Chicken Satay Recipe


Chicken Satay is a really great dish to try when entertaining, or even just cooking for the family. It’s easy to make, is sure to impress, and the taste is amazing. Chicken satay goes great with peanut sauce and is very easy to prepare. The marinade is made from a blend of spices and satay dipping sauce which is used on either side of the chicken sticks. Here’s how to make this delicious Thai dish.


Succulent chicken satay skewers that have been expertly cooked. THE BEST creamy peanut sauce ever is included!

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce - Perfectly grilled chicken satay skewers in the most flavorful marinade. Served with THE BEST creamy peanut sauce ever!!!

I’ll be really open and honest with you guys.

These chicken satay skewers could have a leathery flavor. And even if they did, it wouldn’t matter. Because everything will taste so much better with this peanut-lime sauce.

But do not fret. It definitely doesn’t taste like leather shoes. Promise.

Instead, it’s the most exquisitely grilled, golden-brown chicken bits that are smokey and charred to the ideal degree. With the aid of a straightforward coconut milk marinade and some cupboard spices, the marinade elevates the chicken to the next flavor level.

This creamy, tangy peanut-lime sauce is the best peanut sauce you’ve ever had, and I know I say that a lot. AMAZINGLY GOOD.


yield:6 SERVINGS

prep time:2 HOURS 30 MINUTES

cook time:20 MINUTES

total time:2 HOURS 50 MINUTES

Perfectly grilled chicken satay skewers in the most flavorful marinade. Served with THE BEST creamy peanut sauce ever!!!


  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger


  1. To make the peanut sauce, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk in 2-3 tablespoons water until desired consistency is reached; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine coconut milk, soy sauce, curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and fish sauce.
  3. In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and coconut milk mixture; marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
  4. Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.
  5. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers. Brush with canola oil; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Add skewers to grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 12-15 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately with peanut sauce.

Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

The pinnacle of genuine Thai cuisine is Thai Chicken Satay with Thai Peanut Sauce! Everyone will be begging for the recipe for the chicken that has been marinated in a delicious peanut sauce, and they’ll be shocked at how simple it is!

Close up of Thai Chicken Satay being dipped into Thai Peanut Sauce

Thai Chicken Satay skewers

At the risk of sounding completely annoying, this recipe for Thai Peanut Sauce-topped Chicken Satay Skewers genuinely compares to your favorite Thai eatery.

You can just tell they are going to taste wonderful because the aroma when it hits the stove is SO GOOD.

The peanut dipping sauce is next sampled. You’ll just shake your head and wonder how something so basic could taste so delicious.

Or perhaps you’re saying to yourself, “OMG, I finally got it, this tastes just like the real Chicken Satay I had in Thailand!”

Ah, perhaps that was only in my head.

What goes in Chicken Satay and Thai Peanut Sauce

It might surprise you how few ingredients go in Chicken Satay and the peanut sauce! Here’s what you need:

Ingredients in Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

The BEST Thai Red Curry Paste

Thai Red Curry paste is a “secret ingredient” in both the marinade and the sauce. You just need about 2.5 tbsp which doesn’t sound like much, but we don’t want this to taste of red curry. We’re just using it as a flavour enhancer.

While I’m an advocate of homemade curry paste for Thai Red Curry and Green Curry, for recipes like this that use a smaller quantity, I use store bought.

I use Maesri Thai Red Curry Paste which I think is the best by a long shot. I also use this same brand for Green Curry and Red Curry for quick midweek curries.

It also happens to be the cheapest, at around $1.30 per can at major supermarkets like Coles, Woolies and Harris Farms.

Best Thai red curry paste Maesri

How to make Thai Peanut Sauce

Thai Peanut Sauce is almost unbelievably simple to make. It’s literally just a 5 minute plonk-and-simmer job:

  • coconut milk
  • red curry paste
  • cider or white vinegar (not lime juice!)
  • pure peanut butter (see below for more info)
  • soy sauce
  • sugar and salt
How to make Thai peanut sauce

“For the BEST Thai Peanut Sauce, use natural peanut butter”

While commercial peanut butter spread is ok, if you want a really great authentic Thai Peanut Sauce that truly stacks up to your favourite Thai restaurant, use pure peanut butter. You’ll find it in the health food section of most supermarket nowadays.

Pure peanut butter is made with JUST peanuts – no sugar, oil or other additives – so the peanut flavour is stronger.

Also, natural peanut butter is thinner than commercial peanut butter spreads (see below) which means you need less water to thin the sauce = better peanut flavour in Thai Peanut Sauce!

Ahead of publishing this recipe, I tried the Thai Peanut Sauce with natural pure peanut butter vs commercial peanut butter (Kraft, now Bega) side by side to confirm this!

Spoon scooping pure, natural peanut butter from jar

I’m a firm believer that Chicken Satay skewers should be tasty enough to eat on their own and the peanut sauce just takes it over the top. So I like to marinade the chicken to make it extra tasty.

Chicken Satay Marinade

Here’s what you need for the Thai Chicken Satay Marinade:

  • Chicken pieces – chicken thighs yield the juiciest chicken skewers but breast or tenderloin are fine
  • Red curry paste – see above for my recommended brand Maesri
  • Curry powder – any is fine here
  • Coconut milk
  • Salt and sugar

It’s best to marinade for at least 3 hours but even 20 minutes is long enough.

How to make Thai chicken satay skewers

Cooking the Chicken Skewers

Chicken satay is a summertime favourite to cook on the BBQ. But I usually cook it on the stove for convenience.

