Crock Pot Cashew Chicken

4.93 from 64 votes
181 Comments

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This Crock Pot Cashew Chicken is better than most Chinese takeout cashew chicken. Throw it all in the slow cooker and have a delicious, no fuss dinner!

A bowl of cashew chicken with sauce, cashews, and green onion

This is an easy-to-prepare Crock Pot recipe that the whole family will love! It can also be adapted to be an Instant Pot Recipe or a Freezer Meal. Serve this for dinner with rice, roasted vegetables, or roasted asparagus.

Crock Pot Cashew Chicken

In addition to being delicious, this Crock Pot Cashew Chicken is super easy to make! You can have this ready and in the crock pot faster than you can get your kids in the car and drive to the nearest Chinese place for take-out. My family absolutely LOVED this recipe! We served it with some steamed veggies and it was the perfect pairing. You can throw veggies in the crock pot with this dish or you can serve it on the side — whatever is easiest for you!

Crock pot Cashew chicken in a slow cooker with cashews and green onion

Cashew Chicken | Tasty history

When you bite into the sweet and savory flavor of cashew chicken, you’re probably imagining some rich, Chinese heritage for this food. Not so. Actually, this dish heralds from Springfield, Missouri in the United States in 1963. A chef from China, David Leong, created the dish as he was trying to incorporate the flavors of his homeland with the tastes of the local residents. It became a very popular dish and he was very open to sharing the recipe with other restaurant owners. No, more than 50 years later, the entree that consists of bite-sized pieces of fried chicken in the rich brown sauce with crunchy cashews is on the menu of almost every Chinese restaurant in the United States.

Cashew Chicken Freezer Meal

This cashew chicken recipe can easily be adapted to be a freezer meal. Make double the amount and freeze half for later! When making this a freezer meal, skip dredging the chicken in flour. That will just make a mess after freezing. Simply add the chicken pieces (un-dredged) to a gallon-sized plastic zip-top freezer bag, combine the sauce ingredients, and add the sauce to the bag. Squeeze the air out and seal tightly. That’s it! To enjoy later, thaw your bag in the refrigerator then add it to the Crock Pot just as you would in this recipe. Add cashews after cooking.

A bowl of cashew chicken with cashews, sauce, and green onion

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken

If you are in a hurry to make dinner and would rather make this cashew chicken in an Instant Pot, it’s easy to do! You can even brown the chicken right there in the Instant Pot before cooking so you don’t have to dirty a skillet. You will just have to do it in batches.

  1. After browning the chicken, remove the chicken and add the sauce to the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  2. To avoid getting the “burn notice” on your Instant Pot, you will want to add ½ cup of chicken broth over the sauce.
  3. Add the chicken over the top of the sauce, seal the Instant Pot, and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.
  4. Do a quick release and stir to cover the chicken in sauce.
Crock pot chicken in a light sauce made with cashews and green onion

Stove-Top Cashew Chicken

If you don’t have a Crock Pot or an Instant Pot and just want to make this on the stove top, that is easy too! Just be sure to use a skillet large enough to hold everything.

  1. After cooking the chicken in the skillet, there is no need to remove it. Just pour the sauce right over the chicken.
  2. Cover and simmer on low heat until the chicken is cooked through (165-degrees F), stirring occasionally. This should only take about 30-40 minutes.
  3. If the sauce seems to be getting too thick, just add some chicken broth to thin out.

A Big Thank You!

This recipe for this version of Crock Pot Cashew Chicken was adapted from Karen at 365daysofcrockpot.com. She is such a sweetheart. I have had the pleasure of meeting her several times and she has some awesome recipes. She gave this one a 5-star rating and I couldn’t agree more. It is delicious! Check out her blog for even more amazing crock pot recipes!

