Thai food can be tricky if you’re peanut-free; some of the most popular dishes use peanuts or peanut butter. These Thai Chicken Skewers are made with all of the flavors you love about Chicken Satay, without the peanuts!
Thai Chicken Skewers with peanut-free Satay Sauce
My eating style has changed quite a bit in the past decade. When I first discovered the Paleo way of eating, it was a total game changer. I felt so much better than I ever had. I pretty much stuck to it. It worked for me.
Now, after many years of eliminating gluten and most grains and legumes, I’m eating in more of an intuitive way. I still read labels and prioritize quality when I can, but don’t stress about it too much.
A quote I always come back to is: “It is better to eat the wrong food with the right attitude than the right food with the wrong attitude”. I believe it’s an ancient Chinese proverb, I don’t know the original source. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to legitimate food allergies or sensitivities. If something makes you sick, you should not eat it.
But barring that: I have seen a lot of orthorexia in this Paleo (and general wellness) space, and it worries me. Elimination diets are a great way to find out which foods work for you and which ones don’t. And then you reintroduce them. Too often, I see people do an elimination diet or an AIP protocol and fear certain foods. FEAR THEM! Forever! That concerns me.
If you’re stressed about your healthy diet, is it really all that healthy?
I love cooking meals from scratch at home. It’s why I have this blog and the business that I do. But sometimes I realize it’s 6:30 and I haven’t even thought about dinner. The healthy thing to do in that situation – for me – is to order some takeout. The lack of stress of doing that feels a lot healthier than stopping what I was doing, scrambling to thaw some meat, and destroy the kitchen making dinner.
I’m all for balance.
When I do plan ahead, these Thai Chicken Skewers are one of my favorite things to make. The marinade makes them even more flavorful than the takeout variety, and the dipping sauce is everything you love about satay sauce, with less sugar, and a peanut alternative for those who need it.
When I used to have a catering company, these skewers were often on the menu as an hors d’oeuvres. They were always a hit! The chicken is the perfect bite – packed with flavor – and everyone loves meat on sticks.
If you plan on serving these as an appetizer, you can thread several bit-sized pieces on each skewer, and then transfer to toothpicks for serving. Bonus: They’re excellent cold, which makes them the perfect party food! (If you’re looking for fancy toothpicks for any occasion, plus some you didn’t even know existed, check out this site.
Love Thai Flavors? You’ll love these recipes:
Thai Chicken Skewers with Peanut-Free Satay SaucePrint
Thai Chicken Skewers with Peanut-Free Satay Sauce
- Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus time to marinade
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes, plus marinating time
- Yield: 8-10 servings
- Category: chicken
- Method: grill
- Cuisine: thai
Succulent chicken skewers with an authentic tasting – but peanut-free – dipping sauce
- 1.5 – 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast *
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 2/3 cup unsweetened natural almond butter, divided
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1 handful fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger3/4 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/2 cup (or as needed) water or chicken stock
- If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least one hour before threading the chicken on them.
- Cut the chicken into one inch wide strips. ** Place in a glass dish large enough to fit the chicken and marinade.
- In a blender, combine coconut aminos, garlic, ginger, lime juice, curry powder, cilantro, and 2 tablespoons of the almond butter. Blend until smooth.
- Pour all but 2 tablespoons of the marinade over the chicken, reserving the remainder for the sauce. Allow the chicken to marinade for one hour, at room temperature. (much longer you’ll have chicken ceviche because of all the lime juice)
- In a small saucepan, combine the reserved marinade, reserved almond butter, and coconut milk. Heat on medium low heat for about 5 minutes. You just want the flavors to marry, and mellow out some of the rawness of the lime juice. If it gets too thick, add some liquid. Set aside to cool.
- After the chicken has marinated for an hour, turn your grill on medium-high heat. Once hot, grill the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through, with the top down. If it’s sticking, it’s probably not ready to turn.
- Serve the skewers with the sauce and garnish with cilantro, if desired.
You will bamboo or metal skewers for this recipe. If serving as an hors d’oeuvres, you can use smaller pieces of chicken and serve on toothpicks.
Keywords: thai chicken skewers, chicken satay
All of the links on zenbelly.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly.
