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Peanut butter chicken proves that the best thing you can do with peanut butter is not pairing it with jelly in a sandwich, but making it into a fragrant and flavorful Thai-inspired sauce. Add it to juicy grilled marinated chicken breast and dinner is ready—and amazing.
The ingredient list for this tasty peanut butter chicken recipe is heavy on pantry staples and the whole thing comes together with minimal effort, making it ideal for those busy weeknights when you can’t gather up the will to spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen.
This recipe calls for a grill/BBQ, but you’ll also find stovetop instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
This recipe has:
- Boneless skinless chicken breast – You can use thighs if you prefer. Butcher Box is my favorite source for chicken.
- Low-sodium soy sauce – Tamari, liquid aminos, or coconut aminos also work.
- Olive oil
- Crushed garlic
- Green onion – If you buy a bunch, you can use another green onion to garnish the chicken before serving.
PEANUT BUTTER SAUCE
- Unsweetened creamy peanut butter – If you use sweet peanut butter, your chicken with peanut sauce will end up cloyingly sweet once you add the honey.
- Fresh ginger – It’s absolutely worth it to use fresh ginger, which is much more pungent and warm than ground ginger. See: Freezing Ginger
- Soy sauce
- Fresh lime juice – Again: fresh is best! Bottled lime juice isn’t nearly as bright or fragrant.
- Garlic – see: Freezing Garlic
- Coconut milk – Do not use coconut cream. You can freeze the extra for smoothies or use it to make Instant Pot Coconut Rice to serve with the peanut butter chicken.
- Sesame oil – Toasted sesame oil plays up the nuttiness of the sauce.
Step By Step Instructions
*I’ll walk you through it here with some photos and tips, and you’ll also find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post with exact measurements, etc. You can also click “jump to recipe” to skip down.
Slice the chicken breast into long, thin strips against the grain.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, and sliced green onions.
Place the chicken in the bowl and marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 36 hours in the refrigerator.
Now, make the peanut sauce. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Pour about 1/4 of the sauce in another bowl; you’ll use this to brush onto the chicken.
Prepare the grill by heating it to 450-475˚F and lightly brushing the grates with olive oil.
Use tongs to place the chicken on the grill. Cook for 4 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for 4 minutes more on the other side.
Brush some of the peanut butter sauce on the chicken and reduce the grill’s temp to 350˚F.
Continue to cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165˚F on an instant-read thermometer.
Remove the chicken from the grill and place it on a plate. Tent it loosely with foil and let it rest for 5-10 minutes, then serve the chicken with the remaining peanut butter sauce on the side.
HOW TO STORE and Reheat
Storing Leftovers: Store leftover peanut butter chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If possible, store the leftover peanut sauce separately from the chicken.
Reheating Leftovers: Although the microwave works (~45-60 seconds), I prefer reheating in my air fryer at 330˚F for 2-3 minutes.
Freezing Leftovers: Peanut butter chicken is best enjoyed right away, but you can freeze it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating following the instructions above.
What to Serve With Peanut Butter Chicken
This peanut butter chicken recipe is easy enough that you can make something else to go on the side—or, if you’re not in the mood to cook, just pick up a pouch of heat-and-serve rice or quinoa at the grocery store, along with some roasted frozen broccoli.
In the mood to cook? Here are some ideas:
- Grains, like Instant Pot Basmati Rice, Instant Pot Jasmine Rice (or Instant Pot Brown Jasmine Rice), or Instant Pot Quinoa.
- A simple salad. Chopped Cabbage Salad, Cucumber and Onion Salad, and Cold Soba Salad would all pair well with Thai peanut chicken.
- A vegetable like Air Fryer Green Beans, Snow Pea Stir Fry, or Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes.
- This peanut sauce is also amazing spooned over Air Fryer Tofu.
PRO TIPS/RECIPE NOTES
- You can sub in almond butter if you cannot eat peanuts. The flavor will be a bit different, but still tasty.
- Because there’s a lot of variation between peanut butter brands, the sauce may be a bit thick when you whisk everything together. The peanut butter sauce may also thicken as it sits. If needed, you can thin it out with additional coconut milk or a bit of water.
- This recipe calls for canned coconut milk and not coconut cream. They are not interchangeable for this sauce.
- Don’t brush both sides of the chicken with the peanut sauce unless you’re prepared to clean up a mess from your grill.
- Chicken breast can dry out quickly when overcooked. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165˚F, but not much more.
- Rest the chicken before serving to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. This is another key to tender, juicy chicken!
- As written, the peanut sauce has warmth from the fresh ginger and garlic, but it’s not spicy. Prefer more heat? Add sriracha, chili garlic sauce, or red pepper flakes.
More Delicious Chicken Recipes you’ll love
This recipe was inspired by a now-defunct blog called Life as a Plate.
Peanut Butter Chicken
- 1.5 lb chicken breast, boneless skinless
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 green onion, sliced
Marinate the Chicken
- Slice chicken breast into long, thin strips against the grain.1.5 lb chicken breast, boneless skinless
- In a medium bowl combine soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, and sliced green onions.1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 1/4 cup olive oil, 4 cloves crushed garlic, 1 green onion, sliced
- Add the chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 36 hours.
Make the Sauce
- Combine the ingredients for the sauce, and whisk until smooth. If the sauce is a bit thick, drizzle in extra milk until it is just barely pourable. It will thicken as it sits.1/4 cup unsweetened creamy peanut butter, 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated, 5 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, 2 tsp fresh lime juice, 1 tbsp honey, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 4 tbsp coconut milk, 2 tsp sesame oil
- Set the sauce aside. For food safety, I recommend placing 1/4 of the sauce in a separate bowl for brushing on the chicken while it cooks.
Grill the Chicken
- Heat a BBQ/grill to 450-475˚F.
- Lightly brush the grates of the grill with olive oil.
- Using tongs, place the chicken on the grill and let it sit for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for 4 minutes.
- Brush some of the peanut butter sauce on the finished chicken and reduce the grill's temp to 350˚F.
- Keep the chicken on the grill until the internal temp is 165˚F using an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and place on a plate. Loosely tent the plate with foil and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve chicken with remaining peanut butter sauce on the side.
- Only use low-sodium soy sauce. Regular soy sauce will absolutely alter the flavor of the chicken and peanut sauce.
- The peanut butter sauce will thicken as it sits. You can always thin it with additional coconut milk, or a bit of water.
- You can add sauce to both sides of the chicken on the grill, but your grill will become very messy.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add ~2 tbsp of olive oil to the skillet.
- Add chicken pieces to the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes on one side, flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes.