Asian Peanut Butter Chicken Bowl

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These Thai-Style Peanut Butter Chicken Bowls are perfect as a simple family-friendly dinner but also make a great make-ahead lunch that rivals any Asian Take-out order. 

overhead shot of Thai Peanut Butter Chicken Bowl

I find that any time I can add peanut butter to dinner we tend to have fewer leftovers and the plates can go straight into the dishwasher – scraped clean, so to say! Would it be an exaggeration to say peanut butter makes a happy family? Probably – I don’t know but I am kind of thinking it makes life a LOT easier! Easy as in – make something everyone will happily eat and enjoy the peace.

overhead shot of a healthy Thai Peanut butter chicken bowl

These Thai-style peanut butter chicken bowls are perfect for when you want to eat something interesting and nourishing that tastes a bit like take-out but does not leave you with a rumbly belly.

Extra bonus – these are simple! If you cook once in a while, you might already have all the ingredients at home. Nothing exotic or particularly Asian needed here. Most ingredients are standard pantry items, especially if you like to make stir-fries. 

a small bowl with Thai peanut sauce

The Peanut Sauce is LIFE!

Guys, let’s talk about the best part of this recipe! The easy Thai-style peanut sauce turns everything it touches into gold and requires little effort beyond some basic stirring. Trust me, this stuff will guarantee scraped-clean plates and you can use it for many more recipes like my Thai chicken patties or these chicken bowls. 

For the peanut sauce, we mix smooth peanut butter with some lime juice, ginger, and honey for sweetness.  As with all Thai sauces, we want a touch of heat, and in this recipe, I used sambal oelek. Any chili sauce would work – think sriracha. A touch of your favorite plant-based milk to thin it all out to that perfect consistency and you have the best peanut sauce EVER that you will put on all of your favorite bowls.

overhead shot of a Thai peanut butter chicken bowl served with chopped peanuts and lime wedges

Add-ins for the bowl

  • To keep things low carb go with cauliflower rice, broccoli rice, or veggie noodles as a base or you can use your favorite kind of rice, quinoa, or even grains like farro.
  •  chopped veggies of your choice: I like to go colorful and use a blend of cabbage, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, shredded kale/lettuce…
  • It would not be an Asian bowl without cilantro! I like cilantro so I use plenty but you can just add some chopped cilantro stalks for a less “soapy” flavor or skip the cilantro and use Thai basil.
  • For some crunch, I add some roasted peanuts, roughly chopped. You can use spiced ones – like chili honey. Those go amazingly well here.

Instructions for meal prep:

Wanna make these bowls for meal prep? Just shred and chop all the veg, make the peanut sauce, and store everything ahead of time. The chicken can be made the night before. In the morning, the cooked chicken can be tossed with the entire peanut sauce and a splash of coconut milk or water when reheating. I do not recommend reheating this. Reheat gently in a saucepan.

To Store.  You can easily store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

meal prep containers with Thai peanut butter chicken

How to make Chicken Peanut Bowls:

a picture collage showing how to make peanut sauce and stir-fry sauce for chicken

Step 1 – Make the Peanut sauce. Whisk together peanut butter, lime juice, ginger, honey, sambal oelek, salt and 2-3 tablespoons milk in a small bowl or in your food processor. Set aside.

Step 2 – Make the Cooking sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together chicken stock, sambal oelek, honey and lime juice and zest. Set aside.

Step 3 – In a large bowl, combine chicken chunks with cornstarch and coconut aminos, tossing everything to coat and letting the chicken absorb the cornstarch.

chicken breast chunks being stir-fried with peanut sauce

Step 4 –  Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.

Step 5  – Add garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring frequently, just until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 6 – Stir in the cooking sauce and let reduce until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

overhead shot of a black skillet with peanut butter chicken

Build the bowl:

  1. Divide cauliflower rice (or your choice of base) into bowls.
  2. Top with chicken and veggies.
  3. Drizzle with peanut sauce and sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts.

overhead shot of a bowl with veggies and Thai peanut butter chicken

 

Peanut Butter Chicken Tips & Variations:

  • Tip for peanut sauce: Add 2 tbsp of nut milk in the beginning. Leave the peanut sauce in your food processor while you finish the recipe. Add the last tbsp of nut milk to the sauce and blitz once again RIGHT before serving. Makes the texture PERFECT!
  • Leftover chicken can be tossed with peanut sauce and a splash of coconut milk or water when reheating. Reheat gently in a saucepan, not in the microwave.
  • If you don’t have peanut butter, you can use almond butter here.
  • Should you be scared of overcooking the chicken, use chicken thighs – they tend to stay moister and allow you to cook it longer.
  • Want to make the prep work even quicker? There are some pre-made garlic and ginger pastes on the market that you can keep on hand if you don’t tend to keep fresh ginger and garlic in your kitchen or are not a fan of mincing.
5 from 5 votes
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Asian Peanut Butter Chicken Bowls

These Thai-Style Peanut Butter Chicken Bowls are perfect as a simple family-friendly dinner but also make a great make-ahead lunch that rivals any Asian Take-out order. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword peanut butter chicken bowl, peanut butter chicken recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 824 kcal

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 1 pound skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts - cut into 2 cm chunks about 3 breasts or 4 thighs -/ 450g boneless
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce or fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger finely minced

For the cooking sauce

  • ¼ cup chicken broth low sodium
  • 1/2 tbsp sambal oelek or your favorite chilli paste
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lime juice + 1 tsp zest

For the peanut sauce

  • ¼ cup smooth peanut butter 75g
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp ginger ideally grated or finely minced
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek or your favorite chilli paste
  • 2-3 tbsp plant-based milk coconut or unsweetened cashew work well
  • tsp salt

For the bowl

  • 2 cups of either cauliflower rice broccoli rice, veggie noodles or rice.
  • 2 cups chopped veggies of your choice: cabbage shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, shredded kale/lettuce…
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts roughly chopped

Instructions

Peanut sauce

  1. Whisk together peanut butter, lime juice, ginger, honey, sambal oelek, salt and 2-3 tablespoons milk in a small bowl or in your food processor. Set aside.

Cooking sauce:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together chicken stock, sambal oelek, honey and lime juice and zest. Set aside.

Chicken:

  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken chunks with cornstarch and coconut aminos, tossing everything to coat and letting the chicken absorb the cornstarch.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring frequently, just until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the cooking sauce and let reduce until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Build the bowl:

  1. Divide cauliflower rice (or your choice of base) into bowls.
  2. Top with chicken and veggies.
  3. Drizzle with peanut sauce and sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts.

Recipe Notes

  • Tip for peanut sauce: Add 2 tbsp of nut milk in the beginning. Leave the peanut sauce in your food processor while you finish the recipe. Add the last tbsp of nut milk to the sauce and blitz once again RIGHT before serving. Makes the texture PERFECT!
  • Leftover chicken can be tossed with peanut sauce and a splash of coconut milk or water when reheating. Reheat gently in a saucepan, not in the microwave.
  • If you don't have peanut butter, you can use almond butter here.
  • Should you be scared of overcooking the chicken, use chicken thighs - they tend to stay moister and allow you to cook it longer.
  • Want to make the prep work even quicker? There are some pre-made garlic and ginger pastes on the market that you can keep on hand if you don't tend to keep fresh ginger and garlic in your kitchen or are not a fan of mincing.

+ more tips and tricks in the blog post above!

Nutrition Facts
Asian Peanut Butter Chicken Bowls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 824 Calories from Fat 360
% Daily Value*
Fat 40g62%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 145mg48%
Sodium 1033mg45%
Potassium 1918mg55%
Carbohydrates 56g19%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 26g29%
Protein 68g136%
Vitamin A 407IU8%
Vitamin C 117mg142%
Calcium 116mg12%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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10 Comments
    1. OH peanut and chicken is a total winner! I also have also recently tried a recipe for Peanut Soup that I have been meaning to share! SO good!

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