Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

An amazing slow cooker meal that is way better than takeout!  The chicken is breaded to perfection and the sauce is full of flavor!  The cashews hidden throughout are the best part!
slowcooker_cashew_chicken
My love for cashews run deep.  One time I bought a big thing of cashews from Costco and ate the entire thing by myself.  Cashews are amazing.  And when added to this amazing chinese slow cooker meal.  Mind blown.
I have made this cashew chicken several times.  It was one of the first recipes on the blog.  Since then, I have re-photographed it twice.  I decided to make it again today, (4-1-15).  But this time was different and I have been missing one simple step.
I haven’t been coating the chicken in cornstarch and browning it before putting it in the slow cooker.   What a HUGE difference that made!  It took this chicken to a whole different level and was so much better than takeout!
cashewchicken6
Instead of the sauce being thin, it thickens it up while it cooks and soaks the delicious marinade into the breading.  As soon as it was done, I couldn’t believe that something that delicious was just made in the crockpot.  I mean, I know that my crockpot has made some amazing things, but this was incredible!  The breading on the outside resembled the same quality that you would get from takeout.
Of course, I have made the chicken without the breading.  It is still amazing.  But if you have 3 minutes and want to take this chicken to a delicious level, bread and brown the chicken!
slowcookercashew2
TRUST me on this one.  You have to make this!  It is seriously one of thee best slow cooker meals that I have ever had.  The cashews add so much amazingness to this meal and it was uh-mazing!  Like I couldn’t stop eating it amazing.
This is one meal that you aren’t going to want to pass up!  I know that your family is going to love it as much as we did!

4.0 from 36 reviews
Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
An amazing slow cooker meal that is way better than takeout! The chicken is breaded to perfection and the sauce is full of flavor! The cashews hidden throughout are the best part!
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (About 4 pieces)
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstach
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup cashews
Instructions
  1. Combine cornstarch and pepper in resealable food storage bag. Add chicken. Shake to coat with cornstarch mixture.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side. Place chicken in slow cooker.
  3. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sweet chili sauce sugar, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and cashews in small bowl; pour over chicken. (I like my cashews to be softer so I add them during the cooking process, if you want more of a crunch, add them right before serving)
  4. Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.
  5. Serve over rice. Makes 4-6 servings.
Notes
We loved the recipe as is and many people do as well but here are some different things you can try after some comments received.
-If it is too salty you can simply use low sodium soy sauce.
-If there isn't enough sauce, you can double the sauce or make it 1 and ½ times.

cashewchicken7

Alyssa

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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Comments

  1. You rock Alyssa!! This looks so yummy and thanks for the tips on how you changed this up! Will be making this for my own two boys (and hubs too!) very soon! Heather 🙂

    • I made this and it is fantastic!!! thank you for sharing such a great recipe, this will be filed under “favorites” for a long time! really really good.

  2. This sounds amazing!! Bookmarking!

  3. This sounds delicious! I am pinning it 🙂

  4. YUM!!

  5. This is one of my favorite recipes! So excited to find a slow cooker version! Thanks for sharing! If you get a minute, I would love to have you share it over at my linky party! http://www.thetaylor-house.com

  6. Sounds delish but I don’t know how much chicken: at a guess if it serves 4-6, 600-900gms? And, the quantities you’ve given need doubling for the sauce?
    Thanks for this, can’t wait to make it.

    • Yes sorry I forgot to add that! About 4 pieces of chicken breasts or about 2 pounds! And the ingredients listed above do not double the sauce. Let me know how you like it! 🙂

  7. Are the ingredients listed for the doubled sauce? Or do I need to double it still? Also, how much chicken should I use?

  8. At what point do you cut up the chicken into small pieces? The picture doesn’t look like it is shredded.

    • Hi Tressa! When I made this this time, I cut the chicken into chunks before hand and breaded them in the flour, browned the chicken for about 2 minutes and then put them into the crockpot. But I have done it before where I just throw the chicken into the crockpot without breading them and frying and then cut them into chunks at the end. Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

      • girlfriendmd says:

        consider making it the way it’s described in the recipe for the picture, otherwise it just looks like a stolen picture.

      • cpabear10 says:

        Strongly suggest you include cutting up the chicken in the ingredients section. It would eliminate all confusion. P.S. I loved the recipe, once I got it right and I doubled the sauce.

  9. Hi.I’m looking at the picture and there appears to be green onions yet I don’t see them in the ingredient list? Am I correct? Thanks and can’t wait to try!!

  10. The recipe came out a little salty, I added some water about 1/2 cup and cooked it for another 20 min, I also added some more sugar and I thought it tasted much better!

    • Mine was crazy salty when you made these adjustments was it still salty .. we are used to really low sodium diet..

  11. This was great. Didn’t have cashews so I substituted walnuts. I didn’t think it even needed nuts. Yummy!

  12. Thank you for posting! So in the recipe above, did you already double the sauce, out should we double this recipe?

  13. Are there green onions on top? I don’t see them in the recipe.

  14. Made this tonight and it was terrific!

  15. I forgot you said to double the sauce and yes I would double it next time also I cooked it all day while I was gone and that was too long it got a little dry but other than that it was very good – will try again with double sauce!

  16. Could I cook this on high for about 1.5 hours?

    • Mom of 5 says:

      I cooked mine a little longer in the oil when browning and put on high for 2 hrs. and 1 1/2 would have been perfect!

  17. Iran Garcia says:

    Do u add the nuts while cooking or when it is done?

  18. Shelley says:

    I can’t seem to find rice wine vinegar. Is rice vinegar the same thing?

    • There really is no difference. Rice wine vinegar is a little bit milder but I have also used both and it turns our great! I hope you like it! XOXO

      • White wine vinegar? Could I use that? Thanks

        • yes, certainly you could substitute. When looking for Rice Wine Vinegar check both the vinegar area and also the section where there are Asian products. If recipe turned out too salty –use unsalted cashews or unsalted nuts.

