Peanut Butter Chicken
Peanut Butter Chicken is a strange sounding but awesomely delicious dinner recipe that the whole family will love. The flavorful peanut butter sauce for chicken is rich, creamy, and nutritious. It's an easy to make recipe that uses pantry-staple ingredients that's ideal for a quick, weeknight meal. You'll love it!
This peanut butter chicken recipe is in the running for my favorite new recipe this year. It's similar to one I've been making for years, but this one is even better.
Why we're in love with peanut butter chicken
- Tender chunks of chicken swimming in a deep pool of peanut sauce.
- Chicken thighs for max flavor. (But chicken breasts work, too!)
- A simple to make sauce that is absolutely bursting with delicious peanut flavor.
- Refined sugar-free. We use only 1 tablespoon of honey in the whole recipe.
- Leftovers taste AMAZING and are totally worth yelling about.
- It's a healthy recipe the whole family loves.
How to make the best peanut butter chicken
After years of making peanut butter chicken, we've learned a few tricks to make it the best possible.
- Marinate your chicken pieces in some soy sauce or coco aminos. Even a little time in the marinade gives the chicken lots of flavor.
- Use chicken thighs. Technically, chicken breasts work, too. But thighs are juicier and more flavorful so it's what we prefer.
- Onion, garlic, and ginger. This is a new step for us. We add the trio after the chicken has browned and they add the best flavor to the recipe. Totally worth the added step!
- Keeping the sauce ingredients simple lets their flavor shine.
Ingredients in peanut butter sauce for chicken
Make sure to use natural peanut butter when making this recipe. Look at the ingredient list and make sure there are only peanuts and (maybe) salt.
- Peanut butter
- A can of crushed tomatoes – tomato sauce will also work
- Chicken stock
- Red pepper flakes
You may need to add a touch of salt if you've used unsalted peanut butter.
What to serve with peanut butter chicken
This saucy chicken recipe is ideal with steamed rice or cauliflower rice. You could also opt for some rice noodles or even zoodles. In the pictures, you see basic steamed broccoli and red peppers.
Here are a few of my favorite veggie sides:
Watch the peanut butter chicken video
More peanut chicken recipes
- Saucy Peanut Chicken with Broccoli and Peppers
- Nourishing Thai Peanut Pomegranate Chicken
- Sticky Thai Peanut Chicken Wings
Peanut Butter Chicken
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons coco aminos, can sub soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ medium onion, finely minced
- 3 cloves garlic , finely minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- Sea salt, to taste
- Minced cilantro, to serve
Peanut Butter Sauce
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- 15 ounce can crushed tomato
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon EACH: ground cumin and coriander
- A pinch of pepper flakes
- Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and put them into a large bowl. Add the coco aminos or soy sauce and mix. Let the chicken marinate while you chop the onion and make the sauce.8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 2 tablespoons coco aminos
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together all of the peanut butter sauce ingredients.½ cup natural peanut butter, 15 ounce can crushed tomato, 1 cup chicken stock, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon EACH: ground cumin and coriander, A pinch of pepper flakes
- Heat the oil in a large, non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Pour the chicken and soy sauce into the pan (careful, it will splatter) and move the chicken around so that it is in a single layer. Let it cook undisturbed for 5 minutes then turn the chicken pieces over and let them cook for another 5 minutes.1 tablespoon oil
- Add the onion to the pan and let it cook for 3 minutes, or until it is transparent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 more minute.½ medium onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- Pour the peanut butter sauce into the pan and let it cook until it begins to thicken a little, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and serve with a little minced cilantro.
I hate when I find a recipe years after it was published! … I airways feel foolish asking questions that late … kinda like trying to talk about the movie “Heat” with people over a decade later than it’s release …
here goes my question
if I wanted to use chicken wing portions, how many would I use? … and do I leave the skin on or skin them?
Not foolish at all! We haven’t tested it with wings so not sure about the quantity. But I would bake them until crispy and then toss them in the sauce. Or you can skip the guess work and use out peanut butter wings recipe!
I had a taste for a peanut butter sauce with my chicken, then came across this recipe. Had all the ingredients and went for it. Needless to say it was a hit with me. I enjoyed so much that I had seconds (rare for me.)
I’m out of honey and have no diced tomatos what can I sub? Or should I omit?
Maple syrup, brown sugar, or even white sugar will work for the sweetness. You could crush whole canned tomatoes or use crushed tomatoes instead.
