Chicken in Peanut Sauce

$6.70 recipe / $1.68 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.48 from 38 votes
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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

Top view of a bowl of Chicken in Peanut Sauce with a napkin and fork on the side

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Chicken in Peanut Sauce

4.48 from 38 votes
A rich and creamy chicken in peanut sauce over fragrant jasmine rice.
Servings 4
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 30 minutes


  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 2 inches fresh ginger ($0.14)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil ($0.08)
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast* ($1.99)
  • 1 14oz. can coconut milk ($2.14)
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter ($0.66)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.10)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha hot sauce, optional ($0.02)
  • 1 lime ($0.50)
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, optional ($0.20)
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice ($0.69)


  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • 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 3/4 cup). Sprinkle the fresh cilantro over top and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


*I buy my chicken breast in bulk/on sale to get a low price and freeze it for later use.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 647.43kcalCarbohydrates: 93.65gProtein: 39.78gFat: 27.2gSodium: 991.13mgFiber: 4.6g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Bowl of Chicken in Peanut Sauce with fork, bottle of Sriracha, and lime slices on the side

Step By Step Photos

ginger and garlic in olive oil in skillet
Start 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 chicken cut into small chunks with knife
Cut the chicken into small pieces, about one inch across each.

chicken added to skillet and cooked
Add 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.”

can of coconut milk and measuring cup of peanut butter
Next, add the coconut milk and peanut butter.

peanut butter and milk added to skillet with chicken to dissolve
Turn 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.

sauce/seasoning ingredients
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.

seasoning ingredients stirred into skillet with chicken
Stir 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.

Top view of a bowl of Chicken in Peanut Sauce, the pot of chicken in peanut sauce and a bowl of white rice
Serve with cooked jasmine rice and a sprinkle of fresh, chopped cilantro. INCREDIBLE.

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  1. I have made this several times over the years and it’s always a go to for me! This would be great with a side of broccoli.

  2. This stuff is absolutely amazing! First time I made it, I served it with rice noodles which soaked up all the sauce, so I doubled the sauce ingredients for the second time. It’s got a great balance of flavours if you know how to treat the accoutrements. Definitely a recipe to use natural peanut butter in, since the other stuff would throw everything out of wack.

  3. For heat I used a shredded jalapeno pepper — cheese shredder, big holes. The second time I made it I used half the peanut butter (I use Kroger Natural — no sugar and it’s under $2/jar). I also had diced red bell pepper on hand and a peeled onion (dice the onion and soften covered in the microwave 4-5 minutes). They added great texture and color. Looking forward to trying this with chicken leg quarters!

  4. Can you just make a jar of this sauce and keep it in the fridge?? My boyfriend and I just want to put it on EVERYTHING but I don’t know how long it would keep. 

    1. You may want to experiment. Peanut butter can have a mind of its own, depending on the brand and how it’s processed. I made peanut butter frosting with regular sweetened peanut butter and it turned out great, but all the oil wept out when the cake was put into the refrigerator. Tried it again with natural peanut butter (no hydrogenated oils), and it held. Odd, considering the oil in natural peanut butter separates in the jar.

    1. I’m not sure how this one will hold up to freezing, unfortunately. I haven’t tried to freeze a sauce like that before so I’m not sure if it will separate.

  5. Way too much peanut butter which overwhelmed the dish. And all the oil from the peanut butter made it oily. 

  6. Made this the other night and it didn’t turn out well since all I could taste was the peanut butter. I didn’t use natural peanut butter so perhaps that had something to do with it.

    If I were to make this again I might increase the amount of supporting cast ingredients or reduce the amount of peanut butter. That or just try a different brand.

  7. Love! One of the best recipes online! I subbed honey in for sugar and used olive oil. What a delightful meal!