For a really authentic Thai experience, cook the Chicken Satay over charcoal like it’s done in Thailand!

Thai Chicken Satay Skewers cooking in skillet

Along with Thai Fish Cakes, Thai Chicken Satay is a popular appetizer on the menus of Thai restaurants. But it’s also great as a main dish. Serve it over fluffy Asian Coconut Rice (it’s wonderful!) or steamed jasmine rice. Alternatively, go all out with pineapple or Thai fried rice!

Chicken Satay

I frequently eat this recipe for chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce. It’s easy to prepare, the flavor rewards are amazing, and eating food on a stick is just plain fun!

Chicken satay skewers with lime wedges and a peanut dipping sauce

I’m not sure why, but dipping a skewer of succulent, grilled meat into a decadent peanut dipping sauce has a special appeal.

Although chicken satay is typically served as an appetizer (together with the very popular Bang Bang Shrimp), we prefer to eat it as the main course.

The fragrant Asian marinade is applied to the succulent chicken strips before they are cooked on skewers and served with a peanut dip.

They are the ideal combination of utterly delicate and utterly tasty.

You may feel good about eating seconds (and thirds!) of this chicken satay since it is also healthful.

The leftovers taste well in wraps or on salads as well.

You’ll be praising this meal all week long due to the quick and simple preparation, the possibility of leftovers, and did I say PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE.

grilled Chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce and cilantro layered on parchment

What is Chicken Satay

If you haven’t heard of satay, it’s a meal that originated in Indonesia but is now common throughout Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia and Thailand.

Even though there are many different kinds of satay, they always start with delicious grilled pork and end with a delectable dipping sauce.

A peanut butter sauce is frequently used in Thai chicken skewers and Indonesian chicken satay recipes.

I’m not sure if the sauce is necessary for the skewers to be considered “satay,” but because this recipe for Thai chicken satay contains a delicious peanut sauce, I’m going to insist you prepare it to go with it.

Grilled chicken skewers with dipping sauce made of peanuts

How to Make Chicken Satay

A quick marinade is used to start the recipe for these healthy chicken satay skewers.

You’ll want to start dipping everything in the creamy, tangy-sweet peanut dipping sauce that it closes with.

You can either serve satay sauce hot or cold. Personally, I believe that hot or room temperature satay chicken with peanut sauce is excellent.


Change the soy sauce for gluten-free tamari if you want to make a chicken satay without any gluten. Additionally, you should thoroughly check the fish sauce label because not all kinds are created gluten free.

The Ingredients

  • Marinade. A salty-sweet blend of soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, Sriracha, lime juice, ginger, and garlic. It will flavor every bite of the chicken and does double duty to tenderize the meat.


This Chicken Marinade and Chicken Thigh Marinade are my two other favorites, and you could use either to marinate the chicken in this recipe too.


Chicken can be marinaded up to 1 day in advance. I don’t recommend marinating the chicken for longer than 24 hours, as the meat will begin to break down.

  • Chicken Breast. Between the marinade and the grill, the chicken becomes exceptionally tasty and tender. Chicken breasts are also easy to thread onto skewers, so much better than chicken thighs.


Chicken satay tastes like a dream directly from the grill, but the Thai peanut dipping sauce is too good to miss.

It’s creamy, richly spiced with ginger and garlic, and has a lightly spicy, sweet note that is nothing short of habit-forming.

  • Peanut Butter. A delicious peanut sauce requires creamy, rich peanut butter for flavor and texture.
  • Honey. Naturally sweetens our peanut sauce just enough to keep you coming back for more honey also tastes outstanding paired with the peanut butter in savory dishes like this one.
  • Soy Sauce + Fish Sauce. Salty, umami flavor bombs.
  • Sriracha. For a touch of heat. If you want spicy chicken satay skewers, you can add more for an extra kick.
  • Ginger + Garlic. Two must-have ingredients that provide complex flavors.
  • Lime Juice + Cilantro. Acidity and freshness. Could use shallot or red onion as well.

The Directions

Chicken breasts in a marinade
  1. Marinate the chicken, and soak the skewers.
A pot of peanut dipping sauce simmering on the stove
  1. Prepare the peanut dipping sauce.
marinated chicken being placed on a skewer for satay
  1. Thread the skewers.
Chicken skewers being grilled inside
  1. Grill the satay skewers over medium-high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  2. Serve with toppings and peanut dipping sauce. ENJOY!


Here are some tips for making chicken satay skewers without a grill. Personally, I prefer the char the grill (or a grill pan on the stovetop) adds, but if you don’t have access, the oven will still produce good results.

  • Marinate the chicken as directed, soak the skewers, and prepare the peanut sauce.
  • When you’re ready to cook the chicken, lay the threaded chicken skewers on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Broil the skewers for 5 to 6 minutes, until the chicken is golden on the outside and cooked through.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Leftover skewers can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store the peanut sauce in a separate airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Remove the chicken from the skewers and place it on a baking sheet. Let come to room temperature, then reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees F. As soon as the satay is warm, serve it immediately; watch it carefully so that it doesn’t dry out. Reheat the sauce gently on the stove or in the microwave, stirring every few minutes.
  • To Freeze. Freeze chicken and peanut sauce separately in airtight, freezer-safe storage containers for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Leftover Ideas

If you have any leftovers from these chicken skewers (which I doubt, but hey), they go great with homemade fried rice, this Asian noodle salad, or a bed of your favorite greens.

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