Skinny Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken

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!

I love making my favorite Asian take out dishes at home because I can lighten them up without sacrificing on the flavor.

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 browning the chicken 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!

Watch a video on how to make Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken here:

Skinny Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4
This delicious Skinny Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken is coated in a sweet and spicy sauce with tender vegetables and crunchy cashews.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 - 1 1/4 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
  • 2/3 cup roasted cashews or roasted peanuts
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini chopped into halves

!Sauce (Feel free to double the sauce if you like more sauce)

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper chili flakes

!Cornstarch slurry

  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water plus more as needed to thin out consistency of sauce

Instructions

  1. In a large zip-top bag, toss in chicken, salt and black pepper. Shake until well-coated.
  2. Heat a [url:2]large skillet[/url] 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 [url:3]slow cooker[/url].
  3. Transfer chicken into slow cooker. (SEE NOTE FOR STOVETOP DIRECTIONS)
  4. In a [url:4]medium bowl[/url], whisk together the soy sauce, water, honey, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger and red pepper chili flakes and pour over chicken.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 2.5 - 4 hours or HIGH for 1.5 - 3 hours. (SEE NOTE)
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions and serve over rice, quinoa or zoodles, if desired.

Recipe Notes

**If you can't find dried red chili peppers, leave out and add an additional 1/2 - 1 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes

**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.

[b]Alyssa Also Recommends:[/b]

Want to make this even easier? Here are a few products that I LOVE:

•[url:5]Slow Cooker[/url]
•[url:6]Cuisinart Stainless Steel Chopper[/url]
•[url:7]The Recipe Critic Whisk[/url]

Nutrition Facts
Skinny Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 656 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 161mg54%
Sodium 1397mg58%
Potassium 1222mg35%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 63g126%
Vitamin A 931IU19%
Vitamin C 39mg47%
Calcium 35mg4%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

More takeout favorites from Life Made Sweeter:

Skinny Beef and Broccoli

Chicken Pad Thai

Skinny General Tso’s Chicken

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Slow Cooker Chicken Lo Mein

Kelly Kwok

Kelly is the blogger behind Life Made Sweeter. She is a self-taught baker and loves using her slow cooker. You can often find her in the kitchen dreaming up tasty new dishes that are quick and easy to make for her family. She also enjoys adding a fun and healthy twist to many classic favorites.

Read More Posts by Kelly

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Categories
ChickenCrockpot/Slow-Cooker

Comments

Leave a reply
    1. Yes, you can cook this on the stove. 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.

  1. Just made this tonight. It was soooo yummy. However, mine was not as saucy as I would like. Do you think it would be good if I doubled the sauce that goes in with the chicken?

    1. Unfortunately, I do not have a calorie count; however, I recommend using fitness pal and that is pretty accurate for the calorie count on each meal prepared. Thanks for following along 🙂

      The Recipe Critic
      Alyssa

  2. I loved this recipe! I made it all in a skillet though and it took about 30 minutes to cook. (Cooked chicken, then added carrots and red peppers, then added zucchini at the end.)

    My modifications: Used half the chicken and added carrots. Mine was not very spicy so my kiddo would eat it.

    I’d like a calorie count if you have it.

    1. Unfortunately, I do not have a calorie count; however, I recommend using fitness pal and that is pretty accurate for the calorie count on each meal prepared. 🙂 Great suggestions on the recipe too! Thanks for your input!

      The Recipe Critic
      Alyssa

  3. Hello I tried the Kung Pao Chicken recipe last week. It was fantaastic. I don’t have a slow cooker but I do have a cast iron pan. The recipe is great. Thanks again

    Sherry

  4. Hello! I was curious about the corn starch how much do I use in the beginning on the chicken and then how much do you use later when it says stir into slow cooker with water ? Thank you!

  5. This was a delicious and simple to make dish that my daughter really liked as written. I’m vegetarian, so I made the same dish for myself, substituting extra firm tofu for the chicken and using a pan on the stovetop for the vegetarian version instead of the slow cooker. Both versions were great! Thanks!

  6. This recipe was delicious and I agree, better than take out. I would experiment with adding different veggies next time, but this is an excellent recipe to work from. Thanks for sharing this one, its a winner in our family.

  7. Actually one of the nicest things I’ve ever made. Loved this so much. Doubled the sauce and was perfect. Literally can’t wait to have it again

  8. I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! So easy to make & love the lighter take. I used arrowroot powder & a little extra dried red pepper flakes to replace the whole dried red chili peppers. Also left the recipe cooking on high for 60 minutes at the end instead of 30 – in literally melted in your mouth. This is a keeper recipe I’ll be making plenty of times again!

  9. 408 calories/serving not including rice if preparing as directed with only 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 pound chicken for a total of 4 servings
    SO GOOD!

  10. I made this last night, and we absolutely loved it. I doubled everything and only had time for the skillet, and it turned out great. I had to split the chicken and veggies into two pans because there was so much, but ended up pouring the (doubled) sauce over both without problem. Next time, I’ll give myself more time and do this in the crockpot to make it even easier. This recipe was such a nice break from our normal meals!

  11. Made this dish in the slow cooker on the high setting. Only had time to cook for 1.5 hours then another 1/2 hour with the veg. Delicious! Very filling too. We had it with 50g rice each. Will definitely be making this again.

    1. I have found the best way to get nutritional info on all of the recipes is through MyFitnessPal.com. You just type in the recipe and it tells you! Skinnytaste.com is also a great resource for healthy and delicious meals and provides nutritional info. I am not sure if it calculates the macros for you- you may need to find a converter for that. Hope this helps! XOXO

  12. I made this once so far and we loved it. I didn’t coat it in the cornstarch, just put the chicken in the crockpot and it still turned out wonderful. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  13. This recipe was amazing! I didn’t use the slow cooker, I made it conventional. I host two Chinese students who never got a custom to American food, so this recipe was something they loved! Too bad I can’t share my pic.

  14. Can I leave out the hoisin sauce and the red pepper flakes;? Trying to cut back on sodium and I do not like hot stuff.

  15. Made the fast skillet version and my whole family LOVED it… and if you serve with quinoa or brown rice it wouldn’t have to be doubled. I doubled it for our family of 7 and had a lot left over.

  16. Just wondering what the actual carb count is on these recipes? They say low carb but I don’t see the nutritional facts anywhere.

  17. Amazing recipe, tasted better than my usual take out. Made it on stove top and it was superb. I wish I could show you a photo…. It’s Instagram worthy. Definitely recommended

  18. Hi there! I’m about to make this on the weekend. If I double the amount of chicken, should I double the amount of veges (in the “ingredients” section of the recipe). I will be doubling the sauce…….thanks!

  19. Looks really great. Will definitely try this.
    But why using a plastic bag that gets thrown away afterwards, just for salt and pepper? So much plastic waste in our oceans…

  20. I browned the chicken in my Instant Pot on the saute setting and then finished cooking it in the sauce on high pressure for 10 minutes while I cooked the vegetables in a skillet. It turned out really good. Definitely making this again.

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