Damn Delicious

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - A Chinese takeout favorite made right in your crockpot. All you need is 10 min prep. Doesn't get easier or healthier than that!

A Chinese takeout favorite made right in your crockpot and all you need is 10 min prep. It doesn’t get easier or healthier than that!

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - A Chinese takeout favorite made right in your crockpot. All you need is 10 min prep. Doesn't get easier or healthier than that!

If you’ve been following Damn Delicious for awhile now, you know that I love creating Chinese takeout favorites.

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - A Chinese takeout favorite made right in your crockpot. All you need is 10 min prep. Doesn't get easier or healthier than that!

It’s just so much healthier to make right at home since you know exactly what’s going into your dish.

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - A Chinese takeout favorite made right in your crockpot. All you need is 10 min prep. Doesn't get easier or healthier than that!

Plus, making these dishes at home can be quicker than waiting for 45-min delivery.

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - A Chinese takeout favorite made right in your crockpot. All you need is 10 min prep. Doesn't get easier or healthier than that!

But not only is this crockpot cashew chicken so much cheaper and quicker with just 5 min prep, it tastes 1000x better than takeout too!

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - A Chinese takeout favorite made right in your crockpot. All you need is 10 min prep. Doesn't get easier or healthier than that!

Best of all, you don’t have to skimp on the chicken or the cashews, although I loved the cashews a bit more in this dish.

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - A Chinese takeout favorite made right in your crockpot. All you need is 10 min prep. Doesn't get easier or healthier than that!

The cashews just soak up all of that amazing flavor, giving you that nice crunchiness alongside the juicy, tender chicken.

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken - A Chinese takeout favorite made right in your crockpot. All you need is 10 min prep. Doesn't get easier or healthier than that!

To top it off, the leftovers are just as good the very next day. I just highly recommend doubling the batch because you’ll want to skip the takeout and have this all week instead!

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

A Chinese takeout favorite made right in your crockpot. All you need is 10 min prep. Doesn’t get easier or healthier than that!

10 minutes2 hours, 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 green onions, sliced

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Directions:

  1. To make the sauce, whisk together soy sauce, ketchup, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 2 minutes.
  4. Place chicken into a slow cooker. Stir in soy sauce mixture and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 2-3 hours. Stir in cashews and cook on low heat for an additional 15 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with green onions, if desired.

Adapted from The Recipe Critic.

Did you Make This Recipe?

Tag @damn_delicious on Instagram and hashtag it #damndelicious.

Leave a Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

93 comments

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Used the red pepper flakes and topped with green onion. Instead of soy sauce I used Golden Dragon stir fry sauce. Gave it a nice little kick.
    Will definitely make this again

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    I made this exactly as followed and it was delicious. The cashews were crunchy, but had taken on the flavor of the chicken. I opted to use the crushed red pepper and green onions and that added a little zing.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is one of the best things I have made in my slow cooker all year! I followed your recipe exactly but I added fresh green beans a few minutes before the cashews at the end to have a veggie in there. I also doubled the recipe so I would have leftovers and I think the cold leftovers are even more delicious! So glad I discovered your website!

  4. This recipe is AMAZING!! Can’t wait to make it again. My family of 5 loved it. I wasn’t able to use the slow cooker so I followed the recipe, added a tiny bit of cornstarch and water mixed together, and drizzled it into the sauce (which I doubled). I only had roasted cashews on hand, they worked perfectly. Thank you for a great recipe…it was such a tasty and hearty meal!

  5. I only have salted cashews, can I use that, or will it make this too salty???

  6. Hi I only have roasted/salt free cashews on hand…will that work??  Thanks!

  7. If i add the cashews the last 15 mins of cooking time but cant serve right away, would you recommend keeping it on the warm setting til after work or microwaving later on.

  8. Hello 
    I had  this dish yesterday and I am totally honest with you when I say that it came Excellent. Didn’t expected tho for 1st time to get it right. Crunchiness and the flavour – Ohh man! You don’t  need take away just a crockpot. 
    CHUNGAH you are amazing , a kind person and a big heart is what you need to give back such goodness. 
    Thank you for sharing with us and you are doing an amazing job. Keep shining . 

    Sincerely, 
    Florin 

  9. Wow, this was amazing, loved this dish, and I am now just adding meat slowly back into my diet and so glad to have found this site 🙂

  10. If I am using powdered ginger, how much should I use?

  11. love this dish. stumbled upon your site..love the different recipes ! definitely going to start trying them out..thank you!!

  12. Hello! I am making this dish tonight for a dinner party. I am multiplying the recipe 4 times. I am making even more of the sauce to make sure there is enough. How long do you think I should cook it for? Probably a little longer I would think I just don’t want it to become shredded chicken.

    • Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

  13. This might be silly, but I want to verify that I keep the same cooking time if I double the chicken and sauce. Please let me know?

    • Cooking time may have to be extended, as needed, actually. But as always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.

  14. It was amazing, I really enjoyed the flavor combinations. I added broccoli which was a good choice. Thanks for sharing! 

  15. You’re not really cooking the chicken in the pan correct? I did 4 minutes in the pan on medium is that enough?

  16. Hello! This looks delicious! If I were to follow some of the commenters’ advice and put this in a crock pot as raw chicken breasts for 8-10 hours before leaving for work in the morning, when do you suggest the cashews get added? Can they start with the chicken? Thanks!

  17. Hi Chungah! I love all of your recipes and cannot wait to try this one. Cashew chicken is SO good. I’m sure this won’t disappoint! Thank you so much for the variety of recipes and the easy to follow directions. You’re the best!

  18. This is perfect for Fridays when we are out most of the day and I am too tired to make something for everyone when we get home.
    I turn this on when I am walking out the door and it is ready when we get home, everyone in the care home love this dish thank you.

  19. Hi, I’m from Australia. Is ketchup the same as tomato sauce? Thank you 

  20. I’m cooking this right now. You say 2-3 hours. I suppose I should check in 2 hs and see if the chicken is properly cooked.

  21. Made this last night and my whole family (2 adults, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old) ate it! I steamed broccoli and added it in at the end. I swapped the soy sauce for Bragg’s liquid aminos and the brown sugar for coconut sugar to make it a gluten-free/ lower GI dish. I work from home so this dish was easy to prep during the day and have ready for dinner.
    Thanks!

  22. Hi! I know the recipe calls for unseasoned rice vinegar and all I have is the seasoned. Is there any substitutions for unseasoned rice vinegar? Thank you!

    • Unseasoned rice vinegar is ideal to use but because the recipe only calls for 2 tablespoons, seasoned rice vinegar should work just fine.

  23. For anyone wanting some veggies in this dish, I cooked the chicken with three green onions, three stalks chopped celery, and a green bell pepper and dumped a little bit of the sauce over the mix and simmered for a couple minutes before transferring to the crock pot.  About 30 mins before putting the cashews in, I also put two cans of water chestnuts and a can  of baby corn in.  I would recommend making a little bit of extra sauce as well, makes the veggies very tasty!

  24. I absolutely love this recipe. I steam up some broccoli or sautee some zucchini, cook some rice, and it makes for an amazing meal and great leftovers! My husband loves it because the cashews are cooked and not crunchy, like some stir-fry recipes.

    I’ve even made it with throwing the raw chicken breasts into the crockpot and cooked it on high for four hours, it still worked beautifully!

  25. I know fresh and powdered ginger are not the same. All I have is powdered. Do u recommend I skip it or use a certain amount?

    • It should be fine to substitute ground ginger for this recipe. The ratio for fresh to dry spices is typically 3:1.

  26. Hi! Thanks for the great recipe. Currently cooking it right now. I was wondering if I have leftovers, would I just be able to just heat the chicken and cashew mix together? Would this make the cashews too soggy?

    Thanks!

  27. Does take some time to get this all together and in the crockpot but it is worth it. I doubled the chicken (it was what I had) and I TRIPLED the sauce ( I wish I had quad-tripled it) Family was very HAPPY, HAPPY,HAPPY. This will be repeate in our household. Delish!!

  28. I have to leave this in the slow-cooker all day while I’m at work, but the slow-cooker switches to “keep warm” after the 2-3 hours of cooking. Will that cause it to soak up the sauce so I need to add more ahead of time?

  29. Definitly double this recipe!!You wouldn’t want to deprive yourself of having left overs….DELICIOUS!!!!!

  30. Chungah,

    Your recipe looks delicious. It calls for raw cashews. Where do I get them? Can I use roasted cashews and just put them in at the end or does that defeat the purpose of slow cooking them with the chicken?

    Ron. PS, just joined your site and love it!!!

    • I was able to find raw cashews at Trader Joes’s (but if all else fails, you can certainly find them on Amazon.com). But the cashews go in at the end of cooking time anyway so it should be fine to use roasted cashews.

  31. Looks great! I don’t see where the 2 sliced green onions go in? Are they just used for garnish?
    Thank you.

  32. OK, so I thought that this would be a crockpot meal– I doubled the sauce bc I added veggies thinking it would thicken and become a meal with the sauce and rice.

    Now I see I read the recipe incorrectly– the chicken came out delicious (best crockpot chicken I have EVER HAD), but the sauce is practically inedible. It is more of a marinade than anything else. The veggies I threw in with it are also pretty much inedible– too salty. Live and learn! Now I know just to cook the chicken and nothing else and not to try to use it as a sauce!

    • Dara, when doubling the sauce, it is best to ensure that you compensate for the addition of the sauce. In your particular case, it seems that the veggies just weren’t enough and were soaked in the sauce for too long. I also recommend adding in veggies 30 min prior serving to avoid the salty taste.

  33. Hi there, I just stumbled across your site and am looking forward to trying your meals-especially the Asian ones. I’m Chinese but unfortunately, don’t know how to cook a lot of Chinese meals. Anyway, I was wondering if using snow peas would work? I was worried they would get too limp in the sauce. What do you think? I do have alternate veggies if this isn’t a good idea.

    • Snow peas would be a great addition – although I’d add them in at the last 30 min of cooking time so they are not “too limp”!

  34. I was trying to figure out what I could add to this to make it a well rounded meal. It’ll be served w/ rice, but for a veggie I was thinking edamame. Any thoughts how that would turn out? And when should I throw it in?

    • You can add any veggies that you’d like – broccoli, zucchini, carrots, edamame. However, it is best to use your discretion on when to add these to the slow cooker – some vegetables will take longer to cook than others.

  35. This was so good! I doubled the sauce since I had close to 2lbs of chicken. Also added steamed broccoli just before serving… I should have made just a tad more sauce because of that. I like things spicy, so I added a smidge of Sriracha to my bowl while my 3yr old ate it just fine with just the red pepper flakes. Your recipes never fail me!

    • I also like a bit of spice! Read your comment and squeezed a generous amount of Siracha into the sauce mixture!! AMAZING! So glad I read your comment 🙂

  36. Made it tonight following the recipe exactly only adding red pepper and served it with rice a veggie and hoisen sauce. We loved it and decided it was a good dish for company!

  37. Just curious…your chicken doesn’t look “fried”, it looks more like it was perhaps boiled? Is that the case? I didn’t see any browned areas on the chicken cubes so I just wanted to clarify. Also…LOVE…LOVE…LOVE your site!!!

  38. Looks great! However – how does slow cooker affect the dish? Everything is pretty much cooked before being put in the slow cooker. Would it taste as good if I just did everything on the stovetop?

  39. Is a slow cooker the same as a crock pot

  40. This will be in my crock pot tomorrow! Also making some coconut rice 🙂 YUM!!!

  41. Hi,
    I can’t wait to try this out. Here’s my question. I have powdered ginger already. Could I just use some of that instead of getting the fresh ginger?

  42. I made this last night and we LOVED it! Thanks for always having the best recipes.

  43. At first glance this recipe sounds pretty good. But after you read it it only contains chicken and cashew nuts. Needs something else-but I have no idea what! Sliced water chestnuts?brocolli flowerets? sliced carrots? I’ll try it and let you know!

    • Well, the title of the recipe is “cashew chicken” so those 2 ingredients are certainly the star in this dish! But yes, feel free to add more veggies, to taste, although with all that flavor in the sauce, you don’t really need them!

  44. Can I use a pressure cooker? I know it will cut down the time in cooking. I’m worried the cashews will be soggy.

    • Wren, unfortunately, I cannot answer this with certainty as I have never used a pressure cooker before. I recommend using your best judgment to convert this recipe to utilize a pressure cooker.

  45. I love, love, love cashew chicken! I love even more that you can throw this in the crockpot 🙂

  46. Are you using seasoned or unseasoned rice vinegar?

  47. Totally gonna try this. However, is it really necessary to saute the chicken first? Could I just use raw chicken and increase the cooking time a bit more?

    • You can certainly cook this with raw chicken and increase cooking time but that would really result in a shredded chicken texture. If that is what you prefer, I recommend using whole chicken breasts and shredding with a fork after the 8-10 hr cooking time.

  48. Do you think I could use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of the chicken breasts?

  49. Oh, I’m gonna try this one of these days. I always think cashews will soften up when we add them to slow cooker, but this sounds fun for family night.

  50. Can u cook it over 8-10 hrs using raw chicken instead of browning it? Just wondering if I could throw everything in the fridge the night before and trow it in the crockpot before heading out the door for work…thoughts?

    • You can certainly cook this for 8-10 hrs but that would really result in a shredded chicken texture. If that is what you prefer, I recommend using whole chicken breasts and shredding with a fork after the 8-10 hr cooking time.

  51. Thank you Chungah for the lovely and easy recipe.

  52. I love it when you share chinese take out alternatives, so good, and so much healthier!

  53. LOVE cashew chicken! Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

  54. What if I wanted to add some veggies? Carrots, onion, celery, water chestnut…at what point would you recommend adding them?

  55. Looks great but just wondering, would the cashews not get a bit soft after being in a liquid so long?

  56. You’re the slow cooker queen lately! If I ate meat, I bet I’d use mine a lot because it’s so convenient and I love that you used cashews in this! And such pretty in-cooker shots. The few times I’ve tried to do that…not pretty, at all!

    • I’m a vegetarian, I just threw in frozen Chik’n with the sauce mix and slow cooked it. Came out great, a little dry, so I’ll adjust for more moistness next time.