365 Days of Slow Cooking: Slow Cooker (Crock-pot) Cashew Chicken
Are you new? start here!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Slow Cooker (Crock-pot) Cashew Chicken

This crockpot cashew chicken is just as good as your favorite Chinese restaurant.  It's super easy and flavorful and it's all made in the comfort of your own kitchen.
This crockpot cashew chicken is just as good as your favorite Chinese restaurant.  It's super easy and flavorful all made in the comfort of your own kitchen.

This cashew chicken recipe comes from year one of my blogging (2009!). It is one of my favorites (and your favorites too) so I decided it needed to get a second wind with better pictures. Also I really just wanted to make it for dinner last night!  My husband had one bite and gave me the signal that it was a 10! The only complaint my family made was that there wasn't enough.

This crockpot cashew chicken is just as good as your favorite Chinese restaurant.  It's super easy and flavorful all made in the comfort of your own kitchen.

This recipe takes a few minutes of extra prep work but I think you'll find that it is totally worth it!
First, you'll cut the chicken thighs into about 6 pieces each. I love using kitchen shears for this step. I trim off excess fat and then just cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.
cut the boneless skinless chicken thighs into bite size pieces

Next you'll use some thick paper towels to blot the chicken. Try to get as much moisture off of the chicken as you can. It's important that the chicken is dry so that it can get a good browning on it.
blot the chicken with paper towels to ensure a good browning will happen

Give the chicken a shake! Shake the chicken in a zipper plastic bag with some flour and pepper to coat the chicken evenly.
first you shake it and then you bake it!

Heat a bit of oil in a pan and then when the oil is hot, brown the chicken 2 minutes on each side. Spread the chicken out so that each piece gets it's own little spot of heat. 
browning the chicken for 2 minutes on each side gets the flavor into the chicken!

Finally you'll add the chicken to the slow cooker and pour an easy, homemade sauce over the top. Cook on low for just 4 hours and you'll have the most amazing, tender and flavorful chicken ever!
pour the sauce on top of the chicken and then cook on low

Oh, and one more thing!  Don't forget the cashews.  It is "cashew chicken" after all.  You'll add in the cashews after the chicken is cooked and let them warm up for about 10 minutes. I like to top my chicken with slices of green onions but you could throw some cilantro on the top instead.

make this crockpot cashew chicken in the comfort of your own home.

Recipe for Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken
Makes 4 servings
Cooking Time:  4-6 hours

Ideal slow cooker size:  3 quart

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut each thigh into about 6 pieces (don’t use chicken breasts)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cashews

Green onions, for garnish

1.  Blot the pieces of chicken with a thick paper towel. You'll want to get as much moisture off of the chicken as possible. 
2. Combine flour and pepper in resealable food storage bag. Add chicken. Shake to thoroughly coat with flour mixture.
2.  Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, brown the chicken about 2 minutes on each side. Make sure you have a large enough pan that each piece of chicken can sit on the bottom of the skillet. After the chicken is browned transfer it to the bottom of the slow cooker.
3.  Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken.
4.  Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.  Gently stir in the cashews and let cook on low for about 10 more minutes. Serve chicken over hot cooked rice of noodles and garnish with sliced green onions.
This crockpot cashew chicken is just as good as your favorite Chinese restaurant.  It's super easy and flavorful all made in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Serve this cashew chicken with one of these great side dishes from other bloggers:
Roasted Broccoli
Baked Asparagus with Parmesan
Lemon Garlic Brussels Sprouts

P.S.  Love chicken? Try these other great crockpot chicken recipes:
over 200 crockpot chicken recipes


  1. I agree with the 5 star rating! This was so good and so easy to make. Everybody had seconds!
    My 5 year old sons comment, "You made this sooo great Mommy!" Of course said with his mouth full of chicken!

  2. OH SO GOOD!! I have never cooked with thighs before and was a little apprehensive about trying them, but it was FABULOUS! I forgot to put the red pepper in, but it was still super yummy! I agree...5 stars all the way! Oh, by the way...I know your sister Alisha from church in Spokane! Small world!

