Baked Thai Peanut Chicken

Savory, delicious skinless chicken thighs baked in a quick homemade Thai peanut sauce that’s ready in just 35 minutes then topped with crushed peanuts. 

Thai dishes like Baked Thai Peanut Chicken is savory and delicious, especially if you want to make something fast and easy. I’ve made some really popular Thai recipes before that you all loved, including Chicken Pad Thai, CPK Thai Peanut Chicken Pasta (this recipe has a cult following on the site!) and Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Noodles) so I’m adding another Thai dish to the list, especially one with such a nice cooking time.

Thai Peanut Chicken

BAKED 
THAI PEANUT CHICKEN

If you are craving something delicious but don’t want to spend the money to go out to dinner, try making Baked Thai Peanut Chicken. It’s quick, it’s delicious, and it’s so easy. Peanut sauce is thick and savory, and it brings out the natural flavor of the chicken perfectly.

Plus the recipe only takes a quick second to prepare so you can go on with your weeknight routine without having to worry about dinner. If this is your first time making Thai peanut sauce, you’ll be able to trick everyone into thinking you’re a pro.

If you liked this recipe and want some more like it, try our Thai Green Curry or Thai Peanut Chicken Wraps. For those times when you want to whip out the crockpot, check out our Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken.

Baked Thai Peanut Chicken in a pan

HOW TO MAKE PEANUT CHICKEN

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mince both the garlic and fresh ginger.
  • Mix your chicken, coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, garlic and ginger in a large bowl.
  • Make sure that the chicken gets thoroughly soaked.
  • Put the chicken a baking dish with the smooth side down
  • Pour the rest of the sauce over it.
  • Put it in the oven for 35 minutes.
  • Check the thickest part with a probe thermometer to make sure it’s cooked through.
  • Serve it up alone or on top of steamed rice.
  • Chop up some fresh cilantro as garnish.

VARIATIONS AND TOPPINGS

  • Cilantro: Some chopped cilantro can add some great color and flavor to the dish.
  • Veggies: You can try a variety of chopped vegetables in this recipe, such as bell peppers, green onions and snow peas, just to name a couple.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Dust the top of the chicken with red pepper flakes for a crunch that also has some spice to it.
  • Fish Sauce: Fish sauce is an umami lover’s dream, since it is packed with flavor and can cover a lot of ground. Add a teaspoon or two to your sauce and stir just before serving for a more umami flavor.
  • Sriracha: They say that sriracha goes with anything (there’s even sriracha ice cream for the brave.) A few drops on Thai chicken is perfect for anyone who likes their food to bite back a little.
  • Rice Noodles: Instead of serving Baked Thai Peanut Chicken over rice, try rice noodles instead. They have a great texture and absorb sauce well so that each bite is full of flavor.

SIDE DISHES

Now that you have a main course, here are some ideas for sides.

PEANUT SAUCE 

Peanut sauce is popular in a ton of Asian dishes, and is the most well known in Thai food. But where does it come from? South America is probably not the answer you were thinking, was it?

Peanuts are native to South America, and when merchants and missionaries from Portugal and Spain began to travel to Asia, specifically Indonesia, they brought peanuts with them. The legumes thrived in the Indonesian climate and were quickly developed into a tasty sauce called bumbu kacang. 

Peanut sauce picked up steam in South Asia, mostly China, Vietnam and Singapore, and is now used in too many recipes to name, from stir-fry to French fries. Peanut sauce is also an international favorite that you can find at your grocery store, but it’s much more fun and tasty to make your own.

In a lot dishes, including our Baked Thai Peanut Chicken (and Thai Peanut Shrimp), peanut butter is used as a base for the sauce instead of chopped peanuts.

HOW LONG DOES THAI PEANUT CHICKEN KEEP?

  • Serve: Don’t leave cooked chicken out for longer than 2 hours, or it will start to grow things.
  • Store: Your leftovers will be good in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: In an airtight container, Baked Thai Peanut Chicken is good for up to 4 months.

WHEN IS IT SAFE TO EAT?

According to the USDA’s website, chicken is fully cooked at 165 degrees F (73.8 degrees C).  Since we are cooking this chicken in the oven for so long you’ll likely have no issues with temperature but when it comes to salmonella better safe than sorry!

Close up of Baked Thai Peanut Chicken

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Baked Thai Peanut Chicken

Savory, delicious skinless chicken thighs baked in a quick homemade Thai peanut sauce that's ready in just 35 minutes then topped with crushed peanuts. 
Yield 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Thai
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 5 chicken thighs , boneless skinless
  • 1/2 can coconut milk , 7 ounces
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce , low-sodium
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger , minced
  • cilantro , for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl mix the chicken, coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, garlic and ginger.
  • Place the chicken, smooth side down into your baking dish.
  • Pour the sauce over it.
  • Cook for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (to 165 degrees F).

