This Thai peanut chicken with coconut milk is quick, easy and delicious. A perfect weeknight meal. Serve with rice noodles, pasta or rice. Great in a rice bowl, too.
Why you'll love this Thai Peanut Chicken recipe
This Thai chicken dish features the wonderful flavours of coconut milk and peanut butter, but with some added spices, to make it a little more complex. It comes together so quickly and easily on the stovetop (no oven required!) and is ready in just about 30 minutes, so it's perfect for a weeknight meal.
I love that it's made with ingredients I always have around, so it requires no special planning. Perfect for when I have chicken thawed without a plan :)
This peanut chicken is also so versatile, so you can serve it with rice noodles, pasta or rice. Or enjoy it in a rice bowl or just on its own with some vegetables.
Finally, I love that this peanut chicken uses just a small amount of peanut butter and a small can of coconut milk. No need to use half a jar of peanut butter to enjoy lovely peanut chicken!
Chicken - you can use either boneless skinless chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe.
Asian Chili Garlic Sauce - this is what provides a little spice to this dish. You can adjust the amount to suit your taste or omit, if you don't want any bit of kick to your dish. You can substitute Asian Chili Garlic Sauce with Sambal Oelek (use about 1/2 as much) or some Sriracha, to taste.
Coconut milk - As written, the base recipe needs a small can of coconut milk (the mini ones). If you only have a large can, use about half, then you can freeze the other half, if you like. You can use either full fat or light coconut milk here, though with light coconut milk, the sauce is a little thinner.
Lime - I highly recommend the lime here, if you can. It is the perfect flavour to finish this dish and really brightens the flavours. If you don't have limes on hand, you can substitute with a bit of lemon or orange juice and zest. A teaspoon of white or rice wine vinegar might also work here to provide an acidic note.
Making Thai Peanut Chicken: Step-by-Step
This easy peanut chicken cooks entirely on the stovetop! Start by cooking the chicken pieces until they are no longer pink. Add the onion and cook until it softens. Add the spices, peanut butter and coconut milk and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes.
Finish the dish with some lime zest and a squeeze of lime juice. Stir in a bit of chopped cilantro, too, if you like.
What to serve with Thai Peanut Chicken
Serve over rice or toss with cooked rice noodles or pasta. Add to a rice bowl with steamed vegetables. Enjoy on it own with some steamed broccoli or broccolini or just go with a side salad.
Making ahead, storage and freezing
You can easily make this ahead and reheat. Simply pop it back into a skillet to rewarm. If sauce thickens, loosen with a splash of water or chicken stock.
Leftovers will keep in the refrigerate for 2-3 days, or freeze up to 3 months.
Quick and Easy Thai Peanut Chicken
- 5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or 2 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1-2 tsp cooking oil
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt, a touch less if using regular soy sauce
- 1 tsp ginger paste, or 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger or 1/4 tsp dried ginger powder
- 1 tsp Asian Chili garlic sauce, plus more, to taste or Sambal Oelek or Sriracha
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce, low-sodium recommended
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter, smooth or crunchy, plus a bit more stirred in at the end, if you like
- 5.5 oz coconut milk, small/mini can or measure out about 2/3 cup of stirred coconut milk from a larger can
- 1/2 tsp lime zest, optional, but recommended
- Juice of 1/2 lime, optional, but recommended
- Chopped cilantro, optional
- Chopped peanuts, optional
- Lime wedges, for drizzling
- Heat a large skillet or pot over medium heat on the stove-top. Add the cooking oil and chicken pieces and cook, stirring regularly, until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened. Add the remaining ingredients, through to the coconut milk and stir to combine well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 10-15 minutes to thoroughly cook the chicken and blend the sauce flavours.
- Add the lime zest and lime juice, if using and stir in. Add some of the chopped cilantro and stir in. Taste the sauce and add additional salt, as needed (I find it usually needs a bit of salt to round out all the flavours). If you want a touch more peanut flavour, you can stir in another Tablespoon of peanut butter, as well.
- Serve garnished with additional chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts and lime wedges. Can be served over rice or tossed with rice noodles, if desired, or enjoy on its own with vegetables.
Nutritional information provided for general guidance only and should not be relied upon to make personal health decisions.
Adapted from a Best of Bridge recipe