These easy, flavorful Thai-inspired chicken satay skewers are marinated in coconut milk and spices and then grilled and served with a delicious spicy peanut sauce for dipping.
Chicken Satay Recipe
Anytime we go out for Thai food, we always order the satay! My husband is obsessed with coconut milk and peanut sauce, so I make this chicken dish all the time as a meal with some jasmine rice and cucumber salad. For more of my favorite Thai recipes, try this easy Pad Thai, Spicy Thai Shrimp Salad, and Thai Chicken Peanut Lettuce Cups.
Chicken satay with peanut sauce is popular in many countries in Southeast Asia from Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia. When grilled it has a delicious smoky sweet flavor, and the lime juice gives it a bright pop of flavor. The marinated meat can be made a day ahead if you want to make this for a party.
Chicken Satay Ingredients
- Coconut Milk: I used canned light coconut milk to reduce the calories.
- Fish Sauce: The fish sauce does not make the satay taste fishy. I highly recommend using it!
- Red Curry Paste: If you don’t have red curry paste, sub green curry or use curry powder instead.
- Brown Sugar adds a little sweetness.
- Cilantro: If you don’t like cilantro, omit it.
- Seasoning: Turmeric, salt, black pepper
- Chicken: Thinly slice boneless, skinless chicken cutlets into strips about three inches long and one inch wide.
- Garnish: Cilantro, peanuts, lime wedges
What is peanut dipping sauce made of?
- Broth: Use low-sodium chicken broth.
- Peanut Butter: I used creamy peanut butter
- Soy Sauce: Choose low-sodium soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free.
- Honey: You can swap honey with agave syrup
- Sriracha: If you’re serving people who don’t like spicy food, omit the sriracha, and people can drizzle it over their chicken if they want the extra heat.
- Ginger: Grate a teaspoon of fresh ginger.
- Garlic: Mince one garlic clove.
How to Make Chicken Satay
- Chicken Satay Marinade: Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and then add the chicken. Marinate the protein for at least four hours or up to overnight.
- Spicy Peanut Sauce: Whisk all the peanut sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook until smooth, stirring constantly. Set it aside to cool to room temperature.
- Bamboo Skewers: To prevent the sticks from burning, soak them for at least one hour while the chicken marinates. Then thread the chicken onto them.
- Grill: Set the grill to high heat, and cook the chicken for two to three minutes on each side until it’s cooked through.
- Serve the chicken satay with lime wedges and peanut sauce and garnish with cilantro and peanuts.
What to Serve with Chicken Satay
To make this a main dish serve it with Jasmine rice or coconut rice and sliced cucumbers. These skewers also make a great appetizer if you’re entertaining outdoors this summer.
How to Freeze
Leftover chicken satay lasts up to four days in the fridge or three months in the freezer. Freeze the chicken in zip-locked bags or airtight containers. Then thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave.
If you don’t want to waste the rest of the canned coconut milk, save it for another recipe or double or triple the marinade, and freeze the other half for later. To use it, thaw it in the fridge and then marinate your chicken according to the instructions. You can also freeze the peanut sauce.
- Chicken: Swap cutlets with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, beef or boneless chicken thighs. And if you want to save some time, use chicken tenders.
- Allergic to peanut butter? Substitute almond butter.
- Allergic to fish sauce? Sub soy sauce or tamari.
- No grill? You can also use a grill pan or broil the chicken if you don’t want to grill it.
- Want to make them even easier? Skip the sticks and saute them in a hot skillet or air fry them 400F, about 7 to 8 minutes.
More Chicken Recipes You’ll Love
- Thai Basil Chicken
- Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken
- Thai Chicken Fried Rice
- Peanut-Braised Chicken Breasts
- Asian Chicken Chopped Salad
Grilled Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
- 1/2 cup light coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 -1/4 pounds thin-sliced boneless chicken breast, cutlets
- 16 large Bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water
- lime wedges, for garnish
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro, for garnish
- 1 tbsp chopped peanuts, for garnish (optional)
For the Peanut Sauce (makes 1/2 cup):
- 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce, Tamari for gluten-free
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp Sriracha chili sauce
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- In a bowl, mix the marinade ingredients except the chicken. Slice the chicken into long, thin strips, about 3 inches long by 1 inch wide, and add to marinade. Turn chicken to coat, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or longer.
- Meanwhile, prepare the peanut sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until smooth, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Prepare grill to high heat and thread marinated chicken onto soaked bamboo skewers. Place on grill and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Serve with lime wedges and peanut sauce and garnish with cilantro and peanuts.