Nutrition

Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 490mg | Potassium: 413mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 23IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: Baked Thai Peanut Chicken

Baked Thai Peanut Chicken

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. Hi there! The store gave me bone-in, skin on chicken thighs…is there anything I need to alter about the recipe?

    Thanks!

    1. Nothing to alter really, just an added step of skinning and taking the bones out of the meat. Your chicken should be fine 🙂

  2. Is there a substitute for the coconut milk? My husband doesn’t like coconut. Or, does the sauce taste heavily of coconut?

  3. i’m using skinless bone in chicken thighs. Probably a stupid question, But when you say “smooth side down”, I’m assuming the fleshy side not the underside exposing the bone?

  4. Love the design of this recipe but the sauce lacked some punch. I used fresh ingredients and I doubled the sauce because I had 6 chicken thighs to cook. I wish I had tasted the sauce before serving but that’s difficult when it’s cooked all together in the oven. It just needs a bit more tang. I’ll make it again but change it around a bit. I used fresh ingredients. It looked fantastic. Served with pad Thai noodles and a side of stir fry veggies.

  5. I don’t usually comment on recipes but this one was so deserving of 5 stars! Very fast to put together using jarred minced ginger & garlic and a whisk to incorporate. I mostly followed the recipe only adding that I mixed the sauce in a bowl and seared and seasoned my chicken thighs on the stovetop in a cast iron pan, poured the sauce (which I doubled because hubby loves extra sauce with his sticky rice) over the top and finished it off in the oven. I like a bit of spice in my Thai food so we just served Tabasco at the table so everyone could spice to their own liking. Okay, this recipe is amazing because the flavors omg are so full flavored and balanced and are just what I was hoping for in a Thai peanut chicken. Secondly, it comes together soo fast that it easily is going into my “go to” recipe book. I am so happy that I came across your blog and I cannot wait to start tackling some of your Chinese food recipes, they look equally amazing and if they come together as fast as you say we will be having Chinese food at home much more regularly! Thank you for sharing these that are realistic for everyday, busy cooks!?

  6. The chicken was very good BUT the time was way off. It took over 20 minutes to just do the prep work and that was going at a fast pace. Measuring ingredients and mincing garlic and ginger, squeezing lime, and incorporating the peanut butter into the coconut milk was a lot of time. Unless this was all done ahead of time (like 1/2 hour before) this was a very time-consuming dish.

    1. Hi Dorothy! I didn’t experience the lengthy prep time that you did and used some shortcuts you might find helpful like minced ginger from a jar, minced, jarred garlic, bottled lime juice and a whisk to combine it all together, making a super fast sauce- maybe 5 minutes once I had all of my ingredients out on the counter. I hope this helps!

  7. Can I make this with chicken breasts and just cook it for a shorter time? I am not fond of chicken thighs.

  8. Hi. Looking forward to making this this evening. Did you use sweetened or unsweetened coconut milk? Thanks!

  9. Just what I needed. I had to adapt because I wasn’t going to the store. I hate it when I give someone a recipe and I find out they modified it and then complain that it didn’t taste right. I think it would be hard to ruin this one. I had no coconut milk but I did have coconut water and I had to add apple cider vinegar instead of rice wine (would have used white wine if I had some open) otherwise I was good to go. Needing to save time and pots I diced some carrots and broccoli and incorporated some of the veggies until I got tired of stirring the mix so I just layered the remaining broccoli on the bottom and covered it with the sauced chicken. I was concerned that the veggies wouldn’t cook enough or cook too much. Baked 30 minutes in toaster oven and it was perfect. My only comment is next time I will add more veggies and maybe a diced onion (can never have too much garlic or onion) and hot sauce as per suggestions. Unbelievably easy, forgiving, and delicious. Thanks.

  10. I, too, am a trained chef. I actually went to culinary school. This recipe is fine, however….the baking time is waaaaaaay off. I left it at 375 for over and hour and it still wasn’t done.

  11. This was very simple and quite tasty. When I reheated the leftovers I added Red Curry Powder, red pepper and lime zest. Really punched it up. Thanks for sharing!!

  12. Ive enjoyed all your recipes I’ve tried. They never disappoint. I just pinned your baked Thai peanut chicken, and noticed that it serves 6, but the recipe only calls for 5 thighs. That’s going to be awkward. For anyone watching their nutritional info, may I suggest listing the chicken thighs by weight rather than by number of thighs?

  13. Really delicious!! I added quite a bit of Sriracha to the sauce before cooking and it was super yummy!! The chicken thighs made this dish rich and decadent. I would love to try it with chicken breasts sometime to see how it compares. I will definitely be making this again!

  14. You show two different temperatures in this recipe 375 in the text above, 350 in the recipe card? Which one do you use?

