Chicken Satay Curry

m2. chicken satay curry

Chicken Satay Curry

Normally satay is a peanut based spicy sauce served alongside grilled meat and veg. It’s super delicious but I often miss having a curry sauce. So this version, while not exactly authentic, it does give you spicy pea nutty goodness with loads of sauce!

enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes

4 tablespoons red curry paste
4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 can coconut milk
450g (1lb) chicken thigh fillets, chopped
1 bag baby spinach

1. Place curry paste, peanut butter, coconut milk and chicken in a medium saucepan.

2. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 5 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through. If you’re not sure, cut into a piece of chicken to make sure there are no pink bits.

3. Stir in the baby spinach to wilt with the sauce. Taste. Season with salt if needed. Serve in bowls.


pantry-friendly – baby spinach = frozen spinach.

move veg – serve on a bed of cauliflower or broccoli ‘rice’ (grated raw cauliflower). OR simmer chopped veg like carrots, red capsicum (bell pepper), baby corn, snow peas, frozen peas in the sauce. Or toss in some zucchini or carrot ‘noodles’.

vegetarian / vegan – chopped firm tofu works really well instead of the chicken. OR replace chicken with chopped cauliflower florets, eggplant, zucchini, button mushrooms (and adjust cooking time to suit the veg)or chickpeas.

more substantial (carb lovers)– serve with steamed rice or toss in cooked noodles.

more substantial (low carb) – serve with some peanuts, cashews or on a bed of cauliflower Rice.

no curry paste? – try 2-3 teaspoons curry powder. Or make your own using this recipe or use another curry paste. Or replace the curry paste with a few chopped red chillies and season well with soy sauce or fish sauce.

– just skip the peanut butter and change the name to ‘red curry’.

– use almond butter instead of peanut butter (which is technically a legume and not strictly paleo) or other nut butter.

no coconut milk – replace with chicken stock and stir in some regular cream at the end.

different meat – also good with pork fillet or steak. Or chicken breast fillets.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

red curry paste – keep in the pantry until open. Once open keep it in the fridge.

peanut butter / coconut milk
– keep them in the pantry.

chicken thigh fillets
– freeze them.

baby spinach – either pop them in the freezer or wilt down in a covered pot with a little olive oil. This way they’ll keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Problem Solving Guide

too hot! – next time use less curry paste – or try a milder brand. For now the only fix is to dilute with more coconut milk.

bland – use more curry paste or season with salt. A splash of lime juice (or lemon) can freshen things up if you have it.

chicken tough – it’s been over cooked. Can’t fix it now but next time simmer for less time, or at a lower heat, OR use larger pieces of chicken.

Prepare Ahead

Yes if you aren’t funny about reheated chicken like some people are (my Irishman included!). Just cook curry as per the recipe. Will keep in the fridge for 1 week or can be frozen. To serve, bring back to a simmer on the stove top.



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  • Unfortunately, this was not a winner in my house. But I did it with zucchini and green beans and curry powder instead of red curry paste which I did not have. The family felt it was bland and missing something. Oh well! I wonder if they would feel the same with the one pot chicken and broccoli. Or does the lime with tamari or coconut aminos offer a better flavor? thank you as always for your guidance.

    • Sorry to hear that Rachel!

      This dish really relies on the curry paste for flavour. So it sounds like your curry powder needed more strength! If you’re willing to try it again, adding more curry powder would be my first port of call. Or see the other suggestions in the problem solving guide.

      The chicken with broccoli is a completely different dish and the peanut sauce with the lime and tamari is really lovely. Am sure they would love it – and if it’s not quite right – be prepared to tweak the salt / lime at the table. It really can make a massive difference!

      Let me know how you get on πŸ˜‰

  • I made this with curry powder instead of paste and sliced bok choy instead of spinach (what I had on hand), and threw everything in my pressure cooker and cooked it on high pressure 5 mins, then pressure release for 10 mins. Super tasty and super easy. Served with roasted peanuts for extra crunch!

    • Yum Jessica!

      And good to know it worked in a pressure cooker. I’ve been thinking about getting one to play with πŸ™‚

  • I make this fairly regularly – it’s easy and tastes wonderful. I’ve also done it with green beans or cauliflower. I have also been known to do it with almond butter because I no longer digest peanut butter well. Definitely a versatile, useful, keeper recipe.

    • Lovely to hear from you Susan!

      And yes to almond butter – I’m the same finding peanut butter isn’t great for my digestion


  • Holy smokes, was this ever good! It’s definitely a keeper. I ate way too much, so I need to manage my portions better. I had some leftover chicken thighs, so I just cut those up and only warmed them in the sauce. I had leftover tofu from the winter veg stir fry, and threw that in as well. I think I’ll make it again and try the sauce with other veg, because it’s quick and dirty to throw together, tastes fabulous, and makes enough for 4 meals for me! Yummm!

  • Well, this recipe has been around for a while, but I’m finally going to try it! I made myself a deal with the weekly meal plans to pick out one recipe and try it. I kind of fell off that wagon in the fall, but now I’m starting again. Yesterday, I was telling my friend about your recipes and all the information you provide, so she’s going to take a look and might join me in the meal plan. Then, we are going to send each other photos through WhatsApp whenever we make one of the meals! A little encouragement without pressure and a bit of accountability may just help me to stick with it. (P.S. I was delighted to win a hard copy of your 5 Ingredients 10 Minutes cookbook, which I already had, so I gave it as a gift to a friend who was looking for simpler cooking ideas.)

    • Oh I love the idea of choosing one new recipe a week Colleen! Brilliant.

      And even better that you have a friend to share with – public accountability is so powerful!

      Look forward to hearing what else you make πŸ™‚

  • Jules, if you’ll pardon a baseball reference, you really hit this one out of the park. It is delicious, and even my husband likes it. There was enough gravy that it made 4 servings for us, and it was even better the second day. I served it over rice and did a separate veggie, but next time I’ll try it with the spinach. Thank you for a really simple recipe that truly takes very little time to make.

  • Delicious! Had this for dinner last night, I used chicken breast as I’m not a fan of thigh and it stayed very moist. Served with a bit of brown rice and have leftovers for lunch today. So easy & great for a mid-week meal.

  • Well here we go. I thought yes I have all those ingredients. I ignored the jar of ayam satay sauce and said “No, I am going to try this”. For a start I substituted the chicken for tofu (which I didn’t have plain, only the marinated one in peanut sauce, but hey that will work). I didn’t have red curry paste, but I had peanut butter and chilli powder and only light coconut cream. I finely sliced a large carrot and zucchini, put them in the pan, added the peanut butter, water and coconut cream and chili powder and the tofu, tasted as I went. It worked! I needed something with it, so to be quick I added whole wheat couscous, not quite the match for satay, but it had a nutty flavour. So…thank you. I doubt I would have been so innovative, without your suggestions.

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