Peanut Butter Chicken
Peanut Butter Chicken
5 from 3 votes
Dive into the world of flavours with my delightful peanut butter chicken recipe. Explore its rich history, origins, and get insights into its preparation difficulty. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with this delicious dish!
Peanut Butter Chicken

Today, we’re taking a deep dive into a recipe that’s been a firm favourite in my kitchen for years. I’m talking about none other than the classic, the delicious, the one and only – Peanut Butter Chicken! 

Now, before you start wondering if I’ve lost my marbles, let me reassure you. Peanut Butter and Chicken may sound like an odd couple, but trust me, they’re as perfect a pair as spaghetti and meatballs, or pancakes and syrup.  

The savoury richness of chicken is beautifully complemented by the nutty sweetness of peanut butter. It’s a combination that has brought joy to countless meals and celebrations around the world. 

But where does this recipe hail from, you ask? The origins of Peanut Butter Chicken are a delicious blend of global culinary influences. The idea of using nuts in cooking meats is age-old and can be traced back to various cultures.  

We see it in the traditional kormas of India, where almonds and cashews are used, and in the Mexican mole, where peanuts take centre stage. Our beloved Peanut Butter Chicken is, in a way, an extension of this idea, marrying the Western love for peanut butter with the universal appeal of chicken. 

The star ingredient, peanut butter, has a history that’s as rich and creamy as the product itself. Peanuts were first cultivated in South America and quickly spread throughout the globe due to their ease of growth and high nutritional value.  

The process of grinding peanuts into a paste can be traced back to the ancient Aztecs. However, it was the 20th century and the ingenuity of American entrepreneurs that gave us the smooth, creamy peanut butter we know and love today. 

Now, let’s talk about difficulty. If you’re a beginner, don’t fret. This isn’t some complicated French dish that requires years of culinary school to perfect. No, sir!  

Peanut Butter Chicken is a delightfully approachable recipe. With a bit of patience and some basic cooking skills, you’ll be serving up a dish that not only tastes fantastic but also looks like it came straight out of a five-star restaurant.  

Yes, it does require a bit of time and attention to detail, but isn’t that part of the fun? Cooking, after all, is not just about the end result but the journey to get there. 

For those of you who are experienced chefs, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to add your own twist to this recipe. Perhaps you’ll add a dash of your favourite spice, or maybe you’ll experiment with different types of peanut butter. The beauty of this dish lies in its versatility and its ability to adapt to your personal preferences. 

My Peanut Butter Chicken is more than just a recipe; it’s a culinary adventure that takes you through different cultures and eras. It’s a dish that’s as fun to cook as it is to eat.  

So put on your apron, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to embark on a flavourful journey that promises a delicious destination. And remember, as Julia Child once said, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” Let’s cook with that spirit, shall we? 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

Oh, hey there, fellow food lover! So, you’ve got a hankering for some Peanut Butter Chicken, eh? Well, you’re in for a treat, because I’m going to break down these ingredients like a boss! Let’s get this party started! 

Chicken Breasts: We all know chicken is the star of the show, so let’s give it the love it deserves. This lean, mean protein machine is perfect for soaking up all that delicious peanut butter sauce.  

But hey, if you’re feeling a little adventurous, feel free to switch it up with some tofu or shrimp! 

Vegetable Oil: Our trusty sidekick for cooking. It’s like the Robin to our Batman, helping to brown our chicken to perfection. If you’re feeling fancy, you can swap it out with some coconut oil for an extra tropical twist. 

Onion and Garlic: The dynamic duo of flavour town! They add depth and aroma to my dish. Without them, my Peanut Butter Chicken would be like a superhero without a cape. 

Coconut Milk: Ah, the nectar of the gods! This creamy, rich liquid adds a touch of sweetness and a velvety texture to my sauce. If you’re feeling rebellious, you could always try it with some regular milk or cream, but let’s face it – coconut milk is where it’s at. 

Creamy Peanut Butter: The pièce de résistance! This nutty goodness brings my dish together, creating a delightful balance of creaminess and nuttiness. Go ahead and use crunchy peanut butter if you want a little more texture, but I like my sauce smooth like a baby’s bottom! 

Spices: Ah, the spice squad! These flavour-enhancing warriors add depth, warmth, and a little kick to my dish. They’re like a group of misfit superheroes, each with their own superpower that when combined, create something truly magical. 

Fresh Coriander and Chopped Peanuts: Like a superhero’s costume, these garnishes add the finishing touch to my dish. Fresh coriander adds a pop of colour and a burst of freshness, while chopped peanuts deliver that extra crunch, we all know and love. 

Steamed Rice: The perfect sidekick for my saucy Peanut Butter Chicken! Fluffy, starchy, and ready to absorb all that delicious sauce, steamed rice is the unsung hero of this dish. 

And there you have it! The perfect ingredients for a mouth-watering Peanut Butter Chicken that’ll leave you feeling like a superhero in the kitchen! Get ready to save the day with your culinary skills! 

Substituting Chicken Thighs for Chicken Breasts 

One beautiful day, I was craving my all-time favourite Peanut Butter Chicken, but alas, I had no chicken breasts in my fridge. Not to worry, I thought, as I noticed some juicy chicken thighs lying there.  

So, I decided to give them a try and let me tell you, it was a fantastic decision! 

Chicken thighs are known for their tenderness and richer flavour compared to chicken breasts. They also have a higher fat content, which makes them juicier and less prone to drying out.  

So, when I substituted the chicken breasts with chicken thighs in my Peanut Butter Chicken recipe, it turned out just as delicious, if not more! 

To do this, simply replace the diced chicken breasts with an equal amount of diced chicken thighs. Follow the same steps in the recipe, cooking the chicken thighs for around 5-7 minutes until browned.  

The cooking time may vary slightly depending on the thickness of the thighs, so make sure they’re cooked through before moving on to the next step. 

Ultimately, the choice of chicken cuts comes down to personal preference. If you’re a fan of tender, juicy chicken with a bit more fat, chicken thighs are a great option. Just remember to remove any excess fat and skin to keep the dish from becoming overly greasy. 

Alternative to Coconut Milk in Peanut Butter Chicken 

I often find myself looking for alternatives to certain ingredients, either to cater to dietary restrictions or simply for the sake of variety. One such instance was when I wanted to find a substitute for coconut milk in my scrumptious Peanut Butter Chicken recipe. 

After trying different options, I found that a blend of half-and-half and almond milk works quite well as a substitute for coconut milk. The half-and-half provides a creamy richness, while the almond milk adds a subtle nuttiness that complements the peanut butter.  

To make this substitution, mix equal parts of half-and-half and almond milk to achieve the desired 400ml of liquid. 

Another option is to use full-fat Greek yoghurt, which offers a tangy and creamy texture. Simply whisk the yoghurt with a bit of water or milk until it reaches a pourable consistency. Keep in mind that yoghurt can curdle when heated, so be sure to add it slowly to the pan while stirring constantly to avoid any mishaps. 

Remember, these substitutions may slightly alter the taste and texture of the dish, but they can be a lifesaver when catering to specific dietary needs or preferences! 

Crunchy vs. Creamy Peanut Butter 

I’ve often debated whether to use creamy or crunchy peanut butter in my Peanut Butter Chicken recipe. One day, I decided to take the plunge and try it with crunchy peanut butter. 

Using crunchy peanut butter added an interesting texture to the dish, with the little bits of peanuts providing a delightful crunch in every bite. The taste remained largely the same, as the primary difference between the two types of peanut butter is the texture. 

To make this substitution, simply replace the 200g of creamy peanut butter with an equal amount of crunchy peanut butter. Stir well to ensure it’s fully incorporated into the sauce. 

Ultimately, the choice between creamy and crunchy peanut butter comes down to personal preference. If you enjoy a bit of crunch in your meals, go ahead and give crunchy peanut butter a try! 

Spicing up with Additional Herbs and Spices 

I’m always looking for ways to add a little extra pizzazz to my recipes. One day, I decided to experiment with some new flavours in my Peanut Butter Chicken. What a tasty journey it was! 

