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Tender chicken marinated in a rich and creamy peanut sauce, broiled or grilled to perfection. I’ve been making this Thai chicken satay-inspired recipe for 15 years, and I think you’ll love it as much as we do! Serve as skewers like chicken satay, or over rice, drizzled with extra sauce for a most delicious meal.

Overhead view of a bowl of Thai peanut chicken and rice with lime wedges.

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • Inspired by chicken satay, this recipe is rich, creamy, and super satisfying, with layers of complex flavors that compliment each other beautifully. Peanut butter. Lime juice. Coconut milk. Soy sauce. Brown sugar. Red pepper flakes. If you’ve never had Thai peanut chicken before then you’re probably thinking “Mmmmmm, I don’t know about those flavors together”, but BELIEVE ME they’re delectable.
  • It’s honestly a really easy recipe. Mix up a marinade, let the chicken chill in it, then cook! I’ve included two cooking methods so you can have broiled or grilled Thai peanut chicken – your choice! I love the smokiness of the grilled chicken, but also the ease of the broiled chicken. They’re both delicious.
  • With a few simple swaps, you can adapt this recipe to fit a variety of dietary needs. Even the rice can be swapped out for quinoa or cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles or palmini. Head to the notes section of the recipe card below for our suggested substitutions.

Chef’s Tips

  • If you have a peanut allergy to accommodate, or if you’re paleo and can’t have peanuts, you can use almond butter or cashew butter instead. It won’t be peanut chicken, obviously, but it’ll be yummy.
  • Marinate the chicken at least one hour so it can tenderize, but don’t let it marinate for more than 8 hours. Too long in the marinade and the acid in the lime juice will start to break down the chicken, making it tough instead of tender.
  • Don’t let the red pepper flakes intimidate you. I promise this isn’t an overwhelmingly “hot” or “spicy” recipe. If you’re not convinced, start with just ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, then taste the sauce and adjust up from there, adding more flakes in ¼ teaspoon increments and tasting between each.
Zoomed out, overhead view of 2 bowls of Thai peanut chicken and white rice with lime wedges on a wooden table.

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Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
4.92 from 12 votes

Thai Peanut Chicken

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Marinate 1 hour
Total 1 hour 25 minutes
Tender, juicy chicken thighs in a rich and creamy peanut sauce and served on skewers or with a side of rice.
4 servings


  • Medium bowl
  • whisk
  • small bowl with lid or plastic wrap to cover
  • large baking dish or large mixing bowl, to marinate chicken
  • tongs or silicone spatula
  • Plastic wrap
  • refrigerator
  • Broiler or grill
  • skewers metal, or wooden skewers soaked in water 30 minutes; optional
  • wire baking rack if not using skewers
  • Cooking spray
  • baking sheet
  • internal meat thermometer


For the Peanut Sauce

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk from a can, stirred well
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice approximately 1-2 limes' worth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or fish sauce
  • 1 ½ packed tablespoons brown sugar dark preferred, see Notes
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus more to taste

For the Chicken

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized chunks

Serving Suggestions (All Optional)

  • cooked white or brown rice
  • whole or chopped peanuts to garnish
  • chopped green onions to garnish
  • chopped cilantro to garnish
  • lime wedges to garnish


  • Add peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes to medium bowl. Whisk well until ingredients are fully combined.
    Overhead view of Thai peanut chicken sauce in a white mixing bowl on a marble tabletop.
  • Transfer 1 cup of prepared sauce to small bowl and cover with lid or plastic wrap, then place in refrigerator and chill until ready to serve. Set remaining sauce aside.
  • Place chicken pieces in baking dish. Cover with remaining peanut sauce, then toss or stir chicken to coat well. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to 8 hours max. Toss or stir chicken again at least once during marinating time.
  • After chicken has marinated for desired length of time, remove dish from fridge and uncover. Thread marinated chicken pieces onto skewers if using, then place on lightly-greased baking sheet. If not using skewers, fit baking sheet with wire baking rack and place chicken pieces on top of rack.
    Overhead view of marinated Thai peanut chicken pieces on a wire baking rack on a gold baking sheet.

To Broil Chicken

  • Preheat broiler to high. When preheated, place baking sheet with chicken under broiler. Broil chicken 6 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160° Fahrenheit.
  • While chicken cooks, remove refrigerated sauce from fridge and bring to room temperature.
  • When chicken reaches 160° Fahrenheit according to internal meat thermometer, carefully remove skewers from under broiler and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve grilled chicken with desired sides, garnishes, and room temperature peanut sauce.

To Grill Chicken

  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat, approximately 375° to 450° Fahrenheit. Lightly spray grill grate with cooking spray (optional).
  • When grill reaches desired temperature, place chicken skewers directly on grill grates, over indirect heat, and close grill lid. Grill chicken 6 minutes, then flip chicken and grill another 6 to 10 minutes. Chicken is ready when it reaches 160° Fahrenheit internally and releases from grates easily.
  • While chicken cooks, remove refrigerated sauce from fridge and bring to room temperature.
  • When chicken is ready, carefully remove skewers from grill and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve grilled chicken with desired sides, garnishes, and room temperature peanut sauce.
  • If you plan to serve the chicken on the skewers (rather than removing the skewers after cooking), you can either divide the skewers evenly onto individual plates, or transfer them all from the grill to a serving platter and let everyone grab their own.
  • Make it Gluten Free: Use a gluten-free soy sauce or fish sauce, or use lite tamari.
  • Make it Paleo: Use cashew or almond butter instead of peanut butter, and fish sauce or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar.
  • Make it Keto: Use a low-carb peanut butter that only contains peanuts and salt. Replace the brown sugar with Brown Swerve.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 576calProtein: 54gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 215mgSodium: 772mgPotassium: 954mgTotal Carbs: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gNet Carbs: 6gVitamin A: 133IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 68mgIron: 5mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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