This ridiculously simple, dead-on delicious Peanut Butter Chicken with veggies and a creamy Thai peanut sauce was created for that moment when you open the refrigerator and just don’t feel like cooking. It’s so easy and tasty, you’ll have it together before you know it!
Why You’ll Love This Asian Peanut Butter Chicken Recipe
- Two Words: Peanut Sauce. This easy peanut butter sauce turns everything it touches into scrape-your-plate recipe gold. It’s ultra-creamy and brightly flavored with ginger, garlic, sesame, and lime.
- Made for Weeknights. Like my Honey Walnut Shrimp and Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry, this peanut butter chicken recipe requires little effort beyond some basic chopping and stirring.
- Highly Adaptable. While I serve peanut butter chicken with brown rice, you can serve it over a bed of greens, make it into lettuce cups à la my Chicken Lettuce Wraps or Copycat PF Changs Lettuce Wraps, or even wrap it into tortillas with quinoa for protein-packed Asian-inspired burritos.
- Family-Friendly (and Picky-Eater-Approved). Want your kids to venture beyond chicken nuggets for dinner? Peanut butter chicken starts with familiar favorites like peanut butter and chicken, but jazzes them up with some Asian flair to create a meal that pleases all palates. (Try Chicken Satay too!)
5 Star Review
“This was great! So easy and flavorful! Will definitely make it again!”— Mary —
How to Make Peanut Butter Chicken
For the Peanut Sauce:
- Creamy Peanut Butter. Use a brand without any added sweeteners. Crunchy peanut butter works too, your sauce will just be less smooth.
- Sesame Oil. Toasted sesame oil adds unmistakable depth to the peanut sauce.
- Lime Juice. Use freshly squeezed for the most zip and zing.
- Garlic and Ginger. Using fresh instead of dried makes our peanut butter chicken extra flavorful.
- Low-Sodium Soy Sauce. Low-sodium sauce gives you more control over the flavor of this recipe.
- Honey. Just enough for sweetness without being excessive.
- Water. To thin it out.
- Red Pepper Flakes. Feel free to adjust according to your family’s taste preferences.
For the Chicken and Stir Fry Veggies:
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts. Cut them into even, bite-sized pieces.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Peanut oil will work here too.
- Broccoli Florets. A small crown of broccoli is perfect.
- Red Bell Peppers. Yellow or orange work too; these peppers are sweeter than green.
- Green Onions. You’ll need half for the stir fry and half for garnish.
- Garlic and Ginger. For extra flavor!
- Low-Sodium Soy Sauce. This soaks into the veggies, making your peanut butter chicken stir fry tastier.
- Cooked Brown Rice. Instant Pot Brown Rice is excellent here.
- Garnishes. I use chopped fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts.
- Make the Sauce. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
- Cook the Chicken. Then transfer it to a plate.
- Cook the Vegetables. Use any you have in your fridge. Stir in the soy sauce and aromatics.
- Finish. Add the chicken and sauce, then simmer until the sauce thickens. Add the green onions, then serve peanut butter chicken with rice, cilantro, and peanuts. ENJOY!
- To Make Vegetarian or Vegan. Swap the chicken for Crispy Tofu, Air Fryer Tofu, or chickpeas.
- To Make Gluten Free. Swap the soy sauce for gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos. Serve with a gluten-free grain, such as rice or quinoa.
- To Make It Quicker. No time/not in the mood to chop? I feel you. Use frozen stir fry vegetables for a super easy peanut butter chicken recipe. (You can use them in this Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry too.)
- To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Warm up leftover peanut butter chicken in a microwave or on the stovetop over medium-low heat. A splash of chicken broth, water, or coconut milk can help loosen up the sauce if needed.
- To Freeze. Freeze in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat according to the instructions above.
Reinvent your leftovers by making a Thai chicken pizza on a store-bought crust or my homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. Add the stir-fry to the crust with shredded mozzarella, then garnish with cilantro, peanuts, and fresh bean sprouts.
What to Serve with Peanut Butter Chicken
- Rice and Grains. Thai peanut chicken pairs perfectly with white rice, wheat berries, and any other healthy whole grain.
- Cauliflower Rice. The creamy peanut butter sauce is also delicious with plain cauliflower rice or Cauliflower Fried Rice.
- Salad. Round out your meal with Asian Cucumber Salad or Asian Cabbage Salad.
- Other Asian-Inspired Dishes. Make a takeout-style dinner at home by serving peanut butter chicken alongside Shrimp Pad Thai or Air Fryer Egg Rolls.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Wok. A large skillet works too, but if you make stir fries often, a wok is a worthwhile investment.
- Small Whisk. The perfect size for mixing small batches of sauce.
- Chef’s Knife. Makes chopping the veggies for peanut butter chicken a breeze.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Don’t Forget to Cook the Rice First. If speed is one of your top-goals for this peanut butter chicken recipe, I recommend making the brown rice in advance because it will take a bit longer than the stir fry itself. If you forget and are in a rush, you can swap a quicker-cooking grain like quinoa or use soba noodles, brown rice noodles, or even whole wheat spaghetti noodles.
- Make Extra Sauce. Ben is such a peanut sauce fiend, I ended up making a fresh batch of the sauce to drizzle over our leftovers. If you share our sentiment that Peanut Sauce Is Boss, I’d suggest doubling the sauce ingredients, then saving the extra for leftovers or to drizzle over the top of the fished peanut butter chicken and veggies.
- Don’t Panic: The Sauce Will Thicken Up. The heat from the pan and the steam from the veggies will loosen it up enough to coat everything without being watery and bland.
Peanut Butter Chicken
For the Peanut Sauce:
For the Chicken and Stir Fry Veggies:
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinelss chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cups chopped broccoli florets about 1 small head or 8 ounces
- 2 large red bell peppers cut into thin slices
- 1 small bunch green onions chopped divided
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- Cooked brown rice for serving
- For topping: chopped fresh cilantro chopped peanuts
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients: peanut butter, sesame oil, lime juice, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey, water, and red pepper flakes until the sauce is smooth
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium high. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Add the broccoli and bell pepper. Cook the vegetables until crisp tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and half of the green onions. Stir to coat and cook 1 additional minute.
- Add the chicken and sauce to the skillet. Let simmer for a few minutes, until the sauce thickens a little. Sprinkle with the remaining green onions. Serve hot with rice, garnished with cilantro and chopped peanuts.
- TO MAKE VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN: Swap the chicken for Crispy Tofu or chickpeas.
- TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: Swap the soy sauce for GF tamari. Serve with a GF grain, such as rice or quinoa.
- TO STORE: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Warm up leftover peanut butter chicken in a microwave or on the stovetop over medium-low heat. A splash of chicken broth, water, or coconut milk can help loosen up the sauce if needed.
- TO FREEZE: Place in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat according to the instructions above.
- Love peanut sauce or know you will be eating some of the recipe as leftovers? I’d suggest making about 1.5 times the sauce amount, or (if you are married to my peanut-sauce loving husband) even doubling it. Toss enough of the sauce with the chicken to nicely coat it, then save the rest for serving or for perking up leftovers.
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