This One Pan Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken is an easy 15 minute meal you can serve with rice, salad, or noodles. The spicy peanut sauce is so decadent and bright, making this chicken recipe more flavorful than you can imagine!Jump to Recipe
This Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken takes your everyday chicken satay skewers up a notch! Made in one pan with juicy chicken thighs and a homemade peanut sauce, each bite has a bit of a kick while it fills you up. It’s the best dinner option to enjoy on a summer evening or for date night.
Just like traditional peanut chicken satay skewers, the homemade spicy peanut sauce is what really makes this dish special. Brightened up with some fresh lime juice, the flavors are well balanced and not overly spicy. As a bonus, the sauce can be made a few days ahead of time and stored in your fridge so all you have to do is cook the chicken, add your pre-made sauce, and dig in!
Simply serve this spicy Thai peanut chicken over some cauliflower rice or sliced and put into lettuce cups for a low carb meal. Alternatively, serve the chicken on top of a loaded salad or for some extra protein in a bowl with noodles and vegetables. It’s a flavorful and healthy option to enjoy for both dinners and lunches!
Ingredients you’ll need
- Chicken thighs – Making this spicy Thai recipe with chicken thighs ensures the meal is as juicy and flavorful as possible. The thighs are scored before they’re marinated and cooked, meaning they’re guaranteed to soak in as much flavor as possible.
- Olive oil – To make the chicken extra juicy on the inside while crisping up the outside.
- Lime zest – Seasoning the chicken thighs with some lime zest makes each bite taste a little bright and citrusy.
- Spicy peanut sauce – It isn’t chicken satay without peanut sauce. This homemade sauce is made from creamy, all natural peanut butter, garlic, soy sauce, and fresh lime juice. A bit of heat from a red chili pepper gives this dish its signature flavor!
How to make spicy Thai peanut chicken
- Prepare the chicken thighs: Score the chicken thighs using a criss-cross pattern. Rub each piece with oil, salt, and lime zest. Cook one side of each thigh in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat while you make the peanut sauce.
- Make the peanut sauce: Stir the grated garlic, lime juice, peanut butter, and soy sauce together in a bowl. Add a little water at a time until you achieve the desired consistency. Finish by stirring in the sliced chili.
- Bake the peanut chicken: Flip the chicken thighs to the other side in the pan and spoon the peanut sauce over top. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165ºF on a meat thermometer.
- Serve: When the chicken is ready, serve each piece over white rice, noodles, or cauliflower rice with green onions and cilantro on top.
Grilled Thai peanut chicken
Make this your go-to summertime dish by grilling the chicken instead! Here’s how it’s done:
- Preheat your grill on medium and make the peanut sauce.
- Score the chicken thighs and add them to a bowl with olive oil, salt, and lime zest. Let them marinate for about 10 minutes.
- Afterward, grill the chicken thighs until they’re cooked through and slightly charred. You can brush the peanut sauce on the chicken every few minutes while it grills or spoon it over top when done.
- Serve with rice or noodles, scallions, cilantro, extra peanut sauce, and enjoy!
- Make this recipe with chicken breasts instead of thighs. Boneless skinless chicken breasts will cook quickly compared to the thighs. To avoid overcooking them, use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reads 165ºF once done.
- If you don’t have a fresno chili pepper, swap it for hot sauce instead. I like using Sriracha.
What to serve with chicken satay
This dish can be made simple when served over white or basmati rice, brown rice, noodles, quinoa, or cauliflower rice with some green onions and cilantro on top. A spritz of lime will make each bite extra bright!
To make this meal complete, you have to include the right side dishes. This is what I recommend serving with the cooked peanut chicken thighs:
More dinner recipes with chicken
Give these flavorful and easy recipes a try when you aren’t sure what to make for dinner:
- Low Carb Caprese Chicken Bake
- Keto Chicken Kofta
- Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo
- Crispy Chicken Thighs with Potatoes
If you give this One Pan Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken a try, let me know what you think. Leave a comment and don’t forget to take a picture tag me on Instagram or use #lenaskitchenblog to be featured in my stories! I love seeing what you come up with!
One Pan Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken
- 4 skinless chicken thighs, scored
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 limes, 1 ½ juiced, and 2 zested
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- 4 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce, or coconut aminos
- 1 small fresno chili pepper, finely diced or swap out for a 1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
- 2 green onions, finely diced
- 2 tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
- Score the chicken (about ¼ inch into the meat) using a criss-cross method on both sides if thick enough.
- Rub with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, and the finely grated zest of lime. Cut thighs in half if too big.
- Preheat a nonstick pan to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a pan. Place chicken without crowding the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes.
- Flip the chicken over, cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until the middle registers to 165°F with a meat thermometer and is cooked through.
- In a bowl, finely grate the garlic, squeeze in the juice from 1 lime, stir in the peanut butter and soy sauce. Now loosen with some water or extra lime juice to give you a spoonable consistency. Add ½ finely chopped fresh chili, then mix through the sauce, taste, and season if needed.
- Spoon the peanut sauce over the chicken. Slice or keep whole and serve.
- Serve the chicken over salad, rice, or noodles. Top with the chopped scallions, and cilantro leaves. Cut remaining ½ lime into wedges and serve alongside to squeeze on top. Drizzle with extra sauce and sliced chilies if you want some extra heat.