Remember my ginger peanut meatballs that everyone loves and adores? Well, a couple of years back I decided to use a somewhat similar peanut sauce for this creamy, dreamy Thai chicken peanut couscous and OMG it’s just so damn good. I actually initially tested this recipe nearly 4 years ago, and then completely forgot about it in my archives, so I just had to bring it to the blog and re-share it for you.
This chicken couscous with Thai peanut flavors is the most wonderful hearty, cozy meal packed with everything you could ever want: tender chicken, plenty of veggies, pearl couscous and the most creamy delicious coconut peanut sauce that will make ya wanna lick your bowl clean. Don’t forget the fun garnishes like chopped peanuts + cilantro, it helps bring everything together.
What you’ll need to make this Thai chicken couscous
This delicious and nourishing Thai-inspired peanut chicken couscous is easier to make than you think and packed with incredible Thai flavors. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it:
- For the chicken: you’ll just need some olive oil, chicken breast, salt & pepper to cook up your chicken.
- For the peanut couscous: the star of this dish is the creamy, flavorful peanut couscous. It’s made with garlic, light coconut milk (from the can), chicken broth, natural, creamy peanut butter, soy sauce, fresh ginger, chili paste or sriracha and pearl couscous.
- Add-ins: we’re simmering the couscous with carrots, broccoli, and red bell pepper for a boost of veggies.
- To garnish: top your bowl with fresh green onion, cilantro, honey roasted peanuts and a little hot sauce if you’d like.
Customize this dish
- Make it vegetarian or vegan. Feel free to swap the chicken for chickpeas or tofu to keep this dish vegetarian.
- Change up your veggies. This Thai chicken couscous is great for customizing with what you have on hand. I think spinach and/or mushrooms would be delicious.
- Add a kick of heat. If you love spice like me feel free to add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or a little more) to the peanut couscous. Yum!
Choose the right couscous
In this chicken couscous recipe, we’re using pearl couscous, which is a much larger grain than regular couscous. Israeli pearl couscous has a texture similar to mini gnocchi or pasta, whereas regular couscous, when cooked, tends to have a texture similar to grits.
Be sure to opt for pearl couscous in this recipe so that the texture holds up well.
Can I use a different grain?
I think this recipe would work okay using white basmati rice or quinoa in place of the couscous, but please note that I have not tested it this way. Using pearl couscous really adds a wonderful texture that can’t be replicated with another grain. Please note that you’d likely need much less quinoa if you choose to replace it, and any other grains may have different cooking times.
Can I swap the peanut butter?
While this recipe will work using another nut butter like cashew butter, I’d highly recommend sticking with peanut butter to give this dish that peanut sauce flavor it was created to have.
How to make Thai peanut chicken couscous
- Brown your chicken. You’ll start this recipe by simply cooking your chicken on all sides so it’s golden brown. No need to cook it all the way through.
- Make the peanut sauce. In the same skillet, you’ll stir together the coconut milk, broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger & chili paste.
- Couscous & veggie time. Once your peanut sauce is smooth you’ll stir in the couscous and veggies.
- Add your chicken. Finally, stir in your chicken, bring the couscous to a simmer, then reduce the heat and cover the pan for 15 minutes.
- Finish it off. Once the couscous has simmered covered for about 15 minutes you’ll want to remove the lid and let it do so uncovered for a few minutes more to let it thicken up.
- Garnish & serve. Top with your fav garnishes and extra hot sauce and serve!
Store any leftover chicken couscous in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Simply reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
More one pan meals to try
Get all of our delicious one pan meals here!
I hope you love this creamy, one pan Thai peanut chicken couscous! If you make it be sure to leave a comment & a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
One Pan Creamy Thai Peanut Chicken Couscous
Delicious one pan Thai-inspired peanut chicken couscous packed with protein and a boost of colorful veggies. This cozy chicken couscous recipe is filled with Thai flavors thanks to a rich and creamy peanut sauce made with coconut milk, fresh ginger, soy sauce, garlic and creamy peanut butter. Options to add a kick of heat if you love spice!
- For the chicken:
avocado oil or olive oil
boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- For the peanut couscous:
(15 ounce) can light coconut milk
low sodium chicken broth (or sub water)
creamy natural peanut butter (just peanuts + salt)
gluten free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
freshly grated ginger
chili paste or sriracha
- Optional for a spicy peanut sauce: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (plus ¼ teaspoon more if you love it a little extra spicy!)
Israeli pearl couscous
large carrots, thinly sliced
red bell pepper, julienned
- To garnish:
- Green onion (green part only), diced
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Honey roasted peanuts, chopped
- Hot sauce, if desired
Place a large deep skillet over medium-high heat and add in oil. Once hot, add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook, about 5-7 minutes total. You don’t need to cook chicken all the way, just about halfway through so it’s nice and golden brown with flavor. Transfer chicken to a bowl or plate and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the garlic, cooking for 30 seconds, then add in the coconut milk, chicken broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger and chili paste to the same skillet. Whisk together until well combined and smooth. Stir in the couscous, carrots, broccoli and bell pepper; then add the chicken back into the pan; bring to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every so often to prevent couscous from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
After 15 minutes, remove the lid and gently simmer for 5-10 more minutes uncovered to soak up any excess liquid.
Garnish with chopped honey-roasted peanuts, green onion, and cilantro. Serves 4.
To make gluten free: I think this recipe would work okay using white basmati rice or quinoa in place of the couscous, but please note that I have not tested it this way. Using pearl couscous really adds a wonderful texture that can’t be replicated with another grain. Please note that you’d likely need much less quinoa (probably 3/4 cup) if you choose to replace it, and any other grains may have different cooking times.
To make vegetarian/vegan: feel free to swap the chicken for chickpeas or tofu to keep this dish vegetarian and/or vegan.
Servings: 4 servings
Serving size: 4 servings
Saturated fat: 8g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eat
This post was originally published on March 3rd, 2021, and republished on January 24th, 2023.