Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce is my version of the well known Chicken Satay but using chicken thighs; they’re so much easier to put together!

Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce on Plate with Green Beans and Rice

I have been on a chicken kick of sorts and Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce wins all the way around. Easier than skewers but equally delicious…the best kind of dish.

I’ve been making one recipe after another this summer but several I haven’t posted yet because they’re better suited for fall and winter. I made a variety, some fried, some grilled, and some in the Instant Pot. And I loved them all but none were as delicious as these Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce!

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I struggled a bit with making the change I did with another culture’s dish (Chicken Satay is considered an Indonesian dish), but sometimes I want to create something not only for myself but maybe for others who hesitate like I do with the more time consuming original version. 

I used to use chicken breast meat for so many things but only for one reason; it was available de-boned. It was never my favorite, dark chicken meat has always reigned supreme for me even as a kid. So when de-boned chicken thighs became available I thought they would become my chicken of choice.

Not so much. I absolutely hate how they look after the bone is removed. I’ll try and fold it to look like a thigh but it never really measures up so I’ve been going old school. Chicken thighs with bone in and skin on. And I love using them for a couple of reasons.

When grilling, that skin is sort of a built in baster; it keeps the outside of the chicken from drying out. Some folks will insist that bone-in meat tastes better…and some experts say meh, not so much. I can’t substantiate either claim but I simply like them better for grilling.

But the truth is…use what you prefer. I’ve made these twice, one each way, and I admit that slicing the boneless thighs after they were grilled was easy. I basted them with a combination of warm water and melted butter which helped to keep them from getting so dry on the outside.

Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce on Plate with Rice Garnished with Lime Wedges

So now that I’ve done that ‘splaining’ let’s talk about this recipe. The list of ingredients seems sort of long but I think most cooks have the basics, the spices, sugar, and soy sauce. What you might need are coconut milk, fish sauce, and ginger. Coconut milk and ginger are readily available at grocery stores; the only item that might seem more exotic is the fish sauce.

I had gone a long time without having fish sauce in my pantry. If it was called for in a recipe, I simply eliminated it. It was really about availability; until the past couple of years, it was not something I could easily find in a local market so I simply eliminated it.

No more need for that, fish sauce has gone mainstream and most grocery stores will now carry it; typically in the Asian or International food section. It does bring that fifth taste, often called Umami to this dish. Is it critical? No. Does it do something magical? Yes.

Here’s what you will need for the marinade. I kept my chicken thighs in this mixture overnight; probably 18 hours total; so you’ve got leeway. I would say from 2-18 hours is good.

  • coconut milk
  • soy sauce
  • fresh lime juice
  • fish sauce
  • brown sugar
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • ground coriander
  • ground cumin
  • turmeric
Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce on Serving Plate with Lime Wedges

That marinade makes for some incredible chicken but still, the star of this dish for me is the peanut sauce. I made extra to be sure there was plenty and I had no problem serving leftover sauce on rice but let’s be honest, I could have eaten this stuff with a spoon. SO good!

There really are no exotic ingredients in the sauce for Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce but the mixture of these everyday ingredients make for a delicious peanut sauce. I love Pad Thai…I’ll use this sauce next time I have some.

  • creamy peanut butter
  • brown sugar
  • fresh lime juice
  • soy sauce
  • garlic
  • coconut milk
  • Sriracha or chili garlic sauce
  • ginger

Sure, you might have to source an ingredient or two but it is so worth it; I’ve found that beyond the fish sauce one thing that has become a mainstay in my pantry is the coconut milk; this one simple ingredient can make or break a Thai inspired type dish.

I made four pounds of Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce and while I would normally share with neighbors, I squirreled them away for me, just me. I love that I have some already made in the freezer that I can microwave and have for dinner in only five minutes!

PIN IT! ‘Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce’

Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce on Plate with Green Beans and Rice
Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce on Plate with Rice Garnished with Lime Wedges
Grilled Chicken Thighs with Peanut Sauce on Plate with Green Beans and Rice

Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Chicken thighs are marinated in in a flavorful Indonesian marinade then grilled before being served with a homemade peanut sauce.s
5 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Course Chicken and Turkey
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 544 kcal


For the Marinade

  • cup coconut milk well stirred
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar packed
  • 1 tablespoon ginger peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon coriander ground
  • 1 teaspoon cumin ground
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 pounds thighs bone in or boneless
  • Cilantro

For the Peanut Sauce

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar packed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Garlic sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha


  • In a mixing bowl whisk together coconut milk, soy sauce, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin and turmeric.
  • Place chicken in a gallon size resealable bag, pour marinade mixture over chicken, seal bag while pressing out excess air.
  • Put the chicken with marinatde into the refrigerator and leave for at least 2 hours and up to 18 hours.
  • Preheat a grill over medium heat to about 375 degrees and clean grates.
  • Brush grill grates with paper towel dipped in oil ,then place chicken on grill and cook about 25 minutes total; rotate pieces every five minutes until chicken registers 170-175 degrees on an internal thermometer.

To Prepare Peanut Sauce

  • In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together all of the peanut sauce ingredients. If mixture is too thick, think gradually with water until the right consistency.
  • Serve chicken with rice and lime wedges. Provide peanut sauce on the side.


Nutrition Facts
Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
Serving Size
1 Serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword chicken satay, peanut sauce
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  1. 5 stars
    Your writing is very useful and up-to-date, which makes it even more informative. Thanks for letting me know about this great post!

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