Chicken Satay is an impressive yet surprisingly simple appetizer to make at home complete with a delicious peanut dipping sauce. Make up a quick marinade for the chicken, skewer it, and then grill until it’s cooked through. This easy chicken skewers recipe is perfect for a fun dinner or to serve at a holiday or game day party.

A rectangular plate with chicken stay skewers is served at a party.

Simple Chicken Satay Recipe

Chicken Satay might sound fancy…but it’s actually a super simple dish!

These delightfully flavorful skewers are delicious with a bowl of Thai peanut sauce on the side, which is also detailed in the recipe below.

All you need to do is whip up an easy marinade of soy sauce, lime juice, Sriracha, ginger, and minced garlic. Then, skewer the seasoned chicken and grill to perfection.

You will impress your entire family and friends when you bring out a platter of these homemade chicken skewers.

Be sure to add this easy chicken satay recipe to your Super Bowl or holiday party menu to give your guests a real treat.

All of the ingredients needed to make Chicken Satay.

Ingredients

The list of ingredients to make this authentic chicken satay recipe include:

  • Chicken. Thighs are optimal because they have more fat and flavor. Get boneless and skinless if possible for more even cooking and to save you time. You can choose breasts if necessary.
  • Oil. Either avocado oil or olive oil will work just fine.
  • Soy sauce. Regular or low-sodium can be used. If needed, opt for gluten-free Tamari or coconut aminos to fit your dietary requirements.
  • Lime juice. You won’t regret a fresh squeezed lime. In a pinch, you can use bottled juice, but the result won’t be the same.
  • Honey. This adds a bit of sweetness. You can opt for maple syrup or another natural sweetener if needed, or simply leave it out. Brown sugar also works.
  • Sriracha. You can use a lot or a little, depending on how spicy you like it!
  • Ginger. While you can go for fresh ginger, a store-bought ginger paste is so simple and works just as well.
  • Garlic. Don’t skip the fresh minced garlic. If you absolutely need to, you can use garlic powder, but it is not recommended.

How to Make Chicken Satay

The basic steps for making these easy chicken satay skewers are simple to follow:

Prep the Marinade and Skewers

Fill a large bowl with water. Completely submerge the wooden skewers. This step ensures the meat cooks without the sticks catching fire.

Make sure they soak for at least 20 minutes.

Note, there are many types of skewers available, with wooden or bamboo being the most common. You can use whatever is available.

Add the marinade ingredients (soy sauce, lime juice, honey, Sriracha, ginger, garlic, and salt) to a medium to large bowl. You will be marinating the chicken in this, so be sure it’s big enough to hold everything.

Give the ingredients a good whisk until everything is combined.

Slice and Marinate the Chicken

Use a clean cutting board and a sharp knife.

Carefully slice the chicken thighs into strips that are 1 inch thick. Cut these as evenly as possible so they cook at a consistent rate.

Place the strips in the chicken marinade and set the entire bowl into the fridge. Allow the chicken to sit for at least 30 minutes. You can leave them up to overnight.

Cook the Chicken

Remove the skewers from the water and place them on a towel.

After the chicken has marinated, remove one strip from the bowl. Allow any extra sauce to drip off the marinated meat.

Very carefully thread the skewer longways through the middle of the chicken strips. Continue this process until all of the meat is on a stick. Save the extra marinade.

Add the oil to a large grill pan or a skillet. If your pan isn’t big enough to hold all of the skewers without touching, you may need to cook these in multiple batches.

Let the chicken cook over medium heat for 14 to 16 minutes. If you prefer to use the grill, cook on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Either way, make sure to rotate the pieces every 4 to 5 minutes. About halfway through cooking, brush the extra marinade on the skewers.

The chicken is done when the internal temp is 165°F.

Chicken skewers are placed on a grill plate.

Make the Peanut Dipping Sauce

Add the sauce ingredients, except the water, to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk them until they’re smooth and combined. (Opt for natural peanut butter if possible.)

Slowly add the warm water in 1 tablespoon increments. Use just enough to thin it to your desired consistency.

Either serve with the skewers right away or keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.

You can buy a peanut dipping sauce at the store, but this homemade recipe is so simple to whip up.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: You can slice the chicken and let it marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
  • How to store: Remove the leftover chicken satay from the sticks and place them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. These will keep in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • How to freeze: Chicken satay freezes well. Remove the skewers and place the chicken in a freezer-safe container for up to 4 to 5 months.
  • How to reheat: You can either use a microwave in 15-second increments to warm this recipe back up or heat leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop. For a larger batch, warm them up on a baking sheet in the oven.

Is chicken satay healthy?

When enjoyed alone, chicken satay is incredibly healthy either as a meal or a snack. It is a good source of protein and healthy fats and low in carbohydrates. Chicken also has many vitamins and minerals, like phosphorous, calcium, and vitamins B6 and B12.

Where is chicken satay from?

Satay comes from the Indonesian word, sate. It usually refers to a protein, most often chicken, that has been seasoned, skewered, and grilled. It is believed to have come from Java Island originally. Many people view this as a national dish of Indonesia, and it is definitely a popular Southeast Asian street food. However, you will find varieties of satay, including Thai satay recipes and Malaysian chicken satay. They are slightly different, but each very good.

Is chicken satay gluten-free?

When prepared with gluten-free ingredients (in particular soy sauce), satay chicken is a gluten-free dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or snack by anyone.

Serve chicken satay with peanut sauce and crushed peanuts.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already dairy-free as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Gluten-free: Be sure to use Tamari or coconut aminos in the marinade.
  • Nut-free: Skip the peanut dipping sauce.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Thigh is best. While you can use breast, thighs are much more flavorful and juicy.
  • Let it rest. Be sure to allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Wet sticks. You really want the skewers thoroughly soaked so they don’t catch fire.
  • Prep ahead. You can easily make prepare this dish a day ahead of time.
  • Dip away. These skewers are irresistible with a bowl of peanut dipping sauce!
  • Enhance the flavor. You can really take this dish up a notch by including lime zest in the marinade, or adding extra spice to your dipping sauce.
A tray with a pile of chicken satay skewers and peanut dipping sauce.

What to Serve with Chicken Satay

You can easily serve this recipe as a main dish with a variety of healthy sides.

Green Beans Almondine, Sautéed Spinach, and Air Fryer Broccoli with Parmesan are great ways to get your greens in.

Or, Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Air Fryer Zucchini Fries are easy finger foods, as well.

More Appetizer Recipes

This is the best chicken satay recipe and an easy appetizer for holiday or game day parties.

On that note, Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip and Texas Caviar with Homemade Tortilla Chips are delicious and easy.

Ranch Seasoned Pretzels and Pigs in a Blanket are so simple!

Or, impress guests with Shrimp Cocktail, Mini Quiche, or Air Fryer Pizza Rolls.

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5 from 1 vote

Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Chicken Satay is an exotic yet surprisingly simple appetizer. Make up a quick marinade for the chicken, skewer it, and then grill until it's cooked through.
Chicken is skewered on wooden sticks and grilled.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 55 minutes

Ingredients 

Chicken Satay

  • 1 ½ lbs. chicken thighs boneless and skinless
  • 2 Tbsp. oil avocado or olive
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce of gluten-free Tamari
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • ¾ tsp. salt

Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • ½ cup peanut butter smooth
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce Tamari or gluten-free
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar honey or coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar or lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • ½-1 tsp. Sriracha sauc e to taste
  • 3-6 Tbsp warm water

To Serve:

  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro finely chopped
  • Peanuts salted, coarsely chopped
  • 6- inch wooden skewers

Instructions 

For the Chicken Satay:

  • Soak skewers for 20 minutes in water.
  • Add all chicken satay ingredients, except for the chicken thighs, to a large bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
  • Slice chicken thighs into 1-inch thick strips.
  • Add the strips to the marinade and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  • Remove one strip from the bowl and let any excess marinade drip off. Thread the skewers through the middle of the chicken lengthwise.
  • Add oil to a large grill plate or skillet and place the skewers in a single layer. If they don’t all comfortably fit you may need to divide them up into 2 batches.
  • Cook the chicken over medium heat for 14-16 minutes, rotating the skewers every 4-5 minutes. Brush any excess marinade over the skewers halfway through cooking.
  • You can also cook these on a medium-heat grill for 10-15 minutes, also turning every 4-5 minutes and basting with residual marinade halfway through.

For the Peanut Dipping Sauce:

  • Add all ingredients, except for the water, to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk until smooth and well combined.
  • Slowly add in warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to help thin it out. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Serve the skewers with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts, cilantro, lime wedges, and the peanut dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 1 vote

Video

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: You can slice the chicken and let it marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
  • How to store: Remove the leftover chicken satay from the sticks and place them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. These will keep in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • How to freeze: Chicken satay freezes well. Remove the skewers and place the chicken in a freezer-safe container for up to 4 to 5 months.
  • How to reheat: You can either use a microwave in 15-second increments to warm this recipe back up or heat leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop. For a larger batch, warm them up on a baking sheet in the oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 351kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.04g, Cholesterol: 108mg, Sodium: 1039mg, Potassium: 444mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 33IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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