This delicious Skinny Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken is coated in a sweet and spicy sauce with tender vegetables and crunchy cashews. Skip the takeout, this is so much healthier and better!
Hey guys! It’s Kelly here from Life Made Sweeter! I’m back this month sharing this Skinny Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken!
This recipe is a lot healthier than the Kung Pao Chicken you would typically get when ordering out. According to My Fitness Pal, it’s about 434 calories per serving. Plus, it’s really easy to whip up and has all the same amazing flavors we love.
Sweet, savory with just enough of a fiery kick that you can totally customize according to your taste.
There is no deep frying required. Just a little oil to brown the chicken. Plus it has a generous serving of tender crisp veggies. I used red peppers and zucchini but you can easily swap in your favorites.
To make this Kung Pao Chicken, start by coating the chicken in cornstarch and browning it before adding it into the slow cooker. If you are in a pinch, you can skip this step but browning the chicken on the stove first makes a big difference!
Then combine the sauce ingredients together and toss with the chicken. Cook on low for a few hours then add in the veggies right near the end for the perfect tender & crisp texture.
You can serve this over your favorite quinoa, rice or even zoodles for a lower carb option. Either way you choose, it’s so much easier and healthier than takeout!
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 - 1¼ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3 pieces), cut into bite-sized chunks
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- **4 - 6 dried red chili peppers (to taste) found in Asian supermarkets or the International section of a large chain grocery store - see NOTE
- ⅔ cup roasted cashews (or roasted peanuts)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped into halves
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ½ cup water
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon dried red pepper chili flakes
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 2-3 Tablespoons water (plus more as needed to thin out consistency of sauce)
- In a large zip-top bag, toss in chicken, cornstarch, salt and black pepper. Shake until well-coated.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken about 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. **Skip this step if in a pinch and add chicken directly to the slow cooker.
- Transfer chicken into slow cooker. (SEE NOTE FOR STOVETOP DIRECTIONS)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, honey, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger and red pepper chili flakes and pour over chicken.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 2.5 - 4 hours or HIGH for 1.5 - 3 hours. (SEE NOTE)
- About 30 minutes before serving, whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir into the slow cooker. Add the dried red chili peppers, red bell peppers, zucchini and cashews.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for another 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened up. (Add more water to thin out sauce to your preferred consistency).
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions and serve over rice, quinoa or zoodles, if desired.
**If your slow cooker runs hot, be sure to check on chicken earlier as it may cook faster than the suggested cooking times.
**FOR STOVETOP DIRECTIONS: Brown the chicken until cooked through (7-8 minutes). Then add vegetables and saute for about 3 minutes – or until tender. Add the sauce to the pan, turn to high heat and cook until the sauce bubbles and thickens up – about 1-2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Once everything is coated and heated through, serve hot with favorite sides.
Alyssa Also Recommends:
Want to make this even easier? Here are a few products that I LOVE:
•Cuisinart Stainless Steel Chopper
•The Recipe Critic Whisk
More takeout favorites from Life Made Sweeter: