Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

I love peanut sauce. It makes everything it touches automatically amazing. And it makes this chicken tender, moist, juicy and there’s layers of rich flavors.

After hearing from fans on Facebook about what kind of recipes you want to see, slow cooker recipes were the clear favorite and I’m trying to up my slow cooker game. Make sure you’re following me on Facebook and chime in.

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken - The easiest peanut chicken ever and your slow cooker does all the work!! Topped with crunchy peanuts, cilantro, green onions, and the peanut sauce is irresistible!!

It’s the easiest peanut chicken and there’s no breading, browning, baking, or frying involved.

Simply mix up the sauce that’s full of complementary flavors including coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Pour the sauce over bite-sized chicken pieces and let your slow cooker do the work.

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken - The easiest peanut chicken ever and your slow cooker does all the work!! Topped with crunchy peanuts, cilantro, green onions, and the peanut sauce is irresistible!!

Topped with crunchy peanuts, cilantro, and green onions alongside a bed of rice (or use noodles), it’s an easy, weeknight recipe that everyone will love.

There’s plenty of cooking sauce leftover in the bottom of the slow cooker which I spoon generously over the chicken, rice, and any veggies I may have steamed. But I’ve also been know to just eat peanut sauce by the spoonful. So good.

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken - The easiest peanut chicken ever and your slow cooker does all the work!! Topped with crunchy peanuts, cilantro, green onions, and the peanut sauce is irresistible!!

Please note I haven’t made this recipe without a slow cooker so can’t give specifics about how to tweak it if you don’t have a slow cooker. I have other peanut chicken and peanut sauce-based recipes listed in the Related Recipes below that you can try until you can make this with a slow cooker.

Print Recipe

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

Peanut sauces makes everything it touches automatically amazing. And it makes this chicken tender, moist, juicy and there's layers of rich flavors. It's the easiest peanut chicken and there's no breading, browning, baking, or frying involved. Simply mix up the sauce that's full of complementary flavors and pour it over bite-sized chicken pieces and let your slow cooker do the work. Topped with crunchy peanuts, cilantro, and green onions alongside a bed of rice (or use noodles), it's an easy, weeknight recipe that everyone will love. There's plenty of cooking sauce leftover in the bottom of the slow cooker which I spoon generously over the chicken, rice, and any veggies I may have steamed.

Yield: serves 6

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: about 2 to 4 hours

Total Time: about 2 to 4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • one 14-ounce can coconut milk (lite okay)
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
  • 1/3 cup lightly salted peanuts, finely chopped for garnishing
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (stems discarded), optional for garnishing
  • 2 tablespoons green onions sliced thin, optional for garnishing

Directions:

  1. Line a 3 to 6-quart slow cooker with a liner if using one. I prefer to use liners for easy cleanup.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over bottom of the liner or slow cooker.
  3. To a large, gallon-sized ziptop plastic bag, add the chicken, cornstarch, salt, pepper, seal bag, and toss to coat chicken evenly. Add chicken to slow cooker, evenly distributed; set aside.
  4. To a medium bowl, add the coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, ginger (I prefer 1 teaspoon but some people are sensitive to ginger), garlic, optional cayenne, and whisk to combine. Tip - If your peanut butter is resistant to smoothing out, place bowl in microwave and heat on high power for 30-seconds, making sure the bowl is microwave-safe.
  5. Pour mixture over the chicken, using a spoon to distribute the sauce if necessary, making sure all pieces are coated. It looks like a lot of sauce but it reduces by at least half during cooking.
  6. Cook covered on high for about 2 hours or on low for about 4 hours. If cooking on high, start checking at 90 minutes and if cooking on low, start checking at 3 hours. All slow cookers vary so cook until chicken is done (reaches 165F on an instant read thermometer).
  7. Add chicken to a plate with as much extra cooking sauce spooned over the top as desired, garnish with peanuts, optional cilantro, optional green onions, and serve immediately. Chicken is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Related Recipes

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken – The easiest orange chicken ever because your slow cooker does all the work! Super juicy, tender, and coated with a sweet-yet-tangy orange glaze that’s irresistible!

