Seared, smothered in the yummiest Thai-inspired peanut sauce, and then baked to perfection, these peanut butter chicken thighs are the easiest, most delicious dinnertime protein option.

Chicken thighs topped with peanut sauce, cilantro, and peanuts in a large enameled cast iron pot.

I’m not kidding when I say that the Thai-inspired peanut sauce that’s baked onto these juicy chicken thighs is the best sauce I’ve ever had. It’s salty, sweet, and a teeny bit spicy. We’ve featured it in our reader favorite chopped chicken salad, and, most recently, our teriyaki pork stir fry – it’s the sauce that can do it all and it never, ever disappoints. 

Ingredients Needed

This ingredient list is fairly short and simple. You’ll need the chicken itself, plus a little bit of cooking fat (ghee or EVOO), sea salt, and a handful of ingredients for the yummiest peanut sauce. Here’s the full list with ingredient notes and swaps where applicable. Find exact ingredient amounts in the recipe card.

Ingredients for easy peanut butter chicken thighs sit in a variety of bowls and on a variety of plates. All on a marble countertop.
  • Ghee or olive oil
  • Chicken thighs 
  • Sea salt
  • Peanut butter – use natural peanut butter here! It’s less sweet and the thinner texture is perfect for the sauce.
  • Coconut aminos – soy sauce (or tamari) works too!
  • Honey
  • Sesame oil
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Crushed peanuts – optional, for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro – optional, for garnish

What are the best chicken thighs to buy?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: our very favorite chicken comes straight to our doorstep via ButcherBox’s incredibly convenient delivery service. Their chicken is free-range, organic, and delivered to your doorstep every month (or at an interval of your choosing).

ButcherBox is our favorite way to get high-quality proteins because it is convenient, cost-effective, and we know we can trust their sourcing. Click HERE to sign up as a new member and get 2 packs of bacon for FREE in every box for the first year of your membership.

How to Make Peanut Butter Chicken Thighs

This recipe is just about as easy as it gets! Here’s the full how-to:

Homemade peanut sauce whisked together in a large measuring cup.
Chicken thighs searing in a large enamel cast iron pot.
A person using tongs to flip chicken thighs over after searing on one side in a large enameled cast iron pot.
Chicken thighs searing in a large enamel cast iron pot.
Seared chicken thighs topped with peanut sauce in a large enameled cast iron pot.
Chicken thighs topped with peanut sauce, cilantro, and peanuts in a large enameled cast iron pot.
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. 
  2. Make the peanut sauce – add the peanut butter, coconut aminos (or soy sauce), lime juice, honey, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes to a bowl or individual blender cup. Stir (or blend) until smooth and creamy.
  3. Heat the pan and season the chicken – add the olive oil or ghee to an oven-safe pan over medium-high heat, and season the chicken thighs on both sides with sea salt.
  4. Cook the chicken – once the pan is hot, add the chicken thighs and sear for 3-4 minutes per side. Once seared, pour the peanut sauce over the chicken thighs and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. 
  5. Garnish and enjoy – garnish with crushed peanuts, fresh cilantro, and enjoy!

Meal Prep Tip

Double the peanut sauce and use it for lunches (these Thai-inspired chopped chicken salads) for the week. 

How to Serve

Serve your peanut butter chicken thighs atop perfect white rice or stir fry noodles, and add a simple veggie (like steamed green beans or steamed broccoli) if you’d like!

How to Store and Reheat

Store any leftover peanut butter chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

How to Store in the Freezer

To freeze leftover peanut butter chicken, simply transfer the cooked and cooled chicken thighs to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to Reheat

Reheat your refrigerated leftovers in the microwave (1-2 minutes), the oven (350°F for 10-12 minutes), or in the air fryer (350°F for 5-6 minutes).

To reheat from frozen, simply let the chicken thighs thaw in the fridge overnight and then follow the reheat times above.

Chicken thighs topped with peanut sauce, cilantro, and peanuts in a large enameled cast iron pot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main ingredients used in peanut butter chicken?

This recipe calls for chicken thighs (of course) and then a creamy, homemade Thai-inspired peanut butter sauce. The most prominent flavors are peanut butter, coconut aminos (or soy sauce), and sesame oil.

Can I use any type of peanut butter for this recipe?

While you *can* use any type of peanut butter for this recipe, for the very yummiest flavor and texture, we actually recommend trying to find a natural peanut butter. Natural peanut butter tends to be less sweet than conventional, sweetened peanut butter, so it makes for a really nice counter to the honey without being overly sweet. The texture of natural peanut butter (thinner and less whipped, if you will) also makes it much easier to stir into the other ingredients.

Is peanut butter chicken spicy?

No, this peanut butter chicken is not spicy. The peanut butter sauce does have red pepper flakes in it, but it’s not enough to make a real impact on the spice of the dish. I’ve served this meal to my young kiddos and they gobbled it up!

Easy Peanut Butter Chicken Thighs

5 from 1 vote
By Cassy Joy Garcia
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 33 minutes
Total: 38 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Seared, smothered in the yummiest Thai-inspired peanut sauce, and then baked to perfection, these peanut butter chicken thighs are the easiest, most delicious dinnertime protein option.

Ingredients  

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Crushed peanuts for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Make the peanut sauce: add the peanut butter, coconut aminos (or soy sauce), lime juice, honey, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes to a bowl or individual blender cup. Stir (or blend) until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the olive oil or ghee to an oven-safe pan over medium-high heat, and season the chicken thighs on both sides with sea salt.
  • Once the pan is hot, add the chicken thighs and sear for 3-4 minutes per side. Once seared, pour the peanut sauce over the chicken thighs and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  • Garnish with crushed peanuts, fresh cilantro, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Meal prep tip: double the peanut sauce and use it for lunches (these Thai-inspired chopped chicken salads) for the week. 

Nutrition

Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 181mg | Sodium: 905mg | Potassium: 513mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 43IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, thai-inspired
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 392
Keyword: chicken thighs, peanut butter chicken

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About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.


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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! This recipe was so good. It was super hot out and I didn’t want to turn on the oven, so I seared the chicken in my cast iron on the stovetop and then transferred it to my grill. I also had some bell peppers I needed to use so I sliced and added those. Wow it turned out amazing! The grill was hotter than I needed it to be and everything baked in about 10 mins but everything came out with a slightly crisp exterior but super juicy and delicious inside this recipe was so easy too and kitchen Clean up was done by the time it was done cooking! Thank you!!

    1. Genius!! We’re so glad you loved this recipe, Sarah!