Teriyaki Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce are the perfect easy dinner and also a fun appetizer!
Juicy tender chunks of chicken are marinated in a flavorful Asian teriyaki marinade, skewered, and grilled to perfection
Add in a lightly spicy, creamy peanut sauce for dipping and you’ve got a delicious combination
This flavor-packed recipe is inspired by popular Southeast Asian style skewers which are often called “chicken satay“.
I brought this peanut sauce recipe home with me years ago from a cooking class in Bali and have been using it ever since. If you love Asian flavors for dinner, like we do, be sure to also check out our Asian Baked Chicken or our Sheet Pan Asian Salmon.
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Four steps for making easy Chicken Skewers:
There are a few basic separate steps in this recipe but they are all quick and easy. We will go into more detail below but here’s an overview:
- First Step: Make the teriyaki marinade sauce
- Second Step: Cut the chicken breasts and marinate them in teriyaki for 2 – 24 hours
- Third Step: Soak the skewers for 30-minutes and prepare the spicy peanut sauce
- Fourth Step: Grill the skewered chicken and serve
Tip: The chicken is best marinated for 2 to 24 hours, so be sure to plan ahead when prepping this recipe.
Ingredients for Teriyaki Sauce Marinade:
- Dark Brown Sugar
- Soy Sauce
- Ginger and Garlic
- Rice Wine Vinegar
- Sesame Oil
- Toasted Sesame Seeds
How to make Teriyaki Marinade (step one)
This marinade is so simple to make you will never want to buy store-bought marinade again! Keep in mind this is meant to be a marinade, not a super thick sauce, so it’s best for longer marinades of chicken, pork, or tofu.
We also love our easy Teriyaki Sauce recipe which uses nearly the same ingredients (but is thicker thanks to the addition of cornstarch).
- Whisk all of the ingredients, except sesame seeds, in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 2 minutes.
- The sauce will begin to thicken. Keep whisking while simmering.
- Remove from the heat, let cool completely, and whisk in sesame seeds while you cut up the chicken.
- If not using marinade immediately store it in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to one month. Shake well before using again.
Preparing the marinated chicken (step two)
- Cut chicken into large chunks, about 1-1/2 to 2-inches
- In a large shallow container with a lid, or a resealable bag, add the chicken chunks and cooled marinade, but reserve 3 Tablespoons of teriyaki marinade which will be used later for brushing on the chicken while it’s cooking
- Coat the pieces thoroughly and marinate for 2 to 24 hours in the refrigerator
- Once the chicken has marinated, remove it from the refrigerator and soak the wooden skewers while preparing the peanut sauce (soak for at least 30 minutes)
- If grilling on an outdoor grill preheat it now
Ingredients for Spicy Peanut Sauce:
- Smooth peanut butter
- Vegetable or chicken stock
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Ginger and Garlic
- Asian chili sauce (optional, but highly recommended)
- Cilantro leaves
How to make Peanut Sauce (step three)
This lightly spicy peanut sauce is so flavorful you’ll want to just eat it straight up with a spoon! It marries perfectly with chicken but is also delicious with pork skewers, seared tofu, or on Asian noodles.
I often make a double batch because it’s a big hit in our house, but this recipe makes 8 ounces, so there is plenty to go around.
- Add all of the peanut sauce ingredients to the bowl of a small food processor or blender.
- Process on high until everything is completely blended and emulsified.
- If you are mixing by hand be sure everything is very finely minced before you begin
- If you have the time, make this sauce and let it sit for about 30-minutes to let all of the flavors meld together.
- This sauce will keep, sealed, in the refrigerator, for about 1 week, but be sure to shake well before serving.
How to make Chicken Skewers (step four)
- If using metal skewers spray them with non-stick cooking spray or brush them with oil to prevent sticking. If using wooden skewers remove from soaking water and pat dry
- Thread the marinated chicken cubes onto the skewers. The number of pieces that you will put on each skewer depends on the size of the skewers you use
- We like to use smaller 6-8″ bamboo skewers, and use 3-4 pieces per skewer, but if you want bigger skewers it’s best to use metal 12-inch skewers because metal is more sturdy
- Heat a stovetop grill pan over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray or brush with oil
- Grill the skewers for about 4-5 minutes per side, basting occasionally with the reserved 3 Tablespoons of teriyaki marinade
- Serve on a platter garnished with additional cilantro and sesame seeds and a small bowl of the Spicy Peanut Sauce
Can Chicken Skewers be prepared ahead?
Yes! In fact, this is one of the best recipes to make in advance because so many of the steps can be done ahead of time.
- The best way to prep the chicken ahead is to add the marinade to the chicken chunks and then thread them on the skewers. Place on a baking sheet or shallow tray, cover, and refrigerate up to 24 hours before grilling.
- The teriyaki sauce marinade can be prepared up to 1-month ahead and refrigerated
- The Peanut sauce can be prepared up to 1-week ahead and refrigerated
These skewers are great for parties, so mix up a batch of White Sangria cocktails and invite your friends over!
Teriyaki Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce
- Metal or Wooden Skewers
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breast, boneless and skinless
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Spicy Peanut Sauce:
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ½ Tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoons garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon Asian chili sauce (more to taste)
- 1 Tablespoons cilantro leaves
- 2 Tablespoons Cilantro chopped and leaves
- Combine all marinade ingredients, except sesame seeds, in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely. Whisk in sesame seeds.If not using immediately store in a glass container in the refrigerator.
- Cut chicken into large cubes, about 1.5 to 2 inches in size.
- In a shallow dish, or resealable bag, add chicken cubes and all except 3 tablespoons of the teriyaki marinade (this reserved marinade will be for basting during grilling time). Be sure to coat well, and marinate for 2-24 hours in the refrigerator.
- If using wooden skewers soak them for 30-60 minutes and pat dry. If using metal skewers spray with non-stick cooking spray or brush with oil to prevent sticking.
- Remove from refrigerator and thread onto the skewers. This step can also be done ahead of time and the chicken can marinate on the skewers.
Making the Peanut Sauce:
- Add all the peanut sauce ingredients to the bowl of a food processor.
- Process on high until completely blended and smooth. Let sauce sit at room temperature for about 30-minutes before serving in order to let the flavors meld together. If not serving immediately store in a sealed container for up to 1 week. (Makes 1 cup of sauce)
Cooking the Skewers and Serving:
- Heat an outdoor grill to medium, or a prepare a stove top grill pan, by coating with non-stick spray and heating over medium.
- Grill skewers for 4-5 minutes per side, basting occasionally on both sides
- Serve on a platter with peanut sauce and garnish with additional cilantro