Thai Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce

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Fire up the grill for marinated Thai chicken skewers served with a creamy peanut dipping sauce that’ll keep everyone reaching for more!

thai grilled chicken with peanut sauce on tray.

I first discovered this wonderful recipe in the Costco magazine, but it comes from Alice Currah, the talented voice behind the blog and book Savory Sweet Life. The marinade—a blend of soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and spices—perfectly seasons the grilled chicken. Yet, it’s the rich peanut sauce that truly steals the show. When I first served this dish to my family about ten years ago, the reaction from my then-young son was memorable. After he went for seconds of the steamed broccoli I served alongside, and seeing my surprised look, he simply said, “Mom, this sauce would make anything taste good.” Honestly, I couldn’t agree more—I am always half-tempted to skip the chicken entirely and just slurp up the sauce like soup!

What You’ll Need To Make Thai Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers With Peanut Sauce

grilled thai chicken ingredients.

Step-by-Step Instructions

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

pounding the chicken.

Cut the chicken into chunks.

chicken cut into pieces.

Make the marinade by combining the soy sauce, brown sugar, lime zest, vegetable oil, garlic, curry powder, ginger, cardamom and salt in a bowl. Add the chicken to the marinade, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

marinating the chicken pieces in a bowl.

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

peanut sauce in saucepan.

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

skewered chicken on baking sheet.

Grill the chicken about 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Serve with the peanut sauce and lime wedges. If you have leftovers, try serving the chicken over a salad; the chilled sauce makes an excellent dressing.

thai grilled chicken with peanut sauce on tray.

Video Tutorial

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Thai Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce

Fire up the grill for marinated Thai chicken skewers served with a creamy peanut dipping sauce that’ll keep everyone reaching for more!

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes, plus at least 4 hours marinating time

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • ¼ 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
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the Peanut Sauce

  • 1 (13-oz) can coconut milk (do not use low fat)
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 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. Prep the Chicken: Pound the chicken breasts to an even ½-inch thickness between two pieces of wax or parchment paper. Cut the breasts into 1½" pieces and set aside.
  2. Marinate the Chicken: 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 Peanut Sauce: In a medium saucepan, whisk the coconut milk, peanut butter, brown sugar, soy sauce and red curry paste until evenly combined. Bring to a simmer, then cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Stir in the fresh lime juice and set aside.
  4. Grill the Chicken: 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 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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Comments

  • This dish is delicious! I feel like I have way too much sauce left over. Any other suggestions on how to use it up and not go to waste?

    • — Kelly on June 12, 2024
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! The leftover sauce would be delicious as a dipping sauce for other things like pot stickers, fresh veggies like bell peppers, or cucumbers, tossed with noodles for an Asian-style pasta, or with greens for a side salad.

      • — Jenn on June 13, 2024
      • Reply
  • This is actually a great recipe ! We looooved it!

    • — Megan on June 11, 2024
    • Reply
  • WOW WOW WOW! Chicken satay from our local Thai place is one of my faves so the bar was set high. This recipe did not disappoint, it was fantastic. I found myself with not enough soy sauce, so filled in with worcestshire. I also sliced my chicken into strips vs chunks, and threaded onto the skewers. As others suggested, I paired these with the cucumber mint salad, which is to die for! Everyone raved about this dinner. THANK YOU!

    • — Juls on June 7, 2024
    • Reply
  • Really delicious, put them into tortilla wraps, drizzled over the sauce and some crunchy veg, fabulous 👌. I did cut back on the sugar as we don’t really have a sweet tooth, but the only change. Many thanks

    • — Sinéad on June 6, 2024
    • Reply
  • I made this for the whole family and it was a huge hit. I followed the recipe exactly. I even made the sides Jenn recommended of jasmine rice and broccoli. Thank you for creating such reliable recipes.

    • — Greta on June 4, 2024
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious and so easy. My husband was snacking on the leftovers for breakfast! Thank you for yet another wonderful recipe, your recipes are always a hit!

    • — Susan on June 4, 2024
    • Reply
  • Huge hit! Will definitely make again – ok, actually did. DH asked and me, a non repeater in a week for same food, caved. The coconut peanut sauce is great. Thank you for the recipe

    • — Heather on June 2, 2024
    • Reply
  • Is it ok to freeze leftovers – chicken and sauce separately?

    • — Bette on June 2, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Bette, you can freeze both. The texture of the peanut sauce may be a little grainy when thawed (due to the coconut milk), but if you have leftovers and don’t want them to go to waste, I wouldn’t let that stop you.

      • — Jenn on June 3, 2024
      • Reply
  • Ooohhhhhhh Jenn, you never disappoint!! This was delicious and that peanut sauce!!!!! I could eat that on.EVERYTHING! ❤️
    Thank you for being my go-to for trusted recipes and taking all the stress out of cooking.

    • — Anita Rodobolski on June 2, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hello Jenn,
    Is it natural peanut butter for the sauce?

    • — Louise on June 1, 2024
    • Reply
    • No, I use a commercial smooth peanut butter.

      • — Jenn on June 3, 2024
      • Reply
      • True to the reviews… everyone loved it.

        • — Tonya on June 6, 2024
        • Reply
  • A wonderful dish! I will make it again.

    • — Trish on June 1, 2024
    • Reply
  • Very good.

    • — Sarah on June 1, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn – is there any reason I couldn’t use boneless thighs for this recipe?

    • — Tracy on June 1, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Tracy, thighs are fine but they will take a few minutes longer to cook. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 3, 2024
      • Reply
  • Is there a substitute for curry powder or can it be omitted without completely changing the taste of the recipe? Thank you..

    • — Diane on May 31, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Diane, garam masala would work as a substitute for the curry powder. Hope you enjoy the chicken!

      • — Jenn on May 31, 2024
      • Reply
  • I have tried to make a good peanut sauce for years and they always missed the boat. By a lot.

    When I saw this recipe I had to convince my husband to give Thai chicken and peanut sauce another try. I told him Once Upon a Chef has never let me down!

    This recipe was so simple and so good. Moving it into my summer rotation! Thanks Jenn!

    • — Amy on May 31, 2024
    • Reply
  • The peanut sauce in this recipe was much too sweet for me. I did like the chicken marinade and the grilled chicken was very tasty. Served it with brown Jasmine rice and steamed broccoli. Tossed the peanut sauce.

    • — Glenn Perry on May 30, 2024
    • Reply
  • Can I cut this recipe in half, and cook these as breasts like your other grilled chicken recipes?

    • — Andrew on May 30, 2024
    • Reply
    • Sure, Andrew, that will work. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 30, 2024
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, Our family absolutely loves your recipes, but we don’t barbecue so do I have to pass this up or is there another way you can suggest to cook the chicken?
    Sally

    • — Sally on May 30, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Sally, So glad you like the recipes! 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 May 30, 2024
      • Reply
  • Would you share what kind of grill pan you use for the chicken. (brand, etc.)
    Thanks,
    Vickie

    • — Victoria A Kelly on May 30, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Victoria, The pan you saw in the recipe is not for the grill; it’s intended to be used indoors on the stove (I removed the picture from the recipe to avoid confusion). I use a food photographer and I’m not certain what brand she has, but this is the one I have, and am very happy with it. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 31, 2024
      • Reply
  • What grill pan (including size) are you showing in this recipe? Assuming it can be used on the grill or on the stove?

    • — Carmen on May 30, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Carmen, The pan you saw in the recipe is meant to be used indoors on the stove (I removed the picture from the recipe to avoid confusion). I use a food photographer and I’m not certain what brand she has, but this is the one I have, and I love it. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 31, 2024
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I just realized I’m out of cardamom and ground ginger, do you think I can just leave out? Or sub with something else?
    Thanks!

    • — Adina on February 9, 2024
    • Reply
    • You can just omit the cardamom and replace the ginger with allspice or nutmeg if you have either. If not, you can just omit it.

