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6 December 2019

This Thai chicken satay recipe marinates chopped chicken for maximum flavor, threads them onto skewers for the grill then slathers them with spicy Thai peanut sauce.

If you’re looking for a fun and spicy recipe for the game day table this year, or maybe an interesting appetizer for the holidays, consider making chicken satay. It’s a spicy food lover’s dream recipe.

It’s pretty easy to make and you can really play with the spice levels to adjust it to your own preference. I make these frequently for parties and gatherings, and they always disappear pretty quickly. Everyone loves food on a stick!

Chicken satay can also be the STAR of your meal. Either serve up a few of them to fill up your plate, or use extra long skewers like I did and serve individually. I love them for a quick and easy dinner.

There are two key components to this recipe – the Marinade and the Thai Peanut Sauce.

Thai Chicken Satay skewers on a plate, slathered with spicy Thai peanut sauce

The marinade uses a lot of ingredients, though there is very little work. Just a bit of whisking and chopping. And waiting! It really is a wonderful flavor builder, though, so don’t skip this important step.

The Thai peanut sauce is a very easy version that uses peanut butter as its base, so you can whip it together pretty quickly and easily. It’s also HUGE on flavor, so you may want to make an extra large batch for people. Or for yourself! Check out my Easy Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe here, though it is listed below as well.

Let’s talk about how we make this easy chicken satay, shall we?

Thai Chicken Satay skewers on a plate, ready to serve

Ingredients Needed

  • FOR THE CHICKEN
  • 1-1/2 pounds chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (use chicken breasts or chicken thighs)
  • 3-4 Thai peppers, chopped (or use spicy red peppers available to you)
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and chopped (or use 1 teaspoon lemongrass paste)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha (or more as desired)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro + more for garnish
  • Spicy chili flakes as desired – or use a hot and spicy chili powder
  • Bamboo skewers soaked in water for at least 20 minutes
  • FOR THE EASY THAI PEANUT SAUCE
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter (use ½ cup for more peanut flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder (or use paprika for a milder heat)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or use 1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder (or use 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon water, or more as needed for thinning

How to Make Chicken Satay – the Recipe Method

FOR THE CHICKEN: Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl or a baggie. Mix until the chicken is evenly coated with the flavors. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Marinating the chicken for my Thai Chicken Satay Recipe

Thread the chicken pieces onto wooden skewers when you’re ready to cook.

Next, heat a grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grates. Grill the chicken skewers 4-5 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked through. It should measure 165 degrees F. internally.

Checking the internal temperature of my Thai Chicken Satay skewers, on the grill

I like to use my Thermapen meat thermometer from ThermoWorks (I’m an affiliate) to get the perfect temperature every time. Works great! 

Garnish with fresh cilantro and spicy chili flakes. Serve with the spicy Thai peanut sauce.

FOR THE THAI PEANUT SAUCE: Whisk all of the ingredients together, except for the water, in a small bowl until well combined and the sauce is nice and smooth.

Add water a teaspoon at a time until you achieve your desired consistency.

Easy Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe

Serve!

BOOM! That’s it, my friends! There are a lot of ingredients here, but it is still quite an easy recipe. Most of the work is getting the marinated chicken pieces onto the little skewers, but even that isn’t a big deal.

I hope you enjoy it!

Thai Chicken Satay skewers on a plate, ready to serve

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • About the Peanut Sauce. This Thai peanut sauce will last a week in the refrigerator or longer. It is not ideal for freezing, and best use right away. Use it as a dipping sauce, drizzling sauce, or you can heat it in a pan with cooked vegetables and/or chicken for a meal.
  • Chicken Marinating Time. You’ll get more flavor with a longer marinade. 12 hours or overnight is best. I like to start the marinade in the morning so the chicken is ready by dinnertime.
  • Additional Flavors. There are a number of different ingredients you can use to make this recipe your own, particularly for the spicy peanut sauce. Try a tablespoon of red curry paste or a bit of sriracha, or even chili-garlic sauce. Try it with gochujang as well. Coconut milk is a nice addition for the marinade.
  • Heat Factor. This recipe is a touch spicy, but you can dial that back by going easy on the sriracha and skipping the addition of spicy chili flakes or powders. However, if you’re looking the really up that heat, you have several options – add in more sriracha, add in another hot sauce, sprinkle in spicy chili flakes or use your favorite hot and spicy chili powder. You can also chop or grind up some spicy fresh peppers for the marinade. Ghost pepper chicken satay, anyone? That’ll really spice things up!