  19. If you want to have crunchy cashews, add them just before serving. Also, it you want them to stay crunchy, sauté them in a tiny bit of sesame oil (or olive if you prefer) before adding. That is a Chinese restaurant trick.

  20. Jolene Lee says:

    Have this cooking in the crock pot as we speak! It’s smelling yummy already!

  21. Just made this recipe and although it tastes good, it turned out not like the picture at all. The sauce is much darker (dark brown). Has that happened to anyone else?

    • Thats strange because mine wasn’t dark at all and almost had a reddish to it… Did you use dark brown sugar?

    • Same thing happened to me. Not sure why. It’s disappointing for sure.

    • ray diaz says:

      i tried the same receipe but the secret is what colour soya saurce did you use. …… i find the original

      receipe
      so easy to follow. … kia. ora whan.au.

  22. I just pulled this out of my crockpot and its DELISH!!! And yes, it definitely has a kick to it! Only took 3 hours to cook. My hubby will be pleasantly surprised when he gets home from work 🙂

  23. Ivy Grelewicz says:

    Fabulous. I changed just a little bit. More red peppers, etc. We like very spicy. I used both dark and white pieces and cut in small pieces at the beginning.. Also cooked only 2 hours.

  24. Amanda Wilkinson says:

    I’m making this for dinner tonight hoping my fiancé will like it since this is his favorite dish when we get Chinese. I doubled the sauce (as I saw others suggest and then realized it myself.) I also added water chestnuts and green onion. I’m planning on serving it with some egg drop soup.

  25. Sarah Bray says:

    This is a fab recipe. Whilst the sauce comes out a dark brown I thought that might be due to the soy sauce. My family loved this and wolfed it down including my picky 7 year old!! I added the cashews when I cooked the rice separately. I also w

  26. Great recipe! I bought 2 lbs of chicken and it was more like 6-7 breasts, which was too much for the sauce. I added a bit of water to it part way through which saved the meal

  27. We just made this for dinner, doubling the sauce as recommended. It turned out pretty delicious but a little sweet. We are wondering what flavors the ketchup added and if it could be omitted. Also we left it in the crockpot a little closer to 5 hours and that allows a little too much sauce to absorb into the chicken. This was yummy and is worth a repeat! Thanks for sharing!

    • I was wondering about omitting the ketchup as well, I have to admit — ketchup is my least favorite condiment. We don’t even keep it in the house. have you tried it without the ketchup? How was it?

      • Stephanie says:

        Holly – I’m not a fan of ketchup either, but sometimes there is just no good substitution. You could try using a equal amount of tomato paste + an extra teaspoon or two of brown sugar. If it were me, though, I stick with the ketchup. Like you, I generally don’t keep it around in the big bottles, but I do ask for a few packets when we hit a drive-thru fast food place. Then, I have two or three packets (tablespoons) around if we have guests that want it or if I run across a recipe like this one that just calls for a little.

  28. I made this for dinner tonight and it was a HUGE HUGE hit! My teenager only eats things deep fried and/or covered in cheese and he said that this is his new favorite dinner. Effortless deliciousness is my new favorite too! Thanks so much!

  29. Just made this recipe. The entire family LOVED it! Super easy and delicious!!! Definitely a keeper!

  30. I really want to make this meal but my slow cooker only has 4 settings, 4 hours high, 6 hours high, 8 hours low, 10 hours low. Any suggestions? I want to set it before I go to work in the morning.

    • i think I’m confused. Is the chicken better with or without the frying and do I need to double the sauce all the time?
      I really want to make this tomorrow night!

      • Mom of 5 says:

        I just made it and “browning” the chicken first is best – in my opinion. It also helped it cook faster – I put mine on high and it was done in 1 1/2 hours. Next time I would add extra water as it almost burned and I don’t know why but mine turned out pretty vinegary tasting so I plan to add more brown sugar next time as well. It turned out beautiful looking! ha and I love the way it coated the chicken 🙂

        • Was yours salty.. I tasted it part way thru and it seem vinegary so i added brown sugar but still too salty but delicious

  31. Julie Bazin says:

    Just wondering if anyone has tried this recipe without the flour to reduce carbs?

  32. I agree that after only 3 hours on low my chicken fell apart when I tried to cut it into chunks. It ended up being mostly shredded like Barbeque. Any idea of how to have it still be in nice chunks like Chinese food cashew chicken? Maybe if it’s cut into cubes first as you did? But even when I would try just gently stir it, it would shred on its own.

  33. Made as a stir fry on the stove top. Added a couple bias-cut carrots and used half the chicken called for. Made a full batch of sauce, which effectively doubled the sauce. Didn’t have enough ketchup, so I used all tomato paste; the sauce had a very heavy tomato taste, which the kids liked, but I thought it was too strong. I would have preferred more of a beef broth-based sauce. Breaded the chicken in a mixture of flour and corn starch to make sure the sauce would thicken properly. Over all, it wasn’t bad, but I won’t make it again.

  34. The lemon slow cooker chicken is excellent…

  35. We made this tonight with chicken thigh meat trimmed up and cashews sprinkled on top afterwards – over rice. Everyone loved it! The sauce was dark in color as well like someone mentioned above and very strong/condensed. I think we needed to use MORE chicken thigh meat in order to ‘thin out’ the sauce more. Might add a touch of water or broth maybe next time so not so strong as well. Perhaps cut down a touch of the ketchup a little bit, but not by much. We’ll be making this again with adaptations! Thank you!

  36. Doubled the sauce as described, using low sodium Tamari style soy sauce. (My rice wine vinegar was seasoned which turned out to be fine). After the first hour I added about 2 cups of cubed carrots and the same of cubed celery hearts and about 2 tablespoons of water as the mix looked a little dry once I stirred in all that veg, but I knew the veggies would sweat so I didn’t want to go overboard. After 4 hours the chicken was still in nice cubes with minimal shredding, there was just the right amount of sauce. It tastes like the best possible version of the Chinese take-away cashew chicken! I also threw in the raw unsalted cashews at the beginning and they were soft enough to be stabbed easily with a fork. For firmer cashews I would add at the end but I like them this way. Absolutely terrific recipe! (I omitted the red pepper flakes as I don’t like spicy things at all but the ginger and garlic still gave good flavor).

  37. What size slow cooker did you use? I wonder if that’s what is making the difference in the sauce color and someone had said it condensed too much.

  38. I made this last night for my husband and he loved it! This was a dry run to see if I liked it well enough to make it for a birthday party next week. I made it per the recipe except I tripled the sauce for three large chicken breast. I think doubling it would work as well. I used powdered ginger and dry garlic.Next week I will use the real deal. I added an additional tablespoon of brown sugar..
    I cooked this on the stove because I waited too late. The sauce was dark. Next week I will use light brown sugar. The chicken breast cooked up very quickly on the stove. Next week I will use chicken thighs because I need to put it in the crock pot and I really do not like dry chicken breast. I will add carrots and celery and sprinkle the cashews and green onion before serving. The sauce was really good, like a Chinese restaurant sauce!

  39. I made this yesterday and followed recipe as Alyssa suggested, doubling the ingredients for the sauce. I agree the sauce needed to be doubled, there would not have been enough otherwise. I thought it was too salty. I did use reduced sodium soy sauce for half of the required amount. The hub thought it was fine though. Maybe next time, I’ll replace some of the soy sauce with something else. Not sure what though!!

  40. I never post about recipes, but this was soooo yummy! Although I didn’t do it in the crock-pot because I was running out of time so I just lightly skillet fried the chicken thighs and then added the sauce to the skillet and then let it simmer for about 35 min. I bought an Asian frozen stir fry veggie mix and sauteed? the lightly salted cashews with the veggie mix in a separate pan with a little bit of ginger powder and some soy sauce. I served it with vermicelli noodles. I have the pickiest eaters and I tell you the pans were almost licked clean!

  41. This is such a winning recipe – thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to try.

  42. Kolleen says:

    Made this tonight for dinner, was salty so I watered it down and added a little more sweetness. The color wasn’t dark so maybe others used dark brown sugar?? Threw little broccoli florets in for the last hour, yummy !! Thanks for the idea

  43. Chicken is in the crock pot and I am waiting to see the results! I never made chicken breast in a crock pot before so I hope it’s good! I used a combination of rice vinegar and white wine vinegar, powdered ginger and some chili powder instead of the red pepper flakes.

  44. I made this recipe yesterday and it was delicious! Although, the ingredient list seems to have changed, substituting cornstarch for flour (the directions still mention flour)? And adding a few other ingredients. Is the original recipe available? Thanks!

  45. Angela Regan says:

    Where do you find sweet chili sauce, at Walmart I’ve only seen plain chili sauce…….thanks

  46. Great recipe. I would not have believed you could make chicken like this in a crock pot. For us it was way too salty though. I will make this recipe again using much less soy sauce.

  47. This looks great! Can’t wait to try it! Has anyone tried frying the cubes then cooling and freezing it for a freezer crock pot meal? OR using precooked and breaded chicken chunks from the freezer when making this? Just looking for a way to make it quicker.

  48. I have a few questions please…..first in the description you mention that the chicken is ‘breaded to perfection’, did i miss a step or ingredient for breading of the chicken? You do say to add the chicken to the slow cooker and then at the end it is served, so, am i to assume that the chicken will only be cut just prior to serving or perhaps prior to adding to the slow cooker at the start of the recipe? Are the cashews salted or unsalted? Thank you very much in advance.

  49. This sounds deliscious. But I must be the only one who does not know what sweet chili sauce is. Can you give me more info about it?

    • Sweet chili sauce is found on the Asian Isle by the soy sauce. Hope this helps. 🙂

    • You can also make your own, fairly easily. We had everything in the party to make it. I didn’t want to run to the store, so I made it ahead of time and put it in the fridge. Several recipes available on Google 🙂

  50. Salted or unsalted cashews?

  51. Mike Conlon says:

    Just a suggestion: I would find these recipes much easier to deal with if you would begin your post of them on Facebook with the name of the recipe. That way, I don’t waste a lot of time trying to figure out what it is. Thanks.

  52. do you buy salted or unsalted cashews for this?

  53. Made this last night thanks so much is so yummy !

  54. I’m in the UK, and couldn’t find canola oil in the supermarket. Can I substitute any other oil? Also, are red pepper flakes the same as chilli flakes? Thanks in advance.

    • Yes. You can definitely sub for another oil. Vegetable oil would also work. 🙂

      • Stephanie says:

        Hi Helen! Canola Oil is the same thing as “Rapeseed Oil” in the UK. I heard that American’s were offended by the name and changed it to “Canola”. 🙂 But yeah- veg oil should work too. I’m about to try this out tonight- excited! Hope it worked out well for you! 🙂

    • I believe the in the States we call it canola oil but in the UK it’s rapeseed oil.

  55. Hi,

    Could I make this dish also in my oven?

    • You totally could! Just brown the outside of the chicken and pour the sauce over the top and bake. If you need to see how I bake some of my chinese dishes, just search “Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken” and the instructions should be the same. 🙂

  56. Elizabeth says:

    Definitely needs the sauce doubled. Wish I would have paid attention to comments before making it. If I make it again I would also maybe add a little more brown sugar and ginger.

  57. This looks great! I love to cook freezer meals and was wondering, do you think I could brown the chicken, and then put it in a ziplock with the sauce until I’m ready to use? Thaw, and then put in the crock pot? Wondering if the breading would get soggy? :/
    Thanks!

  58. We shared this recipe last week and here is our report after we actually made it.
    Our whole family loved this recipe. It’s restaurant quality, or even better since we know what is in it. Here’s our comments about the recipe itself and the dish. 1) The picture shows chopped green onions which doesn’t show on the recipe. We think that would have been a great addition to garnish with and to include in the recipe. 2) There’s enough main dish in the recipe to support about 6 rice servings. You’ll have to remember to prepare the rice to finish cooking about the time the main dish does. 3) This was spicer than we expected. We liked the spice, only 1/4 teaspoon of both black pepper and red pepper flakes, and we will use the same amounts again, but we know some people like to stay away from spicey food, and if that is the case in your home, cut back on the two types of pepper. 4) Ours was redder and less crispy looking than what the picture shows. I don’t know if that makes a difference in the taste or not, but don’t be surprised if your’s looks a bit different than what the picture shows. Several possible explainations why but, It’s still wonderful. 5) We liked the cashews both cooked and as a garnished at the end. We split the cashews and put 1/2 in the main dish and let them cook, and put the other 1/2 as a garnish at the end. Both ways are good and we are going to split them again when we make it next. 6) Recipe didn’t say to cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces, but it should, and do it before you coat the chicken with the cornstarch and pepper mixture. Make a few notes on your copy of this recipe and you’ll have a perfect and delicious meal. Highly recommend this recipe with some clairifications.

  59. Awesome

  60. I made this and it was so good. I added a 1 lb bag of “broccoli stir fry” frozen veg because I wanted something else and was too lazy to chop up broccoli 😀 It was really really good. I do think low-sodium soy sauce is a must, it’s almost too much soy sauce taste for me and I was generous with all other sauce ingredients. I did not double the sauce but I will increase the total sauce amount next time, somehow. I don’t feel like the sweet chili sauce made as much of an addition as I was hoping, but anyway, I LOVE the cornstarch coated and browned chicken. Going to make all my other asian-style recipes this way from now on for SURE. It was ready after only a couple of hours though I did give it about 30 minutes on high to get it started. I was impatient. Thanks a lot this is a great great recipe. I feel like there is a lot of room for variation to personal taste.

  61. I know you have lots of q s so i will keep it short. I dont fany the breaded bit, can i leave it out and can i use red wine vinegar or white instead of the rice. wine vinegar as i do not keep any.

  62. Looks delicious!!! Just wonder if I can use drum stick instead of breast because I find breast is quite dry.

  63. Mary Q Parker says:

    Come to Springfield, MO, and try it!!

  64. Made this tonight and it was definitely a “keeper”! A few suggestions… It was a bit salty but could be lessend by using low sodium soy sauce and unsalted cashews. Also, adding the cashews at the end is something I will do next time for added crunch. ( I wasn’t fond of the softer cashews). Finally, I added 1/2 chopped onion, one chopped green pepper and several slice red mini sweet peppers,and a bunch of green onions at the very end. I loved the combo of added veggies!!!

  65. Larissa says:

    Hello,
    Wanting to make this for the family I nanny for (just mum and little boy)
    So a lot doesn’t go to waste I was thinking of halving the recipe – would the cook time still be the same or less ??
    Or is it able to be frozen? could I freeze it in individual portions?

    My mum made this for me last week for the first time and I loveddddd it!!! It’s a new fav on our dinner rotations 🙂

  66. Was wondering if this recipe would work using frozen, breaded popcorn chicken? We are in the process of remodeling our kitchen, so the simpler the better as far as cooking goes.

  67. Crystal says:

    I made this tonight for my family. My husband liked it the most. My kids thought it was to sour. I followed the instructions and used exactly what the measurements listed. I cut up the chicken though. I warmed up the crockpot first. I cooked mine for 1 hour on high and had no problems. I will say this tasted more like orange chicken. It was very good. Thanks!!

  68. Hilda Fields says:

    This was delicious. I did use almond flour to coat the chicken and it was fine.- Just took the chicken a little longer to brown.

  69. Britney says:

    If doing this as a make ahead freezer meal, would I just coat the chicken and freeze before browning it? Or should I go ahead and cook it all the way through?

  70. Made this tonight after my wife has asked for it for several weeks. Used Maryland fillets (no bone) to reduce chance of overcooking. Verrrryyy salty, even with a light and not overly salty soy, it needs thinning down. I’ll try once more with a little less soy and top up with water.

  71. Made and loved this! It did thicken up quite a bit and overcooked, so just keep an eye on it. Next time I’m going to add more sweet chili sauce since I would like a sweeter flavor. Overall, awesome recipe. I love making Chinese food from scratch!

  72. Matt_2_27 says:

    Made this today for dinner. I doubled the sauce like lots of comments recommended, but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. It came out looking nothing like the pictures. No breading on the chicken, and a much darker sauce. Both my wife and I couldn’t eat more than a few bites before we were tired of the flavor. Would not make again. :'(

    • I am sorry it didn’t turn out for you! It is really one of the best things we have had. And receives countless rave reviews from others.

  73. Andy Earl says:

    Dear Alyssa, since finding this receipe, I have made it three or four times. I am a live alone dad and when my kids come round to visit I make this. We all love it. Thanks for posting.

  74. I am interested in this recipe for the cashew chicken. I am allergic to tomatoes and most chinese food does not have ketchup or tomatoes of any kind. Can I make this without the ketchup and sweet chili?
    Sandy

  75. My family loves this recipe! I add a can of light coconut milk about 30 minutes before its done and serve with jasmine rice drizzled with sriracha.

  76. We are forever searching for a cashew chicken recipe like at our fav hotel restaurant in Bangkok. I gave this a shot last night. It is nothing like our favourite, but we are in love with this version and will make it regularly. I used 3 T of tomato paste rather than 4 T of ketchup (we never have ketchup in the house). I put in 2 chicken thighs and 5 drumsticks, adding water to the sauce after it had cooked for awhile in the slow cooker. I cooked it about 2 hours and it was fall-off-the bone tender. (I had fried the chicken a bit longer than you suggested.) At first I was thinking it was bad that I had not cubed the chicken. But we found it so delicious just pulled off the bone. What a great recipe! Thanks so much!

  77. J'Marinde says:

    I am confused. Was breading and browning ithe chicken what “took this to a new level” or not doing so that did? Pleas clarify this, as yo comments seem contradictory.
    Also – I see no mention above of “doubling the sauce” — any hints on this?
    VERY excited to try this. I LOVE cashews too!.
    Thanks

    • Breading and browning the chicken took it to a whole new level. 🙂 It gave the outside a crisp edge just like a restaurant. I have recently adjusted the recipe so that their is more sauce.

