Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

This was amazing.  I love cashews.  I could eat a giant things from Costco by myself.  I always order this when we go to a chinese restaurant.  I loved being able to make this at home and taste just as awesome as take-out.  The chicken was cooked so perfectly in the crockpot and the flavor and cashews mixed together was so yummy!  

Rating: 5 stars  Difficulty of Recipe: 2 stars
How I changed it:  I doubled the sauce.  You have to double it or there will not be enough.  I used chicken breasts instead of thighs.  I also added the cashews at the beginning.  It was still really good!
Things I would do differently next time:  I have made it both with coating the chicken in flour and not coating the chicken.  The flavor is still great and if you are in a hurry to dump this in, it doesn’t make that big of a difference.  When the chicken is floured, it has a little bit of different texture on the outside and the sauce is thicker after it is done cooking.  Also if you have little ones, hold off on the pepper flakes.  It has a little kick to it.
Will I make it again? YES
Recipe From: 365 Days of Slow Cooking

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (About 4 pieces)
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

1.Combine flour and pepper in resealable food storage bag. Add chicken. Shake to coat with flour 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, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken. 
4. Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours. Add cashews and stir. 
5.Serve over rice. Makes 4-6 servings.



  1. says

    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 :)

  2. says

    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.

    • says

      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! :)

    • says

      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.

  3. says

    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!

  4. says

    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!

    • Alyssa says

      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

  5. Kitty says

    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.

  6. Amy says

    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?

  7. Stacey says

    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 :)

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Carly says

    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

  12. Amy says

    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!

    • hollie says

      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?

  13. says

    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!

  14. Marcy says

    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.

  15. Margaret says

    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.

  16. Veronica says

    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.

    • Christie says

      You completely changed the recipe and then said you didn’t care for it. Perhaps try the recipe as written and THEN review it.

  17. Karen says

    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!

  18. Deoboed says

    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).

  19. Ann says

    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.

  20. says

    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!

  21. kari says

    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!!

  22. Jessica says

    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!


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