Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

My brother-in-law lived in Thailand for a couple of years and introduced me to delicious Thai food! I have been making this recipe for a couple of years now and it is one of our favorites.


Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
I love Thai food and this is an easy way to make it for your family!
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thigh tenders or chicken breast tenders*
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup cashews
  1. Combine flour and pepper in large Ziploc bag. Add chicken. Shake to coat with flour mixture.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side. Place chicken in slow cooker.
  4. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken.
  5. Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours. Add cashews and stir. Serve over rice.
  6. (If you want like sauce and want to have some to pour over the chicken and the rice, double the sauce ingredients.)

Also, the red pepper flakes give this dish a little heat and a lot of flavor, so I highly recommend using them!

Recipe adapted from: 365 Days of Slow Cooking

Items needed:

Looking for more slow cooker dishes?
Here are some of our favorites:
Slow Cooker Garlic and Brown Sugar Chicken
Slow Cooker Roasted Vegetables
Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas
Slow Cooker Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

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  1. says

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!!

    I just made this today for my family. My husband who also does not like chicken thighs {and yes I used those because that is what I had on hand} took his portion to work for his supper break {he works night shifts}. He wasn’t too happy when he saw that it was chicken thighs…..but I just got an e-mail from him now complimenting me all over the place for this dish. He said it was absolutely delicious! Now that is HIGH praise from a man who is extremely fussy about what he likes and doesn’t like. lol.

    So thank you! I have to agree. This dish is amazingly good! I had seconds AND thirds. ; D

    • says


      I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I have made lots of Chicken Picatta which calls for the same kind of flouring. Here are some tips:
      1: dredge the chicken in the flour RIGHT before you put it in the pan. If the flour sits on the chicken too long it will get to wet and gummy.
      2: Make sure your oil is quite hot before you put the chicken in.
      3: Fry the chicken long enough to create a kind of crusty outside (in a tasty way). It should be just golden brown in places. If the chicken isn’t browned enough the breading will come off in the sauce.

      • Caro says

        I tried this recipe but it didn’t turn out as the picture. My sauce is very dark, almost black. Any idea where it could have gone wrong? The sauce taste very acidic also. Very disappointing.

  2. says

    I made this last night and really enjoyed it. I added more garlic and ginger than called for and chopped up three bird’s eye chillies as we like our food to be spicy. I was wondering what size of crockpot you used for this? We ended up adding a little bit of water to the sauce as it didn’t completely cover the chicken and was starting to burn – but we do have a very big crockpot, it can easy feed eight people and still have leftovers. We put some carrots, onions and peppers in the sauce a few hours into the cooking, then served it with sesame seeds and chopped spring onions on top.

  3. says

    I hate to write such a negative review, but this recipe was absolutely horrid. I’m upset that I wasted money on chicken for this. The flavor was not good, nor was the texture. I followed the recipe exactly. This did not taste anything like chinese food. So sad…

  4. says

    I made a gluten free version of this last night, and it was FAB! I subbed rice flour (made my own by running brown rice through my blender until super fine) for all purpose, and had to make some other creative changes to suit what I had on hand. Apple Cider Vinegar went in instead of Rice Wine, and I was all out of brown sugar, so I added white sugar and a bit of molasses. My family LOVED this. Even my picky two year old kept saying “This makes me happy!” after every bite. :)

  5. says

    I just made this tonight and will definitely be having it again! I would probably make more of the sauce next time, as after three hours, it seemed like there should have been more. I would also brown the chicken for longer to get a crunchier texture. I made this recipe knowing my boyfriend does not like cashews, but he tried my portion with cashews and loved it. Thanks!

  6. says

    I made this last night for my husband’s birthday dinner. I pretty much stuck to the recipe, but added a little bit of extra flour for the coating, and a bit of extra sauce. I decided to add some red pepper, green onion and shredded carrots as well, to add some color and flavor, and I think I would do this again. My husband couldn’t stop raving about it. And we have enough for another meal! This is one I will definitely be trying again!

