Chicken in Peanut Sauce

$6.70 recipe / $1.68 serving

2013 is going to be GREAT, I can feel it!

This is the first recipe of the year and I already know that it’s going to go on next year’s “best of” list! It’s SO good and SO easy. Peanut and coconut combine to make an incredibly luxurious and creamy sauce for the chicken, which is then sassed up with just a little soy sauce, brown sugar, lime, and sriracha! If you don’t have sriracha, you can just add a pinch of red pepper flakes… or just leave it out for a mild version.

Of course this “luxurious” sauce is a little high on the fat content, so make sure to serve this up with a side of some yummy vegetables, like this Crunchy Asian Salad. And, if you can find it, serve it over brown jasmine rice for some added fiber.


Chicken in Peanut Sauce

Chicken in Peanut Sauce

4.5 from 22 reviews
chicken in peanut sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $6.70
Cost Per Serving: $1.68
Serves: 4
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 2 inches fresh ginger $0.14
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil $0.08
  • 1 lb. chicken breast* $1.99
  • 1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk $2.14
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter $0.66
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce $0.10
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • ½ teaspoon sriracha hot sauce (optional) $0.02
  • 1 medium lime $0.50
  • ¼ bunch cilantro (optional) $0.20
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice $0.69
  1. If you don’t have cooked jasmine rice on hand, begin cooking your rice first so it will be ready by the time the chicken and sauce are complete. To begin the sauce, mince the garlic and then peel and grate the ginger into a large skillet or pot. Saute both in the vegetable oil over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until they are soft and fragrant.
  2. Cut the chicken into small pieces (about one inch across). Add them to your skillet or pot. Saute until lightly browned and cooked through (about 10 minutes).
  3. Turn the heat down to low and add the coconut milk and peanut butter. Stir gently to combine the two and dissolve any browned bits off of the bottom of the pan. Once the sauce is relatively smooth, add the soy sauce, brown sugar, sriracha, and juice from half of the lime. Stir to combine and heat through (about ten minutes).
  4. Pull the cilantro leaves from their stems and roughly chop. Scoop about one cup of jasmine rice into the bottom of each bowl and then top with the chicken and sauce (about ¾ cup). Sprinkle the fresh cilantro over top and enjoy!
*I buy my chicken breast in bulk/on sale to get a low price and freeze it for later use.

Chicken in Peanut Sauce

Step By Step Photos

ginger garlic oilStart by mincing the garlic and grating the ginger (peel the ginger with a vegetable peeler or scrape the skin off with the side of a spoon). Saute both in vegetable oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.

raw chickenCut the chicken into small pieces, about one inch across each.

cooked chickenAdd the chicken to the pot/skillet and saute until cooked through (about 10 minutes). It’s okay if stuff sticks to the bottom of the pan because it will dissolve off into the sauce, just don’t let it go past “brown” to “burned.”

coconut peanutNext, add the coconut milk and peanut butter.

stir to dissolveTurn the heat down to low. Gently stir (to minimize splashing) the two together until they are smooth and all of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan have also dissolved in.

FLAVOR!Now it’s time to add a little pizazz! We’re touching all of the flavor bases here with the soy sauce, brown sugar, sriracha, and lime juice. You can start with juice from half of the lime and add more if you’d like. If you don’t have sriracha, add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little heat.

finished sauceStir all of those flavor ingredients in and your sauce is finished! Allow the sauce to heat through and then serve. Just make sure to have the heat low enough so that the pot does NOT boil. If it reaches a boil, the coconut milk will separate.

Chicken in Peanut SauceServe with cooked jasmine rice and a sprinkle of fresh, chopped cilantro. INCREDIBLE.


  1. Kayla says:

    We cooked this last night and really liked it. The peanut flavor was just right, not too light, but not overwhelming and the hint of Sriracha and lime was perfect! Definitely a keeper.

    My husband and I have been on a budget byte recipe marathon as of late. After over a year of having a food budget that had exploded into something north of scary and feeling more unhealthy than ever, we decided we needed to cut back and eat a little better. We’ve been cooking through your arsenal of recipes, along with others from other food blogs, to see what we want to add to our permanent rotation.

    Thanks for spending the time to do this, and coming up with recipes that taste twice as expensive as they really are.

  2. Stef says:

    I have never commented on recipes before but I had to… this was amazing! I used left over cooked chicken, added a sad looking red pepper I had forgotten in the bottom drawer and voila’ I had dinner on the table in 10 minutes. I also used whipping cream instead of coconut because I had none and it still turned out amazing! Thank you for sharing, definitely a keeper:)

  3. Flynn says:

    I finally made this tonight – with tofu, broccoli, and red peppers. Beth – you rule. The coconut milk and peanut butter where perfectly balanced. So much Thai flavor my husband asked if there was fish sauce in it. Then I realized our meal was happy-accident vegan. (Love that!)

  4. Do you think this would work with almond butter? I don’t have an allergy or anything, I’m just simply not a peanut butter fan and I’m curious if different nut butters would work as plausible substitutes.

    • I don’t see why it wouldn’t work the same, although I can’t speak for the flavor. Not sure how it would taste. :)

  5. Brittany says:

    This has become my husband’s new favorite recipe, and it took a couple tweaks, but this recipe really soars! We doubled the spice, doubled the lime, and… We added about a tablespoon of fish sauce!! That did it. Those adjustments gave this recipe the depth we were looking for. Had a great base, just needed a little boost.

