Spicy Thai Chicken and Quinoa

chicken with quinoa and cilantro

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
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.


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

Recipe Card powered by Tasty Recipes logo

The post Spicy Thai Chicken and Quinoa appeared first on Pinch of Yum.

Back to blog