Spicy Thai Chicken and Quinoa Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Spicy Thai Chicken and Quinoa

30 reviews / 4.8 average

Whoa baby - this Spicy Thai Chicken is seductive.

From the moment it first sets your mouth on fire, it's going to have you hooked with its flavor-loaded, saucy, sticky exterior and light-your-face-on-fire spice status.

*cue everyone leaving*

Guys it's not that spicy YOU'LL BE FIIINE.

There's a lot going on here besides spice that will draw you in, and besides, we can tone it down a little bit if need be, okay? You just cannot turn away from this kind of fiery, saucy, one in a million Spicy Thai Chicken love + affection.

chicken and quinoa with cilantro in a bowl on a napkin

Let's Talk About Chicken Here

We're using chicken thighs for this Spicy Thai Chicken. I said THIGHS.

Are you mad? Are you nervous?

You could totally make this with chicken breasts, too - it's just that, I don't know - are chicken breasts just a little sad to anyone else, too? I think it might be that I just literally don't know how to make them super well. Never mastered that trick. Hi, thanks for following this blog, I don't know how to make the most common type of chicken, you are now dismissed.

You know those times when people think you're good at something (cooking meatless recipes) but its more that you're just NOT good at something else (cooking with meat)? Now you're tracking with me.

EXCEPT! This is the exception. Spicy Thai Chicken that is equal parts hot and sweet and salty with quinoa and maybe a little cucumber / mint / lime salad on the side? = ROCKING GOOD CHICKEN.

chicken with quinoa in a bowl with a wooden spoon

You Guys, It's Just So Good

In addition to the featured usage of that sticky sauce that I let simmer into golden syrupy goodness while the chicken marinated in a little extra, it was the use of boneless skinless chicken thighs that really saved the day for me. Boneless skinless because I'm needy for things to be basic, and thighs because the meat is just more flavorful and juicy and it cooperated with me by getting those nice grill marks on the outside while staying tasty on the inside.

Like, I actually *wanted* to eat it.

Licked my fingers, nabbed bites in between photos, made it again for dinner two nights later. When it comes to chicken, consider me your picky toddler for chicken recipes: dear readers, this Spicy Thai Chicken has hereby received the Picky Toddler Slash Food Blogger stamp of approval.

It's just waiting for you. Cause ALL YOU DO IS WIN WIN WIN NO MATTA WHAT 🏆

chicken with quinoa and cilantro in a bowl with a fork
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A picture of Spicy Thai Chicken and Quinoa

Spicy Thai Chicken and Quinoa


Spicy Thai Chicken and Quinoa, made with chili sauce, agave, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and peanuts! Sticky, saucy, and delicious.


Units Scale

For the Spicy Thai Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Thai style chili sauce (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

For the Chicken:

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • chopped peanuts, cilantro, and chili flakes for topping


  1. Sauce: Whisk all the sauce ingredients together. Set aside about 1/2 cup sauce to marinade the chicken. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the sauce to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes or so until the sauce has thickened.
  2. Quinoa: Cook according to package directions.
  3. Chicken: Place the chicken in a bag or bowl with the reserved 1/2 cup sauce to marinate. Return to the refrigerator and let it all hang out for 30 minutes or so, while the sauce thickens. Shake off excess marinade and transfer to a hot grill pan or skillet. Let the chicken cook for a few minutes on each side, until no longer pink, brushing periodically with the thickened sauce.
  4. Serving: Plate the quinoa on a large platter and top with the chicken. Brush the whole thing with extra sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro, peanuts, and chili flakes.


I served this with a quick little cucumber-mint-lime salad! Delicious.

For the chili sauce, I used “Thai Style Chili Sauce” like this. (affiliate link)

We had plenty of leftover sauce to freeze and use for this recipe again!

Nutrition is for 6 servings using half of the total sauce amount since you will probably have extra sauce.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: thai chicken, chicken and quinoa, healthy chicken recipe, spicy chicken

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’d like to make this, but I’m a little confused. What kind of “Asian chili sauce” did you use? Siracha, sweet chili sauce, or something I haven’t hear of?

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        That link really didn’t answer the question as none of them were labeled Thai Chili Sauce. Are you saying just to look in the Asian isle and find a label that says what your saying to look for? Is it the sweet chili sauce or not?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I used 1/4 cup of sweet chili sauce and 1/4 cup sriracha as my “thai style sauce” and it turned out absolutely incredible. This is by far my favorite recipe on this website!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I have chili garlic sauce, Sriracha & red curry paste. I guess I can mix the sauce & sriracha together.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am always looking for good chicken thigh recipes, I think this one will be a keeper! I can’t wait for my family to try this!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    This sounds wonderful. Just wondering how to tone it down a bit. 1/4 c of Asian chili sauce instead of 1/2 c? Would this change the thickness of the sauce etc. or just add more broth?
    Looking forward to your suggestions.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I wouldn’t add more broth – maybe try it as-is with less chili sauce and just brush it with less sauce as it’s cooking, or this would totally change the flavor but you could add in some hoisin or some other thicker sauce without as much spicy flavor to compensate.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m excited to make this. I just finished eating your spring quinoa dish with peas and asparagus (it freezes well), yum! As I took my last bite, i thought I could use some more quinoa recipes, thank you!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    You’ve hit the perfect chord!!! Spicy chicken. Now who has been telling you that you can’t cook meat?? I’m sure it must be an jealous blogger who isn’t acquainted with your delicious recipes. You, my dear, are Lindsay the Limitless Source of Luscious Recipes!! Don’t you forget it!!!!!!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      haha thanks Marisa! no one is telling me that – other than myself. 🙂 Half the time I make chicken it never makes it to the blog because its not that good. THIS one, though… this one is good!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is amazing! Just made it for dinner tonight. What a delicious explosion of flavors in my mouth!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love your blog and the simple, straight forward, clean flavors in your recipes. I also like that you use chicken thighs. I think we need to go back to the days of eating the whole chicken. There is such a demand for chicken breasts and wings. It is no wonder we have the problems we do with poultry farming. Oops, I will hop off that soap box.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    You are hilarious, and this looks delicious. Saved & I will be making this for dinner.

    ???? for the win!

    Love everything about your blog!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Absolutely YES!!!! I’m so all over this meal. I mean, you had me at thai but then I saw the quinoa part and nearly started dancing in excitement!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I always get excited about your chicken recipes because I know they GOTTA be good if you actually used chicken…
    Aaaaaaaaand this recipe doesn’t look like it has a chance of disappointing <3 Spicy sweet combo? COME TA MAMA <3