Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

Discover the convenience and flavor of Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken, a dish that blends tender chicken, savory sauces, and crunchy cashews into a delightful meal. Perfect for busy schedules, this recipe simplifies cooking while delivering rich, aromatic flavors that make it a family favorite. Whether served over rice or paired with your favorite sides, Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken offers a deliciously satisfying dining experience that’s easy to prepare and enjoy.


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 pieces, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup cashews


  1. Coat Chicken: Combine cornstarch and pepper in a resealable food storage bag. Add chicken pieces and shake to coat with the cornstarch mixture.
  2. Brown Chicken: Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to the slow cooker.
  3. Prepare Sauce: In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and cashews. Pour over chicken in the slow cooker. (Add cashews during cooking for softer texture or just before serving for crunchier texture.)
  4. Slow Cook: Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours until chicken is tender and flavors are blended.
  5. Serve: Serve over rice and enjoy this flavorful Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken with its rich sauce and crunchy cashews.

Recipe Details:

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Calories: Approximately 350 per serving
  • Servings: 6

Serving and Storage Tips :

Ensure your Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken stays delicious and enjoyable with these serving and storage tips:

  1. Serve Over Rice: This dish pairs perfectly with steamed white or brown rice. The rice absorbs the flavorful sauce, making each bite satisfying and complete.
  2. Garnish Suggestions: Sprinkle chopped green onions, sesame seeds, or cilantro over the chicken before serving to add freshness and visual appeal.
  3. Crunchy Cashews: For a crunchier texture, add the cashews to the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking or sprinkle them over the dish just before serving. This preserves their texture and enhances the overall experience.
  4. Leftover Storage: Store any leftover Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of water or broth to maintain moisture.
  5. Freezing Instructions: You can freeze leftovers for up to 1-2 months. Place cooled chicken and sauce in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  6. Meal Prep Option: Prepare ingredients ahead of time by chopping chicken and mixing the sauce. Store them separately in the refrigerator until ready to cook. This makes assembling the dish quick and convenient.
  7. Enhance Flavors: Allow the flavors to meld by letting the cooked dish rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the sauce to thicken slightly and enhances the depth of flavors.
  8. Accompaniments: Serve with steamed vegetables such as broccoli or snow peas for added nutrition and color. These pair well with the sauce and rice.
  9. Family-Friendly Option: Adjust the spice level by reducing or omitting the red pepper flakes for a milder dish that’s suitable for all palates, especially children.
  10. Presentation: Serve Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken in a decorative dish to enhance its visual appeal, making it inviting and appetizing for family meals or dinner parties.

These tips ensure that your Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken remains flavorful, fresh, and convenient whether you’re serving it immediately or planning ahead for meals throughout the week. Enjoy the convenience of slow cooking combined with the delicious flavors of this dish!

Variations :

Explore these creative variations to customize your Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken and add new flavors to this delightful dish:

  1. Vegetarian Version: Substitute chicken with firm tofu or chickpeas for a vegetarian option. Adjust cooking times accordingly to ensure tofu is heated through or chickpeas are tender.
  2. Spicy Kick: Increase the heat by adding extra red pepper flakes or a dash of Sriracha sauce to the sauce mixture. Adjust to your desired spice level for a flavorful kick.
  3. Honey Garlic Cashew Chicken: Add 2-3 tablespoons of honey and extra minced garlic to the sauce mixture for a sweet and savory twist. Garnish with sesame seeds for added crunch.
  4. Thai-Inspired: Use coconut milk instead of soy sauce for a creamy Thai-inspired version. Add Thai red curry paste and a squeeze of lime juice for authentic flavors. Serve over jasmine rice.
  5. Peanut Cashew Chicken: Incorporate 2 tablespoons of peanut butter into the sauce mixture for a creamy, nutty flavor. Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro before serving.
  6. Teriyaki Style: Replace soy sauce with teriyaki sauce and omit the ketchup for a sweeter profile. Add pineapple chunks and bell peppers to the slow cooker for a Hawaiian twist.
  7. Citrus Infusion: Enhance the sauce with orange juice and zest instead of rice wine vinegar for a citrusy flavor. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil or mint leaves before serving.
  8. Sesame Ginger Cashew Chicken: Add 1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil and grated ginger to the sauce mixture. Top with toasted sesame seeds and green onions for a fragrant finish.
  9. Coconut Cashew Chicken: Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. Add coconut milk and shredded coconut for a tropical flair. Serve over coconut rice.
  10. Curry Cashew Chicken: Stir in 1-2 tablespoons of curry powder or paste to the sauce mixture. Add diced potatoes and carrots to the slow cooker for a hearty curry-inspired meal.

These variations allow you to experiment with different flavors and ingredients, transforming Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken into diverse dishes that suit your taste preferences and culinary adventures. Enjoy exploring new twists on this classic recipe!

FAQs :

  1. Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts? Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. Adjust the cooking time as thighs may require slightly longer to cook through.
  2. Can I make Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken without browning the chicken first? While browning adds flavor, you can skip this step if you’re short on time. Simply coat the chicken in cornstarch and add directly to the slow cooker with the sauce ingredients.
  3. Can I use roasted cashews instead of raw cashews? Yes, you can use roasted cashews for a deeper, nuttier flavor. Add them towards the end of the cooking time or sprinkle over the dish just before serving to maintain their crunch.
  4. Is it necessary to use low sodium soy sauce? Using low sodium soy sauce helps control the saltiness of the dish. If you prefer regular soy sauce, adjust the amount of salt in the recipe accordingly to avoid over-seasoning.
  5. Can I prepare Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, simply assemble everything in the slow cooker and follow the cooking instructions.
  6. How can I make the sauce thicker? To thicken the sauce, mix 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch with equal parts cold water and stir into the hot liquid in the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Stir well and let it simmer until thickened.
  7. Can I freeze Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken? Yes, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
  8. What side dishes go well with Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken? Serve over steamed rice, quinoa, or noodles. Steamed vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, or snap peas are excellent accompaniments that complement the flavors of the dish.
  9. How spicy is Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken with red pepper flakes? The amount of red pepper flakes can be adjusted to your preference for spiciness. Start with less if you prefer a milder dish, and add more for extra heat.
  10. Can I use different nuts instead of cashews? Yes, you can substitute cashews with almonds, peanuts, or even pine nuts for a different texture and flavor. Adjust cooking times accordingly based on the nut used.

These FAQs provide helpful insights and tips to ensure you successfully prepare and enjoy Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken, accommodating various preferences and dietary needs while maximizing flavor and convenience.

Delight your taste buds with the savory goodness of Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken. This easy-to-make dish offers a perfect balance of tender chicken, aromatic spices, and the satisfying crunch of cashews, all infused with a rich sauce. Ideal for busy weeknights or lazy weekends, this recipe ensures a stress-free meal that will leave everyone satisfied. Enjoy the convenience and deliciousness of homemade Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken today!