This easy Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken is quick to prep, better than takeout, and way healthier for you, too! Perfect for easy weeknight dinner and kid approved!
So, I went to work testing out tons of slow cooker recipes. Heck, I even bought an extra slow cooker to test twice as much.
That’s called commitment, people!
And, yes, that also means double the tasty food which is a nice reward for all my hard work. It’s so hard 😉
Well, it just so happened on day I was craving some Chinese food. AND I needed to test an easy slow cooker recipe.
That’s right, friends: Put your hands together!
And that is how this slow cooker cashew chicken came to be.
Truth: this cashew chicken is amazeballs good.
Another truth (and a random side note): I find it funny that my spellchecker has learned the word “amazeballs.” Do I say that a lot? Hmmm.
Since testing this recipe and sharing it on No-Fail Meals, I get requests for it all the time.
It’s one of those amazingly simple recipes that get you all excited about when they’re in the slow cooker because you know the delicious smell it’s giving off isn’t even a tenth of how delicious your meal will be in just a few short hours.
Super simple. Super easy. High protein. Flavorful. Yep: amazeballs.
Apparently I use that word a lot? Jury’s still out.
Is Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken Healthy?
Alright, we all know and love cashew chicken. But we’re looking at a recipe on A Sweet Pea Chef so there’s gotta be a healthy component to this, right? Right! Cashew chicken can be a healthy option when dining at Chinese restaurants IF you practice portion control. After about 1 cup of cashew chicken, however, the calories, sodium, and fat can quickly add up. That’s why making homemade cashew chicken is a great healthy choice.
The biggest nutritional aspects to pay attention to when enjoying cashew chicken are the sodium (hello, soy sauce!) and fat (hello, cashews and chicken thighs!). That being said, one serving of this cashew chicken will still allow you to continue your healthy lifestyle and partake in yummy Chinese cuisine. Woot!
If you’d prefer to reduce the saturated fat even further on this dish, you can always replace the chicken thighs with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I find I like the flavor a tad better with skin-on, bone-in thighs, though I do remove the skin when I eat it to lessen the fat content and because the chicken already has so much flavor anyways.
This recipe also doubles well, in case you’d rather not use two crock pots! 😉
How To Freeze Cashew Chicken
Making meals and freezing them into smaller portions for using later is a great idea, especially with slow cooker recipes since they make so many servings! It definitely helps on those crazy busy weeknight dinners or when I am out of ideas for what to make for dinner!
To freeze cashew chicken, make the entire recipe as written below first. Then, allow to cool completely before portioning it into either several 1 quart freezer bags (individual servings) or 1 gallon freezer bag (family serving) or a freezer-safe container. If using freezer bags, make sure they are freezer safe and remove as much air as possible before sealing.
If you’re wanting to turn this into an easy freezer meal to cook later, follow the directions to brown the chicken and make the cashew sauce, and then add everything into a freezer safe bag. When ready to cook, just add to a slow cooker and cook.
More Better Than Takeout Recipes
Craving takeout, but still wanna stick to your healthy eating goals (and save the money on takeout)? Try these better for you, better than takeout recipes to get your fix.
- Beef with Broccoli
- Slow Cooker Hot and Sour Soup
- Healthy General Tso’s Chicken
- Easy Orange Chicken
- 25 Minute Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Pork Fried Rice
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
More Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes
Want more easy, delicious, and healthy slow cooker recipes? Here ya go!
- Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Slow Cooker Green Chile Pork Tacos
- Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Crock Pot Pulled Pork
- Crock Pot Shredded Beef Tacos
Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken
This easy Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken is quick to prep, better than takeout, and way healthier for you, too!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp chili paste
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 4 green onions, for garnish, sliced
- cooked brown rice optional for serving
- Heat a fry pan over high heat and add the oil.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot pan. Cook until well-browned, about 2 minutes per side.
- Transfer browned chicken to the bowl of a slow cooker.
Combine the low sodium soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chili paste, raw honey, garlic, ginger, and cashews in a small bowl and pour over the chicken.
Cover and cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours. Top with sliced green onions.
- Serve over steamed brown rice, if desired.
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