Sounds really good! You put into words so much of my feelings, sorrow for losing the “easy” meals…
My feelings exactly to everything you said!!! Do you think tahini or sunbutter would work for this? I am out of almond butter and wanted to make these for dinner tomorrow. My mouth is watering!!!
I think the flavor would be a bit different, but would definitely work! I wanted to try it with sunbutter, but couldn’t find an unsweetened one at the little market by my house… Let me know how it turns out!
charissa (zest bakery) says
YUM. Makes me want to throw a bbq just to make these!
Do it! I’ll RSVP now: Yes. 🙂
Would this work with light coconut milk?
I think so! I only use the full fat kind, so haven’t tried it. My only recommendation would be to add the additional water or chicken stock as needed, since light coconut milk is thinner.
MIz Anthrope says
This is dinner tonight ! With cauliflower curry and apple “rice”
Eileen @ Phoenix Helix says
I have chicken defrosting on the counter and was searching for a recipe to try out a new nightshade-free curry blend I’m trying. This looks perfect. Thank you!
I made this in my oven tonight (500/broil, 3 mins per side) and it was good! When I had the sauce on the stove I tasted it and thought it was amazing, then remembered that I had forgotten to add water. Added the half cup, tasted it again, let it simmer down, tasted it, and never got back that original flavor of awesomeness, even after adding a hefty bit of salt. Other than that, these were amazing! Thank you for the recipes, I’m thrilled to finally find another blog as reliable as Nom Nom Paleo.
oh my goodness that is quite a compliment!
For the sauce; sorry it got less awesome when you added water. Mine was so thick that it couldn’t really be simmered, and I felt it needed to be to mellow out the flavors a bit. I’m sure thickness of almond butter and coconut milk can cause a variation… I’ll make it again and see if I should lower the water / stock amount.
If you do end up repeating it, I used Barney Butter almond butter… totally cheated and used the one with a little sweetener, but their unsweetened Barney Bare is absolutely unbelievable. Both are made with blanched marcona almonds…omfg!!
made with 1/2 almond butter (cause all I had)and 1/2 sunbutter and it was AMAZING!!!!! Forgot about curry being a nightshade… wondering if that’s why I have felt a lil “off”?? I need to take the time to study more why these nightshades effect my autoimmune stuff. That’s the only thing I really struggle with. I love all those spices and tomatoes!!! And then hard to know… was it the curry? lack of sleep this week, hormones… sigh. Anyway, didn’t mean to digress!! LOL
Either way it was sooooooo good!!!!
Eileen, where di you find the nightshade free curry? are there other nightshade free spices?
Marcie; I can totally relate to all of this. On days I feel “off” it’s tough to tell if I got a little glutened, didn’t get enough sleep, didn’t drink enough water, stress, etc…
I know Balanced Bites has a lot of info regarding autoimmune stuff, might be a good resource. And HERE is a list of nightshade-free spice mixes.
Alright, I think I know what I’m making for dinner tonight! Beautiful!
Ellen Puetz says
I made this for the first time a couple of weeks ago and my dd loved it so much that she decided to make it for a party snack for a game night she was hosting with some friends. We don’t have a grill but it worked out great cooking them under the broiler. For the party she just cut into bite-size pieces and served with toothpicks. The second time, we ran out of raw-almond butter and used roasted-almond butter. The sauce seemed thinner and a bit zingier that way, but it may have been because we made the marinade the night before? Either way, it is delicious and makes a great re-heatable snack. We just drizzled extra dipping sauce over the leftovers and heated in the microwave.
Chef Art says
I would use chicken tenders for white meat and chicken leg meat for dark.
OMG, these are AMAZING!!!! My husband was in heaven eating these, and I’m giving him leftovers as snacks for his lunch – he’s a very happy husband this week 🙂 Thank you for the awesome recipe, it is definitely a keeper!
Thanks, Julianna! I’m so glad to hear it!
Hi, what is *divided* almond butter?
And btw i looove your bone broth recipe! I too now get beautiful bone jello
divided means you’re using it in two places, specifics are in the instructions part of the recipe. It’s basically a heads up to not dump it all in the first time you see it in the instructions 🙂
Yeah, silly me, sorry. I posted my question before i’d read the whole recipe.
Am planning to make it this weekend…