This peanut free Thai chicken skewers with rice are the perfect weeknight dinner, especially if you love Thai food. It’s easy to make and will be ready in less than 30 minutes. I love pairing this with a crisp cucumber and carrot salad!
Chicken satay is common in Southeast Asia, but originally comes from Indonesia. You can find variations of chicken satay in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and other places in Southeast Asia.
Chicken Marinade Ingredients
- Chicken breast: ideally boneless skinless chicken breasts, but thighs will work too
- Coconut milk: if using canned, make sure to stir well before to avoid the cream separating from the liquid
- Soy sauce: I used low sodium for this recipe
- Turmeric powder: or fresh turmeric if you have it
- Garlic: I use the minced kind in a jar
- Ginger: fresh ginger is always the best, but powdered can work in a pinch
- Brown sugar: can be replaced with honey, palm sugar or coconut sugar
- Fish sauce: you can leave this out if you don’t like a fishy taste
- Oil: of choice, I like using canola for this recipe
- Chili garlic sauce: you can omit this if you can’t handle the spice
- Lime juice: from fresh limes is always best!
- Cilantro: optional, for garnish
As for swaps, you can use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts, light coconut milk instead of regular coconut milk, coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and honey instead of brown sugar. You can also leave out the fish sauce, turmeric and chili garlic sauce if you don’t have them, but they do add some great flavor.
Ingredients for the Peanut-Free Sauce
- Almond butter: or sunflower seed butter
- Soy sauce: I use low sodium
- Lime juice: from fresh limes, ideally
- Brown sugar: or honey
- Chili garlic sauce: can omit if you don’t like the heat
- Ginger: fresh or powdered, just use less if you choose powdered
How to make the Chicken Satay
Cut chicken breast into bite sized pieces. Place the chicken pieces in a medium bowl and add coconut milk, soy sauce, turmeric powder, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, fish sauce, oil, chili garlic sauce and lime juice. Whisk the ingredients together and then add chicken. Make sure the chicken is submerged and then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Once chicken is done marinating, add to bamboo skewers or wooden skewers. Cook in a large skillet, griddle or hot grill (if you want grill marks) over medium heat until one side is brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, remove and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine almond butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce and ginger. Stir to combine and use as dipping sauce. Garnish the chicken satay skewers with cilantro and serve with jasmine rice or coconut rice and lime wedges.
Does satay sauce normally contain peanuts?
Yes, satay sauce typically contains peanut butter. This version is peanut-free because I am allergic to peanut butter and I know many also share this affliction. Despite this being peanut free, it still has a peanut-y flavor from the almond butter.
You can also use sunflower seed butter as an alternative if you don’t have almond butter or are also allergic to almonds. It also has a similar flavor to peanut butter!
Is chicken satay healthy?
Yes! Chicken satay is rich in protein and essential vitamins and minerals. One serving of this peanut free chicken satay contains about 250 calories and 28 grams of protein. It’s high in healthy unsaturated fats and low in saturated fats.
It’s an excellent source of vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium. It’s also a good source of all B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc.
Do you need a grill to make chicken satay?
No! In fact, I don’t use a grill when I make this myself. I either make this on a large skillet or a griddle. It follows the same principle, just cook the skewers on medium heat until they are browned and crispy on one side, then flip over to finish cooking.
You’ll want to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit or above to ensure the chicken is fully cooked. This shouldn’t take more than about 10 minutes in total.
What do you eat with chicken satay?
This chicken satay pairs great with rice and a side vegetable dish. I paired this with a cucumber carrot salad. Just chop up some cucumber and add to a bowl with shredded carrots. Add rice vinegar, a splash of soy sauce and a sprinkle of sugar and you are good to go!
Other vegetables that would pair well with this chicken satay include broccoli, bok choy, green beans, eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini or cabbage.
- Trader Joe’s Peri Peri Chicken
- Oven Baked Greek Chicken Skewers
- Teriyaki Chicken on a Stick
- Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken
- Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
Peanut-Free Chicken Satay
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp oil of choice
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
- 1/4 lime, juiced
- cilantro optional, for garnish
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/4 lime, juiced
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
- 1 tsp ginger
- Cut chicken breast into bite sized pieces.
- In a medium sized bowl, add coconut milk, soy sauce, turmeric powder, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, fish sauce, oil, chili garlic sauce and lime juice. Whisk the ingredients together and then add chicken. Make sure the chicken is submerged and then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Once chicken is done marinating, add to skewers.
- Cook in a large skillet, griddle or grill over medium heat until one side is brown and crispy. Flip and continue to cook. Once the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, remove and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine almond butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce and ginger. Stir to combine and use as dipping sauce. Add water if desired to reach a thinner consistency. Garnish the chicken satay skewers with cilantro.