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 blend of lemongrass, Thai ginger, fresh red chilis, and fragrant spices. Most large supermarkets carry it in the Asian food section.

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

  • Can these be baked as well?

    • Hi Leanne, You can cook these in the oven, but I’d broil them. Cook them for the same amount of time that the recipe indicates – about 5 minutes per side. Enjoy!

  • Well folks I am a huge OUAC fan, Jenn’s cookbook and blog are always my first stop for recipes. However this dinner was the hit of all the dinners I cooked this summer. My hungry, health conscious adult children and their kids went crazy it this skewered Thai curry chicken skewers, sauce, rice and salad! The only add on I had was Raita. Leftovers were equally good!

  • Best peanut sauce ever. All you need is a spoon.
    I’ve made this many times and never fails to get huge raves.
    (Hint: Ladies, you can wear this as perfume, I swear!)

  • Amazing! There were so many levels of flavor. The best part was that I didn’t have to go out and buy a lot of bottles of this and that. I printed this one out and have it filed under favorites. I also learned that pounding the chicken really does make it tender. AND, I had a grill brush on my shopping list, but instead, saw your brilliantly simple idea of using a tong and a paper towel dipped in oil to prep the grill and tried that instead.

    I also thought the peanut sauce would be too sweet and too runny, but when all was said and done, the flavors balanced each other so well, and the sauce was perfect.

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  • Another winner. Delicious!

    Quick question. We had a lot of extra sauce. Will it freeze well?

    JoAnn

    • Hi JoAnn, I haven’t frozen the sauce before, but I think it would work. Glad you enjoyed!

  • Fantastic flavor, followed to the tea and ended up with a delicious meal! This was my hubby’s first time eating a peanut sauce and he REALLY liked it. Great recipe, thank you.

    • Could I cook this loose on a flat grill pan?
      Don’t have skewers. Sounds SO good!

      • — Jane on April 25, 2020
      • Reply
      • Sure – hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on April 26, 2020
        • Reply
  • Agree this sauce is amazing! My family all devoured this. So so good! Will definitely make it again.

    I had a hard time grilling my chicken chunks skewered and would probably leave the pieces whole next time.

  • Family Favorite! I made the peanut coconut sauce the day before so only had to grill the chicken. Perfect recipe for a busy night! The peanut coconut sauce is by far the winner of this recipe! I made extra and used it for the week as a crudités dip. I finished off the meal with basmati rice and steamed snow peas. A must try!

  • These are quite good! However, I think I might have made a mistake of some sort when making the sauce as it was rather runny and lacked the punch of flavor that these recipes normally deliver. I would still recommend the recipe though! I have been cooking nearly exclusively from this website for about a year now and am learning a lot. My only frustration is that it takes me roughly double Jenn’s estimated time to make the recipes. I need to take a cooking class to see if I can get some tips to help me be more efficient!

    • Be aware that bottled Thai curry sauce can vary in heat, so if you’re lacking “punch” it could be your curry sauce is mild. You can always add hot sauce – such as Siracha – to kick it up a notch.

  • I’m usually a big fan, but this recipe didn’t quite do it for me. I’m not sure if I did something wrong because the chicken didn’t really look like the picture. Overall, it was tasty but probably not worth the effort to make it again. I enjoyed the peanut sauce but it wasn’t quite as flavorful as I had hoped. A solid recipe but not nearly as good as some others like the Peruvian chicken, Tandoori chicken, and honey lime sriracha chicken in my opinion.

  • This is the tastiest chicken. My adult son declared it was good enough that we should eat it on Christmas. Thanks for your wonderful recipes. I appreciate that your readers actually cook the recipes as I get so frustrated when I read comments like, “This looks like a good recipe” and nothing else!

    • I know right?? I see that on a lot of other blogs too. So stupid! Don’t just say it looks good…try it first!!

      • — Vanessa on May 4, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jenn, want to make this for New Years eve when we just st around with appetizers and wine. Can this be served at room temperature and can it be oven roasted, if so, temperature and time. Don’t know what I would do without your knowledge and experience.

