Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken


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This crock pot cashew chicken is made with chicken breasts, classic Asian sauce ingredients, and a few veggies for a delicious dinner your whole family is going to love (including the kiddos). This easy and delicious dinner doesn’t take much prep and can be on the dinner table in as little as 3 hours, start to finish.

Create an Asian-inspired meal plan by adding my Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken and Mongolian Chicken to your cooking list.

cashew chicken in a slow cooker.

Why does this cashew chicken recipe work?

Crockpot cashew chicken is one of the best ways to recreate one of the most popular Asian chicken recipes, and much easier than a stir fry on the stove top. The best part is you can find all of the ingredients at your local grocery store. In addition, you’ll have some leftover ingredients that can be used for other meals.

Once you’ve whipped up this tasty cashew chicken in the slow cooker, all you’ll need are the perfect sides. If you love cashew chicken then you’ll definitely want to add this to your list of favorite crockpot recipes. Let’s get cooking!

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for cashew chicken on a table.
  • Chicken: You’ll want to use at least 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts, which will be cut into 1″ pieces.
  • Cornstarch: This is used to coat the chicken before frying and tossing it into the crock pot.
  • Vegetable Oil: Used to fry the diced chicken pieces.
  • Onion: A medium sized onion will be the perfect amount to balance with the other vegetables.
  • Red Bell Pepper: This will also be thinly sliced like the onion.
  • Roasted Cashews: I recommend starting with 3/4 cup and then adding more if you prefer.
  • Green Onions: These will be sliced in half lengthwise then cut into 1″ pieces.
  • Sauce: Make cashew chicken sauce by combining Hoison sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, minced garlic cloves, and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

Step-by-Step Directions

4 images showing how to coat and brown chicken and how  to make sauce for cashew chicken.

Step One – In a medium size bowl, add the diced chicken and toss it with the cornstarch.

Step Two – Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the vegetable oil. Cook the chicken on all sides until browned about 2-3 minutes. (The goal here is to just brown the chicken, don’t cook it all the way through).

Step Three – In a small bow, add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic and pepper flakes.

Step Four – Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Four images showing how to finish making cashew chicken in a slow cooker.

Step Five – Place chicken to the slow cooker.

Step Six – Pour in the sauce, add the onions and bell pepper and mix.

Step Seven – Cook on HIGH for 2 hours. After 2 hours, add the cashews and green onions. cook on HIGH for another 30 minutes.

Step Eight – Cook on HIGH for another 30 minutes. Serve with sides of your choice and enjoy!

close up of cashew chicken, done cooking in a slow cooker.

What to serve with cashew chicken in crock pot?

  • One of the most common ways to serve this chicken is with steamed white rice. You can also serve it with cauliflower rice, brown rice, lo mein noodles, or another noodle of your choice.
  • For toppings, you can add freshly grated ginger, sesame seeds, and an extra dash of soy sauce.
  • Make this meal a bit heartier by adding green bell pepper, water chestnuts, more green onion, and bell peppers.
Plate of cashew chicken over rice with forks on the side.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use chicken thighs?

Yes. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used in place of the chicken breast.

Can I add raw chicken in the slow cooker cashew chicken recipe?

I recommend following the cornstarch and frying directions to make sure the chicken turns out the best. Having the chicken precooked also helps it cook faster once added to the slow cooker.

How do I store leftovers?

Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Does this make a good freezer meal?

Yes! Simply cook as instructed and allow it to cool completely. Then, add this delicious meal to a freezer safe container or resealable food storage bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Can I cook on low instead of high?

Sure. I recommend doubling the cooking time to ensure the chicken gets cooked thoroughly.

How can I make this recipe healthier?

You can use low sodium soy sauce or a gluten free soy sauce.

Is it necessary to brown chicken ahead of time?

Yes, if you want the meal to turn out like the restaurant style. It also helps cook tender chicken while slow cooking.

plate of cashew chicken over rice.

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close up of cashew chicken, done cooking in a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

3.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Made with chicken breasts, classic Asian sauce ingredients, and a few vegetables – this cashew chicken is tasty and delicious.

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into 1” pieces
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 small white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup roasted salted cashews
  • 2 green onions, sliced in half lengthwise cut Into 1” pieces

For the sauce:

  • 4 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, (use less if you don't like heat)

Instructions 

  • In a small bow, whisk together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Set aside.
  • For the cashew chicken:
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix together the chicken and cornstarch. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the vegetable oil. Cook the chicken on all sides until browned about 2-3 minutes. (The goal here is to just brown the chicken, don’t cook it all the way through). Once browned, add the chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Pour in the sauce, add the onions and bell pepper and mix. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours, after 2 hours add the cashews and green onions, cook on HIGH for another 30 minutes.
  • Serve over rice, garnish with sliced green onion and enjoy!

Notes

  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used in place of the chicken breast.

Nutrition

Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 629mg | Potassium: 762mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 707IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. Ashley says:

    3 stars
    I forgot to add the water chestnuts as suggested which is a bummer because I do like them but because they weren’t in the ingredients list I totally forgot about them. That’s not why the rating, that’s on me. The rating is because it looks absolutely nothing like the photos. It looks how the other commenters said, very pale in color and it has no sauce. It was quite dry. I’d add some chicken stock and more soy sauce.

  2. Ruben Acevedo says:

    If I double the ingredients. I have a 6 qt crockpot. Should I double the time?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      I think you will only need about an hour more.

  3. Stacy says:

    4 stars
    Pretty good recipe. Added in green peppers and water chestnuts like it suggested and that was a nice touch. Color is nothing like in the pictures though. Not dark at all, but instead very pale.

  4. Jenny says:

    The chicken was good but the color not even close to the picture, it is very very pale