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2024
      • Reply
  • Winner winner chicken dinner!!! Excellent & outstanding flavors! My family devoured this! Served with Chef Jenn’s basmati rice and cucumber and mint salad. Amazing!!!

    • — Tara on February 2, 2024
    • Reply
  • Loved this dish fantastic

    • — Diana Korach on February 1, 2024
    • Reply
  • How would the skewers be at room temperature? I’d like to make ahead and serve as part of a buffet.

    • — Mary Reiling on October 28, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, I think they’d still be good served at room temp.

      • — Jenn on October 30, 2023
      • Reply
  • This is the most delicious recipe! Whole family loved it, including autistic 8 year old who used to hate chicken. He said “You HAVE to make this again”. Have recommended to so many friends. Served with the cucumber and mint salad and jasmine rice.

    • — Vanessa on October 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • My family absolutely adores this recipe! So easy and so delicious. I always make your recipes as you write them with no substitutions as they never fail. Thank you, Jenn!

    • — Sharon on September 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • This recipe was amazing … so delicious. Your recipes never disappoint.

    • — Joanne on July 30, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was delish, however I feel the curry powder in the marinade overwhelmed the other flavours and the sauce and my kids all said it just ended up tasting similar to butter chicken. With a similar textured sauce to butter chicken and served with rice, my hubby and I couldn’t help but agree with them. I would leave the curry out of the marinade next time or swap it for something else.

    • — Mel on July 5, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was a miss for my family. The marinated chicken was a hit, very moist and tender. The sauce was not. It just tasted like peanut butter and seemed heavy. I may make the chicken again if I can find a sauce we like. This was a surprise because 95% of your recipes I’ve made are 5 stars…and I’ve made many!

    • — Sharon T on June 25, 2023
    • Reply
  • Really tasty marinade and sauce! Highly recommend. I was a bit skeptical about the sauce, but trust your recipes so much. They are the best.

    • — Amy on June 12, 2023
    • Reply
  • Huge hit with my guests! Everyone raved about this dish. I am allergic to peanuts so I made the peanut sauce for others and almond butter sauce for me, which turned out really well. I didn’t want to deal with skewers, so I marinated and grilled chicken thighs-easy and delicious.
    All your Asian recipes are sooo good! Thanks.

    • — Ellen on June 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • Would love to try this recipe but am allergic to peanuts. Can I use almond or another nut butter?
    Thanks,
    Ellen

    • — EKK on June 2, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, that should be fine! 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 5, 2023
      • Reply
  • Five stars and two thumbs up from our home for this outstanding Asian type recipe! It’s always a winner! Have made this recipe before and put everything together today for a BBQ dinner we are hosting with friends. Appys will include Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls with Nuoc Cham, Hoisin and Peanut dipping sauces. Serving with your Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing (a tough decision because my husband loves your Cucumber Salad with Mint), a crunchy Asian Cucumber Salad (din tai fung) and Coconut Jasmine Rice. Wouldn’t have been able to do it without you sharing your excellent recipes. Many thanx!

    • — missy b on June 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • Love love love this chicken! I’ve made it a few times and the marinade is delicious on its own and in my opinion, doesn’t even need the peanut sauce but it’s a nice addition especially if making it for company 🙂 Your recipes NEVER disappoint. I’m always confident that even if I’m making one for the first time for company, it will turn out

    • — Tanisha on May 17, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’ve hemmed and hawed over trying this recipe for a while, as I’ve never been a huge fan of peanut sauces. Finally gave it a go bc Jenn rarely lets me down! The chicken is delicious and simple to put together. The sauce seemed too sweet for me at first, and I adjusted it with a couple more dashes of soy sauce. It was still very sweet, so wasn’t sure if I’d like it. However, once it was drizzled on the chicken, all the flavors ended up very balanced. Served it with rice and some sautéed veggies and it was enjoyed by all! Next time I might experiment a bit and cut the sugar down in the sauce. But the recipe is delicious as written!