    • Sure, Carol. I’d broil the chicken, turning once – cook time will be about the same. Enjoy!

  • This recipe is such a keeper! We make it often and quite a few people have asked for the source. The only change we make is we forgo the skewers and just do as chicken breasts. We also have plenty of sauce left over and save for another day. The marinade is also fab!

  • This is a great thai curry kabob recipe! Although I increased the amount of lime zest, ginger and used light brown sugar (because that’s what I had on hand), it is fundamentally the best marinade I have tried. Sorry, not a huge fan of the coconut-peanut sauce as I like something thicker and with a little punch from ginger and sriracha. The skewer recipe is definitely a keeper!

  • Loved this recipe. I dont have a grill but the broiler worked fine and I beat things out with a rolling pin. Easy to make if you have everything lined up and ready. Final product tasted great. I served it on spinach and rocket salad.

  • All I can say is this is the bomb and the peanut sauce is “drinkable” it’s so good. I made rice with chicken stock and added Thai basil to it after it was cooked, which made for another yummy layer of flavor.

  • Oh wow, this was OUT OF CONTROL good!!! And that peanut-coconut sauce!!! My guests think I’m some amazing genius cook. Nope, it’s just another KILLER recipe from Jenn.

  • This was another hit in my house! The marinade kept the chicken breast chunks very moist and flavorful. I had planned to use the gas grill but a thunder storm popped up and I used the Cuisinart grill pan instead, with wonderful results. Served the chicken with pan seared/steamed baby bok choy and steamed green beans. The coconut peanut sauce has a delicious and complex flavor and complements both the chicken and the vegetables. The addition of the lime juice gives the sauce just the right amount of “zip.”

  • This was both easy and very, very good. The peanut sauce is a fantastic complement to the chicken. (It did make a lot more than we needed; we used the surplus half a couple of days later with some baked tofu and that was very good also.)

  • Absolutely delicious; the Coconut-Peanut sauce was amazing. My sister-in-law was a missionary in China, etc. for many years and is not a fan of red curry. But this was just a subtle hint of it to boost the flavor and she loved it!

  • Wow, this was so delicious. It is full of flavour and not complicated to make. I served it to my adult son who asked me for the recipe. We are both careful about what we eat, following close to a ketogenic diet so I reduced the brown sugar by half in the marinade and eliminated it from the sauce. It was perfect. Thanks for a real keeper Jenn!

  • I tried this recipe today and it was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!! My husband doesn’t really care for chicken breast as he thinks it always taste dry but this one came out tender off the grill. He even came back for seconds. I had also tried another peanut sauce from another site that claimed to be an authentic Thai recipe and it so thick on peanut butter that we couldn’t even eat. This one is PERFECT, you can still taste the peanut but not overpowering at all, just the right combination of flavors. We liked it on everything (over grilled potatoes, steamed rice). My son is vegetarian so although he did not eat the chicken, he loved the sauce. Thanks Jenn for yet another superb recipe. I can’t wait to try your Thai Crunch Salad recipe and the coconut cupcakes from your cookbook, which I received Tuesday.

    • Glad you enjoyed the chicken! And thank you for purchasing the cookbook – I hope you find many new favorites to prepare. 🙂

  • Having never made this before and to boot never cooked with coconut milk I’m assuming I grabbed the wrong one. Mine doesn’t say low fat but does say unsweetened. Wrong one yes?