Close up of cashew chicken in a Crock Pot with green onion and cashews

More Slow Cooker Recipes to Try

  • Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup:  Chicken and Rice Soup warms you up on cold fall and winter days. It is also ideal for busy days. The ingredients go into the Slow Cooker in the morning and a nice, hot meal awaits in the evening.
  • Slow Cooker Lasagna: This Slow Cooker Lasagna recipe is not only delicious, it is definitely the easiest way to make lasagna. You don’t have to boil the lasagna noodles ahead of time and deal with wet, sticky noodles.
  • Slow Cooker Cheese Tortellini Soup: This Cheese Tortellini Soup is a flavorful, easy slow cooker meal. Tortellini, sausage, and spinach in a creamy tomato soup and slow cooked to perfection.
  • Slow Cooker Kalua Pork: Kalua Pork with Cabbage is a Hawaiian dish often served at Luaus. This version is made in the slow cooker and tastes just like authentic shredded Kalua Pig.
  • Slow Cooker Pasta E Fagioli Soup: Our version of the Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Soup tastes just like the original.
  • Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana Soup:  Many agree that this Zuppa Toscana Soup Olive Garden Copycat is actually better than the original! It has a creamy both base and is loaded with sausage and potatoes.
  • Slow Cooker Molten Chocolate and Caramel Cake: I am in love with this Slow Cooker Molten Chocolate and Caramel Cake. Besides this being rich, chocolatey, and delicious, it is so easy to make and the clean up is a breeze!
  • Easy Crock Pot Pork Chops: With four ingredients and a sauce you’re going to love, you won’t want to miss this comfort food!
Crock Pot Cashew Chicken on a white plate.

How to Make Crock Pot Cashew Chicken

Cashew chicken on a white plate

Crock Pot Cashew Chicken

4.93 from 64 votes
This Crock Pot Cashew Chicken is better than most Chinese takeout cashew chicken. Throw it all in the slow cooker and have a delicious, no fuss dinner!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Crock Pot Slow Cooker

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine flour and pepper in resealable food storage bag. Add chicken. Shake to coat with flour mixture.
    A bag of diced chicken with flour for dredging to make Crock Pot cashew chicken
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side. Place chicken in slow cooker.
    Chicken being cooked in a pan to make cashew chicken in the Crock Pot
  • Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken.
    Chicken in a Crock Pot with sauce being poured over the top to make cashew chicken
  • Cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours. Stir in cashews and serve.
    Close up of cashew chicken in a Crock Pot with green onion and cashews

Video

Nutrition Information

Calories: 313kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 36gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 979mgPotassium: 700mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 120IUVitamin C: 2.6mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 2mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. The recipe and the video don’t match. Is it 1 cup of soy sauce as stated in the recipe or 1/4 as shown in the video? I followed the recipe but it is swimming in sauce…. looks nothing like the video or photos of finished product.

    1. We have updated the recipe since the video was created, so the info in the recipe card is the most updated version. Hope this helps!

  2. This is about a 45 minute prep time. Cutting the chicken, coating and browning the chicken, mixing the other ingredients, chopping the garlic…. You would have to be a magician to do all that in 10 minutes. The taste is great. One of my family’s favorite crockpot recipes. I double the sauce ingredients so there is enough to pour a little over the top of each serving.

    1. Thanks for the heads-up, we will re-evaluate those prep times to make sure they are accurate. So glad you liked this recipe!

  3. 4 stars
    Loved the flavor and ease of preparing it; however, mine also dried up after just two hours cooking. I turned it to ‘warm’ until dinner time and added some water to thin it down. I did add some celery to give it some crunch. Will make it again.

    1. Thank you for your honest review of this! We will have to re-visit the recipe and see if the cooking times need to be adjusted.

      1. Hi Sherri, we’ve updated the recipe since the video was made. How did you like the flavor?

  4. A definite miss for me. I followed this to a T, added a bit of extra brown sugar to compensate for the saltiness of the soy sauce. I used regular soy sauce and unsalted cashews. My sauce was dark and way too salty. There is clearly an ingredient in this recipe that has two versions. I fail to see how 1/4 cup of soy sauce gives you an orange sauce.

    1. I honestly wonder if it depends on the soy sauce you use. We have followed the recipe exactly so many times and have never had a problem. What brand soy sauce did you use?

  5. 5 stars
    I just made this for my family last week, and they loved it so much, they requested I repeat it again this week. (Last week I used cut up chicken thighs, this week I am cooking cut up chicken breast.) I made sure to make a generous quantity of sauce this time, and cooking on low heat has worked well so far.

      1. What size of crockpot do you need for this recipe? If it is a larger one can you half the recipe and use a 3 quart crockpot?

        1. For this recipe as-is, you should be able to use a 3 qt. without any problems. Hope this helps!

    1. Sometimes we like to use stir-fry vegetables (just the frozen kind from Costco) on the side as a veggie but I am sure you could mix them in, too!

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