  78. I made this about a week ago for my family without any adaptions. We thought it was delicious! Thanks.

  79. WITHOUT READING the reviews first, I followed this recipe to a T. I thought the sauce tasted to vinagery, so I added a little more sweet chili sauce. BUT the biggest problem I had was cooking the dish on LOW for 3 hours and then discovering almost all the chicken was hard as rocks!!

    Today, I READ THE REVIEWS AND DISCOVERED I SHOULD HAVE DOUBLED THE SAUCE. Well, at least I know now. LOL All-in-all, the dish was good; I just need to make some changes for next time and, perhaps, cook it maybe just over an hour. After all, when the chicken pieces are browned on both sides before placing it in the crock pot–the chicken is essentially already cooked.

    AND I will add the cashews LATER,

    Thanks for the recipe.

  80. I made the chicken exactly as described and I was shocked at how salty it was. While the chicken cooked, I made vegetables to mix in (2 cups sliced carrots, 2 cups sliced zucchini, 1 sliced bell pepper, and 2 green onion tops) with a half-sized batch of the same sauce used in the chicken (sans cashews) in another crockpot. When the veg finished (this took about an hour), I drained them of liquid and combined the drained veg with the chicken and sauce in the first crockpot.

    In short, I like the addition of the veg and the extra 50% sauce, but next time I will cut the soy sauce (in both the chicken and veg sauce) in half and perhaps add more chili.

  81. I have posted my comments on here twice before. In July 2015. Each time I’ve posted my comments and gone back later, MY COMMENTS ARE NO WHERE TO BE FOUND.

    This is the THIRD TIME I have tried to ask about this recipe. I am beginning to think something’s not right. I hope SOMEONE proves me wrong.

    Many thanks.

  82. Dear Alyssa,

    Your meal looks amazing.
    Can you please a bit explain what does it mean LOW cooking program?
    If I don’t have a slow cooker can I do it in oven? or multi-cooker? Which program I shall choose? which temperature?

    Thank you in advance 🙂

  83. Hi ,
    So excited to make this tomorrow, Just wanted to clarify a cpl things after reading comments. So definitely cube,dredge in cornstarch and brown before throwing in crockpot? Also is.the recipe for.sauce doubled or do I need to dbl it? Thanks much!

  84. I made this last weekend and it was awesome!

    I used half the soy sauce (low sodium soy sauce) because of choice . The sauce turned out reddish like the pictures (not dark brown like some had happen) .

    Thanks for this recipe, I would have never thought you could have this outcome from a crockpot. It was great the next day also!

  85. I want to make this but looking at all the comments about the sauce has it been fixed in the post or do I have to double it as posted???? Thanks

  86. I just made this and loved it but it was way too salty.. I am trying to figure out how to double this and leave most of soy sauce out , I used braggs amino acids, it has less salt but still too salty.. any other suggestions.

  87. Made this tonight and followed recipe exactly. Mine turned out too salty and lot’s of goopy, sticky sauce. After reading comments and thinking about recipe I will definitely made it again but with some adjustments. Definitely cut the chicken into small pieces prior to coating and browning or you will end up with more of a shredded chicken. For the sauce next time I think I will omit the ketchup entirely and reduce the soy to 1/4 cup and either try some broth or increase the rice wine vinegar. I did use lite soy and it was really salty.

    • Yeah don’t give up on the recipe. 🙂 The first time that I made it I had to make adjustments but it is one of our favorites. Although I didn’t think it was too salty.

  88. ok I loved your recipe so much that I decided to try it on the stove tonight but I only had some of the ingredients! So I used as many of yours as I could and guessed the rest. Here’s what I used:
    Chicken, ketchup, tsp lazy chilli, dried garlic, tbsp wine vinegar, dry roasted peanuts, ginger, brown sugar, honey 2 tsp, soy, corn flour. Loved it!

  89. I see in some comments it said that you replied chicken was coated with flour, the recipe calls for cornstarch.
    Which is it? Coat with flour and brown or coat with cornstarch and brown? Thanks.

    • I coated with cornstarch but I do think people are also using flour to coat the chicken as a substitute. I haven’t tried it that way so I am nor sure how it would turn out. 🙂

  90. Looks and sounds delicious. If I were to make it I’d add a couple teaspoons of sesame oil to that marinade. A little sesame oil goes a long gone way in making good an a Isanti dish just that much more delicious. That’s my two cents…take it or leave it as you wish.

  91. What can I use instead of the soy sauce as 2 of my family members are severely allergic to soy? I have no access to coconut aminos where I live.

  92. I saw in several of the comments as well as somewhere in something you wrote where the ingredient of “flour” was mentioned. Is it corn starch or flour, or both that the chicken is breaded in? Also, I can’t tolerate spicy foods. What would you suggest leaving out or altering to this dish to cut down on the heat?
    Thanks,
    Vicki

  93. Michael Ehrhart says:

    You write like you are in high school…for your sake, I hope you are.

    • I just love comments like these. They really make my day. No I am not in high school. I am just a regular mom and wife. I try my best and I am sorry it isn’t up to your standards. Why don’t you try to say things that are positive and uplifting? It would make the world a better place.

      • Stephanie says:

        You go, girl! I majored in English Lit in college, and I never once assumed that you were anything other than a bright, entrepreneurial woman! What a shame that Michael doesn’t have anything better to do than to criticize others. Keep up the good work, Alyssa! I love your blog!

    • Goodness… I rarely engage with other commenters because people so often act like they’re 10 feet tall when they’re behind a computer screen. Mr. Ehrhart, YOU are the one acting like a teenager, as though you have nothing better to do than offer a useless comment on a stranger’s website. For your sake, I hope you find a more fulfilling hobby.

      Alyssa, I’m new to your blog, and I think you write in a fun, welcoming tone, and I’m excited to try this recipe tonight.

    • Dear Mr Ehrhart,

      if you are going to criticise someone for the level of their written English, please refrain from using lazy constructions such as “like you are” where you should have used “as if you are”.

      Alyssa… good response 😉

      Best regards from a professional editor.

  94. I made this dish this past weekend and it was such a hit! It puts take out to shame! Will definitely be making this again and again and again!

  95. What went wrong or what didn’t you like about it and I can try to help. This really is one of our favorite recipes and receives countless rave reviews. Hopefully we can figure out what didn’t work for you??

  96. I made this and it was ok, but not how I thought it would be. I think I must have done something wrong and would love to try it again. My sauce turned out really thin and runny. The chicken was not crispy. I did coat it in cornstarch first and then fry it. I used a 7quart slow cooker and thought it didnt look full enough so I did add a few veggies in. but other than that I thought i followed every step. Any suggestions?

  97. I tried this recipe last night and was quite disappointed with it. First of all, I didn’t know I was supposed to double the sauce, which would certainly have helped a lot, since it was so dry. Maybe it should be mentioned at the top of the recipe and not only in the comment section. Secondly, it was soooo salty! I would definitely recommend cutting the soy sauce in half or at least using low sodium soy sauce. And finally, adding the cashews at the beginning left them with absolutely no bite at all, which meant that the entire dish was mushy. So mushy, dry and salty. Not great. But I think with double the sauce, half the salt and by adding the cashews at the end, it might turn out ok. I don’t know if I will try it again, though. My husband and I couldn’t even finish our plates and I don’t even know if I’ll be able to turn the leftovers into something palatable.

  98. Andrea W. says:

    I’m so excited to try this tomorrow night! Was just wondering if you cut the chicken into pieces before or after cooking? Thanks so much!

  99. Al Herrera says:

    Looks Delicious! I Don’t have a slow cooker though. Will this work in a Dutch Oven? How long should I cook it for?

  100. My very first crockpot recipe experience. I wanted to love it but sadly, my boyfriend and I did not. I think everything was good except for the fact that it was soooo unbelievably salty. And I LOVE soy sauce and anything Salty but this was just way too much. We ate our small portions but I gave the rest to my neighbor warning him beforehand about the saltiness. Sadly, I will definitely not be making this again, although for any one else wanting to make this, I highly recommend low sodium soy sauce.

  101. I made this recipe today and found it was really tasty – but INCREDIBLY salty! I used Kikkoman gluten free tamari soy sauce, but I think any soy, light or dark, would turn out ultra-salty in this quantity. I don’t know why I didn’t twig to this while I was stirring up the sauce, as I’ve encountered the effect before in other recipes! In future I’ll add either less soy or (probably) a good slug of rice wine …or indeed any white wine 😀 and some water to make the sauce go further and lessen the salty smack.
    Love the ginger/garlic aspect.
    I think the cornflour coating needs to be fried pretty hot to end up crunchy, and to be honest, 3 hours’ subsequent cooking in the sauce is enough to soften the crispiest coating. But then, coated pieces of chicken from the takeaway aren’t crispy, they’re just like ours were – gooey and yummy.

    I think I might use your recipe as a launch-pad and marinade the chicken overnight in the sauce ingredients (adding a few drops of sesame, ‘cos sesame oil just breathes China to me), then make the sauce by itself in a small pan while I deep-fry the chicken in its cornflour jacket. Add the two together, serve with rice… and don’t do what I did today and totally forget to put in the cashew nuts! :”>

  102. This recipe sounds so yummy and I really want to try it… but I can’t find any nutritional vlues to see if it fits in my weight watcher points;.

    • You should figure out your own Weight Watchers points for any recipe you make since the ingredients you use could be different than the ones the person posting the original recipe used. Just use the recipe builder on the WW site.

  103. Any suggestions?

    Wondering if there are any good substitutions anyone’s tried and liked for the sweet chili sauce and brown sugar? Too much sugar in the chili sauce for me… For the brown sugar I was thinking stevia?

  104. This looks fantastic! I can’t wait to try this.

    However, you don’t mention anything about cutting the chicken into bite sized pieces.

    This is probably a silly question but is the chicken cut into bite-sized pieces before placing into the cornstarch/black pepper mixture, or after browning?

  105. How do you think it would do without the soy sauce? I’m highly allergic to it, but this looks too amazing!

  106. Jessika Carey says:

    Made this for dinner and its…..So good. Both of my kids ate it…which is rare!

  107. This recipe is such a winner. I’ve made it 3 times and I’ve finally perfected it. The reason some people say theirs is dark is because of the soy sauce. The first times I used regular, dark soy sauce (almost black) and it was so salty, this time I used light soy sauce and it was perfect! I used 4 chicken breasts (you must brown them first with the cornstarch as recommended, it improves this recipe tenfold!!) I also doubled the sauce but I didn’t double the rice wine vinager because it was really vinagery the second time I made it. My husband told me to put this meal in the rotation!

  108. I don’t have a slow cooker appliance. Can this be made in a chasseur french oven on the stove? How long would cooking times be for this method?

    Thanks

  109. Is the sauce already doubled?
    •½ cup soy sauce
    •4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
    •4 Tablespoons ketchup
    •2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce
    •2 Tbsp brown sugar
    •2 garlic cloves, minced
    •1 tsp grated fresh ginger
    •¼ tsp red pepper flakes
    •1 cup cashews

    • I updated the sauce ingredients in the recipe to be doubled. 🙂

      • sorry, but this is getting confusing. Is the following as it should be or to be doubled? 🙂
        •½ cup soy sauce
        •4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
        •4 Tablespoons ketchup
        •2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce
        •2 Tbsp brown sugar
        •2 garlic cloves, minced
        •1 tsp grated fresh ginger
        •¼ tsp red pepper flakes
        •1 cup cashews

        also, why do you think it is so salty? I want to make it for family but all on a low-sodium diet. Thanks.

