Thai Chicken Tacos

This post is sponsored by the National Peanut Board. I received compensation, but all opinions and content are my own.

Thai Peanut Chicken Tacos are the best recipe to happen to Taco Tuesday – and every day!

Thai Peanut Chicken Tacos are quick, easy, and about to become your favorite tacos!  They are made with juicy, marinated Thai Chicken in a luxurious savory, sweet and spicy peanut butter sauce then piled with fresh and crunchy Pineapple Cucumber Slaw all cocooned in a flour tortilla.  These Thai Chicken Tacos are nutritious, customizable, make ahead friendly and a tantalizing texture and flavor explosion in every deeply satisfying bite.  

PIN THIS RECIPE TO SAVE FOR LATER

Thai Tacos

I am giddy to bring you this Thai Peanut Chicken Tacos recipe!   They are truly spectacular and not a recipe to skip.  In fact, when I made them for my mom, she gushed, “these are restaurant quality,” and “truly amazing Jennifer!”  And you too, will find them truly amazing. 

The ingredient list is a little lengthy, but the chicken tacos are deceptively simple – just look at the directions!  Simply marinate chicken while you prep your pineapple slaw, stir fry chicken, add peanut butter, assemble and EAT.  Asian fusion never tasted so good!

Peanut Sauce

These Thai Chicken Tacos are born out of my love of Thai food, tacos and everything peanut butter.  I have always loved peanut butter – from plain spoonfuls, to peanut butter and jelly, to smoothies, to cookies and everything in between.  I love how peanut butter is versatile, affordable and can be added to meals and snacks for a tasty, nutritious boost.  But my favorite way to devour peanut butter?  In peanut sauce! 

Thai food with peanut butter is my FAV; from my Thai chicken Lettuce Wraps, Thai Pineapple Chicken, Thai Chicken Satay. Thai Chicken Pineapple Satay, Thai Orange Peanut Chicken, Thai Chicken Pizza, Thai Peanut Coconut Chicken and on and on.  In every recipe, the peanut butter sauce steals the show every time.   It transforms everything it touches into magic, including this Thai Peanut Chicken Tacos recipe!

But no matter what your favorite way is to eat peanut butter is, you can partake in pleasure knowing you’re getting eight powerful grams of protein, two grams of filling fiber and 12 grams of unsaturated fat in each two tablespoon serving!

Now it’s your turn to spread the peanut butter love! Share your favorite peanut butter recipe in the comments with the hashtag #HowDoYouPB and head here for even more delicious peanut butter recipes for every occasion

top view of Thai chicken tacos on a wood cutting board

Ingredients for Peanut Sauce

The star of these Thai Chicken Tacos is definitely the peanut butter sauce.  Thai food is all about the balance of sweet, savory, salty and sour and this sauce is perfection.  Its complex, multi-dimensional layers of flavor give the chicken its rich, savory depth and is what makes these tacos utterly addictive.  To make the peanut sauce (which doubles as the marinade – winning!), you will need:

  • soy sauce:  grounds the sauce.  Please use low sodium soy sauce so your sauce isn’t too salty. 
  • brown sugar:  adds sweetness to balance the soy, lime juice and fish sauce. You may need more or less brown sugar depending on personal preferences.
  • fish sauce: I promise fish sauce will not be detectable or make your Thai Chicken Tacos taste fishy!  It simply adds the balance of savory and salty flavor.  You may substitute fish sauce with soy sauce. 
  • lime juice: you may use fresh or bottled lime juice.
  • ginger: adds a warm spicy, almost pepper taste.  You only need 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger so feel free to use ¾ teaspoon ground ginger instead.
  • garlic:  garlic makes everything better!  You can use more or less garlic depending on your garlic love.  You may substitute the fresh garlic with 1 teaspoon garlic powder.         
  • dried basil: basil is quintessential to Thai cuisine. It adds a layer of savory, peppery and slightly minty flavor.       
  • ground coriander: adds a toasty, lemony citrus flavor that I use to mimic lemongrass.
  • turmeric: adds gingery, punchy, earthy undertones.
  • Asian chili saucecustomize the spice level with sriracha or Asian hot chili paste to taste.  If you aren’t sure how much to add, you can start with less then stir in more at the end if needed. If your peanut chicken is missing something, it is probably heat! 
  • peanut butter: peanut butter adds a nutty earthiness and creaminess that marries all the ingredients together, because peanut butter makes everything better!
top view of ingredients for Thai chicken tacos - marinating chicken, peanuts, peanut butter, coleslaw, pineapple, bell peppers, limes

WHAT CHICKEN IS BEST?

The chicken in these Thai Chicken Tacos is essentially the vehicle to shovel the delectable peanut butter sauce into your mouth, because, again, it is all about the sauce.

For the chicken, I use diced chicken breasts but you can also use diced chicken thighs, or even ground chicken. If using ground chicken choose dark meat because it is more flavorful.  

Do I have to use chicken?  I prefer chicken because it is more mild in flavor and really lets the peanut sauce shine but you may also use ground pork, turkey or even tofu.  

What Toppings for Thai Chicken Tacos?

Every taco recipe needs crunchy toppings to create the brilliant tapestry of texture and flavor The Pineapple Broccoli Slaw for these Thai Chicken Tacos is fresh, tangy, bright and the ying to the robust creamy peanut sauce’s yang. It is so refreshing, I guarantee you will be eating it with just a fork. To make the easy slaw, you will need:

  • fresh pineapple 
  • packaged broccoli slaw
  • red bell pepper 
  • green onions
  • cilantro
  • rice vinegar
  • lime juice
top view of showing how to make slaw topping for Thai Chicken Tacos

recipe variations

You can also make a slaw with any of the above and/or:

  • shredded cabbage
  • carrots
  • snow peas
  • bean sprouts
  • red onion
  • mangos

You can even purchase pre-packaged slaw and simply add pineapple.  The point is to create a crunchy, sweet and tangy slaw, so no matter what veggies you use, add either chopped pineapple or mango. Their juicy sweetness is necessary to cut through the rich, savory peanut sauce to achieve sweet, tangy, salty, savory, creamy, crunchy perfection.

the best Thai chicken tacos lined up in a row

How to make Thai Chicken Tacos

The explosion of flavor from these unbelievably delicious Thai Chicken Tacos comes by marinating the chicken for 30 minutes in soy sauce, brown sugar, lime, fish sauce, basil, garlic and ginger – you will be amazed at the flavor bursting from your chicken in just 30 minutes!  The chicken is then sautéed to juicy perfection and smothered in peanut butter. 

The creamy, savory, salty peanut chicken is complimented by bright, refreshing pineapple slaw that you chop and toss together while your chicken is marinating. 

Finally, pile your chicken in soft tortillas, garnish with crunchy peanuts and zesty cilantro and sink your teeth into flavorful bliss. 

showing how to make thai peanut sauce for thai chicken tacos by adidng peanut butter to chicken

CAN I MAKE THAI CHICKEN TACOS AHEAD OF TIME?

Yes!  You can marinate the chicken up to 12 hours in advance and chop up all your veggies and store them in separate airtight containers. At dinner time, all you have to do is cook the chicken, stir in the peanut butter and toss the slaw together- it will take you less than 15 minutes!

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT thai TACOS

  • Storage:  transfer peanut chicken to an airtight container.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
  • Microwave:  transfer chicken to a microwave safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel to keep it from drying out. Microwave at 30 seconds intervals until warmed through.
  • Skillet: Heat chicken in a nonstick skillet until warmed through.  Take care not to overcook the chicken or it can become dry. 

WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH THAI CHICKEN TACOS?

You can serve Thai Chicken Tacos with plain rice or low carb cauliflower rice as they are already bursting with flavor.  You can keep the veggies simple with stir-fried veggies roasted veggies.  Because remember, it is all about peanut sauce.  Thank you peanut butter, thank you.

top view of easy thai chicken tacos

Want to try this Thai Chicken Tacos RECIPE?

Pin it to your CHICKEN or DINNER Board to SAVE for later!

Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes!  I am always pinning :)!

©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Thai Chicken Tacos

Thai Peanut Chicken Tacos are quick, easy, and about to become your favorite tacos! They are made with juicy, marinated Thai Chicken in a luxurious savory, sweet and spicy peanut sauce then piled with fresh and crunchy Pineapple Cucumber Slaw all cocooned in a flour tortilla. These Thai Chicken Tacos are healthy, customizable, make ahead friendly and a tantalizing texture and flavor explosion in every deeply satisfying bite.
Servings: 8 -10 tacos
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

Tacos

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 8-10 taco size flour tortillas
  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts
  • chopped cilantro to taste
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice to taste

Thai Chicken Marinade

Pineapple Slaw

  • 2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
  • 3 cups packaged broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro chopped
  • 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Instructions

  • In a large bowl or freezer bag, whisks the Thai Peanut Chicken marinade ingredients together. Add chicken and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, chop ingredient for Pineapple Slaw, add to a large bowl and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil/coconut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot and rippling. Add chicken and marinade and cook until completely cooked through and sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat and stir in crunchy peanut butter until well combined.
  • To serve, spoon chicken into desired amount of tortillas and top with Pineapple Slaw, chopped peanuts and additional cilantro, lime juice and Asian chili sauce to taste.

Notes

Make Ahead:  You can make the Thai Peanut Chicken and Pineapple Slaw ahead of time and store separately in the refrigerator.  When ready to serve, gently reheat chicken in a skillet and drain off any excess juices from the slaw.  

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

Carlsbad Cravings Original

Reader Interactions

leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

28 Comments

  1. Amy says

    So I assume that you mix the crunchy pb wit the marinade?? Thanks!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Amy, yes, per step 3, ” Remove from heat and stir in crunchy peanut butter until well combined.” Enjoy!

  2. Jeanne Harned says

    This recipe is a winner! Made it last night and husband and I both loved it. Your blog is one of my favorites as I know the results will be delicious!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Jeanne, I’m thrilled this chicken taco recipe was a hit! I’m honored you’re loving (and trust) my recipes!

  3. Denny C says

    Oh. My. Goodness.
    Made these last night to rave reviews!
    Had the leftovers for lunch today.
    So good! Thanks for this keeper!!

    • Jen says

      YAY! I love hearing these Thai Chicken Tacos were such a hit! Thanks Denny!

  4. Troy Lindeman says

    Is the slaw recipe correct? Cucumber is in the title but not the recipe. Thanks! I cannot wait to try this recipe.

    • Jen says

      Fixed it, sorry about that!

  5. laura says

    I don’t usually (ever) review recipes before I’ve actually tried them, but this one sounds so intriguing! The only problem I’m having is trying to imagine the taste of peanut butter combined w/ chicken?! I know it has to be good, but can you taste the peanut butter? I do love peanut butter, but so far have only eaten it in the traditional form. Just trying to get my nerve up for this one 🙂

    • Jen says

      Hi Laura – have you ever had Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce? It is basically those Thai flavors but all combined together. I hope you try it and love it – can’t wait to hear what you think!

      • Laura says

        No, I’ve never tried anything savory involving peanut butter, but I’m going to today!

          • Laura says

            I made it for just me, as an experiment while my hubby was out of town. I loved it! I could detect the peanut butter, but in a surprisingly good way. The only thing I’d do differently is to find some fresher slaw mix. So glad I finally braved the world of savory peanuts

          • Jen says

            WAHOO! Me too! I’m thrilled your experience with savory peanuts was a success! I hope you try the chicken satay soon – I think you’ll love it!

  6. Jayne Owen says

    Hello i am in Australia and we do not have broccoli slaw packets, can you tell me what is in the packet? I love following tour page and have made numerous recipes
    !

    • Jen says

      Hi Jayne, thanks for following along! It is essentially matchstick broccoli with red cabbage and matchstick carrots. You can swap the broccoli slaw for traditional coleslaw mix. Enjoy!

  7. Laura says

    Hi! Since I am now a fan of peanut sauce, I’m curious which type/brand of peanut butter is your go to? I used crunchy Jif for this recipe because it’s what I had on hand. I’m not a huge fan of natural for toast & such, but would get the natural if that’s the best for savory recipes. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Laura, Jif is great! I actually don’t recommend natural peanut butter for cooking because they are more oily and can taste grainier.

  8. Dawn says

    Hi Jen,

    The only chili sauce I could find at my supermarket was called Sweet Chili Sauce. I see the recipe lists Asian Chili Sauce. Will this suffice or should I try to find one without the “sweet?”

    Thank you!
    Dawn

    • Jen says

      Hi Dawn, unfortunately sweet chili sauce is too sweet for this recipe (although I use it in a lot of other recipes so it won’t go to waste). You want just Asian chili sauce, sometimes called Asian chili paste. Two popular ones (you can google image) are: Huy Fong Chili Paste and Sambal Oelek.

    • JOZIE M says

      I used sweet chili sauce cause it was the only thing I could find at the store.
      Tried this yesterday with friends over and everything was licked clean! may need to double it all next time.
      I changed up the marinade a little. Added house of Tsangs Bangkok peanut sauce. And I added pinapple cubes to the chicken in the pan. Even my husband who doesnt think pinapple should go with meat, scarfed it all down.
      We made the slaws from scratch.

      • Jen says

        Awesome Jozie, I’m so happy to hear these were a huge hit, thank you!

  9. Cheri says

    Jen!

    Can this be made in a crockpot?

    • Jen says

      Hi Cheri, yes I think it would work well.

  10. Sheri Smith says

    We loved this Jen! I was looking for something different, flavorful, and healthy. This was everything I needed. You are also my favorite to follow for the best recipes.

    I read your story. As a RN I have experienced first hand what CF does to one’s body. I also belong to an amazing ward family. I LOVED your story. True Christ like service, and love. I wish you many years of a productive life. ❤️

    Happy, and healthy 2021 to you and your family, including that adorable dog.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment/review Sheri! Thank you especially for taking the time to read my story, for all your love and for your life changing service as an RN! I have some nurses that I will never forget. May God bless you and yours with a healthy and Happy New Year!

  11. Andrea says

    This looks amazing! I’m going to make it. Just curious, what would be a nice side dish to go with the tacos?

    • Jen says

      Thanks Andrea, I hope you love them as much as us! The tacos are so flavorful, that they are tasty with simple sides such as rice (you could get fancy with coconut rice or pineapple rice), cucumber salad, green salad, etc.