    • — Katie R. on May 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • This recipe hit the spot! The meat was succulent and delicious. I didn’t opt to go with rice but we had wraps instead (a little messy but who cares!) and couldn’t fault it with the cucumber pickle. Amazing and something I would go back to time and time again. Thank you once again Jen.

    • — Liz on April 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • I only tried the chicken marinade. I didn’t pound the chicken either, just whole chicken breast marinated about 3 hours and cooked in air fryer for 15min at 400f.

    I used ground ginger instead of fresh, avocado oil instead of vegetable oil and a little lime juice instead of lime zest. I also did not have cardamom, so I substituted cumin instead.

    It was fantastic, will use again. Going to try it on wings this weekend.

    • — Aaron on January 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • We always joke about the “rule of one” where one of our kids doesn’t like whatever meal we put on the table. Not this one! A great hit, young and old, and that sauce.

    • — Maggie Gorman on November 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I have a question: can I use the “Thai Kitchen” brand of unsweetened coconut cream in place of the coconut milk? I don’t have coconut milk.

    Thanks
    😊

    • — Lisa on August 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • I think it would work. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • This was disappointing for me My sauce came out so watery it was like consume. I used full milk coconut and was hoping it just needed to evaporate a little but it never did. I made a roux with flour and butter and that helped tremendously. It was a little too sweet for me (and I love sugar) but it was very yummy. I added a little sriracha for heat but it wasn’t the right note. As for the chicken I would not pound next time. The marinade made the chicken leathery. Almost as if I used lime juice and not zest. Jen’s zest vs juice is brilliance. I think if the chunks were fatter they might have fared better. Definitely had restaurant quality flavors going on.

    • — DR on August 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • I find that chicken that has higher (>5%) retained salt solution can have a rubbery texture. Always check the solution content in buying chicken – who wants to pay for salt water anyway?

      • — Emily on May 31, 2024
      • Reply
  • This recipe was amazing! We halved the dressing/sauce and it was still more than enough. We served this with the warm couscous vinaigrette salad. Delicious!

    • — Brooke on July 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    I love your recipes and wanted to try this one. I’m vegetarian and my extra firm tofu is in the process of marinading. I’m hoping it will work to do this in the broiler. Do you have any suggestions for me?

    • — Barb on July 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! I’ve never worked with tofu, so I can’t give you any guidance – I’m sorry! I’d love to hear how it turns out though! 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made this and the recommended accompaniments of cucumber salad and basmati rice and it was a fabulous delicious dinner. I had made the chicken some time ago and had not liked it as much as this time—maybe I had not marinated as long. This time I marinated the chicken for the recommended time. I halved the cucumber salad to only use one cucumber and it was sufficient but a little scant as it and the rice were so delicious with this peanut sauce.

  • This sauce sounds delicious! Is there a way to make this with chicken breast without skewers and a grill? 🙂 I have all the ingredients but not those. Thanks!

    • Hi Adina, I think it’s doable. I’d pound the chicken breast like in this recipe and then broil them on an oven rack in the top position. The broiling time should be about 2 to 3 minutes per side. I’d love to hear how they turn out prepared like this!

  • For Christmas I received a wonderful electric grill. Now I was on a mission….and came to my favorite site; here. And once again an exquisite recipe! It taught me how fabulous thinly sliced chicken breast grills and tastes. I make it at least once a month now! Thank you

  • Was okay, but wouldn’t make again.

  • We made this tonight and it was superb. The flavour was perfect. I made it according to the recipe with no changes. The sauce was absolutely delicious. Thanks for this super-easy and super tasty meal. I served it with coconut basmati rice with green onions and stir fried spicy green beans. I didn’t marinate it for 4 hours… just maybe 1.5 hours and it was still very flavourful so don’t worry if you don’t have time to marinate.

  • This is my family’s favorite recipe. Thank you so much! Can the peanut sauce be cooked ahead and frozen for later use?

    • So glad your family likes this! I haven’t frozen the sauce before, but I think it would work.

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