    • Hi Bob, You absolutely got the right thing – it should be unsweetened. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • This recipe is superb! (as is every recipe on this website, I’m a huge fan!) Unfortunately, everything that could go wrong for me did go wrong, but it had nothing to do with this great recipe AND I discovered multiple ways to cook the chicken. First, my chicken was slightly frozen and I didn’t have time for more than an hour marinade (still amazing). Second, my grill flame kept going out because it was really windy! So I had to move the chicken off the grill to the oven broiler. This was looking promising and the chicken was starting to get a grilled look, but then my gas oven broiler kept going out! (It was not a good day for flames apparently). So I ended up cooking the chicken on the stove top in a frying pan. Despite all the odds against me, the chicken turned out so good! My toddler and 3 year old loved it and so did my husband and I. The sauce is so scrumptious I could eat it on anything. I can’t wait to try it again the right way. Thanks Jenn for great recipes that always turn out wonderfully. I’m so confident with your recipes I’m not afraid to try them out for the first time with dinner guests (tested and perfected!). You never disappoint and I can’t wait to get your cookbook I preordered!

  • Hi Jen, I really would like to try this recipe, but my son has a severe allergy to peanuts. What can I substitute for Peanut butter here? Kind regards/Hai

    • Hi Hai, Almond butter should work if he is able to have that.

  • Hi Jenn, I wanna make this but I wanna know if I can use natural sugar-free PB or it has to be the regular with sugar and salt PB?

    • Sure, Serena, that should be fine. You may find that you want to add a pinch of salt to the sauce, but taste it first as you might not find it necessary. Enjoy!

  • This recipe is perfect! Sometimes peanut sauces can be overwhelming but this one is just right. I served these skewers with a pearl couscous salad.

  • Great recipe. The chicken was very moist and flavorful; perfectly seasoned. The coconut season was wonderful. The lime juice provided a nice freshness to the sauce. The chicken and sauce was a great combination. We served the rice and sauce over rice. Roasted vegetables as a side dish. Recipe a definite keeper.

  • My husband and I love this recipe. After reading the other reviews, I decided to cook it under our gas broiler for approximately 7-8 minutes on each side. The sauce is my favorite! I’ve used the leftover sauce to top broccoli florets or even as a salad dressing.

    • — Rachel Hartman
    • Reply
  • I want to make this recipe, but I had a few questions. I don’t have a mallet to pound out the chicken, is there something else I could use? Also, is there another way to cook these maybe in the oven or on the stovetop? (We don’t have a grill).

    • Hi Ashley, no worries about not having a mallet; any number of other items will work to pound the chicken. Check out some options here. And it’s perfectly fine to cook these in the oven – I would use the broiler and cook them for the same amount of time that the recipe indicates – about 5 minutes per side. Enjoy!

  • Jenn,
    Like all the others I’ve tried, this recipe is amazing! My family is addicted to your recipes! Since I happened onto this site sometime over the summer, I have tried at least 2 recipes a week and have many favorites that my family requests as regular meal rotations. Thank you so much for breaking down technique, pointing out the better ingredients to use, and giving me such inspiration. Before I found your site, I was in a cooking rut and now I have rediscovered the literal JOY in cooking, knowing everything I try here will be fabulous! I was wondering for this recipe if you would ever use shrimp? How could this be done? We live on the gulf coast with access to excellent fresh seafood. Many Thanks!

    • Hi Johanna, So glad you’re enjoying the recipes! Yes, I think this would work with shrimp. You would go through the same steps for the recipe, but they will take less time on the grill– just keep an eye on them. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

  • We love this recipe and I’ve made it several times, but this time the sauce split when i the lime juice and i couldnt get it to re-integrate. Any ideas on what happened?

    • Hi Erika, Did you by chance use low fat coconut milk?

      • Hi Jenn, I used full fat. I did add slightly more PB than called for, and slightly less coconut milk, because I wanted to taste the peanut more. I was also using coconut milk that I’d frozen in ice cubes and thawed, but I’ve used it without a problem before. I tasted the liquid that came out and it had no flavor at all. Weird!

        • Hi Erika, I think the problem was the frozen coconut milk. Unfortunately, it does not freeze well and will break when added to sauces. I haven’t tried this method but Cooks Illustrated recommends blending the defrosted coconut milk with an immersion blender for about 30 seconds to re-emulsify; and then using it as directed in recipes. When they did this, the recipes worked as well as those made with just-opened cans. (And they say coconut milk will keep in the freezer for up to one month.)

