A Naturally Frugal Dinner for Four: Chicken Thighs with Spicy Peanut-Miso Sauce


Light and frugal, scrumptious music to so many foodie ears. This recipe for Spicy Miso-Peanut Chicken  appeared in the November edition of Cooking Light magazine, and the second I saw it, I knew I would be making it. Chicken thighs were on sale for $.79 a lb, my CSA delivered loads of onions and sweet bell peppers, I had all of the sauce components simply waiting on hand in my cupboard and refrigerator, and even when coupled with some broccoli and rice, it’s still a budget-friendly meal.

Spicy Peanut-Miso Sauce Chicken

Meals like this (quick, easy, and Asian-inspired) have become “traditional” in my home. Plus, I believe this meal-for-4 easily clocks in at under $10, side dishes and all!

The spicy miso-peanut sauce is rich, nutty, and has just enough spice. It paired well with the chicken, but for a vegetarian / vegan option – tofu would be a delicious substitute!

Special Diet Notes: Spicy Miso-Peanut Chicken

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, and gluten-free.

For soy-free: Use chickpea or other soy-free miso.

For nut-free: Use sunflower butter.

For vegetarian / vegan: Swap honey for agave and chicken for tofu.

A Naturally Frugal Dinner for Four: Chicken Thighs with Spicy Peanut-Miso Sauce
This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light, November 2010.
Serves: 4
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons light / white miso
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 8 chicken thighs, bone in, with skin
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, olive oil, or coconut oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 small to medium sweet bell peppers (orange, red, or yellow), diced
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • To Serve: cooked brown or white rice and steamed veggies (I steamed some broccoli in the steamer basket of my rice cooker as the rice cooked)
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, miso, honey, curry paste, garlic, and water. Set aside.
  2. Alisa's Lazy Chicken Method: Season chicken thighs with a little salt and pepper. Place them in a crockpot on low for about two to four hours (in a single layer if possible), or until they are wonderfully, fall off the bone cooked.
  3. Cooking Light's Stove Top Chicken Method: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and add it to the skillet, cooking to a golden brown (about 4 minutes per side). Transfer the chicken to a plate, and drain the fat, but since you just used up the oil, you will need to leave about 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet to cook your veggies.
  4. With the skillet still set over medium-high heat, add the peppers and onions, and cook until the onions are soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the white wine, return the chicken to the skillet, and pour the peanut-miso sauce over all. Simmer the chicken, partially covered, for about 20 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a little more water. During the last minute of cooking, add in the green onions.
  5. Plate the chicken with rice and steamed broccoli (or veggie of your choice), and spoon any remaining peanut sauce w/ onions and peppers over top.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Deborah Bigda on

    If you cook the chicken in a crockpot, do you just add all the other ingredients on top of the chicken in the crock pot and cook for the 2-4 hour period or must use switch over to the stove top at some point?

    • Hi Deborah, my crockpot method is just for cooking the chicken, not for the whole recipe. You could certainly trial cooking it with the other ingredients, too, but I can’t guarantee the results, and I am not sure if you would need to change the cook time, liquid, etc. I would need to test to verify. But if you do try it, it would be great to hear your results!

Leave A Reply

Rate this recipe: