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!

Chicken satay skewers with lime wedges and a peanut dipping sauce

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I’m not sure why, but there’s something magical about dunking a skewer of tender, grilled meat into a rich peanut dipping sauce. (Equally magical is the Thai Peanut Stir Fry That Got Me Married in my cookbook.)

While chicken satay is traditionally an appetizer (along with another classic Bang Bang Shrimp), we most often enjoy it as the main event.

The juicy strips of chicken are soaked in a flavorful Asian marinade, then grilled on a skewer and served with a peanut dip.

They’re the perfect blend of hopelessly tender and hopelessly delicious.

PLUS this chicken satay is healthy (like my favorite Cauliflower Fried Rice), so you can feel good about going back for seconds (and thirds!).

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.

grilled Chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce and cilantro layered on parchment

5 Star Review

“Easily the best chicken satay I’ve ever cooked or eaten.”

— Ian —

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 in places such as Thailand and Malaysia.

Although there are many varieties of satay, all of them begin with tasty grilled meat and end with a yummy dipping sauce.

An Indonesian chicken satay recipe and Thai chicken skewers typically include a sauce made with peanut butter (similar to the sauce in these Asian Chicken Wraps).

I’m not sure if the 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.

Grilled chicken skewers with dipping sauce made of peanuts

How to Make Chicken Satay

This healthy chicken satay skewers recipe begins with an easy marinade.

It ends with a rich and tangy-sweet peanut dipping sauce that you’ll want to start enjoying on EVERYTHING (like this Crispy Tofu).

Satay sauce can be served hot or cold. Personally, I think it’s best if you eat satay chicken with peanut sauce when hot or at room temperature.

Dietary Note

If you would like to make a gluten free chicken satay, swap the soy sauce for gluten free tamari instead. You will also want to double-check the label of your fish sauce since not all brands are made gluten free.


The Ingredients

  • 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.

Chicken Marinade

This Chicken Marinade and Chicken Thigh Marinade are my two other favorites, and you could use either to marinate the chicken in this recipe too.

Tip!

Chicken can be marinaded up to 1 day in advance. I don’t recommend marinating the chicken for longer than 24 hours, as the meat will begin to break down.

  • Chicken Breast. Between the marinade and the grill, the chicken becomes exceptionally tasty and tender. Chicken breasts are also easy to thread onto skewers, so much better than chicken thighs.

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.

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 (like in my favorite Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken recipe); 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. Could use shallot or red onion as well.

The Directions

Chicken breasts in a marinade
  1. Marinate the chicken, and soak the skewers.
A pot of peanut dipping sauce simmering on the stove
  1. Prepare the peanut dipping sauce.
marinated chicken being placed on a skewer for satay
  1. Thread the skewers.
Chicken skewers being grilled inside
  1. Grill the satay skewers over medium-high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  2. 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.

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.

Leftover Ideas

If you have leftovers of these chicken skewers (which I doubt you will, but hey) they’re delicious over a bed of your favorite greens, with Homemade Fried Rice, or this Asian Noodle Salad.

A sheet pan of grilled chicken satay skewers with a bowl of peanut sauce for dipping

What to Serve with Chicken Satay

Recommended Tools 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.

The Best Cast Iron Skillet

This LeCreuset cast iron skillet is another means to cook chicken satay. It’s famous enamel interior requires very little oil and needs no additional seasoning.

chicken satay skewers with peanut sauce for dipping

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Chicken satay with peanut sauce, you are just so dippin’ good. Serve with coconut rice or jasmine rice!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chicken Satay Spicy?

I do not find this chicken satay spicy, however, we all definitely have different degrees of spiciness. If you or your family are sensitive to spicy foods, you can leave out or reduce the sriracha to suit your tastes.

Can I Use this Recipe to Make Beef Satay?

I have not tried making this recipe with another protein like beef instead of chicken but it sounds like a tasty experiment. If you decide to give it a go, I’d love to hear how it goes. I suggest using flank steak cut across the grain into 1/2-inch strips.

How Can I Prepare Chicken Satay Without a Grill?

If you don’t own a grill, don’t despair. I’ve included directions for baking chicken satay above. You can also enjoy this chicken satay recipe by using an indoor grill plate on your stovetop or even a panini press. Just note that the cook times may need to be adjusted slightly so keep an eye on the chicken as it cooks.

What is Chicken Satay Marinated in?

In this marinade I’ve used, low-sodium soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, honey, sriracha sauce, ground ginger and garlic.
Sometimes you might find the flavors of turmeric, lemongrass, curry powder, a sweetener like brown sugar, and ground coriander.

chicken satay skewers with peanut sauce for dipping

Chicken Satay

4.98 from 34 votes
Chicken satay is an easy grilled chicken recipe that's perfect for a light meal or for party appetizers. Healthy and a crowd-pleaser!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

For the Chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari for gluten free
  • 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 low-sodium soy sauce or tamari for gluten free
  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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 with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before 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. Then 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 311kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 32gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 73mgPotassium: 694mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 48IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 2mg

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Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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98 Comments

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  1. I’ve been on a major peanut sauce kick recently. This looks great!

    Any tips on cooking the chicken if you are grill-less? Would sauteing it be a good option? Baking? In these instances should I still marinade? Thanks for any advice you might have!

    1. Peanut sauce is THE BEST Shannon! I think you could saute the chicken in a bit of olive oil on the stove (or use an indoor grill pan on the stove—my fave!) with great results. If you are in the market for a grill pan, this is a good one: http://amzn.to/2bcwnFL

      1. Hi do you think I can make the peanut sauce a couple of days before?
        And what if i marinate the chicken for 48 hours?

        1. Hi Naj, the peanut sauce can be refrigerated for a couple days. I wouldn’t recommend marinating the chicken that long, as the acid starts to break down the chicken. I hope you enjoy!

    2. Delicious. I marinated the chicken. Breasts overnight. I didn’t have fish sauce so I used oyster sauce. Made with zuccini strips cooked on grill. Thankyou for this recipe.5 stars

    1. I’m so excited to hear this Karen! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and letting me know how it turned out for you!

  2. If you need me, I’ll be over here eating this peanut sauce with a spoon. SO GOOD. The chicken was even delicious without, but next time I’m doubling the sauce because we loved it so much.5 stars

    1. Rori, YAY!!! I am so happy to hear this. Thanks for trying the recipe and letting me know how it came out for you!

  3. I just made this peanut sauce and it is divine :) My husband loves it too! The chicken is currently marinating for lunch tomorrow and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Thank you for 2 great recipes! I’m saving some of this sauce to dip BLT rice paper rolls this week too :)5 stars

    1. It’s the peanut sauce so so sooooooo good Megan? It’s one of my favorites. I hope you all loved it with the chicken too!

  4. I have a wicked peanut allergy. I typically use tahini in other Asian recipes to replace peanut butter. Do you think tahini will be too thin to fill out this sauce? Thanks!

    1. Hi Meagan, I think tahini would be fine since it sounds like you’ve been happy with that flavor as a substitute in other dishes! I’d suggest reducing the chicken stock since tahini is thinner than peanut butter. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  5. I’ve been told repeatedly not to marinate with acid, in this case lime juice over two hours. Was there any issues with this marinate recipe when doing so overnight?

    1. Oanh, I haven’t had this issue with chicken. If you’d like to play it safe, you can start with 4 hours and see how that goes.

  6. Hey, i made it and feel like the sauce came out too salty. What would you recommend i change for next time? Thanks

    1. Nick, did you use both less sodium chicken broth (or stock) and low sodium soy sauce? That makes a big difference! If you did and it was still too salty for your taste, I’d use unsalted chicken stock and reduce the amount of soy sauce.

  7. Too salty? Put a potato cubed and cook it til it’s done. Remove from sauce. The potato absorbs the salt. Won’t flavor the sauce either.

  8. I’ve made this recipe several times in the last couple years and have LOVED it each time. I don’t have access to a grill, unfortunately, but I’ve broiled the chicken very successfully each time. I marinade the chicken a little longer to ensure maximum flavor and juiciness retention, and I soak my skewers in water for a good long while ahead of time so that they don’t, you know, combust. This chicken has been a hit every time. I’m planning to make it again this weekend for a baby shower. Thank you for such a fabulous recipe!5 stars

  9. Can I freeze the sauce in ice trays? Half of my family isn’t a fan of these flavors but sounds amazing to me.

  10. Brought this as an appetizer to a holiday party and ended up sending six people home with the recipe. It’s extremely flavorful. This was a really easy recipe to follow too which is great since I don’t do a lot of the cooking at my house. Can’t wait to make it again. 5 stars

  11. Just tried it for dinner tonight. We served it on rice with a side of beans. Very tasty!
    It was also very easy to put together. I didn’t have time to marinate for the allotted amount of time and still tasted so good!
    We found it a bit too salty though. So next time I think I will cut the soy and fish sauce in half and replace with water.
    Also, I made it with crunchy peanut butter because I didn’t have any peanuts on hand, and wanted the crunch.5 stars

  12. My teenager gets bored with the same old lunches so I’ve been trying to come up with different ideas. This recipe is amazing! It has just the right amount of spice and tastes delicious. I’m sending it to school with Instant Pot cilantro lime rice. He’s going to be thrilled! Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Kathy! I’ve never tried this recipe with fresh ginger, but from what I can find online, it sounds like you should use 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger for every 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger. I hope this helps!

  13. Made these for a BBQ last night. First time I’ve ever tried Chicken Satay (though I do like spicy food). Didn’t think the kids would be too interested so didn’t make many – They absolutely loved them!5 stars

    1. YAY! Ken, I am thrilled to hear it! Thanks for sharing this kind review. It means a lot to me and is so helpful to others!

  14. WOW!!! These were amazingly DELICIOUS! My husband loves satays and was excited that I was going to make them. They were a hit. Very easy to make and the peanut sauce is to die for!
    Another fantastic recipe that I will be making over and over. Thanks again!5 stars

  15. Made this for dinner last night – excellent. Super easy – next time I’ll cut back FROM 2 tsp of fish sauce TO 1 tsp fish sauce for the peanut sauce. Other than that – it’s a winner!5 stars

  16. Hi Erin,
    I made this last night and it was delicious!! The marinade was so tasty. My boyfriend gobbled it up too :)
    I did have a question about the peanut sauce. When I made it I just threw everything together (I was looking at the ingredients list, not the directions). What is the reasoning for waiting to add lime juice at the end? Does that help preserve it’s flavor?
    Thanks for the great recipes! You’re my favorite food website, and I can’t wait to get your cookbook!5 stars

    1. I’m so happy it was a hit, Lacey! Thank you for sharing this kind review! You want to wait to add the lime juice until after the sauce has been removed from the heat.

  17. Excellent as an appetizer or main dish. Brought this to a party and had several requests for the recipe. It was a hit!5 stars

  18. I made this today and it was the best homemade peanut sauce I have ever tasted and so I easy to make. I doubled up the quantities and had loads of sauce left over. That soon went with a packet of prawn crackers while watch a film. I now have to make some more tomorrow for extended family5 stars

  19. Amazing recipe! We have a lot of Indonesian cuisine in the Netherlands, therefore chicken satay is quite common here. I tried it at several restaurants in several cities but not one of them compare to this recipe! We actually made it for 2 days, however, it was too tasty and we ate all of it in a go.5 stars

  20. I’ve made this, and it’s delicious. I will soon have a guest who is gluten-free. Is this recipe gluten-free?5 stars

    1. Hi Mary! Some brands of soy sauce and fish sauce can contain gluten, so I’d recommend checking your specific product labels to ensure that they’re gluten free. I hope this helps!

  21. Most authentic tasting Dutch Indonesian satay recipe we have tasted since leaving Holland! Highly recommend. Well done.5 stars

  22. Made my first successful satay! O like to pound the chicken into flatter pieces as it seems more tender! Enjoyed this very much.5 stars

  23. First time I made this, I used chicken thighs. Not as easy, due to shape and fat deposits, but it still worked out and taste with marinade alone was delicious, The marinade was terrific, altho I didn’t have the fish sauce or Sirachi, and used lime juice from concentrate. I used a few drops of tabasco, but not enough for heat, unfortunately. I used some prepared dipping sauce, but will use recipe next time.5 stars

  24. This recipe was delicious. Just the right amount of everything. I served it with a cucumber salad, a perfect summer dinner!5 stars

  25. Easily the best chicken satay I’ve ever cooked or eaten. Now in my top ½ dozen all-time favourites. Exceptional.5 stars

  26. AMAZING!! The second my son tasted this, he said, “Mom, you’re gonna love it.” This is one of the BEST recipes I’ve ever tasted! Thank you!!5 stars

  27. This was delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and allowed the chicken to marinate for eight hours – just added a little brown sugar and apple cider vinegar for extra punch to the marinade. This recipe gives you a pretty big amount of peanut sauce so you will have leftovers for the rest of the week! I will definitely be making this again and again!5 stars

  28. Hi! Would love to try this recipe. Is the sauce too spicy? And another question, could I use lemon instead of lime? Thanks! :)

    1. Hi Melissa! We all definitely have different degrees of spiciness. It’s not spicy to me but when in doubt, just leave it out or reduce if. Also I’ve not tested the sauce out with lemon so it would hard to say. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  29. Delicious dish and makes plenty of peanut sauce to either halve or freeze for next time you make. Had peanut butter satay like this as a kid and this brings back great memories!5 stars

  30. Wondering if I can substitute agave syrup (or something else…maybe date syrup?) for the honey in the chicken marinade? Want my 9 month old grandson to be able to eat the chicken and honey is a no-no for kids under a year old! I can keep it in the dipping sauce for the rest of us since we’re well over a year old!😝

    1. Hi Kritin! While I haven’t tried it, I am sure you could. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  31. This was amazing. I made it with the cucumber salad you recommend as a side dish and rice and my boyfriend said it was one of his favourite meals I have made him. Will definitely be making again!5 stars

    1. Hi Hillary! You probably could use fresh ginger, I am just not able to advise on the amount to use since I’ve only tested it with ground ginger. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!