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This Balinese-style Peanut Butter Chicken is easy to make in an Instant Pot and can also be made on the stovetop – a simple, delicious meal that can be made in 30 minutes! GF.
Everything is soul and flowering. I open and fill with love, and what is not love evaporates. ~ Rumi
This flavorful Balenise-style Peanut Butter Chicken is made with tender pieces of chicken simmered in a fragrant, creamy peanut butter sauce. It’s rich and creamy with a lovely Balinese flavor. Similar to Thai peanut chicken, here chicken breast is simmered in a tasty, Balinese-style peanut sauce until very tender. Serve it over jasmine rice (or cauliflower rice) with your favorite veggie, and dinner is ready! Here we have topped it with our Peanut Chili Crunch for even more flavor!
This meal was inspired by our trip to Bali last year, where the people are as kind and warm as the beautiful surroundings. What struck me most while being in Bali was how two very different religious groups- Muslim and Hindu, lived so peacefully together, holding respect and understanding for each other. It was an honor to witness this beautiful interweaving of cultures, a good reminder of what is possible when we live from the heart. Our thoughts create fear and, with it, separation, barriers, and prejudice. But our hearts want to love and connect!
Why you’ll love Peanut Chicken
- It’s Adaptable! Make this in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop; either way, it’s a delicious weeknight meal that comes together quickly and easily.
- Great for meal Prep. The best part is that this can be prepped ahead, stored in a ziplock, and then cooked during the busy workweek. Or, cook it ahead on a Sunday and warm it up during the week.
- It’s SUPER flavorful and Keto.
Peanut Butter Chicken Video!
Ingredients in Peanut Butter Chicken
- Chicken breast: Boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces, adds protein and a savory flavor to the dish. Feel free to use skinless chicken thighs!
- Coconut milk: Adds richness and creaminess to the sauce, balancing out the flavors of the peanut butter and spices.
- Peanut butter: Provides a nutty and creamy base for the sauce. It adds depth of flavor and richness to the dish. We use all-natural organic peanut butter, with no additives, either creamy or smooth.
- Soy sauce: Adds a salty umami flavor to the sauce, enhancing the overall taste of the dish. Feel free to use gluten-free Coconut Aminos or tamari.
- Garlic: Aromatic and savory, garlic adds a delicious flavor to the chicken and sauce.
- Ginger: Adds a warm and slightly spicy flavor to the dish, complementing the other ingredients.
- Lime juice: Adds a bright and refreshing citrus flavor that balances out the richness of the peanut butter and coconut milk.
- Brown sugar: Provides a touch of sweetness to balance out the salty and savory flavors in the dish.
- Red pepper flakes: Adds a subtle heat to the sauce, giving the dish a bit of a kick. Adjust the amount based on your desired level of spiciness.
- Salt: Enhances the flavors of the dish and helps to bring out the other ingredients.
- Garnishes (optional): You can top the dish with chopped peanuts, cilantro, green onions, and lime wedges for added flavor and presentation. Or make our Peanut Chili Crunch!
Peanut Butter Chicken Instructions
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes, sprinkle with salt, and set aside.
- Instant Pot Instructions: set Instant Pot to the sauté function, and sauté the ginger and garlic in a teaspoon of oil for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add lemongrass if using. Stir the can of coconut milk with a fork so liquids and solids are combined- then add 1 cup of the coconut milk (you’ll add the rest after). Stir in the soy sauce, honey, lime juice, chili paste, and the chicken (optional kafir lime leaves), everything except the peanut butter in the pot, and stir. Set to HIGH Pressure. ( Set to 7 mins for chicken breast, 10 mins for thighs). Naturally release. Once the chicken is done cooking, stir in the peanut butter and taste a spoonful of the sauce. Adjust salt, lime, sweetness, and spice level according to your taste. Stir in the remaining coconut milk if you like. Some of you may want it sweeter- so add more honey to taste. I usually add more chili paste and lime. The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.
- Stovetop Instructions: In a medium Dutch oven, pan or large skillet, heat olive over medium heat. Add the seasoned chicken and brown each side until golden ( no need to cook through- simply brown the meat). Toss in the garlic, and ginger, and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients, all except the peanut butter – stirring to combine. Cover and let simmer gently on low heat, 8-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked, then stir in the peanut butter. Adjust sweetness, lime, salt, and heat to taste!
What to serve with Peanut Chicken
When serving this Balinese-style Peanut Butter Chicken, there are several delicious options that you can pair with it. Here are some ideas:
- Rice: Serve the Peanut Butter Chicken over a bed of fragrant jasmine rice in a bowl for a classic combination. The rice will soak up the flavorful sauce and provide a satisfying base for the chicken. Brown rice works too. If going low carb, serve over a bed of spinach or cauliflower rice.
- Noodles: Try serving the Peanut Butter Chicken with noodles like rice noodles or soba noodles. Toss the noodles in the peanut sauce to coat them well, then top with the tender chicken.
- Vegetables: Add some fresh veggies to the meal by serving steamed or stir-fried vegetables on the side. Some great options include wilted spinach, steamed broccoli, sauteed red bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, or snap peas.
- Fresh Salad: Pair the Peanut Butter Chicken with our Asian Slaw or Asian cucumber Salad!
Sprinkle with the optional Peanut Chili Crunch, which you will fall head over heels in love with!
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (or plop in the freezer). Heat in a microwave or on the stove.
It adds the best texture and flavor to Asian-style meals…..so tasty!
What I love about this Instant Pot Peanut Chicken Recipe is, it’s basically “dump and go”. A good one for those of you who are short on time, or have little ones running all around you. Just put everything in the pot and give it a stir and pressure cook it for 10 minutes. That’s it. So easy! But not lacking in flavor whatsoever!
Peanut Butter Chicken FAQS
1. Can I use any type of peanut butter for this recipe?
While you can use any type of peanut butter for this recipe, we prefer all-natural peanut butter with no additives and always opt for organic! Feel free to use almond butter if you have peanut allergies.
2. Can I substitute chicken thighs for chicken breasts?
Absolutely! Chicken thighs are a great alternative to chicken breasts. They will add extra richness and tenderness to the dish.
3. Can I make this recipe in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can adapt this recipe for a slow cooker. Simply follow the stovetop instructions to sauté the chicken and aromatics, then transfer everything to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours, until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Stir in the peanut butter at the end.
4. Is this recipe gluten-free?
5. Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, this peanut butter chicken is a great recipe for meal prep. You can prepare it ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Simply reheat it on the stove or in the microwave when ready to serve.
6. How spicy is this dish?
The level of spiciness in this dish can be adjusted to your preference. The recipe includes red chili paste for a subtle heat, but you can add more or less depending on how spicy you like it.
So delicious, so easy….. an Instant Pot Chicken recipe that can be made on the stovetop too! A fast and easy meal, that can also be made ahead if meal prepping.
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- For more Instant Pot Recipes, be sure to visit the Instant Pot Category on the recipe page!
A delicious recipe for Peanut Butter Chicken (made in your Instant Pot or on your stove top)- a delicious Baleniese-style meal the whole family will love!
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, or thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes, sprinkled with pinch of salt
- 3 fat cloves garlic, rough chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped ( or use ginger paste)
- 1 teaspoon peanut oil, coconut oil or olive oil
- 13-ounce can full fat coconut milk (liquid and solids- stirred) do not use light- too watery!
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or use GF liquid amino acids)
- 3 tablespoons honey (or coconut sugar or brown sugar)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic paste (or sriracha, or sambal olek)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (or sub almond butter)
- optional additions: 1 tablespoon lemongrass, 4-5 kefir lime leaves
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes, sprinkle with salt and set aside.
- Instant Pot Instructions: set Instant Pot to the sauté function, and sauté the ginger and garlic in a teaspoon of oil for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add lemongrass if using. Stir the can of coconut milk with a fork so liquids and solids are combined- then add 1 cup of the coconut milk, (you’ll add the rest after). Stir in the soy sauce, honey, lime juice, chili paste and the chicken (optional kafir lime leaves) everything except the peanut butter in the pot, and stir. Set to HIGH Pressure. ( Set to 7 mins for chicken breast, 10 mins for thighs). Naturally release. Once the chicken is done cooking, stir in the peanut butter, and taste a spoonful of the sauce. Adjust salt, lime, sweetness and spice level according to your taste. Stir in the remaining coconut milk if you like. Some of you may want it sweeter- so add more honey to taste. I usually add more chili paste and lime. The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.
- Stovetop Instructions, In a medium dutch oven or large skillet heat olive over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken and brown each side until golden ( no need to cook through- just brown the meat). Toss in the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients, all except the peanut butter – stirring to combine. Cover and let simmer gently on low heat, 8-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked, then stir in the peanut butter. Adjust sweetness, lime, salt and heat to taste!
- If the sauce seems too thin, reduce a bit using the sauté function ( or simmer gently uncovered on the stove) while constantly stirring, to prevent burning the bottom. See notes.
- Serve over a bed of jasmine rice or baby spinach, or this Asian Cucumber Salad. Top with optional Peanut Chili Crunch.
The sauce will start off a bit watery but will thicken as it cools.
This will become more and more delicious over the next couple days. When cooking chicken breast in a pressure cooker, the meat will “contract”. If you allow the pressure-cooked chicken time to “rest” (keeping in on the “warm” setting for a while) it will expand and absorb some of the sauce -the sauce will thicken and the chicken will relax a bit and become more tender and flavorful. That’s why dishes like this usually taste better the next day. A great one to make ahead!
If making or prepping ahead, I would just cook it ahead and refrigerate, allowing the flavors to meld.
To prep this ahead, and cook it later- blend all sauce ingredients (except peanut butter) in a blender. Pour over the raw chicken (in a ziplock bag) and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Then pour it in the Instant Pot. Drop peanut butter on the top of the chicken or stir it in after it is cooked. Follow the rest of the directions above.
- Serving Size: ½ cup
- Calories: 381
- Sugar: 10.6 g
- Sodium: 330 mg
- Fat: 22.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 8.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 15.8 g
- Fiber: 2.3 g
- Protein: 31.4 g
- Cholesterol: 82.7 mg
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