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Peanut Butter Chicken Curry

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Creamy peanut butter chicken curry served over rice, this incredibly aromatic dish is ready in less than 30 minutes.

peanut butter chicken with rice

This chicken peanut butter curry is so easy and so quick to make, it will become one of your favorite weeknight meals. Tender chicken pieces covered with a spicy and creamy peanut sauce made with coconut milk.

It is delicious and exotic enough to make you feel like you are eating something really special, yet so easy, cheap, and quick to make you will keep coming back to it.

What do you need?

ingredients for peanut butter chicken


  • I normally use skinless boneless breast, but the same amount of skinless boneless thighs can be used instead.

Peanut butter

  • Make sure to use the pure stuff and nothing sweetened. My favorite is homemade, but actually, after discovering a very good brand about a year ago, I keep buying it. It just makes things easier…And there are so many other delicious things you can make with an open jar of peanut butter.

Coconut milk

Spices: ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, lime.

Vegetables: mushrooms, red bell pepper. Although this is my favorite veggie combination for this recipe, I did use other veggies instead. Whatever I happened to have in the fridge.

Vegetable alternatives:

  • Zucchini, leeks, carrots, green beans, peas.
  • Use one or two of these vegetable sorts or a mixture of more of them. Try to keep to the recommended quantities, about 400 g/ 14 oz, but don’t stress too much if you have slightly more or fewer veggies.
  • Whatever you choose, chop the vegetables and cook them slightly before adding the coconut milk and the sauce. The result will be slightly different, but the dish will always be delicious!
  • If using frozen peas, don’t cook them from the beginning, add them to the dish together with the sauce, they will only need minutes to thaw and be cooked.
peanut butter chicken with mushrooms and peppers

How to make peanut butter chicken curry?

  • Cut the chicken into thin strips and cook in a non-stick pan or cast-iron skillet until golden on all sides. This will take about 2-3 minutes per batch.
  • It is important to cook the meat in batches, 2-3 batches depending on the size of your pan, otherwise, it will release too many juices and it will cook in its own juices rather than become golden. Remove it from the pan.
  • Prepare the vegetables while the meat cooks.
  • Heat another tablespoon of oil or coconut oil and fry the mushrooms for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the pepper slices, ginger, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Stir well and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
step by step peanut butter chicken
  • In the meantime, whisk together the coconut milk and the peanut butter until smooth. Add to the pan together with the breast pieces, some salt, and pepper.
  • Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes until the meat is cooked through and the sauce slightly thickened.
  • If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove the lid after 3 minutes of cooking time. If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it slightly with some regular milk.
peanut butter chicken with rice in a bowl

What to serve with it?

Rice is always my first choice, either Basmati, Jasmin or regular white rice. Brown rice is great as well, a bit nuttier and heartier.

As an alternative, serve the peanut butter chicken curry with noodles. Any kind of Asian-style noodles, from simple Chinese egg noodles or ramen to something fancier like soba. But regular spaghetti or any other pasta is delicious as well.

How to store?

Store refrigerated in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Reheat the leftovers in a saucepan and add a bit more liquid (like milk, nut milk or broth) when doing so. Stir often and reheat until piping hot.

More chicken with sauce?

chicken in peanut butter sauce with rice and limes
peanut butter chicken curry in a bowl over rice with a spoon beside

Peanut Butter Chicken

Creamy peanut butter chicken served over rice, this incredibly aromatic chicken dish is ready in less than 30 minutes.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Poultry
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 628kcal
Author: Adina


  • 500 g/ 1.1 lbs about 4 smaller chicken breasts
  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz button mushrooms See note 1
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil divided
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can coconut milk 400 g/ 14 oz
  • 3 tablespoons pure peanut butter
  • 1 lime + more to serve
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper more to taste
  • small handful peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • fine sea salt and ground black pepper


  • Cut the chicken into strips. Set aside. Slice the mushrooms and set aside separately. Finely slice the red bell pepper and set aside separately. Grate the garlic and the ginger, add to the bowl with the pepper strips.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or non-stick pan. Fry the chicken strips in two batches until golden on all sides, this will take about 2-3 minutes per batch. Remove from the pan.
  • Heat the second tablespoon oil and fry the mushrooms for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the red peppers, grated ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms are golden and the peppers softer.
  • In the meantime, whisk together the coconut milk and the peanut butter in a bowl until smooth. Add to the pan together with the chicken, a little salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the chicken cooked through.
  • The sauce should have thickened slightly. If too thick, you can thin it slightly with regular milk. Adjust the taste with lime juice, salt and pepper.
  • While the sauce cooks, heat a large pan over medium heat. Roast the peanuts, shaking the pan often until fragrant and golden. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  • Sprinkle the peanut butter chicken with peanuts and parsley and serve immediately with rice and some lime wedges on the side.


Cremini mushrooms are fine as well.


Serving: 1/4 of the dish | Calories: 628kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 733mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!

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Recipe Rating


Thursday 13th of February 2020

Hi, looking forward to trying this recipe soon. Can this be made in advance and frozen?


Thursday 13th of February 2020

Hi Clare. I've never did it myself, but all the individual ingredients freeze well, so I don't think there should be any problem with freezing this. Let me know if you try it.


Saturday 16th of November 2019

This looks like a really delicious and comforting weekday meal!