        • The recipe is correct as is. 🙂 And I didn’t think that it was too salty and a lot of other commenters are raving about it. I would try a low sodium soy sauce if you are on a low sodium diet. 🙂

  110. This was delicious! Very flavorful. Family loved it & wanted the recipe. Will make again for sure!

  111. Recipe looks delish! I see green onions in your photos. Did you add those after it was done cooking or into the crockpot as well?

  112. Do you cut the chicken into pieces before adding to the crockpot? It doesn’t look like it’s cooked whole in the crockpot, right?
    Thanks!!

  113. We just wasted a load of chicken on this. The saltiest thing I’ve ever eaten. Half a cup of soy sauce?! It was absolutely horrible. Really annoyed at how much money we wasted and had to throw away

    • I am sorry you didn’t like this. It is one of our favorites and also receiving rave reviews from others that are trying it as well. I could recommend a low sodium soy sauce if you think it is too salty.

  114. I don’t have sweet chili sauce. I do have Chili Garlic sauce. Can I use that instead?

    I’m looking forward to making it this week

  115. I don’t have sweet chili sauce. I do have Chinese garlic sauce. Can I use that?

  116. Tina Gray says:

    Hi. What size crockpot would be recommended? I just inherited a 3-qt one but some recipes require a 5-6 qt capacity.

  117. We love this recipe. Enjoying it tonight.

  118. HI Alyssa

    Thank you this awesome recipe! We have added this into our “Go To” rotation of 10-12 dishes I make every 2 week!!! The whole family says “yeah!” When I tell them I am making this cashew chicken dish for dinner!!! Really it is that good!!!! I have perfected my version with a little more sweet chile sauce and use ginger powder when I don’t have fresh ginger and a little less soy and added green beans the last 30 minutes with the cashews and it is perfection! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  119. I followed the recipe as printed, however, I doubled it. I was very disappointed due to the saltiness. I used low sodium soy. Would love to try again with suggestions.

  120. Very good dish. Everyone liked it. I doubled the ingredients because I am feeding 7. I do recommend low sodium soy sauce. Also, in my opinion you don’t have to cook 4 hours. I found that 2 hours in the slow cooker was perfect.

  121. Hi I made it but found it a bit salty, any ideas on how to make it less salty? Not sure what I’ve done wrong :/

  122. Have this cooking now. Tweaked it by adding honey, chinese wine, sesame oil, corriander/cilantro, celery and chinese spinach.
    Will see how it goes but I’m expecting it to be wonderful

  123. Just finished making this and after a few bites I threw it in the garbage. What a waste of time and money. I used low sodium soy sauce and still could not eat it. Followed the recipe exactly. Can’t remember when I ever didn’t like something. Oh well.

    • I am sorry it didn’t turn out for you. This is one of our favorite recipes and it receives rave reviews from others as well.

  124. I am going to try this tonight, looks lovely . Can I ask do you have a website I can find other recipes you recommend?

  125. Danielle Jarry says:

    We had this on Saturday night and I am making it again this week. It was soooo amazing and I didn’t find it salty at all. Just right!

  126. I suggest updating your recipe to specify that you cut your chicken up prior to pan frying it. Mine came out more like shredded chicken, looking nothing like your picture. I would have tried this recipe again if that were the only issue, but I was also disappointed in the flavor…Sad I wasted some nice organic chicken breasts on this recipe!

    • I am sorry that it didn’t turn out for you. This recipe is one of our favorites and receives rave reviews from others.

  127. Thank you. This was so easy and was gorgeous. Loved it

  128. Brittany S says:

    I initially made this recipe as shared here except for subbing regular soy sauce for low-sodium soy sauce and it was still so salty it was practically inedible. In addition, the chicken didn’t really “brown” in the cornstarch coating and my sauce was way too thin and runny.

    That being said, it’s not a bad recipe and I used it as a starting point the next time around. Instead of coating the chicken in cornstarch, I used flour which gave it the nice golden brown I was looking for and a crispier texture. For the sauce, I cut the soy sauce in half, added 2 more tablespoons of brown sugar and another 2 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce. In order to get the sauce thick like traditional Chinese sauces, I just whisked 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with about a tablespoon and a half of water and poured it into the crock pot. This turned out WAY better and much more like the picture shows the recipe to be. I honestly don’t see how it’s even possible for the dish to turn out like that picture if the recipe is followed exactly.

    So all in all, I wouldn’t make it according the exact recipe ever again but it’s at least a decent starting point.

    • Elainebitt says:

      Thank you for your input, I am going to try it your way.

    • Danielle says:

      Yes– I had the same issue. DIdn’t taste BAD, but had that salty soy sauce taste and the chicken didn’t get brown at ALL and really didn’t seem “breaded” at all in the final product… I am saving this recipe AND your mods to try again…

  129. Sorry, but this was WAY too acidic. Followed the recipe and doubled the sauce.

  130. DOES NOT taste like take out cashew chicken. WAY too salty.

  131. SOME PEOPLE DO NOT READ THE RECIPE CAREFUL BEFORE THEY WRITE A COMMENT???
    I AM MAKING THE DISH RIGHT NOW. IT SMELLS WONDERFUL. I ALSO THINK THERE IS NOT
    ENOUGH SAUCE & I DOUBLED IT. RICE NEEDS A LOT OF SAUCE. THANK YOU.
    I MAKE A LOT OF YOUR RECIPES.

  132. I really want to try this recipe but everyone at home has acid reflux, I’m worried about the chili sauce and red pepper flakes. How spicy is this recipe? Anything I can substitute? Thanks!

  133. Elainebitt says:

    I have a problem with ANY kind of hot sauces – so I was wondering if anyone knows what can I use to substitute “sweet chili sauce sugar”?

    Thanks!

  134. I made this recepe this i was very good this is a keeper 👍

    Marco
    Ridderkerk
    The netherlands

  135. Excellent recipe! We love cashew chicken, and this was restaurant quality. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  136. I would like to try this recipe, but would like to add vegetables so that there is at least half vegetables and half protein from chicken, possibly with even less chicken, at 1/4 protein and 3/4 carbohydrates, though. Any suggestions on how best to do that?