  15. Could you use a different vinegar? Also, I’m confused on mixing all the sauce with the chicken. I would have assumed on combining the sauce (melting the peanut butter) would be prior to mixing with the chicken? Can’t wait to make this!

    1. You can mix the sauce and then mix it with the chicken if you’d like. You can substitute with the rice wine vinegar with white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar though that may change the flavor profile a bit. Good luck!

  16. I’m going to make this for Sunday dinner. I don’t see any mention of the peanuts. How much? Just a sprinkling? Thank you. Looks delicious!

    1. It’s not really a red color but different brands of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar can vary in color making the final dish different depending on who made it. I hope you still thought it was delicious!

  17. Delicious and so easy that I had to take the time to leave a review. I already had fried up chicken thighs the night before and had extra left over so I searched chicken thigh recipes and stumbled across this. So I just tossed all the sauce ingredients into a pan and simmered it up and then added the left over chicken! It was a hit! Thanks for the recipe!

  18. Just made this tonight, it was so rich and delicious. Wondering though, it looked nothing like yours? Your sauce looks much thicker and dark. Mine was a little thin and much paler.

    1. Different brands of broth or soy sauce differ in color and can change the color of a dish, either making it darker or lighter. Rice wine brands also can vary in yellow. Put all those together and a dish can vary is color. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  19. Made this tonight and it was delicious! My family absolutely loved it. The only addition was siracha sauce.

    Thank you for all of your great recipes. My family really believes I know how to cook and it’s all thanks to you!

  20. My husband adored this and I loved how easy it was. Thinking next time I might add some red pepper flakes or Sriracha sauce for a little heat. Thanks for the great recipe!

  21. Hi only have bone in skin on chicken thighs. Would you recommend removing the skin or leaving it, assuming I add extra cooking time? Im worried about it being flabby in the end result.
    Thanks!

  22. This was so delicious and easy! I used chunky peanut butter because it’s all I had, but it actually worked well to give the dish crunch (I didn’t have peanuts for the top either.) I also used bone-in skin-on, and cooked in the oven for about 25 mins. So juicy and flavorful! Served over quinoa with a cabbage and carrot salad on the side.

  23. Very nice! I marinated the chicken over 24 hours as I normally do 24+ hours plus on any chicken, really enjoyed this with a vegetable Chow mein on the side

  24. Made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit! Served with jasmine rice and fresh peas, sriracha and red pepper flakes on the table. I didn’t have creamy peanut butter so I used extra crunchy which was perfect. I will add fish sauce for some saltiness and depth next time but it was fabulous as it is written!

    1. Looking forward to making this! I’m a bit confused on your size calculations. For portions, it says it serves 6, but for ingredients you call for 5 chicken thighs. I can’t imagine 3/4th of a thigh for each person.
      Please clarify

  25. If you don’t have coconut milk, what is a good substitute? I have both regular milk and almond milk . . .

  26. Excellent, eating it now. Made sauce as instructed. We do not care for dark meat. Used 4 boneless chicken breast. Thought about doubling the sauce. Either way would have been fine. I added hot pepper flakes and Sriracha. We like heat. Chopped up red bell pepper, onion and peanuts. May add broc/cauli next time. Served over teriyaki rice for husband and rice noodles for me. It’s a keeper!

  27. beautiful recipe, can’t wait to make it tonight!

    I want to add in some red bell pepper ( I saw you mentioned adding in veggies)…. is it okay just to chop up and mix in the sauce when it’s poured over the chicken?

    What are your thoughts?

    Thank you!

    1. This is to die for! Restaurant-level flavor. I halved the ginger and garlic so my toddler could dig in, too. Thank you, Sabrina! Another hit.

  28. For frozen, would you bake them, then freeze them and thaw and microwave to reheat? Or freeze in the sauce and bake from frozen (if so how long?? And what temp?)

    1. You might only need them to cook for 15-20 minutes. Just make sure the the middle is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

  29. The sauce is so simple and tasty! I didnt have any sesame seed oil or rice wine vinegar and it turned out so nice. I doubled the recipe as well!

      1. Could I sauté this instead of bake? I’d like to have enough leftover sauce to pour over the chicken and rice after serving. Should I marinate the chicken in the sauce first?

    1. Certainly. If using skinless I would score the top of the chicken with x’s to help the marinade cook with the chicken.

  30. Wow..this chicken is so flavorful!! Some of my favorite flavors in this! I love how easy this is to make…didn’t take long at all!

  31. OMG ? this was absolutely delicious! I kept going back from war. The sauce was creamy and savory just as described. The flavors were robust and the fresh ingredients combined left my palate wanting more. I served over sticky rice and it was to die for. I doubled the recipe and used a little more lime juice garlic and fresh ginger. I love my food bursting with flavor so that’s why I went a little heavy on the spices. YUM ?

  32. Can you double the recipe or would I have to make changes to the recipe? It sounds delicious but I do need to make more than 5 thighs.