Adding a pinch of smoked paprika to the dish brought a subtle smokiness that complemented the creamy peanut sauce beautifully. I also tried incorporating a little turmeric, which not only enhanced the colour but also added a subtle earthiness to the dish.  

If you’re a fan of heat, try adding some red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper to turn up the spiciness. 

Another fun addition was a splash of lime juice, which brightened up the flavours and balanced the richness of the peanut butter. A sprinkle of fresh basil or cilantro is also made for a lovely and fragrant garnish. 

Don’t be afraid to play around with flavours and ingredients in your Peanut Butter Chicken. The sky’s the limit, and you might just discover a new favourite twist on this classic dish! 

Making Peanut Butter Chicken in a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot 

I’m a firm believer in the magic of slow cookers and Instant Pots. They’re lifesavers when it comes to preparing delicious meals with minimal effort. Naturally, I couldn’t resist the urge to try making my beloved Peanut Butter Chicken in these handy appliances. 

For the slow cooker, start by browning the chicken in a pan as per the original recipe. Then, place the cooked chicken, onion, garlic, coconut milk, peanut butter, and spices in the slow cooker.  

Give it a good stir and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours. The result is tender, flavourful chicken swimming in a rich and creamy sauce. 

The Instant Pot version is equally delightful. Use the sauté function to brown the chicken, followed by the onion and garlic. Then, add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Close the lid, set the valve to sealing, and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.  

Allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure. Voilà! An instant classic ready in a fraction of the time. 

Perfect Side Dishes to Serve 

A great side dish can elevate a meal from good to extraordinary. When it comes to serving my scrumptious Peanut Butter Chicken, I’ve found that there are several fantastic options to choose from. 

Steamed rice is my go-to side dish, as it absorbs the creamy peanut sauce and provides a deliciously comforting base. For a healthier twist, try cauliflower rice or quinoa. They’re both excellent alternatives that pack a nutritional punch without sacrificing flavour. 

If you’re a fan of greens, a simple sautéed spinach or a refreshing cucumber salad adds a nice contrast to the rich peanut sauce. For a more filling option, a side of roasted vegetables or a vibrant Asian-style slaw can add colour and crunch to your plate. 

Whatever side dish you choose, remember that the key is to complement and balance the flavours and textures of the Peanut Butter Chicken. Bon appétit! 

Adjusting the Spice Level 

I’m someone who loves a good kick in my meals, but I understand that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for spice. Luckily, adjusting the spice level in your Peanut Butter Chicken is a piece of cake! 

To add some heat, include a diced chilli pepper or a pinch of red pepper flakes in the sauce. For an even spicier dish, try incorporating some hot sauce or a spoonful of chilli paste. Remember to start with a small amount and taste as you go – you can always add more, but you can’t take it away. 

The creamy coconut milk and peanut butter should provide enough flavour to satisfy your taste buds. If you accidentally make the dish too spicy, adding more coconut milk, peanut butter, or even a touch of honey can help tame the heat. 

Don’t be afraid to customize the spice level to your preference. After all, the key to a great meal is enjoying every bite! 

Storing and Reheating Leftover Curry 

I can’t resist a good leftover meal. When it comes to Peanut Butter Chicken, I’ve found that it stores and reheats beautifully, making it a perfect candidate for meal prep or a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner. 

To store leftovers, simply place the cooled Peanut Butter Chicken in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3-4 days. When you’re ready to reheat, transfer the desired portion to a saucepan and warm it over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.  

If the sauce has thickened too much, you can add a splash of water or coconut milk to loosen it up. 

If you prefer using a microwave, transfer the leftovers to a microwave-safe dish, cover it loosely, and reheat at medium power in 1-minute intervals, stirring in between, until hot. 

Make-Ahead and Freezing Tips 

I’m always on the lookout for recipes that I can make ahead of time or freeze for future meals. Luckily, Peanut Butter Chicken is an excellent candidate for both! 

