On weeknights, we usually eat leftovers of my latest rounds of recipe tests. On weekends, however, I take time to leisurely cook whatever strikes me, whether it’s a recipe from a cookbook or an old favorite that we haven’t enjoyed for a while. This Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce recipe is one I find myself making on repeat. It’s simple to make, the flavor rewards are spectacular, and there’s something inexplicably fun about eating food on a stick!
Peanut chicken satay skewers—juicy strips of chicken that are soaked in a flavorful Asian marinade, then grilled on a skewer and served with a peanut dip—has long been one of my favorite appetizers, so much so that I have been known to flag down servers at cocktail parties to snag an extra skewer or two.
Dunking a skewer of tender, grilled meat into a rich peanut dipping sauce while wearing a cocktail dress and heels might be risky business, but someone needs to forge the trail.
In addition to its wonderful flavor profile and appealing dipping sauce, chicken satay is healthy, so you can feel good about going back for seconds (or thirds!).
These easy grilled chicken skewers are the perfect blend of tender, juicy chicken and a hopelessly addictive, boss sauce for dipping.
While chicken satay is traditionally an appetizer, we most often enjoy it as a main event.
The leftovers are also great on salads or turned into a wrap.
Between the quick and easy prep, leftover potential, and did I mention PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE, you’ll be singing the praises of this recipe all week long.
What is Chicken Satay
If you aren’t familiar with satay, it’s a dish that originated in Indonesia but is popular across Southeast Asia. Although there are many varieties of satay, all of them begin with tasty grilled meat and end in yummy dipping sauce.
An Indonesian chicken satay recipe and Thai chicken skewers typically include a sauce made with peanut butter.
I’m not sure if sauce is required for skewers to be properly deemed “satay,” but since this Thai chicken satay recipe includes a peanut sauce that is plate-licking good, I’m going to insist you make it to go alongside.
Simply Marinated Chicken Satay Skewers
This healthy chicken satay skewers recipe begins with an easy marinade that you can prep up to 1 day in advance. After longer than 1 day, the meat will begin to break down.
- Chicken Breast. In order to keep the chicken satay skewers calories in check, I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Between the marinade and the grill, the chicken becomes exceptionally tasty and tender. Chicken breasts are also the easiest to thread.
- Marinade. A salty-sweet blend of soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, Sriracha, lime juice, ginger, and garlic. It will flavor every bite of the chicken and does double duty to tenderize the meat.
The BEST Peanut Dipping Sauce
Chicken satay tastes like a dream directly from the grill, but the Thai peanut dipping sauce is too good to miss (just like in these Asian Chicken Wraps as well). It’s creamy, richly spiced with ginger and garlic, and has a lightly spicy, sweet note that is nothing short of habit-forming.
- Peanut Butter. A delicious peanut sauce requires creamy, rich peanut butter for flavor and texture.
- Honey. Naturally sweetens our peanut sauce just enough to keep you coming back for more; honey also tastes outstanding paired with the peanut butter in savory dishes like this one.
- Soy Sauce + Fish Sauce. Salty, umami flavor bombs.
- Sriracha. For a touch of heat. If you want spicy chicken satay skewers, you can add more for an extra kick.
- Ginger + Garlic. Two must-have ingredients that provide complex flavors.
- Lime Juice + Cilantro. Acidity and freshness.
Satay sauce is served hot or cold. Personally, I think it’s best if you eat satay chicken with peanut sauce that’s hot or room temperature.
- Marinate the chicken, and soak the skewers.
- Prepare the peanut dipping sauce.
- Thread the skewers.
- Grill the skewers over medium-high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Serve with toppings and peanut dipping sauce. ENJOY!
How to Make Baked Chicken Satay
Here are some tips for making chicken satay skewers without a grill. Personally, I prefer the char the grill (or a grill pan on the stovetop) adds, but if you don’t have access, the oven will still produce good results.
- Marinate the chicken as directed, soak the skewers, and prepare the peanut sauce.
- When you’re ready to cook the chicken, lay the threaded chicken skewers on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Broil the skewers for 5 to 6 minutes, until the chicken is golden on the outside and cooked through.
Chicken Satay Storage Tips
- To Store. Leftover skewers can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store the peanut sauce in a separate airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Remove the chicken from the skewers and place it on a baking sheet. Let come to room temperature, then reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees F. As soon as the satay is warm, serve it immediately; watch it carefully so that it doesn’t dry out. Reheat the sauce gently on the stove or in the microwave, stirring every few minutes.
- To Freeze. Freeze chicken and peanut sauce separately in airtight freezer-safe storage containers for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
What to Serve with Chicken Satay Skewers
- Rice. Serve this dish with a side of white, brown, or cauliflower rice for a tasty chicken satay meal.
- Vegetables. Pair these chicken skewers with a side of healthy Sauteed Carrots.
- Salad. Asian Cabbage Salad would be delicious with this chicken satay recipe.
More Asian-Inspired Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Grilled Chicken Tenders
- Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry
- Hot and Sour Noodle Stir Fry with Peanut Chicken
Tools Used to Make This Recipe
- Grill Skewers. A stainless steel set that’s easy to use anytime a craving strikes. No need to soak them first.
- Grill Tongs. Easily grip and flip anything on the grill.
- Grill Pan. For those without an outdoor grill, this indoor grill pan works on any stove and will yield excellent results.
Although I intended these healthy chicken satay skewers for a “greatest hits” weekend dinner, this recipe is fast enough for any weeknight. Plus, I love the peanut sauce far too much to limit myself to eating it only at the end of the week!
Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce
For the Chicken:
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch strips
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce or additional 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice from 2 small, juicy limes
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced
For the Peanut Sauce:
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 5 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce or additional 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice from about 1 small lime
- Chopped fresh cilantro chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, and lime wedges, for serving
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients, except for the chicken: soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, honey, Sriracha, ginger, and garlic. Add the chicken, toss to coat, then cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to grilling. If using wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes prior to grilling.
- Meanwhile, prepare the peanut sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken broth, peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, Sriracha, ginger, and garlic. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then let cook, stirring often, until the sauce is smooth and has thickened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and set aside.
- When ready to cook, preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium high. Thread the chicken onto skewers. Grill chicken until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Let rest for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro, then serve warm with peanut sauce and lime wedges.
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