Grilled Thai Curry Chicken Skewers with Coconut-Peanut Sauce

Tested & Perfected Recipes

From food writer Alice Currah, these grilled Thai curry chicken skewers are a crowd pleaser for all ages.

This recipe was passed on to me by my dear friend, Kelly Santoro. She found it in the Costco magazine but the recipe originally comes from food writer Alice Currah of the blog and book, Savory Sweet Life.  The dish is a crowd pleaser for all ages. It’s the sauce that makes it so good. My 10-year-old son, upon taking a second helping of the broccoli I served alongside, answered my surprised look with, “Mom, this sauce would make anything taste good.” I have to agree: I was tempted to forget the chicken entirely and just have the sauce as soup!

What You’ll Need To Make Grilled Thai Curry Chicken Skewers

ingredients
Most of the ingredients for these chicken skewers are pretty straightforward. If you’re not familiar with Thai red curry paste, it’s a delicious blend of lemongrass, Thai ginger, fresh red chilis, and fragrant spices. Most large supermarkets carry it in the Asian food section but if you don’t see it, be sure to ask; for whatever reason, my local market does not shelve it near the other Thai ingredients, but rather in a special Thai food display elsewhere in the store. Otherwise, you can always find it at Whole Foods.

How To Make Grilled Thai Curry Chicken skewers

pounding-chicken

Begin by pounding the chicken breasts to an even 1/2-inch thickness. This both tenderizes the meat and ensures it cooks evenly.

preparing-marinade

Next, make the marinade by combining the soy sauce, brown sugar, lime zest, vegetable oil, garlic, curry powder, ginger, cardamom and salt in a bowl.

marinade

Cut the chicken into chunks and combine it with the marinade. Cover and let marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

combining-chicken-with-marinade

Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining the coconut milk, peanut butter, dark brown sugar, soy sauce and red curry paste in a medium saucepan.

combining-ingredients-for-sauce

Bring the sauce to a boil, then turn the heat down and cook a few minutes more. Finish the sauce with freshly squeezed lime juice.

adding-lime

Once the chicken has marinated, thread the chunks onto skewers.

skewers

Preheat the grill to high. To grease the grill, lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and, using tongs, rub the paper towels over the grates until smooth and shiny.

greasing-grill

Grill the chicken about 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

chicken-on-grill

Serve with the coconut peanut sauce and enjoy! If you have leftovers, try serving the chicken over a salad — the chilled sauce makes an excellent dressing.

Note: I made several changes to the original recipe. For starters, I added a bit of salt and extra garlic to the marinade, and also swapped lime juice for lime zest as I do not like to use acidic ingredients in marinades for boneless skinless chicken breasts (they are so lean, it almost cooks the exterior of the meat and creates a leathery texture). I also pounded the chicken breasts first to tenderize them. To the sauce, I added more red curry paste and lots of fresh lime juice to brighten the flavor — otherwise, it was just too rich for my taste. To see the original recipe, click here.

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Grilled Thai Curry Chicken Skewers with Coconut-Peanut Sauce

From food writer Alice Currah, these grilled Thai curry chicken skewers are a crowd pleaser for all ages.

Servings: 5
Total Time: 40 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • Zest of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/2 - 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the Coconut-Peanut Sauce

  • 1 (13-oz) can coconut milk (do not use low fat)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 2 limes

For Serving

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pound the chicken breasts to an even 1/2-inch thickness between two pieces of wax or parchment paper. Cut the breasts into 1-1/2" pieces and set aside.
  2. Make the marinade by combining the soy sauce, dark brown sugar, lime zest, vegetable oil, garlic, curry powder, ginger, cardamom and salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix until chicken is evenly coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Make the sauce by whisking together the coconut milk, peanut butter, brown sugar, soy sauce and red curry paste in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Add the fresh lime juice. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the grill to high heat. Meanwhile, thread the chicken pieces onto skewers. Grease the grill. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning once, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve the chicken skewers with the Coconut-Peanut Sauce and lime wedges, if desired.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 547
  • Fat: 29 g
  • Saturated fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21 g
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 52 g
  • Sodium: 1106 mg
  • Cholesterol: 152 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I made this over the weekend and it was OUTSTANDING! I followed the recipe exactly and it was perfection! The chicken was tender and so flavorful on it’s own and then dipping in the sauce brought it to a whole other level. I tasted the sauce before adding the lime juice and it was so good I was afraid to add it but I did and it just added to the depth of flavor! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    • — Dawn B on June 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was SO good! With or without the peanut sauce. My daughter loved the peanut sauce, as did I. I paired it with OUAC’s Thai Cucumber Salad with peanuts (not the cucumber salad with mint recommended below the recipe) and it was a match made in heaven. The fish sauce in the cucumber salad dressing played beautifully off the peanut sauce. Our whole family really loved this dinner.