  7. says

    i made this last week for my husband and niece, both of whom are very picky. they loved it! my husband even ate leftovers! i’m making it again tonight because my parents will be here for dinner. (i made it with chicken breast cut into fat strips and doubled the sauce; i did 1 c of cashews because i wanted extra)

  8. says

    I made a double batch of this and it was an enormous success. Delicious! I took 1/2 to my mom as thanks for babysitting and she raved because it was “even better than take-out” and my Stepdad loved it too. I used skinless boneless chicken thighs pounded flat and quartered and a chicken breast. I am nuts about veggies, so I added diced celery & carrots and large pieces of red bell pepper. I wouldn’t like it as much without the veggies, but it is incredibly delicious. I loved that it was hearty but not heavy or salty/sugar laden like restaurant Chinese food. It’s delicious left over! …I wonder if it would freeze well…

  9. says

    I TRIPLED the sauce and actually cut up chicken breast into tiny pieces. It cooked in about 2.5 hours and if I left it in longer, I think the chicken would have shredded. I think it cooked in a shorter time period because of the chicken being in tiny pieces.

    I love adding vegetables to all my dishes and I felt that this dish absolutely needed it! For texture purposes, I find crock pot chicken to be a little mushy, so I added carrots, celery, green peppers and onions. It turned out DELICIOUS. I bet broccoli would be a nice touch to this as well!~

    Thanks for posting this recipe and I will for sure make this again.

    Thanks for

    • says

      I used chicken tenderloins, and then they are already in smaller pieces and I didn’t need to do anything to it. I, too, add veggies. I liked adding red peppers (prefer them to green), green onion, and shredded carrots. But celery sounds good, too.

  10. says

    I made this in the skillet today and was surprised at the extent to which the ketchup overpowered the rest of the elements in the sauce. It’s a shame really, especially considering that cashews are not the cheapest of ingredients. If I make this again, I will definitely stick to a more traditional asian sauce.

  11. says

    I found this recipe to be way too salty for my taste. With the sauce’s main ingredient soy sauce plus with the cashews (I got salted ones) it was very overbearing. The blandness of the rice helps to balance that out though.

  12. says

    I made this for my husband, the chef, tonight. I cut the chicken up before flouring it because I knew I would be cooking it a shorter period of time. I doubled the sauce. About a half an hour before we were ready to eat, I dumped in a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables because that’s what I had on hand. It was delicious. The only thing my husband suggested was to triple the sauce next time. Then he cleaned his plate and ate seconds. Thank you for the fabulous recipe!

  13. says

    I “pinned” this a while ago and finally got round to making it. I was DELICIOUS! The chicken was so tender and the sauce was wonderful. I didn’t double the sauce ingredients like you suggested, because the soy sauce we have is very strong and dark. Instead I put in 1/4 cup chicken stock and it was still delicious. Thank you so much for this recipe! xx

    • says

      Yeah, I went ahead an used the seasoned rice vinegar because that was what I had, and it still turned out great! Seasoned rice vinegar (from what I read) is really just a little sweeter than regular rice vinegar, and my husband and I didn’t really think this meal ended up being that sweet at all. It was more of a zesty-savory taste with a kick. I cut three chicken chicken breasts into about 2-inch pieces so that they had more surface area to be covered by the sauce and I could lower the cooking time a little bit (I had gotten a slow start on this meal). I tripled the sauce and tossed in closer to a cup of cashews. It was fabulous! Thank you for sharing!

  14. says

    I made this last night per recipe. It was very good, but there are a few changes I’d make for my tastes. The ketchup used really came through as a flavor in the sauce. I don’t like ketchup. So, as I’d doubled the sauce ingredients, next time I would keep to the original amount for the ketchup. I also sauteed onion, zucchini and mushrooms to add veg. My b/f doesn’t care much for veg, so he was fine with just the chicken and rice. And the smell was wonderful! I think that this may only be a few short steps away from a good orange chicken, too! Will definitely be experimenting more with this recipe!

  15. says

    Just made this and it was delicious. I have to admit, we are bad with planning, so we cooked in the oven instead of the crockpot. I also tried a little trick with chicken prep I had learned from another site. Here’s my steps:

    I followed the sauce recipe from SixSistersStuff, but coated the chicken in baking soda for 15 minutes prior to cooking. Rinse the baking soda off, then cut into bite-sized pieces, dip in flour, then cook.

    I used 3 breasts, and doubled the sauce recipe. I also added 1/2 of a green pepper (cut up), and a few baby carrots (cut up). I put the chicken, peppers and carrots into a 9×13 dish, then poured the sauce on top, and baked at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. I’d recommend covering with foil, and also adding about 1/2 cup chicken broth or water to thin out the sauce. In the end it was very tasty, but the flavor was incredibly intense.

