Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce – Grilled seasoned chicken skewers served with a creamy peanut sauce you’ll want to eat by the spoonful! (Gluten free, dairy free + includes paleo & Whole30 options!)
Hi, I’m Emily, and I like easy, yummy dinners.
Right now, it’s hot-as-blazes, so I don’t feel much like heating up the house with a long roasting time or standing at the stove stirring something fussy for an hour. (Give me a month or two, and I’ll be ALL about long, slow, cozy meals when the weather cools down!)
But so long as the heat persists, quick, easy, DELICIOUS meals are the name of the game over here. This Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce is just that kind of meal!
Simply marinated shrimp skewers are grilled (it only takes a few minutes per side!), then served with a quick and easy creamy peanut sauce that you might find yourself slurping by the spoonful.
Add a little cucumber salad (recipe later this week!) and some rice or cauliflower rice on the side, and you’ve got an easy, delicious dinner that didn’t take a lot of heat or fuss. WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN SATAY
Chicken satay is a marinated or seasoned grilled chicken skewer, usually served with a sauce. Marinades and seasoning blends vary, but I really love this combination. My chicken satay marinade is SUPER flavorful and uses pretty simple ingredients. Here’s what’s in mine:
CHICKEN BREAST OR CHICKEN TENDERS. Great for chicken satay and easy to dice. (You can totally swap in chicken thighs, if you prefer.)
COCONUT MILK. This creamy base makes for tender, delicious chicken. I use the full-fat canned coconut milk. (Most of it will be discarded after marinating, so it won’t add a significant caloric load to the recipe.)
LIME JUICE, TAMARI, PURE MAPLE SYRUP. We balance out the flavors here with some tartness/acidity (lime juice) a bit of salty & umami (tamari) and sweetness (a tiny bit of pure maple syrup). The combination is terrific with coconut milk + the other seasonings.
GARLIC & GINGER. I love the frozen, pre-minced kind. There aren’t any additives, and you just pop out a cube when you need one. (Look for it in the freezer section! It’ll change your life!)
MILD YELLOW CURRY POWDER. Some recipes use curry powder, some use curry paste, some use a combination. In mine, I use mild yellow curry powder. We’re using 1 tsp. for the whole marinade, so the flavor will definitely be present but not overpowering. If you’d like a stronger curry flavor, you can definitely increase the amount.
CREAMY PEANUT SAUCE, FOR DIPPING. I really love my peanut sauce recipe. It’s the perfect blend of savory, salty, and sweet. Such a nice complement to the flavors in the grilled chicken satay!
TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST CHICKEN SATAY WITH PEANUT SAUCE
USING A GRILL PAN. A grill pan is a GREAT tool for the kitchen. Mine is made from cast iron, so it retains and distributes heat beautifully. It can get those lovely sear marks and I can keep an eye on it inside, which means I don’t need to fuss about grilling outside or what the weather is. I love it! (PS – Here’s a great tutorial for maintaining cast iron if you need it!)
SOAK YOUR SKEWERS. If you’re using wooden skewers, you’ll want to soak them in water which will keep them from charring/burning. I recommend at least 30 minutes, up to several hours if you can. I like the 6″ size for chicken satay.
TIPS FOR COOKING EVENLY. To get the most evenly cooked chicken satay:
- WATCH THE SIZE. Do try to keep your chicken dice pretty consistent with about 1″ cubes. The more evenly sized it is, the more evenly it’ll cook.
- CONSIDER A PRESS. With my grill pan, I also like using this little grill press on top, since I can add pressure to the bottom end of the chicken skewer, since gravity sometimes pulls the top end down a bit further. (If you don’t have one, you can use a pair of metal tongs to press the bottom chicken down a bit for the heat.)
TRICK FOR THE BEST PEANUT SAUCE. I highly recommend natural peanut butter, with just peanuts (or just peanuts and salt). The texture will be thinner and more runny, which is perfect for peanut sauce.
FAQ FOR GRILLED CHICKEN SATAY WITH PEANUT SAUCE
WHAT DO YOU SERVE WITH CHICKEN SATAY? Along with the peanut sauce for dipping, our favorite side dishes are Thai Cucumber Salad (coming this week!) and rice. You could also swap cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.
ARE THERE PALEO & WHOLE30 OPTIONS? YES! This grilled chicken satay recipe is paleo & Whole30 friendly. For paleo, you’ll simply swap cashews/cashew butter for the peanuts/peanut butter and coconut aminos in place of the gluten free tamari. For Whole30, you’ll also omit the maple syrup.
CAN I USE A DIFFERENT NUT FOR THE SAUCE? If you don’t tolerate peanuts, I recommend cashew butter. I haven’t tried this with sunflower seed butter.
IS THIS SPICY? No, my chicken satay is not spicy. I use a mild yellow curry powder that doesn’t carry heat with it. If you *want* it spicy, you can add some sriracha, a pinch of red pepper flakes, or use a spicier curry powder.
CAN I USE CHICKEN THIGHS INSTEAD? Sure! My family prefers chicken tenders or chicken breast, but boneless, skinless chicken thighs absolutely work. Just follow the same guidelines for dicing.
LOVE THIS RECIPE? I BET YOU’D LIKE:
- Curried Butternut Squash Soup
- Thai Chopped Salad with Peanut Drizzle
- Shrimp Curry in Creamy Coconut Sauce
HELPFUL FOR THIS RECIPE: