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!

Chicken skewers with lime wedges and a peanut dipping sauce

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.

Chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce

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. 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.

The Directions

Chicken breasts in a marinade

  1. Marinate the chicken, and soak the skewers.
  2. Prepare the peanut dipping sauce.
    Chicken being placed on a skewer
  3. Thread the skewers.Chicken skewers being grilled
  4. Grill the skewers over medium-high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  5. 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.

Grilled chicken skewers with dipping sauce

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

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

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 skewers with peanut sauce for dipping

Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce

5 from 25 votes
Tender chicken satay skewers in a mouthwatering Asian marinade. Grilled to perfection and served alongside a super flavorful peanut sauce for dipping.

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 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

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 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 32gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 73mgPotassium: 628mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 34IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

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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78 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

  2. To the best of my knowledge, satay refers just to the marinated meat.  But the meat is definitely improved with peanut sauce for dipping.

  3. I think I was just punched in the face with deliciousness. This chicken looks SO good and is such a perfect way to shake up the usual dinner routine! Love it!

  4. What a fun tradition to make whatever you want on Sunday night.  This looks flavorful and delicious!  

  5. Satay chicken holds such a dear place for me, I basically lived off that peanut sauce when I was travelling through South East Asia. Just so delicious and incredibly addictive!! Been craving it since, need to give it a go in making it =)

  6. Peanut and Asian flavors are totally a match. Sunday nights were always my family’s one dinner out- there’s something about Sunday dinners that are so special :) 

  7. Totally making these asap – they look incredible, and I loved hearing about Sunday nights in your kitchen!

  8. Satay chicken is my all time favorite Thai food right up there with shrimp rolls, spring rolls., and panang. Oh, this recipe is making me want some Thai food right now. This looks delicious! How do you keep coming up with such awesome recipes? Keep up the good work :)

    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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. So far so good, but the prep and cooking times, I feel, are way off. Maybe I’m just a bumbling mess in the kitchen, but prep time of 10 minutes? I’m at 30 already…and still simmering the sauce down (takes longer than 6 mins to thicken).

    But smells delicious!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. Your instructions for the chicken say to mix together all the marinade ingredients except for. Then it lists all the marinade ingredients. You might need to change this

    1. Hi Richard! It says to whisk together all of the marinade ingredients, except for the chicken. I hope this helps!

  27. 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

  28. 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

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

    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!

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