This slow cooker cashew chicken is an easy, healthy dinner or meal prep recipe. It’s Whole30, paleo, gluten-free and soy-free, and only needs 10 minutes of prep work to dice chicken and make an easy sauce. The crockpot does the rest of the work, and you get a family friendly meal that’s quick and simple to clean up. Paired with a vegetable side, this is the perfect go-to for a busy weeknight!
Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken Ingredients
To make Whole30 cashew chicken in the slow cooker, you’ll need two pounds of diced boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and 1 cup of raw cashews. Those two things are the main ingredients, and then the rest is for the sauce.
For the sauce, you’ll need coconut aminos, arrowroot flour, sugar-free ketchup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and Chinese five-spice powder. I get my pantry staple ingredients like all of these for a discount from Thrive Market, but they’re all widely available at major grocery stores. You’ll also need coconut sugar and honey if you’re making this Paleo, and for Whole30, you can swap those two ingredients for 3 tablespoons of orange juice.
For the sugar-free ketchup, I use Primal Kitchen’s Whole30 Approved version, which is just a really, really good ketchup, Whole30 or not. You can get that in any major store nowadays like Target and Walmart, Amazon, on Thrive Market, or their website (code PALEOBAILEY) gives you a discount at checkout.
This is my healthier take inspired by my favorite Chinese takeout dish, so it’s not authentic, but you will see the use of Chinese 5 Spice. Chinese 5 Spice is a classic Chinese blend of 5 spices, hence the name, that gives savory dishes a real lift in flavor. You don’t need much, but I don’t recommend skipping it! It adds so much to this dish and gives it a warm, sweet taste that just can’t be replicated without adding it! You can get this spice in most grocery stores in the spice aisle, or international cooking aisle.
How to Prep Cook Cashew Chicken in the Crock Pot
This recipe takes about 10 minutes to prepare. The only “prepping” that it requires is chopping your chicken in one-inch pieces and mixing the sauce ingredients together. You’ll first start by adding your diced chicken, arrowroot, salt and pepper into the slow cooker, and using tongs or a fork to toss so that the chicken is coated in the arrowroot.
Then, you’ll combine all of the cashew chicken sauce ingredients into a large mixing cup or a bowl and mix up with a fork to incorporate everything together. The last step of the prep before cooking is to just pour the sauce over the chicken and stir it to evenly distribute the sauce.
Place the lid onto the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Before you’re ready to eat, dump in the raw cashews, and mix 1 tablespoon of arrowroot with 1 tablespoon of water using a fork to dissolve the flour into the bit of water. Add that into the slow cooker, stir the cashews and flour mixture into the sauce and place the lid back on.
Let that sit for 20 minutes to give the cashews a bit to soften and let the sauce thicken. While that’s happening, you can prep your sides!
If you want to make this recipe in the instant pot, follow these directions
We love this slow cooker cashew chicken recipe with steamed or roasted broccoli, and eat it over that most often. It’s also of course great with rice if you’re not grain-free, cauliflower rice or broccoli rice if you are! You can also do a quick stir fry to lightly cook carrots, pea pods, zucchini rounds and green pepper and serve it with those still-crunchy veggies!
Other Whole30 Slow Cooker Recipes You’ll Love:Print
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1 inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot flour, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 3 tablespoons sugar-free ketchup
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon mined ginger
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar*
- 1 tablespoon honey*
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup unsalted raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon water
- *For Whole30, omit coconut sugar and honey and replace with 3 tablespoon orange juice
- Place the diced chicken into a 6-quart slow cooker and add 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour, salt and pepper. Use tongs to toss the chicken with the flour, salt and pepper to coat the chicken pieces
- In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, add in all of the remaining ingredients except for the cashews, water and remaining 1 tablespoon of arrowroot
- Stir the sauce to combine everything together, and then pour into the slow cooker over the chicken. Give it a quick toss to evenly distribute
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for for 3-4 hours. Remove the lid and stir in the 1 cup of cashews. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of arrowroot flour with 1 tablespoon of water. Use a fork to stir to dissolve the flour and then pour into the slow cooker
- Stir into the sauce, place the lid back on and cook for an additional 20 minutes to soften the cashews and thicken the sauce
- This recipe cooks great when doubled, simply add twice the amount of sauce and chicken
- To freeze, allow to fully cool and then store in a freezer-safe bag or container. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight and then warm in a skillet over medium heat for 10 minutes or in a slow cooker set to low for 1 hour
- To cook in the instant pot, follow these directions
Keywords: slow cooker cashew chicken, chicken recipes, healthy recipes, slow cooker, crock pot, paleo, gluten-free
- Calories: 386
- Fat: 15.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 17 g
- Fiber: 2.2 g
- Protein: 39 g
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