  16. says

    Do you have the nutritional facts for any of these recipes. Looking for some healthy options and would like to try this but I’m not sure if the recipe I found online is the same for nutritional content.

    I also would like to know how it turns out w/out the frying?

  17. says

    I’m making this right now and it smells wonderful (has about 30 minutes to go). I just tasted a piece of chicken to make sure it’s not drying out and it is perfect.

    I made the recipe as written only adding much more fresh ginger (as I love ginger), I did not double the sauce. I used 1 pound of organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 3 pieces) and 1 pound of organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

    I am serving it with jasmine brown rice (which is more traditional for Thai food). I get mine at Cost Plus World Imports (if anyone has that store near them).

    Thanks for another wonderful recipe.

  18. says

    I made this for dinner left night, and after reading lots of the comments decided to double the sauce and add sliced carrots. I was so disappointed! The ketchup overpowered all of the other ingredients in the sauce making it taste nothing like Chinese food. I will not be making this again.

  19. says

    Has anyone considered using hoisin sauce instead of ketchup? I made an orange chicken sauce the other night that called for BBQ sauce and I think next time I will try it with the hoisin (since I have a huge bottle of it just sitting in my fridge taking up space) for a more asian flavor. I noticed one of the biggest complaints in this recipe is the flavor if the ketchup being too strong and thought that might be an easy remedy.

  20. says

    Okay – seriously – I cannot rave enough about this recipe. Cashew Chicken is my favourite Thai dish and I can’t believe I can make it at home now. This will surely become a regular meal around my house. I am also planning on printing out the directions and giving it to friends as inexpensive birthday presents. :)

  21. Nicola V says

    Eating this now…and so delicious. Only tip I would offer and came across it accidently….is to fry the chicken and then place in the fridge to cool before putting in the crockpot with the sauce…seems to set the crust on the chicken more. I did it with hot chicken the first time and it made the sauce gloppy. This time is was perfection!!!!

  22. Vicki says

    I made this tonight and it was great. I made a couple of alterations though. My chicken cutlets were frozen so I just mixed up a double batch of the sauce (a little easy on the brown sugar so it wouldn’t be too sweet) and then popped the chicken on top. Cooked it for about 5 hours then added about a half tsp of cornstarch mixed with equal water to thicken it up a bit. Added a half bag of mixed veggies and the cashews and served over rice. Next time I’ll try it with the hoisin instead of ketchup, but this way was really good!

  23. Eve says

    Made this today for the first time for friends. Really really nice. Had repeated comments of how nice it was from one guest. Very happy. I doubled the sauce but didn’t double the ketchup having read the other comments. Will be making this again.

  24. ginhoegun says

    I’ll make this again for certain. My husband and I both thought it tasted very good. I cooked up a bag of those stoplight peppers and rice to add something else to it. Would also be good with little matchstick carrots added in about an hour into the cooking time,

    But I will say this – if I had not tripled the sauce part, this would have been a disaster. Seriously – at least TRIPLE the sauce part or your crock-pot will be full of thick, burned goo. Maybe my crock-pot is just too large, but that sauce basically disappeared into nothingness. Take care of this one step, and you are golden.

    Thanks for providing an easy, accessible way for me to try out something I’d never have tackled otherwise!

  25. Leann says

    This recipe is delicious! I made it for my sister and she loved it. I was low on rice wine vinegar and added 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and was delicious so added the same to my next recipe. I also added celery – maybe 1/2 way thru coking for crunch!

  26. Julie says

    This recipe turned out amazing. I doubled the sauce, used chicken breast, whole wheat flour, and olive oil instead of canola. It was ready after 3 hours. My boyfriend and his co-workers could not stop raving about it. They said it tastes better than the Thai restaurant!

  27. Karen says

    I saw this posted on facebook somewhere and I saved it to try. I think it was a little to salty however we loved it, I did double the recipe for the sauce and used thin cut boneless skinless breasts. My only question is on the soy sauce, has anyone ever used the low sodium soy? I ask because this is the first recipe that I have ever made that required more than a tblsp of soy and I was amazed at it’s salty flavor. Or do you think you could cut the soy with water so it’s not so strong.

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