    • I would cut down on the chicken a bit and defiantly double the sauce. 🙂

    • I added green onions as a garnish, added water chestnut & celery myself and it only made the recipe better. I could see easily adding baby corn, slice carrots, mushrooms, etc. Just add more ingredients for the sauce to compensate for the increased amount of vegetables.

  137. Where can you buy canola oil please in the uk

  138. Not sure if this has been said however some really good changes that I found worked great. Take 2 cups of Water Chestnut (I quartered them) and 2 cups chopped up Celery. Oil blanch them for roughly 2-3 minutes, add on top of rice under chicken. Also this recipe calls for 3-4 hours. That is completely and woefully unnecessary, start checking your chicken after 1 hr 30 minutes, probably be completely done right around 2 hours. I took mine out at 3 hrs and i had some pieces that were overcooked and dry. I also topped with the dry chow mein noodle for crunch.

  139. debbie gee says:

    Wow. This ought to be labeled Salty, salty, harsh cashew chicken. This tastes nothing like cashew chicken in a restaurant. It has far, far too much soy sauce as well–it overwhelms the sauce. It is rare that I throw out leftovers, but we ate a small portion and trashed the rest. I followed the recipe exactly. It was horrible.

  140. I accidentally made it with white sugar instead of brown and it was good. I’m making it again with brown sugar this time though

  141. Jennifer S says:

    Why does the picture show scallions when they aren’t listed as an ingredient? Seriously, how hard is it to be accurate?

    • How hard is it to know that scallions are used as garnish? Do I really need to put that in the ingredients for you? 🙂

  142. Even with low-sodium soy sauce and unsalted cashews (2nd attempt), while delicious, is simply too salty for our tastes. Next time I am going to try doubling all of the sauce recipe EXCEPT the soy sauce and see if that helps. The method is so great I am not ready to give up on it yet.

    • Yeah everyone has their different tastes. We LOVE it as is. 🙂

      • Excited to try this! I have never cooked with ginger before. I guess you could say I am a novice in the kitchen. Do I have to buy fresh ginger and Grate it or can I buy it in the spice aisle? I’m guessing the fresh might be much cheaper? Thank you for any help you can be

      • Made it today for the first time. It looks wonderful and it smells amazing.. BUT I almost choked when I tried it. It really is very salty. Other than using unsalted cashews or maybe low sodium soy sauce, is there anything that you would recommend to make it less salty? I love the recipe, just looking for ways to make it less salty..

        • I am sorry you think it is too salty. But I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe because we love it so much and it gets rave reviews from others.

  143. Jenn Pardee says:

    This was awesome! My husband said it is better than any take out he’s had! The best part is it was so easy to assemble and then just let the crock pot do the rest and what comes out is a super delicious dish! It did seem like there was not going to be enough sauce so I doubled it and it was perfect!

  144. Do you cut up the chicken mini bite size pieces ?

  145. What would you suggest in the way of using this as a freezer meal? Brown chicken and then freeze in sauce or just omit the breading? This looks amazing amazed I want to share with my freezer club.

  146. Abigail says:

    I read through a large number of comments to see if anyone else did what I did, and I didn’t see it, so I thought I’d share.

    I’m a vegan (wait, before you toss up your hands and lament a vegan on a chicken recipe, it’s not what you think!) and just wanted to share that this worked really well with tofu, as well. I pressed and cubed a block of tofu, tossed it in cornstarch as recommended for the chicken, gave it a quick fry until it was crispy, and tossed it in the sauce. The only change I made was making 1.5 times the sauce rather than just one, or a full doubling of the original. I tossed in green beans, because I love green beans in a thick sweet sauce like you get from takeout. It cooked about 2 – 2.5 hours, and it was really great! I will use low-sodium tamari next time, as it was a bit too salty for me, but served over brown rice it mellowed it nicely.

    Just wanted to share in case any vegetarians were thinking about adapting this! Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

  147. David in London says:

    Just enjoyed this for early supper..Added more ginger garlic and chillie.. Put the cahews in for last 4/5 mins as I like them crunchy… Delicious will try adding variation on sauce ingredients next time….but have to say pretty scrumtious

  148. I made this tonight for my husband. His biggest complaint was how spicy it was. What should I remove from the recipe to fix this problem? Just the chili sauce? Thanks!

  149. Marsha Young says:

    WE LOVED IT!!!! I used coconut ammino to replace the soy sauce. The only thing I would LOVE to see is the nutrition count (especially carbs!). Is there somewhere to go for that or would you consider posting that with your recipes? THANKS

  150. Stephanie Hutchison says:

    My husband is deathly allergic to poultry. Can pork be substituted for the chicken? If so, should preparation be different?

  151. I am loving the sound of this recipe. I am looking for things that can be frozen after they are cooked. Do you think this would work to freeze it?

  152. Kathy Fitchner says:

    Needs to include nutrition Information…

  153. Can you please tell me if the recipe now shows the doubled quantity of the sauce? If I cook this in the slow cooker for 2 hours, would I be best to put it on high? Thanks in advance.

  154. AndChris says:

    I really wanted to love this dish, but there was just something about it that didn’t agree with my taste buds. I couldn’t find low sodium soy sauce, so I got the regular kind and watered it down a bit (not a big fan of soy sauce either). Apart from that I followed the recipe, and the end result looked a lot like the pic on the site, very appealing! It was definitely more salty than I prefer, but there was another flavor that didn’t agree with me. I’m not a good enough cook to be able to pin point it, but I wonder if it was a combination of soy and rice vinegar. I have never cooked with vinegar before, and am the type of person who find vinegar flavored chips to be a cruel, cruel prank.. Not very experienced with it, in other words.

    I definitely want to try this dish again to see if I’ll manage to push it in a direction my palate agrees with. I wonder though, would skipping/replacing the vinegar make the soy more dominant, or does the vinegar enhance the soy when the two are combined? Does anyone have recommendations for what I might try to replace the vinegar with?

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