This peanut butter chicken recipe comes together in less than 10 minutes and makes for a healthy and low carb dinner. Easy to make and tastes like takeout!
My family loves my classic satay chicken so I wanted to see if I could transform it into a stir-fry kind of dish.
Most of the time, I have a plethora of sauces and seasonings in my pantry and several chicken breast fillets in my refrigerator. Instead of making my go-to quick and easy dinners using chicken like Hunan chicken and orange chicken, we now are head over heels for this easy peanut butter chicken recipe.
Table of Contents
- Ready in 10 minutes. From prep to plate, this chicken with peanut butter sauce cooks takes no time. I often make it during busy weeknights when I need something quick and easy.
- Low carb and healthy. Packed with chicken breast and no calorie-laden sauces, it’s healthy and low in carbs!
- Full of flavors and textures. Slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and with a sticky sauce, you’ll be reaching for seconds.
- Take out copycat. Like air fryer orange chicken, my family reckons this dish tastes like something you’d get at a Chinese restaurant, but so much better.
What I love about this dish is that it’s actually pretty perfect for meal prep. If I make this on a weekend, it’s easy to double or triple the amount and then have lunches sorted for the week ahead.
This recipe uses simple and easy-to-find ingredients that you probably have in your pantry as we speak. If not, you can easily find them at your local grocery store. Here is what you’ll need:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts– Skinless and boneless filets that have been chopped into bite-sized pieces.
- Cornstarch OR almond flour– Use almond flour if you follow a low carb diet.
- Peanut butter– Smooth peanut butter with no added sugar or salt. If you have a peanut allergy or want to use something else, you can use tahini, sunflower seed butter, or almond butter.
- Garlic and ginger– Must have aromatics for any good stir-fry.
- Hoisin sauce– A thick and flavorful sauce that works well in Asian-inspired dishes. For a keto option, try keto teriyaki sauce.
- Soy sauce– Tamari, coconut aminos, or gluten free soy sauce work.
- Sesame oil– A flavorful and rich flavored oil that balances out the peanut flavor.
- Water– To thin out the sauce.
- Oil to fry– Use oil with a high smoke point, like peanut oil or safflower oil.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to make peanut butter chicken
Simple is an understatement for this recipe. You follow a simple 3-step process that comes together in under 10 minutes!
Step 1- Season the chicken and make the sauce. Start by adding the chicken and cornstarch (or almond flour) in a small bowl and mixing well. In a mixing bowl, add the peanut butter, garlic, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and water and whisk together until smooth.
Step 2- Cook the chicken. Next, add some oil to a large skillet and place it over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes, until no longer pink. Once cooked, pour the sauce into the pan. Let everything simmer for 4-5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Step 3- Serve. Now, remove the pan from the heat and serve the chicken with peanut sauce over rice, cauliflower rice, or steamed vegetables.
Recipe tips and variations
- Although tempting, do not use sesame oil to stir-fry everything together. The dish will be overpowering and detract from the lovely peanut butter flavor.
- I find that using a wok or cast iron skillet to be best to cook the even quickly and evenly. If you only have a small saucepan, I recommend cooking the chicken in batches.
- Instead of chicken breasts, I’ve successfully made this dish with boneless skinless chicken thighs. The only change I’d suggest is to cook it for an extra two minutes.
- Garnish the finished dish with sesame seeds, chopped coriander, cilantro, and green onions.
- Add some fresh veggies to the mixture before adding the creamy peanut butter sauce. Broccoli, red bell peppers, and snow peas are all fabulous ideas.
To store: Leftover Thai peanut chicken can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to five days.
To freeze: Place the cooked and cooled chicken in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Reheating: Either microwave for 30-40 seconds until warm, or in a non-stick pan until the sauce sizzles.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are wary of the name, don’t let it deter you from making this dish! It’s tender chicken pieces covered in a sweet, spicy, and umami peanut sauce.
The major difference between peanut butter sauce and satay sauce is that satay sauce is made with coconut and has fewer spices in it.
You can use skinless chicken thigh pieces instead of chicken breast.
Like any good stir-fry, anything that can soak up the creamy sauce is always your best bet. Try rice noodles, jasmine rice, brown rice, or for a low carb idea, cauliflower rice.
More Asian take-out style chicken recipes
- Szechuan chicken– The Chinese-American classic but so much more delicious.
- Pineapple chicken– Sweet, salty, and seriously addictive.
- Sesame chicken– My family’s favorite chicken dinner!
- Chicken lettuce wraps– Another low carb favorite that makes the best leftovers.
- Black pepper chicken– Better than PF Chang’s and with the best sauce.
Peanut Butter Chicken Recipe
- In a small bowl, add the chicken and cornstarch and toss until coated.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic, and water.
- Add the oil into a non-stick pan and place it over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes until no longer pink.
- Add the sauce and mix until the chicken is coated. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
- Remove the pan off the heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions.
Recipe originally published March 2022 but updated to include new information for your benefit.
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