Recipe: Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

updated May 1, 2019
Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

A secret sauce and crisp veggies bring this takeout classic to the next level.


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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

If a generous helping of crisp vegetables and tender morsels of juicy chicken lightly dressed in a savory sauce are what you seek, then your best bet is to look outside the takeout box and into your slow cooker.

Since the only real requirements of cashew chicken are the cashews and chunks of juicy chicken, let’s go wild and add fistfuls of carrots, broccoli, bell pepper, and snow peas to this simple supper.

This is a vibrant, vegetable-filled version of the takeout favorite — here’s how to make it at home in your slow cooker.

First up, mix the sauce right in the slow cooker insert with no need to dirty an extra bowl. Oyster sauce is the secret, providing the classic flavor you expect from Chinese stir-fry and noodle dishes. The thick brown sauce is made from a reduction of boiled oysters, providing an intense umami flavor with sweet notes of caramel.

Grated fresh ginger and a scoop of chili garlic sauce add a welcome burst of heat that cuts through the sweetness. The flavors of the sauce mellow as the cashew chicken cooks, so you may find this sauce intense at the start.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The slow cooker is a favorite tool for recreating homemade delivery dinners on days where I pop in and out of the house. Chunks of boneless, skinless chicken breast soak up the sauce over a few hours before the vegetables and cashews are added with just 30 minutes until the timer rings. Toss the veggies and chicken with the sauce before dishing out over rice — no takeout box required.

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

A secret sauce and crisp veggies bring this takeout classic to the next level.

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1/4 cup


  • 2 tablespoons

    rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons

    tomato paste

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons

    oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon


  • 1 tablespoon

    toasted (Asian) sesame oil

  • 3

    cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons

    finely grated peeled fresh ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    Asian chili-garlic sauce (optional)

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 pounds

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1

    large carrot, thinly sliced crosswise on a slight diagonal

  • 1 cup

    raw cashews

  • 1 cup

    snow peas

  • 1 cup

    small broccoli florets

  • 1 cup

    diced red or orange bell pepper

For serving:

  • Cooked rice or cauliflower rice

  • Coarsely chopped roasted cashews


  1. Whisk the honey, vinegar, tomato paste, oyster sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, chili-garlic sauce if using, salt, and pepper together in a 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-quart slow cooker. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

  2. Cover and cook on the LOW setting until the chicken registers 160°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 hours.

  3. Stir in the carrot, cashews, snow peas, broccoli, and bell pepper. Cover and continue cooking on the LOW setting until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 30 minutes more. Stir to evenly distribute the sauce, coating the chicken, vegetables, and cashews. Serve over steamed white, brown, or cauliflower rice.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.