  • My husband and I have made this several times now & it is always a hit! Our daughter (who can be picky) loves it and our friends and family always ask for the recipe.

  • We have made these skewers twice, just as written, and my family loves them! Thanks for sharing!

  • This is one of my favorite recipes of all time. The chicken is so moist and flavorful – SUPER YUM!! I make this once a week in the summer and serve it with Thai Crunch Salad. The whole meal is just fantastic. 5 Stars just aren’t enough!!

  • My sister- in- law made us the grilled Thai chicken skewers with coconut peanut sauce and it was amazing! Even my picky carb loving daughter loved the peanut sauce on rice. My sister in law always doubles the sauce, because her kids love it so much!

    • — Chrissy mcdonald
    • Reply
  • What a great dish! Thank you for the concise and easy to follow recipe. I served it with rice and broccoli and my hubby and I loved it so much that I’m making it for a second time this week so that lovely peanut sauce doesn’t go to waste. 🙂

  • By the way…I left the curry paste out of the sauce as it would have been too spicy for my daughter. Also, I soaked the wooden skewers for 30 mins before threading the chicken and broiled the chicken in the oven about 3-4 inches from the heat for 5-7 mins as you suggested.

  • Absolutely amazing!! Thank you very much!! I have a very picky 10 year old who loves the chicken “skewers” at our fav Thai restaurant. She never likes any chicken I make but loved this and your recipe for Perfect Jasmine Rice that also came out great! Thank you so much. This will definitely be on our weekly rotation, along with your Panko Salmon. Your fantastic! Thank you!!

  • YUMMY!

  • Hi Jen, a wonderful summer dinner outside enjoying this grilled Thai curry chicken with peanut sauce. There is yummy peanut sauce leftover and think I’ll use it tomorrow in a coleslaw, thanks again!!!!

    • — Tammy macfarlane
    • Reply
  • As a “thai curry” I found the marinade was lacking typical Thai ingredients, so I added lemongrass, fish sauce instead of salt, a thai chili and lime. I used boneless thighs instead of breasts so they don’t go rubbery or overcook. They were very juicy and flavourful, and complemented beautifully by the sauce – which was terrific!

  • Amazing recipe!! Just wondering if I can freeze the leftover peanut sauce?

    • Glad you liked it! I haven’t ever frozen this sauce, but I think it would work.

  • OH my heavens what an amazing meal! I made this for dinner last night along with a salad and asparagus from my garden. My son, a cook, said it was the best chicken he had ever eaten! My husband nearly licked his plate. The chicken was delicious and the sauce made it even more fantastic. I will be making this again and again. Thank you Jen for all of the great recipes you share.

    • — JanMarie Weston
    • Reply
  • What to serve with Grilled Thai Curry Chicken and coconut sauce. What is a good accompinant?? Thanks

    • Jim, this would be nice with basmati rice and a minted cucumber salad. Also, I have a new feature on the website– for all main dishes, I suggest one or two sides that I think would pair nicely with them. To see what I’ve suggested, scroll to the top of the recipe page and, immediately under the recipe title, you’ll see a bar with several options, one of which says “pair with.” If you click on this, you’ll see the sides I’ve suggested.

  • My family loves this dish – they can’t wait for summer when it’s time to get the grill out!

  • LOVED the peanut sauce! However the marinade overpowered the chicken. I’ll make the peanut sauce again but use with a less potent chicken recipe.

  • Excellent recipe! My entire family enjoyed this chicken. It was easy to prepare and went well with the cucumber and red onion salad (under the “pair with” tab). Thank you for another recipe to add to our list of favorites!

  • Outstanding recipe. I used chicken breasts and thighs and will definitely be making this again. Served with Jasmine Rice and garnished with cilantro and roasted cashews for crunch. Perfection!

  • We adored the peanut sauce, and I had so much leftover… how long is it good in the fridge???

    • Glad you liked it Rachel! I think it should last for 4 – 5 days in the fridge.

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