but I definitely forgot to do that the night my car got stolen and came back. Some days, I swear…

  14. Holly says

    Saw this one come through on my email, stopped by the store that afternoon and made it for dinner. My husband is a lover of all peanut sauces and this one didn’t disappoint! He took one bite and told me how awesome it was. I added avocado which was a great addition. Oh and I used a combo of brown and wild rice… totally going to be cooking with wild rice more often!

    Thanks for another great recipe Kate :)

    • says

      Holly, thank you for commenting! I am amazed that you made this recipe the day I posted it. Avocado and wild rice sound like wonderful additions!

  15. says

    Oh boy it must be scary to find your car in a different spot from where you originally parked it. Thanksfully everything was pretty okay.
    BUT HEY your sweet potatoes look really tasty! I’m normally not a big fan of peanut sauce but maybe I should give this one a try. Who knows, maybe I’ll turn into a peanut lover!

  16. says

    Oh man, what a wild story about your car! I guess it could have ended worse. And I’m in love with all these flavors together! Perfect for a cosy Fall meal.

    • says

      Hey, thanks Jacqui! It’s nice to hear from you. The car incident definitely could have ended worse. I got lucky. Hope you’re well!

  17. says

    Girl as soon as I saw “spicy Thai” in my inbox, I knew this recipe would be my jam! Sounds so delicious! I love how you styled this like a much prettier, more healthful take-out Asian dish. Wow! Going to make it! SO glad your car is ok, that would have weirded me out a lot. Back when I lived alone, my car was broken into, and while they were removing my stereo and music, their feet cracked the windshield. It scared me, living alone, I didn’t sleep well for some time. I’m glad nothing more than your phone charger was taken! Sorry about the ticket :( So not fair. Just glad you are ok.

    • says

      Hey Sophie, thank you! Hope you’ll give this recipe a shot sometime soon. I’m sorry to hear about your car getting broken into. That is scary, unsettling and just plain wrong. Hope you’re sleeping better these days!

  18. says

    This recipe looks divine! Love it. And, that is SO freaky about your car, seriously. What a mystery! I love the thought of someone randomly taking your car for a spin and then returning it. (OK, not really, but you know what I mean.)

  19. jennifer says

    When I saw this the idea of sweet potato and spicy peanut sauce immediately called out to me. This morning I was having a craving for a baked sweet potato for breakfast, and remembered this post. So I made some peanut sauce – not measuring anything but just kinda throwing it together – and poured it over the baked sweet potato. Uh — YUM!! Super delicious and even super easier to very quickly pull together. Five minutes including nuking the potato and making the sauce! Try it – you’ll like it! :)

    • says

      Hey Jennifer! That’s such a great, simple idea. Thank you for sharing! I love sweet potatoes any time of day. I’ll try your idea the next time I get a craving. :)

  20. says

    I made this for my Mom this weekend and am eating the leftovers right now at work! SO good! Such a clean and simple dish that made me look like a gourmet chef. I will absolutely be making this again :) Thank you and keep the wonderful, healthy recipes coming!

  21. says

    Ohhhhhhhh my gosh. I made this recipe last night for dinner and it was absolutely incredible. My husband and I looked at all of the cooked and prepared ingredients ready to be assembled on the plates and thought, “oh this is SO just two meals, it can’t possibly be split in to four!” So we piled up our plates with half of everything and went to town. We barely came up for air when we realized, “uh, yes this is four meals…but maybe just two dinners and two lunches because we didn’t stop in time to make four even plates.” It was very filling but incredibly delicious for a vegetarian, gluten-free recipe. I just devoured my lunch portion now and knew I needed to post about the awesomeness of the recipe. The secret, of course, is in the sauce: all at once spicy, sweet, savory and unami-ey. This is a total winner, Kate! Well done!

  22. says

    Kate – I made this last night and added a number of stir fry vegetables to the mix. My mother loved it, but said: “I think I just like the sweet potatoes and sauce together best!” Serves me right for trying to tweak your recipe. :) You know best! Great combo.

  23. Helen says

    This recipe is awesome…I made it for my whole family (8 people!) at Christmas and earned some major veggie-friendly brownie points with my mostly meat-eating kin. And then devoured an entire bag of celery eating up the leftover sauce…

    • says

      That’s great to hear, Helen! So glad your family enjoyed the recipe. I should serve it to my carnivorous brothers sometime and get their opinions. And, your mention of the word “brownie” totally has me craving brownies… just added baking to my afternoon to-do list. :)

  24. Sheena says

    I think this may be my all-time favorite recipe of yours. I’m making this tonight for the millionth time. Addicted!!!! :)

  25. Genevieve says

    Wow. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to make this dish, it was a perfect filling dish for an absolutely delicious dinner tonight. I added in some pumpkin to the mix as well and it tasted fabulous. Thankyou for sharing this delicious recipe I will definitely be making it again and again.
    Now to count down the hours so I can finish off the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

  26. aimelle says

    Hi !

    I made this for the boyfriend and me last night, and it was delicious enough to make him forget it was the third night in a row that we ate a meatless dinner ! — afterwards we ate half the jar of peanut butter and i’m not so proud of that but i have like 0 willpower when it come to peanut butter. The sauce is wonderful, and i love sweet potato so much, and peppers maybe more, so it was a perfect dish, really.

