This Asian Peanut Butter Chicken is one of my ultimate comfort foods that can be made in the instant pot in under 15 minutes. It’s sweet, salty, and a little bit nutty. The tender and juicy chicken coated in a creamy peanut sauce makes this simple family dinner recipe irresistible.

Peanut Butter Chicken is being served over a bed of rice and top with herbs, sesame seeds, and additional chopped peanuts!
Serve over a bed of rice, and top with herbs, sesame seeds, and additional chopped peanuts!

Why I love This Asian Peanut Butter Chicken

This Peanut Butter Chicken recipe is different than most chicken recipes I have here on the SKS blog.

This recipe does not necessarily scream “traditional” to me, but it is the result of me incorporating my Chinese background with my current American cooking experience.

Peanut sauce and sesame sauce are both very popular in Asian cuisines. But most of the time they are served as a dipping sauce on the side. But why stop at a dipping sauce? Let’s get this peanut flavor turned up a notch.

I have decided to incorporate my favorite Asian Peanut Sauce in this instant pot chicken recipe and I am so glad I did because holy wowza, it turned out amazingly.

This sauce has been a hit in my family, and it helps expose my toddlers to their Asian culture while still providing a new take on a traditional dish I had growing up. This peanut butter sauce can be used as a dumpling dipping sauce or noodle sauce if you want to play around with it!

Now, I have put my own spin on my many of my parents’ chicken stir fry recipes in this past, this one however is so quick and only takes less than 15 minutes to cook in your instant pot. All you need to do is chuck all the ingredients in one pot, seal it and cook on high pressure. Insanely simple, right?

This recipe is so flavorful and approachable for all your family members. My two toddlers love it and if you are a busy mom like me who has picky eaters, you’ll want to give this recipe a try!

Ingredients are laid out for the instant pot peanut butter chicken meal
Ingredients are laid out for the instant pot peanut butter chicken meal

Ingredients for Peanut Butter Chicken

Velvety peanut sauce:

Creamy, nutty velvety, this Asian Peanut Sauce {Soy Free} is made with a creamy peanut butter whisked with savory coconut aminos (or soy sauce), a hint of rice vinegar.

If you are looking for a soy free or gluten free option, I highly recommend trying coconut aminos in your sauces.

Chicken Breast or Chicken Thighs: When it comes to choosing the type of chicken for this recipe, it is really personal preference.

My husband loves chicken thighs because it is always juicier and tender without fail, but I personally prefer chicken breast. It may not have as good of a reputation as chicken thighs because it tends to come out dry if not cooked the right way.

I have just the secret ingredient to lock that juice inside of the chicken breast and result in the perfect moist outcome. It is the arrowroot starch in the marinade! You can also use cornstarch.

I learned this trick from my grandma. She would always add a little flour or starch to all the meat that can tend to dry up, such as lean-cut pork, chicken breast pieces, and more.

For the best result, try searing the chicken on all sides for 30 – 40 seconds to give it a golden brown crispy outside. This small step makes a world of difference in the final product.

How to Make Instant Pot Peanut Chicken

Marinate the Chicken:

Now Let’s Hit the Instant Pot:

Next, add in the peanut butter sauce and ready to cook:

Tips for Making the Best Peanut Butter Chicken

Every instant pot is different and quite a few of you have told me that you received a “burn” message on your insta pot screen. Yikes! Let’s fix that, shall we?

Here is a couple reasons and how I hopefully can help you resolve the issue:

The starch-coated chicken breast tends to stick to the bottom of the insta pot. You can add an additional layer of oil to prevent it from sticking. But most instant pots on the market are not meant to be super “non-stick” and they likely won’t pass the fried egg test.

Another solution is to pan-sear the chicken in a separate non-stick pan prior to adding it into your insta pot. This will help create crispy edges and lock the tender juices inside. It is extra work and some additional dishes to do, but it will be worth it.

Another reason you might see a “burn message” appear is due to the peanut butter sauce. The thick and creamy texture does not create enough “liquid” for some instant pot brands, so it sometimes sends a burn message. In order to prevent this, increase the broth measurement to 1 cup. Simple and easy adjustments like this will go a long way in preventing unnecessary stress while using your insta pot for this recipe.

You might be asking yourself, “Will it work for my instant pot?” I personally use about 1/2 cup broth for this recipe. The cooked mixture slightly sticks to the bottom and creates a browned layer. But can be easily scraped up and mixed in with a wooden spatula. You can ALWAYS adjust the amount of broth according to your own observation of your insta pot.

Peanut Butter Chicken is being served over a bed of rice and top with herbs, sesame seeds, and additional chopped peanuts!
Serve over a bed of rice, and top with herbs, sesame seeds, and additional chopped peanuts!

Ways to Serve and Add Extra Vegetables

Roasted broccoli makes for a great pop of color in your dish, a hint of green always makes me feel better about getting in a balanced meal.

Sliced red pepper also has a fun color that adds joy to the dish, it also has a fun sweet and crunchy texture to it as well.

Any Stir-fried Veggies can be added into this recipe honestly, use what you have in your fridge that you think would compliment this Asian Peanut Butter Chicken. Remember, this is also your time to experiment in YOUR kitchen!

Cucumber salad or broccoli salad both are crunchy and bright sides to pair with your rich peanut butter chicken. You can even serve the peanut butter chicken cold or chilled along with my Chinese Broccoli Salad or my Chinese Cucumber Salad as a fun picnic or lunch treat!

Spice up this Savory Peanut Butter Chicken Recipe

Another fun way to dress up this already flavor packed dish is adding in a can of chickpeas!

My husband loves the chicken and I love the chickpeas. The chickpeas add a little extra creaminess and soak in all the flavors.

For a vegan option, you can also replace the chicken completely with 2 cans of chickpeas.

Are you like me and down for some spice? You can add 2 tsp of chili oil to this recipe or you can use the hot honey from Trader Joes as your sweetener. Trust me, if you like a lil heat, you’ll love these additions.

Leave a comment below if you tried this recipe! I’d love to hear what you think!

Ooo also I look forward to seeing your creations! You can use “Tried it” on Pinterest or share on Instagram by tagging #shuangyseasts

Peanut Butter Chicken is being served over a bed of rice and top with herbs, sesame seeds, and additional chopped peanuts!

Get the recipe:Asian Peanut Butter Chicken {Instant Pot}

This Instant Pot Asian Peanut Butter Chicken recipe takes 20 minutes from start to finish. The tender chicken cooked in nutty and creamy peanut sauce, it is the perfect weeknight family dinner!
5 stars (1 review)

Ingredients

Chicken Marinade

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast or thighs
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch, optional *

Peanut Butter Sauce

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp cane sugar or smooth honey
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup warm water or broth

Instructions 

  • Cut the chicken into cubes. In a medium bowl, marinate the chicken with coconut amino, and arrowroot flour (if using any). Let it marinate for at least 20 minutes. Make sure the chicken is completely coated.
  • Using "saute" mode, heat up 2 – 3 tbsp oil in an instant pot. Add onion and garlic, and ginger saute until fragrant.
  • Add Chicken cubes (add more oil if needed). Flip a couple of times until the chicken is slightly browned on the outside. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Make sure the chicken is evenly coated.
  • Cover set the valve to “sealing” and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Once done, let it slow release. The sauce will continue the thicken.
  • Serve with rice, your favorite vegetables and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

Notes

  1. *Coconut amino itself is salty, so take that into consideration when you salt the chicken.
  2. ** You can omit arrowroot starch if using chicken thighs. I love using starch to help lock the juice in and make the chicken breast extra moist.
  3. You can also use 2 cans of chickpeas to replace the chicken for a vegan option.
  4. If you are getting “burn” message from the instant pot you are using, please see the trouble shooting section in the post.
Serving: 1g, Calories: 384kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 93mg, Sodium: 457mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g

The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.