How much chicken total should this be? I used 1.5 pounds and there seemed to be too much sauce but the recipe says it serves 4. Thanks!
While chicken thighs vary in size, you’ll generally get 4 to a pound. So for this recipe you’d want 2 pounds.
A very quick and VERY tasty base recipe that can easily transform into a whole new dish with just a few ingredient variations …
For those who do not like a tomato base, try using canned Coconut Milk (NOT Coconut Cream) and garnish with chopped cilantro or chives. OR Variation 2: Try an Almond or Cashew Butter, Coconut Milk and a bit of crushed red pepper variation of the base recipe, garnish with (same flavor) chopped/sliced nuts, chopped cilantro or chives…also very good.
Quite delicious! Going to be a quick and tasty “go to” in the future. Nice n easy, thank you.
Really good! I had chicken breasts on hand, so I used those, and added a little butter at the end. For my taste, it also benefitted from a bit of Sriracha. This will is so easy and tasty. It’s going into heavy rotation.
Hey Kristen, what are some other options options for thickening up the sauce?? My toddler and boyfriend are very pick eaters and they won’t eat tomatoes?? Also, can you make this in a wok pan??
I suggest trying this recipe instead: https://www.theendlessmeal.com/saucy-peanut-chicken/ 🙂
Loved it. I used left over bbq chicken, jar minced garlic & ginger, chicken stock powder, can Italian diced tomatoes & frozen coriander roots & stems, plus extra pepper flakes served with brown rice as those were the ingredients to hand.
Definitely will make again.
This was amazing! I’m full and I still want more! Thank you so much for the recipe! I added some sauted carrots, eggplant and peppers seasoned with salt and coriander and sprinkled some sesame seeds. It was deliciously delicious!!
I just threw everything into a crockpot. What a fantastic recipe. Will make often! Thanks!!
So awesome to know that it works in a crockpot!
This recipe is delicious. Will definitely prepare it again. My family loved it and they are requesting it on a regular bases. Reminds us of a sweet mole.
I cannot eat tomatoes in any form. I substitute chicken broth for tomato a lot. Would you suggest using a full can of broth or just a half a can?
The tomato both adds flavor and thickness. If you’re making that sub, I would add just enough so that the sauce isn’t thick. Add a little, then add some more if needed.
Can you substitute cashew butter or almond butter? I’m not sure which would be better for the flavor combo. Thx!
Both would work but I think almond butter would have the best flavor. 🙂
Delicious and easy to make. Both husband and I enjoyed and will definitely make again
So yummy! I just made this tonight and my kids loved it too! ?
The tomato and peanut did not mix well for my taste buds.
This is what I am looking for…
Can ground ginger be used? If so how much?
Ground ginger will work in a pinch! I would use the same amount. 🙂
Ah, a ? different taste treat. I substituted 1/2 teaspoon of Curry as I was out of Corriander. I also used a can of diced tomatoes for my choice over tomato sauce. Super delicious and something unusual.
Would this freeze?
While I haven’t tried doing it, it should work. Peanut butter does freeze well so I think it would be fine to freeze this recipe. If you try it, I’d love to hear how it turns out!
I often cook Indonesian meals, so peanut butter is often served with meats. I used fresh peas from the garden, along with chopped Swiss chard. I skipped the honey. I also used diced tomatoes, instead of crushed. It was a hit with my husband. He asked if I had taken notes on how to make it again.
Thanks for a delightful meal.
Made it with chicken breast! I chose to add Greek yogurt in to thicken up the sauce. Loved this, thanks Kristen!
You’re so welcome!
This is a major hit! Thank-you!! All three kids and hubby just love it and ask for it every couple of days. Thank you!
Love it! That’s so great to hear, Vee!
This is fantastic! I added broccoli and red bell pepper and skipped the coriander because I didn’t have any and WOW. Will definitely make again.
Yay! Thanks for letting us know, Emily!
OMG girl this is amazIng! Kids and hubby devoured it and asked me to make it again. It’s a winner!
So happy to know that you love the recipe as much as we do!
Sounds delicious and easy. I don’t have chicken right now, so will use pork belly instead. Wish me luck.
I’m interested to hear how it worked with the pork belly! I usually use this recipe when I cook pork belly. I’ve never thought of making it in a sauce. I may have to try it!
Just made this for the first time. Mine came out much more orange than red as in the photo. Any thoughts on what I did wrong? Thanks!
I don’t think that you did anything wrong. Color can sometimes look different because of lighting. If I cooked mine more the color would be deeper. Maybe that was it.