    The night before we had your arugula, carrot and chickpea salad with wheat berries (well i used spelt wheat berries — i had to look that up in a dictionary, it’s epeautre in french and i hope the translation is right — because i had some in my pantry) which was reaaaaally good as well, the vinaigrette is perfect, and it was as pretty as it tasted good which is always a good thing.

    Also, your blog is great, you are great, and my #1 go-to blog when i want to make a salad because they are all beautiful and filling and wonderful. All the best to you and Cookie !

    • says

      Hey Aimelle! Thank you for your comment! I’m so glad you are both enjoying my recipes. Sounds like epeautre is indeed the correct translation for spelt. Thanks again, I’m happy you found my blog!

  27. says

    In college, I once had my entire house in a frenzy over the missing keys. We almost changed the locks. On day 7, we found them. In the bread basket. Under the pumpernickel.
    I just want everyone to know that this sauce is AWESOME! I had to skin my peanuts by hand to make the peanut butter. But it was worth it. We used it on rice noodle pasta.
    I did add a little green curry paste and freshly squeezed lemon to make it pop!

    • says

      In the bread basket! Who’d have thought? I’m glad you finally found them. My friend just found her keys in the dog food bin, but she has a one-year-old daughter to blame for that one. Happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! Your version sounds amazing.

  28. MPaula says

    You have given me an opportunity to remember my misplaced car story, which I have now shared on Facebook – after I pinned AND copied this recipe.

  29. tonya says

    I make this recipe almost weekly and I really love it. In fact, I just made it again last night. My non-vegetarian husband has even requested it sometimes when I’ve asked what I should make. The ingredients are inexpensive and it’s easy to make and tastes great.

  30. Splashing in Puddles says

    Love, love, love!!! Where has this recipe been all my life? This is seriously so good. The flavor combo is amazing. Be sure to use all the toppings. I also added tofu for protein and stirred in some fresh spinach. Sweet potatoes and peanut butter are two of my favorite things so I don’t know why it took me so long to make this. I’ll have to half the recipe next time because you say it serves 4 but I ate it all myself. :)
    Highly recommended!!!!

  31. Madeline says

    Although I’ve made dozens of your recipes, I’ve never commented before. They’ve all been delicious and so fun to make! You’ve inspired me so much. Anyway, what prompted the comment was this dish. Before I ate this, I was an avowed sweet potato-hater. Now, I cannot help but sing the praises of this dish. Sooooo delicious! Thanks for everything you do!

  32. says

    Just made this last night. It was fantastic! I love your unique ideas for vegetarian dishes. The sweet potato and red bell pepper was a great combo. I added some charred onion (roasted with the bell pepper). Served with some Kirby cucumber spears. This is going to enter the rotation for sure.

  33. Splashing in Puddles says

    This is my favorite meal, I make it all the time. I added black beans tonight to add in some protein (and because black beans are delicious!). It was so good. Totally not Thai but so, so good!!!

  34. says

    Hi Kate! I’m looking forward to trying this with some friends coming over. Question: I’m on a cleanse that does not permit peanuts. i’m thinking of using almond butter instead but wondering if you would suggest that, or another nut butter?
    Thanks and I love your blog and also that you a re a yogi:)

  35. Amy says

    This peanut sauce is so delicious! And the sweet potatoes, red peppers and rice are the perfect combo for the sauce.

  36. Kia says

    Had some chopped sweet potatoes in the fridge and headed to your site to see what I could make. This recipe is now one of my favorites! I love the peanut sauce. I was skeptical about the cumin and sweet potato together but it tastes great. Instead of brown rice, I used Lundberg’s Countrywild Rice–a blend of brown rices. Had my husband and daughter try a bite. The carnivore wants me to make this for dinner one night. Your recipes are extremely helpful on my vegan journey. Thank you!

    • says

      Kia, thank you! So nice to hear that you come to my site for recipes, thank you! Glad you all enjoyed this crazy sweet potato dish!

  37. Emily says

    Super delicious! I added some broccoli to roast with the peppers. Will make again for sure. Thank you!

  38. Carolyn says

    Soo yummy made last night and served over cauliflower rice and some shredded kale. Looking forward to leftovers tonight!!

  39. Jadzia says

    I made this tonight… and just like all your other recipes I have made it was amazing!
    I LOVE this peanut sauce :) it is amazing!
    I did have to add a lot more than the 2 tablespoons of water because it was really thick, but unlike many other sauces that become bland when watered down, adding water to this sauce made no difference to the flavour, it was still amazing :)
    I added some roasted cauliflower and it was soooo yummy :)
    Thanks for all the work you put into this site and sharing your delicious recipes, Loving It :)

  40. Samantha says

    Hello! I just made this, but I subbed cashew butter for peanut butter and it was DELICIOUS! Our daughter has peanut allergies and we’ve found that cashew butter is the closest replacement in taste and creaminess :) Thanks for all the work you put into these yummy recipes you share with us! I’ve been missing spicy peanut sauce since we found out about her allergy and this totally hit the spot.

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