  3. Just tried it and my kids - that swear they hate nuts - loved it!

  4. Are you supposed to cut the chicken up into small bites or cook the chicken thighs whole?

  5. Stephanie, if you buy the thigh tenders you don't have to cut them up but if you buy the whole thighs then you should cut them up into bite-sized pieces.

  6. I've only ever purchased chicken breast tenders frozen at Costco... Where do you get thigh tenders? Raw at the meat department of a normal grocery store?

    And do you get water chestnuts and rice wine vinegar in the Asian section of a store?

    Thanks for your help!!

  7. Loved the recipe. My wife thought it was too spicy though. I doubled all the liquid ingredients except for the red pepper flakes. I also forgot to buy cashews, so..... I substituted water chestnuts. Definitely a 5 to me!

  8. Do you think it would be as good if I didn't coat the chicken in flour first in order to cut back the carbs/calories? Sounds pretty awesome.

  9. My family loved this. Thank you!

  10. Brand-Eye,
    you could try it. What the flour does is add a nice thickness to the sauce. If you leave the flour out, still go ahead and brown the chicken (seasoned with pepper). Then add 1 tbsp of quick cooking tapioca to the other sauce ingredients that are poured on top of the chicken. The tapioca will help thicken things up a bit. Good luck and let me know what you think!

  11. Anonymous29/9/11 15:35


    I made this using carbalose flour to keep it low carb, and it was delicious!

  12. This was a great recipe, I substituted soy sauce for oyster sauce and skipped the ginger... Fantastic!

  13. I almost NEVER comment on recipes, but I have to tell you, this one ROCKED!!!! It was seriously, SO, SO good! My whole family loved it (including my picky eaters) and asked for it on leftover night as well. I served it with steamed broccoli and brown rice. GREAT meal to come home to - thank you!

  14. Joan, I love this one too! So easy too.

  15. Why do you discourage chicken breast for this recipe?

  16. Erin, chicken breasts get really tough in the slow cooker because there isn't enough fat or collagen. Check here for a post about it:




  17. Anonymous21/5/12 11:16

    Thank You for this quick, easy and tasty recipe. Everyone loved it!!

  18. Do you ever substitute powdered ginger for fresh? If so, how much powdered form ginger do you put in?

  19. Tried this recipe today---perfect meal for after Church! This is now going into our rotation!

  20. Anonymous17/8/12 15:21

    No one found it a lil salty I'm wondering if I did something wrong?

  21. I don't find it too salty. Maybe next time use a low-sodium soy sauce.

  22. Do you think it would work as a freezer meal? I am stocking up for after my baby is born... If so, would you just put the raw chicken in the sauce in the freezer bag with the sauce to marinade then cook it all in the crock pot? I know that cooked chicken doesn't freeze as well and doesn't keep as many nutrients as when it's frozen raw. -- Let me know if anyone has tried it. Thanks! It looks delicious!


    1. was thinking of doing the same thing Miranda? did you try it?

    2. I did. It makes a fantastic freezer meal.

  23. Miranda, I bet you could totally do it as a freezer meal! Let me know how it turns out.

  24. This sounds SOOO good! Can wait to try it. Have you ever tried baking it? (I'm sure I shouldn't say this on your site, but crock potting is difficult for me with my work schedule)

  25. Anonymous14/9/12 16:45

    I am a huge cashew chicken lover, so I was excited when I found this recipe. I have a family of four, and none of us liked this meal. I will not be making this again.

  26. sorry that you didn't like it.

  27. Just made it today and it was delicious! I used some sriracha sauce instead of the red pepper flakes. I may add the cashews closer to the end next time so they still have some crunch. I added cut up brocolli for the last 30 minutes and I served over brown rice (the frozen kind from Trader Joe's that you cook in the microwave - so quick and easy!).

  28. I'm allergic to tomatoes.... any ketchup substitutes?

    1. Try a little worcestershire sauce?

  29. I'm not familiar with a ketchup substitute! Sorry :(

  30. Can I use chicken on the bone? should I cook first as well?

    1. Yes, you can use chicken on the bone. I'd remove the skin first though. Add raw to the crock with the sauce and cook for 6 hours on low.

  31. I love this idea, Karen! And it looks SO much healthier than take-out! :)

  32. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.