To make the dish ahead of time, follow the recipe up until the point where you add the chicken back to the sauce. At this stage, allow the sauce to cool before combining it with the chicken in an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat the dish in a saucepan over low heat until heated through and the chicken is fully cooked. 

For freezing, transfer the cooled, cooked Peanut Butter Chicken to a freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. Label it with the date and contents, then store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw the dish in the fridge overnight before reheating it as described above. 

Vegetarian and Vegan Alternatives 

I’ve explored various ways to make my beloved Peanut Butter Chicken suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Here’s what I’ve discovered: 

For a vegetarian option, try substituting the chicken with firm tofu or paneer. Simply dice your choice of protein and follow the same steps as in the original recipe. These protein-packed alternatives will soak up the flavours of the sauce and provide a delightful, meat-free spin on the classic dish. 

For a vegan alternative, in addition to using tofu, replace the 2 tbsp of vegetable oil with a vegan-friendly oil, and swap the 400ml of coconut milk with a dairy-free alternative like almond or soy milk. Be sure to choose a vegan-friendly peanut butter as well. 

These tasty vegetarian and vegan versions of Peanut Butter Chicken will ensure that everyone can enjoy a delicious, satisfying meal, regardless of their dietary preferences! 

Check Out These Other Recipes 

If you’ve fallen in love with our Peanut Butter Chicken, your culinary journey has just begun. Let’s explore a world where familiar flavours meet unexpected combinations. 

For lovers of protein and nutty flavours, our Garlic Butter Chicken is a must-try. Immerse yourself in a delightful collision of garlic and butter melting into tender chicken, making it the perfect next adventure. 

Craving something a bit more traditional? Our Chicken Biryani never disappoints. This aromatic rice dish, brimming with tender chicken pieces, will transport you straight to the bustling streets of India. 

Ready for an off-beat twist on your chicken favourites? Try our Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s a vibrant and exotic dish that’ll surely become a staple in your kitchen. 

Let’s go international with the Tandoori Chicken. Grilled to perfection, this dish is a symphony of smoky and spicy flavours that’ll make your taste buds sing. 

In the mood for something warm and comforting? Our Chicken Soup is like a warm hug in a bowl. It’s the perfect pick-me-up when you need it most. 

Don’t forget to round off your meal with something sweet! Our Banana Choc Chip Cake is a delightful treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth while reminding you of the comforts of home. 

Ready to take your cooking to the next level? Join us in our culinary journey, where every recipe is a new experience waiting to be discovered. Don’t forget to leave your feedback in the comments section. We can’t wait to hear what you think! 

Peanut Butter Chicken

Peanut Butter Chicken

by Nabeela Kauser
Dive into the world of flavours with my delightful peanut butter chicken recipe. Explore its rich history, origins, and get insights into its preparation difficulty. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with this delicious dish!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Thai
Servings 4
Calories 516 kcal


  • 4 Chicken Breasts Diced
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 Onion Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 400 ml Coconut Milk
  • 200 g Peanut Butter
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • Coriander chopped for garnish
  • Peanuts chopped for garnish


  • Begin by heating up some oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken to the pan and cook for around 5-7 minutes, until it’s browned on all sides. Once done, remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
  • In the same pan, cook the onion and garlic until they’re softened, which should take around 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk, peanut butter, ground coriander, ground cumin, salt, and black pepper to the pan. Stir everything together well and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Return the cooked chicken back to the pan and stir it to coat it with the peanut sauce.
  • Turn the heat down to low and let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
  • Serve the peanut butter chicken over steamed rice and garnish it with some freshly chopped coriander. To add some extra texture and crunch, you can also sprinkle some chopped peanuts on top.


Make sure to stir the peanut butter sauce frequently while it simmers to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
If you want to make a vegetarian version of this dish, you can substitute the chicken with tofu or chickpeas.
Using creamy peanut butter will give the dish the best texture and flavour.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 516kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 9gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 0.03gSodium: 693mgPotassium: 458mgFibre: 2gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 10IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Chicken, Dinner, Food, Meat, Recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!

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Hi, I’m Nabeela and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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