Chicken satay skewers on the grill

Serving Suggestions

Here are a few different ways you can serve up this Thai chicken satay recipe:

  1. Game day food table – set them up alongside extra spicy Thai peanut sauce.
  2. Holiday appetizers – just make smaller skewers so they can be served as hand held apps.
  3. Summer grilling dinner – make them the star of the meal.

Thai Chicken Satay skewers on a plate

Alternative Cooking Methods

This recipe calls for grilling the chicken satay skewers on the grill, but you can also cook them in a pan or hot skillet, or in the oven. Here are instructions for cook them:

  • SKILLET. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium high heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through. The internal temperature should read 165 degrees F. You may need to work in batches.
  • OVEN. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the skewers for 15-20 minutes on lightly oiled baking sheets, or until the chicken is cooked through. The internal temperature should read 165 degrees F.
  • GRILL. Heat your grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grates. Grill the chicken skewers 4-5 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked through. It should measure 165 degrees F. internally.

Try Some of My Other Popular Spicy Chicken Recipes

Dipping a piece of my chicken satay into spicy peanut sauce

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Thai Chicken Satay skewers on a plate
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Chicken Satay Recipe with Easy Thai Peanut Sauce

This Thai chicken satay recipe marinates chopped chicken for maximum flavor, threads them onto skewers for the grill then slathers them with spicy Thai peanut sauce.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Marinating Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Thai
Keyword: chicken, grilled chicken, spicy, thai
Servings: 6
Calories: 243kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE CHICKEN

  • 1-1/2 pounds chicken cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3-4 Thai peppers chopped (or use spicy red peppers available to you)
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass trimmed and chopped (or use 1 teaspoon lemongrass paste)
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro + more for garnish
  • Spicy chili flakes as desired
  • Bamboo skewers soaked in water for at least 20 minutes

FOR THE EASY THAI PEANUT SAUCE

  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter use ½ cup for more peanut flavor
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder or use paprika for a milder heat
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or use 1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder or use 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon water or more as needed for thinning

Instructions

FOR THE CHICKEN

  • Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl or a baggie. Mix until the chicken is evenly coated with the flavors. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Pierce the chicken pieces onto skewers when you’re ready to cook.
  • Next, heat a grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grates. Grill the chicken skewers 4-5 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked through. It should measure 165 degrees F. internally.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and spicy chili flakes. Serve with the spicy Thai peanut sauce.

FOR THE THAI PEANUT SAUCE

  • Whisk all of the ingredients together, except for the water, in a small bowl until well combined and the sauce is nice and smooth.
  • Add water a teaspoon at a time until you achieve your desired consistency.
  • Serve!

Notes

NOTES: This Thai peanut sauce will last a week in the refrigerator or longer. It is not ideal for freezing, and best use right away. Use it as a dipping sauce, drizzling sauce, or you can heat it in a pan with cooked vegetables and/or chicken for a meal.
Marinating Time: You’ll get more flavor with a longer marinade. 12 hours or overnight is best. I like to start the marinade in the morning so the chicken is ready by dinnertime.
Makes ~1-1/4 cup of sauce (20 tablespoons)
Alternative Cooking Methods
  • SKILLET. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium high heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through. The internal temperature should read 165 degrees F. You may need to work in batches.
  • OVEN. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the skewers for 15-20 minutes on lightly oiled baking sheets, or until the chicken is cooked through. The internal temperature should read 165 degrees F.

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 1783mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 218IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg
Chicken Satay with Easy Thai Peanut Sauce
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