  6. I’ve tried this recipe out several times and love it! I was thinking about adding some curry powder, and was wondering if you had any thoughts on how much to add.

    • Start with 1/2 Tbsp, and add more if it’s too light. I usually add a lot of curry powder to things (1-2 Tbsp), but it’s definitely going to depend on the brand. They’re all so different!

  7. DocTony says:

    Great recipe! I did a couple of minor things differently. I increased the sriracha because I like the heat in contrast with the peanut butter. Second, I waited to add the ginger and garlic to the pan. Garlic gets bitter when it is overcooked (and gets brown), so I NEVER add it at the start of a recipe. I add it at the end of cooking, and sauté it long enough that it becomes fragrant.

  8. Lorisnowco says:

    Made this last night and the family loved it! I took some advice from other reviewers and cut the p-butter to 1/3 cup and increased the siracha a bit but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Yum! Thanks again – love your posts. :D

  9. Cassie says:

    We’re a 2 person, 2 income family and we’re always looking for ways to cut costs so we can save more. This site is perfect for us!! My husband is a very picky eater, so I’m constantly looking for recipes that I can add to or remove things from and this is one that you can doctor until it’s just right for you. We both love this recipe (as well as many others on this site). I usually add stir fry veggies to spread the recipe out for lunches the next day. Also, we’re a Frank’s red hot house, but that works just as well as the sriracha. Please keep adding new recipes!!!

  10. Brandie says:

    I’ve been looking for a peanut butter chicken/noodle recipe. I had a peanut sauce chicken dish at cheese cake factory that was noodles, chicken, veggies, crushed peanuts and it tasted like warm sweet peanut butter with a kick! They have discontinued that dish and it was my favorite thing to eat. I’ve been told to try Thai peanut sauces and Ive tried many many dishes and pre packaged sauces and a bunch of recipes and I CAN NOT GET CLOSE to the peanut buttery sweet taste that I want with a hint of spice. Is this sauce sweet and peanut buttery? If so please let me know

    • It’s not too sweet, although you could always add a little brown sugar or honey to make it sweet to your liking. But yes, it’s very peanut buttery :)

  11. Alison says:

    Do you think this recipe would work in a slow cooker? I’m hesitant to try it, worried about the peanut butter maybe burning. But it seems like slow cooking would really help the flavors blend.

    • Hmm, I’m not sure it would work because when coconut milk gets over cooked it curdles, so a slow cooker might be dangerous in that regard.

  12. I didn’t have any sriracha, so I put 1/2 tsp red thai curry paste in the pan with the garlic and ginger and it came out wonderfully.

  13. Kelly says:

    Everyone that tried this when I made it raved and loved it. Even my boyfriend…a non Chinese lover..LOVED it. Totally 100% will make again.

  14. Dawn says:

    You have managed to achieve the trifecta of cooking: affordable, delicious, and healthy meals! May God bless you.

  15. Danyel says:

    This was my first miss. I made this according to directions but it was bland and too peanut buttery. I added extra sriracha and extra lime to balance it and it was an improvement but still not good. My husband only got down one bit and wouldn’t eat more. We have eclectic tastes but it just wasn’t for us. After three glowing successes in a row, maybe my expectations were just too high.

  16. megan says:

    Too good!

  17. Megan says:

    Absolutely delicious! I did about an extra half tbs of soy sauce and some extra lime. I also added a little extra Sriracha because we like the spice. This is amazing! Totally would do it again, hubby requested that it be added to our list of things we really like and do a lot.

  18. lindsay says:

    This recipe is suppppeeeerrrr DELICIOUS . I made it and came just perfect , my boyfriend is a chef and I impressed him ;). Thanks

  19. Carol Zapena says:

    So simple yet so delicious! This recipe is so easy. You can add veggies or tofu. With the sauce you can also add on to pastas such as the zero calorie pasta or fetuccini for instant pad thai. Yummy!

  20. Lalita says:

    Another hit! Seems like I could have used more chicken since there was a lot of sauce. Hubby went back for seconds. This will be a fun recipe to play around with.

  21. Beth N. says:

    I made this tonight and it was AMAZING!!! I didn’t use the hot sauce (I’m a wimp, lol) or cilantro (didn’t have any). I had to use ground ginger and lime juice, instead because they were all I had. This tasted just like our local Thai restaurants peanut chicken dish!!!! Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!! I told my neighbor about it and printed a copy out for her tonight as well, as she tried a sample and loved it too! My toddler and husband agreed it was yummy!!

  22. Timo says:

    Just cooked this recipe with a little alteration as i wanted a thicker sauce. The sauce on the pics seemed to be a little runny. I added some crushed pepper to add abit of oomph. But overall, good recipe. Thanks

  23. Beth says:

    I was wondering how this freezes? I was thinking of making it all up, putting it on a bed of rice and freezing it in individual portions for my husband to take to work for lunch. Thanks for any thoughts!

  24. wunmi says:

    This was awesome. Just made it and eating it as I type! I added onions and spices to the chicken pre-sauce. Thanks so much. Will be checking out your blog more often.

  25. stovesand says:

    tastes like warm peanut butter and nothing else. my husband and daughter wouldn’t eat it. I tripled the soy sauce and it still didn’t help. way, way, way too much peanut butter. i’d say get that down to 1/8 of a cup. won’t be making this again

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