    • — Shannon on May 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen -In the description of the recipe you say to heat grill to medium – high heat. In the actual recipe it says to heat grill to high heat. No idea if it matters but…which one do you recommend? Thanks so much!

    • — Alison Dorsky on May 19, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Allison, sorry about the inconsistency there! You should heat the grill to high heat. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 21, 2021
      • Reply
  • I wanted to try this recipe as a potential dish to serve to guests at an outdoor dinner party on our deck. It is outstanding! I used Mae Ploy curry paste as I think it is so much better and spicier than Thai Kitchen curry paste. I served it with some Asian style slaw (red and green cabbage, shredded carrots, green onions and cilantro) and some thin rice noodles. We used the sauce from this recipe to dress the slaw and noodles. It was light and fresh with a little kick to it. I love that I can make everything in advance and then my husband will just grill the kabobs and dinner is ready. It will be perfect to serve at our dinner party!

    • — Jodi on May 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • This might be my favorite recipe yet by Jenn and I adore all of her many recipes I’ve made. I made it for a a group of people and got rave reviews. Our grill was broken so I made it in the oven (350 for about 15 min, I used a cookie sheet with a grill rack on top of it) it was still fabulous.

    • — Jane on May 10, 2021
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  • Just finished making the marinade & sauce. Really good. My suggestion is to use fresh ginger in the marinade not powder as it’s a nicer taste. I added more red curry paste and peanut butter to the sauce and cut back a bit on the lime juice. But this was a personal preference. Since I used regular chunky peanut butter I only used 3 tablespoons of sugar. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks for another excellent recipe. This is my go to site for what to cook next!

    • — Linda Clarke on February 18, 2021
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  • Absolutely “Delish” The chicken is very flavourful and the sauce heavenly.. in fact in my opinion… @drinkable” Leftovers tomorrow on a salad.. mmmmmm
    Instead of cardamom (as I had none) I substituted with 1/2 cinnamon and1/2 nutmeg..
    I also had to cut the lime juice in half for the sauce, hubby is not a lime fan.
    I actually broiled it in my oven.. why!
    Well where I live it was -35 today. U can hardly wait for grilling season.
    Will make this many times over!!

    • — Trudy on February 6, 2021
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  • This is my favorite item to grill in the summer which is odd because I’m more of a beef lover then chicken but I love these. And so have guests & family when I’ve served them. Oh and that peanut sauce is pure heaven.

    • — Debbie Chiet on February 2, 2021
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  • My family loves this recipe! I have tried many peanut sauces before, but this one is my favorite and so easy to make. We always have some left over and we have used it as a sauce for flatbread creations. Instead of cutting the chicken and putting it on skewers, I find it easier to just use chicken thighs.

    • — Stacy on January 30, 2021
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  • I love this recipe! I make it on our boat in the summer very often. Delish! In the winter I’ll make it and endure the cold to grill it outside, it’s worth it!!

    • — CAROL L DEFERO on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’m not much of a recipe repeater but this is a dish makes a regular appearance on our summer menu, we love it! It’s quick to pull together with ingredients we usually have. I use the leftover peanut sauce as a salad dressing or make a slaw with it. Just watch the spice level on your curry powder, some brands can be spicier than others!

    • — Sarah on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is absolutely the best kebab recipe I have ever made and the peanut sauce takes it over the top! My family is crazy about this dish! I make it exactly as the recipe is written (I’m not a cook who likes to make substitutions) and it is perfect every single time I make it. I also serve it with the cucumber salad that Jen suggested as a good side dish. The combination of the cool cucumbers, chicken and peanut sauce is a perfect dinner. I also serve the kebabs over saffron rice.

