Our Easy Peanut Butter Chicken recipe makes a delicious meal that is perfect for those nights when it is important to get in and out of the kitchen quickly. Which is every weeknight for us.
We like to meal prep on Sunday in the late afternoon or evening. This is when we prepare what we can for our lunches that week so it just makes sense. This makes our already easy recipes even easier.
We find that planning ahead can get dinner on the table with no fuss and, for us, it’s faster than going out to eat. No deciding where to go, driving there, or waiting in line to get our food. Making dinner at home takes the stress out of our lives because we know we are eating healthier home-cooked meals that are overall less expensive than eating out.
Sometimes we make this dish with veggies in it and sometimes we eat it with veggies as a side dish.
Side Dish Suggestions:
See recipe card for exact amounts.
Just a few simple ingredients are all that is needed to make this easy peanut butter chicken recipe.
Chicken – we use boneless skinless chicken breasts. You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer.
Soy Sauce – I always buy the low sodium variety but any will work.
Peanut Butter – you can use regular or natural peanut butter, whatever you keep on hand will work perfectly. We use creamy peanut butter but you can use crunchy peanut butter.
Cornstarch – this is what gets the chicken nice and brown and thickens the sauce.
Chicken Broth – I like Swanson, use your favorite brand or homemade chicken stock.
Honey – this gives the creamy peanut butter sauce just the right amount of sweetness.
Hot Sauce – I use sriracha because that is what I keep on hand. See below for alternatives.
Canola Oil – this is personal preference. You can use olive oil, peanut oil or even sesame oil. Sesame oil has a sort of strong flavor of its own so I would probably mix it with one of the milder oils.
How to make:
- Make the easy peanut sauce by whisking the peanut butter, chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, garlic and hot sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk in the cornstarch right before you add it to the chicken.
- Next cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cornstarch. Toss to coat chicken pieces on all sides with cornstarch. You can do this with a spoon, or tongs but I always use clean dry hands. The best kitchen tools I own are my two clean dry hands.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Cook chicken until golden on all sides. Cook chicken in batches if necessary.
- Clean any leftover oil out of the skillet and add chicken back into the skillet over medium heat. Add cornstarch to sauce and whisk to combine before adding the sauce to the skillet with the chicken. Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
- If sauce is too thick it can be thinned down by adding additional chicken broth a little at a time until the sauce is the desired consistency. We like ours thick if we are not adding vegetables and thinner if we are adding vegetables.
Peanut Butter Chicken is great served on white rice, jasmine rice, brown rice, or rice noodles. If you are on a low carb diet then you can serve this with cauliflower rice or other fresh vegetables.
Tips & Tricks
Cut the chicken (and veggies, if using) ahead of time to make this dish even faster.
Cook the chicken in batches if necessary because if you overcrowd the pan then the chicken will not brown.
Clean the skillet after cooking the chicken and/or vegetables by holding a paper towel with tongs.
Substitutions & Additions
We use sriracha sauce but you could use red pepper flakes, chili paste or buffalo sauce. The amount used is really personal preference and you may have to experiment to find the perfect balance. Start with a little and add more next time if it is too mild. You can also leave it out altogether if you are feeding young kids but a little bit of heat with the peanut butter and honey is what makes this a flavorful dish.
Add in some fresh tender crisp veggies to make this a well balanced and complete meal. You can thin the sauce down with additional chicken broth and add in green, orange, yellow, or red bell peppers. Green beans, carrots and broccoli also go great in this dish.
Garnish with fresh peanuts or green onions.
How to Add Vegetables Into This Dish:
There are a couple of great ways to do this.
- Stir fry the veggies after step 3 above then continue with step 4.
- Pre-cook the veggies in the microwave and add them when you put the chicken back in the skillet.
More Easy Chicken Dinner Recipes:
While this easy peanut butter chicken recipe is kinda high in fat you don’t have to stress about it too much because peanut butter and canola oil contain the healthy fat that can be part of a balanced diet.
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Easy Peanut Butter Chicken
For the chicken:
- 1 pound chicken boneless skinless breast or thighs
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
For the sauce:
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoons garlic chopped
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
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- Whisk peanut butter, chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, garlic and hot sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup; set aside. Whisk in the cornstarch right before you add it to the chicken.
- Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cornstarch. Toss to coat chicken pieces on all sides with cornstarch and discard any that is left over.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Cook chicken until golden on all sides. Cook chicken in batches if necessary. Clean any leftover oil out of the skillet by holding a paper towel with tongs.
- Add chicken back into the skillet over medium heat. Add cornstarch to sauce and whisk to combine before adding the sauce to the skillet with the chicken, cook over medium heat until thickened, about 3-5 minutes.