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.
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.
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.
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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.
Now that you have a main course, here are some ideas for sides.
- Spring Rolls: Even though these aren’t the Thai variety of Spring Roll, these are a delicious appetizer that the whole family will love. Or make Egg Rolls that aren’t vegetarian and serve with Sweet and Sour dipping sauce.
- Chinese Steamed Rice: The perfect side dish for your peanut chicken!
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!
- 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
- 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).
Can I make this on a stovetop?
I haven’t tested this particular recipe stove top but here’s a link to my stove top Chicken recipes for your review! https://dinnerthendessert.com/?s=stove+top+chicken
This was super easy and delicious. This will be a regular on my menu at home.
Can I use chicken breast?
Has anyone made this in an Instant Pot?
This smelled fabulous while it was cooking! I served it over wild rice and Egg Drop soup. Comforting. I would add red pepper flakes next time, just for a little pop.
Loved this dish. We eat a lot of Asian food and this has to be up with the best of them. Such an easy way to prepare a wholesome, nutritious and flavoursome meal. You could be in Thailand such is the flavour experience. Will be on the menu again.
Can i marinate over night
I kick up the heat level. I really counter balances with the creamy peanut butter.
When I first made the sauce I was very skeptical… it did not feel like it was going to be good. But when I took my dish out 40 mins later it was delish!!! Garnered with while peanuts. I’ll cook this again!
This was a total winner @ our house! I did tweak it a little based on changes by others. I added red and yellow peppers, baby carrots and onions, some hot sauce and a few red pepper flakes. Thanks for sharing this!
Can I put sauce over chicken and leave in fridge overnight?
This recipe is a really easy way to enjoy a delicious Thai chicken dish. Certainly easy to prepare and full of nutritional value. Full of flavour for sure. Another winner.
This was absolutely a delicious recipe. I did add a little Sriracha to the sauce and chopped peanuts, scallions and broccoli.
This is a must try recipe.
Sorry just posted a comment and I miss typed. The recipe states yields 6 but the recipe only asks for 5 chicken thighs. Is this an error ?
The recipe states yield 5 but the recipe states 5 chicken thighs.???
This is so easy and delicioso! A few people have said that it was missing something, just add a little bit of Sriracha and some chopped nuts on top with the cilantro. It’s perfect! Serve it over rice noodles. Amazing! Really, really good!
Made this tonight over rice with Asian Asparagus Spears. It was amazing! Next time I’ll add some crushed red pepper flakes…it could use a little heat.
This was simply amazing! Added Sambal chili paste and spring onions with the peanuts and cilantro. Also doubled the sauce and served over rice noodles. Was super tasty!
This was tasty! Will add chopped peanuts next time. Easy to make too!
Made this tonight for dinner it was delicious. The only thing that I changed was adding another clove of garlic I’m Italian I love garlic. I love making different things for dinner now that I am retired. Thanks for the great recipe.
Can this be done in the crockpot? Made it tonight in the oven and it was tasty but I like how the thighs fall apart in the cp
These ingredients likely can be slow cooked. I would suggest using bone in thighs to slow cook. Make sure the meat is fully covered by the sauce – even if you need to double the sauce, use a pot-in-pot method or use a slow cooker bag. Do not use foil. The citrus juice will chemically react with foil. Mix the sauce thoroughly before adding the chicken.
Very simple recipe and the author made it freely available so that’s good and always appreciated.
The dish was disappointing to me and I love coconut milk and peanut butter! How can you go wrong?
I think the chicken should be seasoned and browned on the stovetop or grill before adding to the rest of the ingredients. The chicken just lacked flavor when simply baked in the coconut/peanut sauce.
Overall the sauce did lead with coconut and peanut flavors but it lacked spice tones. I tried upping the flavor after the initial bake with some curry sauce and chili flakes but the additional heat tasted like an afterthought.
Add some chopped peanuts as a garnish for some crunchy texture.
Give the sauce a little more POP by adding chillis or cayenne.
Add some Siracha or pepper flakes and a heaped tablespoon of Hoisin sauce. Taste the sauce and adjust/tweak to your taste. For instance I less than halved the honey as we dont like overly sweet foods . I always thought we could add more
This is the first time I’ve ever left a review for a recipe. All I have to say is “WOW”. Made it for dinner tonight; so easy, so delicious.
Good day. I love this recipe. The flavors are amazing. I make extra sauce for using as a salad dressing over teriyaki chicken salad. Thank you for sharing.
I am away from home presently and the recipe that I use has red thai curry paste. How much would you add to this recipe?
I added red pepper flakes for a little extra zing. Everyone love it, so we will be doing this again.
I made this for dinner tonight. It was good but lacked something. My husband’s comment was that wasn’t very dynamic and I think that was well stated. It just needed something to kick the flavors up a notch.
I made this last night, it was good but not what I thought, the sauce was very bland tasted more peanut butter, which I love, but this needed some more. I have left over’s so I’m hoping that it sat overnight the taste will be better. I doubled it to have more used all fresh veggies, could not even taste the ginger.
Is it baked at 350 or 375? The blog post says 350, but recipe card says 375.
Hello, sorry for the confusion. You need to heat at 375.
Is the dish cooked covered or uncovered?
Hello, this is cooked uncovered.
Wonderful, wonderful wonderful as is, needs no tweaking. My go to from now on!!!
Ahhh yes! thank you for your support!
Hi there! The store gave me bone-in, skin on chicken thighs…is there anything I need to alter about the recipe?
Nothing to alter really, just an added step of skinning and taking the bones out of the meat. Your chicken should be fine 🙂
Is there a substitute for the coconut milk? My husband doesn’t like coconut. Or, does the sauce taste heavily of coconut?
Mariah, maybe soy milk might be good?
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?
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.
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!?
Aww I love to see that Brooke! Thank you!
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.
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!
Can I make this with chicken breasts and just cook it for a shorter time? I am not fond of chicken thighs.
Sure! It will have a slightly different taste though.
I made this and it needed way more than 35 minutes to come to temperature, more like 45+
Bland. I would have added more PB and it needed salt. Maybe some red pepper flakes?
Hi. Looking forward to making this this evening. Did you use sweetened or unsweetened coconut milk? Thanks!
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.
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.
That’s odd. Have you checked the accuracy of your oven temperatures lately?
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!!
Oh, my! This is delicious! I also added sriracha for a bit of a kick – yum!!
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?
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!
I found it to be bland, so will add some red pepper flakes when I re-heat it for leftovers tomorrow.
You show two different temperatures in this recipe 375 in the text above, 350 in the recipe card? Which one do you use?
Sorry about that. It should read 375. Thanks for letting me know.
What size of chicken thigh? Did you use small chicken thighs or are they a bit bigger?
I’d say mine were around 4 ounces each.
Hello, thanks for sharing this with us.
Any other methods other than baked it in the oven?
Here’s a slow cooker version.
Absolutely delicious! Thank you for this recipe!
I have a slow cooker version too.
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!
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!
This recipe was amazing! I made it a couple nights ago! I posted on my Instagram foodie_kp07 🙂
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
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!
So sorry about that. Yes, just sprinkle them on the top before serving.
Great chicken dish, very flavorful. Cooking time needs to be 45 min rather than 30-35.
Mine did not turn out red! Why?
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!
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!
I’m so glad you loved it enough to want to leave a review. Thanks for the 5 stars, Holli!
Can I do this with bone-in skin-on chicken thighs?
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.
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.
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!
Excellent. My family loved this.
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!
You’re welcome, Laurel. Yes, feel free to adjust to your spice level.
Could you use amino acids instead of soy sauce? We’ve heard it’s healthier.
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.
I’d remover the skin.
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.
Sounds perfect! Thanks for the 5 stars, Allie.
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
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!
Thanks for the 5 stars, Kathleen. So glad you enjoyed it.
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.
If you don’t have coconut milk, what is a good substitute? I have both regular milk and almond milk . . .
Out of those two, almond milk would be my first choice.
Can I use bone in and skin on? It looks like that was used in the pictures. Thank you!
I would cook for 35-45 minutes at 400 degrees. Enjoy!
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!
So glad you all enjoyed it. Thanks for the 5 stars.
So, I should double the sauce for 9 thighs (2.6#)?
And can I use a 9×13 glass baking dish?
Yes though I’m not sure a 9×13 baking dish would be big enough for 9 thighs.
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?
That would be perfect! Enjoy!
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.
Thanks, Sarah! So glad you all enjoyed it.
Could I freeze this before baking? Thinking of freezing in a gallon bag and then thawing and baking?
i only have ground ginger. will this work and how much should i use?
Yes, just use 1/8 teaspoon as ground ginger is stronger than minced in flavor. Enjoy!
Question: what type of crushed peanuts do you add as a garnish? Roasted or cocktail?
Whichever you prefer. I like roasted.
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?)
You can do it either way. 🙂
How long should this cook for if using bone in thighs??
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.
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!
So glad you enjoyed it, Brittany. Thanks for the 5 stars.
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?
Directions say to preheat to 350 degrees but directly in the recipe instructions, it says 375. Which one is it?
Thanks for catching that. It should be 375.
Hi there I’m not a fan of chicken thighs can we do this with chicken breast boneless?
Certainly. If using skinless I would score the top of the chicken with x’s to help the marinade cook with the chicken.
Made for lunch today. Just delicious!
I made this for dinner today. It is very good, easy and quick. Nice blend of flavors.
The peanut sauce is easy to make and the best part of this recipe! Thanks.
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!
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 ?
A simple and delicious chicken dinner recipe! We love these chicken thighs.
My Hubby absolutely loves this dish! I am adding it to our weekly rotation.
This was the most delicious recipe! Everything about it was perfect! Thank you!
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.
You can double the recipe easily, just make sure your baking dish is big enough not to crowd the chicken.