    • — Sharon on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This may be one of my family’s favorite of all of Jenn’s recipes. Along with many others! This recipe I like to prep the day before and pair it with Thai crunch salad and white rice. I like to double the recipe so that we can have left overs. We love to make this for friends because its easy to prep the day before so you are not stuck in the kitchen and can enjoy your company.

    • — Teresa V. on January 28, 2021
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  • This recipe is simply amazing.
    I usually make it with whole boneless, skinless chicken thighs and broil them in the oven. The marinade is so incredible that my husband and I make them weekly, and eat the whole pack of thighs in one sitting. I recommend this to everyone who needs a new and impressive chicken recipe for the grill. Fantastic way to make a humdrum protein interesting again.

    • — DanaC on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe turns out restaurant perfect every time. My husband and I love this recipe and make it fairly regularly. We were however surprised when my brother-in-law LOVED this chicken and sauce. He is a fast-food and blue box mac-n-cheese only kind of guy; he won’t eat fruit or veggies. But somehow he can’t get enough of this real food. Please don’t tell him!

    • — MoCoco on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Another excellent recipe, which I followed exactly as instructed. My family loved it and I look forward to making it when we are able to entertain again. There was plenty of peanut sauce left for the next time I make this.

    • — Chandra on January 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Loved this!! I followed your recipe to a T and it was delicious. The peanut sauce was especially good and really liked that it wasn’t very thick. I told my husband that I would definitely make this for guests. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes. I have your beef stew with carrots & potatoes to try next!

    • — Valerie on December 21, 2020
    • Reply
  • Another winner! The flavor of the sauce was amazing. I will certainly make this recipe again.

    • — Maria on December 16, 2020
    • Reply
  • Very good recipe. The peanut sauce was too runny so instead of cooking it 3 minutes I simmered it for 20 to thicken it up. Turned out very good.

    • — Dianne on October 11, 2020
    • Reply
  • My 4 kids loved this. Big hit in our house! The sauce is delicious and reminds me of the peanut sauce I ate as a kid with my grandparents. It’s much more runny than the thick peanut sauce that I get nowadays in my local thai restaurant. I prefer it this way though, I feel the flavor is more complex. I did not think it was too sweet at all but you could easily adjust that to taste. The chicken by itself is very good- tender and aromatic- but truly the star of the dish is the peanut sauce so if you’re not into thai peanut sauce you may find the satay lacking and in need of something for dipping. We love this though and it’s joining the monthly meal rotation.

    • — Danielle on September 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • My family (and every friend who I’ve made this for – it is now my go to recipe for guests) LOVES it. Because the sauce makes a lot, I usually bottle some as a takeaway for guests – it’s a hit!

    I’ve tried 3 of your recipes and love all of them. I just found you recently, but have you as my go-to site for new recipes!

    • — Judy on September 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • The marinade is good. Did not care for the peanut curry sauce. It was way, way too sweet. I only used 1/4 cup brown sugar rather than the recommended 1/3 cup. My PB is fresh ground at the market so no added sugar there. I added more PB, more curry, more soy to try to balance the flavors. Finally added fish sauce and that managed to cut the overwhelming sugar taste. It was worth a try but I will go back to the recipe I developed. This is the first recipe from this site that we did not love.

    • — Kathie Briggs on August 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • Could I make this with boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts? How long would I grill it for?

    • — Dianne Friedman on July 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Dianne, Yes, you can definitely make this with thighs. The cook time should be a little closer to 15 minutes, but keep an eye on them. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 24, 2020
      • Reply
      • Omg! So delicious!!! We couldn’t stop eating it!! My husband raved. The chicken was unbelievably tender. It melted in your mouth! Thanks!

        • — Brenda on August 26, 2020
        • Reply
  • The coconut peanut sauce is absolutely incredible!

    • — Valerie on July 1, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is a really delicious recipe. It makes a lot of sauce. It’s really good with jasmine rice. Pretty easy too.

    • — Judy on June 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • Could I grill the chicken breasts whole versus cutting them into chunks? This looks amazing!!!

    • — Alex Scopeletis on June 30, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure – just keep in mind that the cook time may be a bit different. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 1, 2020
      • Reply
  • Easy and delicious! The sauce is amazing!

    • — Andrea on June 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • Yet another five star recipe! WOW! This meal was delicious! I thought it was perfect as is. It had so much flavor! My husband wished it had a tiny kick to it so I suppose you could add crushed red pepper. I served it with rice and sautéed zucchini. The sauce – oh the sauce!! So delicious! Thank you again Jen!

    • — Wendy B on May 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • Wow! What a terrific recipe. I followed it to the letter. The marinade, thanks to a few hours in the fridge, was flavorful. The peanut sauce was delicious! I’ve been cooking six days a week recently, and even our 18 year-old son and 16 year-old daughter thought this was the best meal so far. It’s hard to please everyone, but this did it! I served with the homemade naan and a simple salad with creamy feta dressing, both from this site. We also had lime-cilantro rice and broccoli.

    Note: I used frozen chicken, because that’s all I had available. I was worried after I tenderized (with a flat mallet) because it looked a bit mangled and stringy. It looked even worse coming out of the marinade to thread on the skewers, but it was so tender and looked great coming off the grill.

    • — Jill T on May 3, 2020
    • Reply
  • My whole family gobbled this up!

    • — Meghan Theiss on April 4, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi -can the chicken be made in advance and reheated?
    I’m doing some dishes for a lunch at my daughter’s friends hen do.
    I have made this with the accompanying Thai salad and loved it.
    I won’t be at the hen do so want things that my daughter can deal with easily.
    Thanks

    • — Anne on February 7, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Anne, Yes, I think these could be made ahead of time and reheated. They can either be reheated on the grill or in a 300°F oven just until warm. These would also be good served room temperature if you want to go that route.

      • — Jenn on February 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I LOVE this recipe and make it a few times a month.

    I would love to prep this on a weekend to make the post-work dinner scramble a little less hectic. Two questions – first, I can prep the marinade and then add the chicken in a few days later? Second, could I prep all of it, including combining the chicken and marinade and freeze it to use later in the week? Thanks!

    • — Elizabeth on January 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes and yes (and glad you like it)! 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 31, 2020
      • Reply
  • There was waaaay to much brown sugar in this. I wouldn’t make again.

    • — Kelly r ireland on January 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • Another excellent recipe! I did add some Sambal Oelek to the sauce to give it a bit of heat. Served with jasmine rice and roasted broccoli. Topped with some basil. The creamy sauce was a perfect foil to the grilled chicken and the charred edges on the broccoli. I used some frozen Costco chicken breasts I had on hand. They can be somewhat dry, but the marinade really added flavor and kept them moist. What I really liked about this dish is that it is very fresh and flavorful tasting. Many of the Thai/Asian recipes I see lately are very salty from the use of a lot of soy sauce and the flavors tend to be muddy. Added bonus, I had some sauce left over and served it as a vegetable dip last night!

    • — Dulcie on August 27, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, Can I bake / broil instead of grilling?

    • — Lin Su on August 24, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Lin, You can broil these in the oven for the same amount of time that the recipe indicates – about 5 minutes per side. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 25, 2019
      • Reply
  • Jenn,
    I love your recipes, and everything I’ve tried in your cookbook has been great. I was mesmerized by the aroma of the marinade sauce and was looking forward to a fabulous dish. but I can only rate the Grilled Thai Curry Chicken Skewers with Coconut-Peanut Sauce a 3.

    I followed your recipe exactly, and it was way too salty. Perhaps the next time I make it I will use low sodium soy sauce, and less of it, and no added salt in the marinade. Please consider this if you are thinking about including it in an upcoming cookbook. The recommended Basmati Rice recipe was simple and wonderful, as is the Basmati Rice recipe in your cookbook. Thank you for your recipes and blog, I look forward to it every week.

    • — Cher on August 23, 2019
    • Reply
  • Good day Mrs. Segal,
    Could I bake strips of chicken for this recipe instead of grilling?
    Thanks,
    Shelley

    • — Shelley Steede on August 23, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Shelley, Yes, these can be broiled. Cook them for the same amount of time that the recipe indicates, flipping once – about 5 minutes per side. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 23, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made this recipe for a group of friends last weekend and everyone loved it! Just another one of your delicious recipes that is now in permanent rotation at my house!

    • — Erin Borden on August 22, 2019
    • Reply

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