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken - The easiest orange chicken ever because your slow cooker does all the work!! Super juicy, tender, and coated with a sweet-yet-tangy orange glaze that's irresistible!!

Peanut Chicken with Peanut Noodles – Easy, ready in 20 minutes, tastes better, and way healthier than takeout!! Peanut sauce automatically makes everything taste AMAZING!!

Peanut Chicken with Peanut Noodles - Easy, ready in 20 minutes, tastes better, and way healthier than takeout!! Peanut sauce automatically makes everything taste AMAZING!!

Peanut Noodles with Mixed Vegetables and Peanut Sauce – Fast, easy, fresh, healthy, and ready in 5 minutes!

Peanut Noodles with Mixed Vegetables and Peanut Sauce

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken –

Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad – Big juicy chicken chunks and texture galore from the rainbow of crispy veggies! Fast, easy, fresh and healthy! Great for picnics, potlucks, and easy dinners!

Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad - Big juicy chicken chunks and texture galore from the rainbow of crispy veggies! Fast, easy, fresh and healthy!! Great for picnics, potlucks, and easy dinners!!

Chicken Teriyaki and Vegetable Bowtie Pasta – Juicy chicken coated in teriyaki sauce with crisp, crunchy veggies! Healthy, easy, 20 minute meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights!

Chicken Teriyaki and Vegetable Bowtie Pasta - Juicy chicken coated in teriyaki sauce with crisp, crunchy veggies! Healthy, easy, 20 minute meal that's perfect for busy weeknights!!

Sweet and Tangy Jerk Chicken with Caramelized Pineapple and Mango – Easy and ready in 15 minutes! Dinner that tastes like a tropical vacation is a guaranteed hit!

Sweet and Tangy Jerk Chicken with Caramelized Pineapple and Mango - Easy and ready in 15 minutes! Dinner that tastes like a tropical vacation is a guaranteed hit!!

One-Skillet Orange Chicken with Vegetables – Easy, ready in 15 minutes, healthy (no breading, no frying), and the orange flavor just pops! Perfect for busy weeknights, a family favorite, and you’ll make this over and over!

One-Skillet Orange Chicken with Vegetables - Easy, ready in 15 minutes, healthy (no breading, no frying), and the orange flavor just POPS!! Perfect for busy weeknights, a family favorite, and you'll make this over and over!!

One-Pan Barbecue Chicken and Roasted Sweet Potatoes – Juicy chicken and tender potatoes roasted on one pan! The barbecue sauce keeps everything super moist and flavorful! Fast, easy, and zero cleanup!

One-Pan Barbecue Chicken and Roasted Sweet Potatoes - Juicy chicken and tender potatoes roasted on one pan!! The barbecue sauce keeps everything super moist and flavorful!! Fast, easy, and zero cleanup!

One-Pan Honey Lemon Chicken and Roasted Potatoes – Juicy chicken with a honey lemon glaze that’s tangy-sweet and so good!! Healthy, fast, so easy, and cleanup is a breeze!!

One-Pan Honey Lemon Chicken and Roasted Potatoes - Juicy chicken with a honey lemon glaze that's tangy-sweet and so good!! Healthy, fast, so easy, and cleanup is a breeze!!

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Kabobs –  Juicy chicken and crisp vegetables coated in a sweet-and-tangy sauce!! Great for parties or easy weeknight dinners! Everything tastes better grilled!

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken Kabobs - Juicy chicken and crisp vegetables coated in a sweet-and-tangy sauce!! Great for parties or easy weeknight dinners! Everything tastes better grilled!!

Smoky Chicken, Peppers, and Spinach Pasta Salad – Juicy chicken, crisp bell peppers and pasta with smoked paprika! Fast, easy, healthy and a hit with everyone!! Great for picnics, potlucks, or easy weeknight dinners!

Smoky Chicken, Peppers, and Spinach Pasta Salad - Juicy chicken, crisp bell peppers and pasta with smoked paprika! Fast, easy, healthy and a hit with everyone!! Great for picnics, potlucks, or easy weeknight dinners!

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Mixed Rice and Black Beans –  Easy, one skillet, 15-minute meal! Tons of textures and bold flavors in every bite!! The lime makes this dish just POP!

Lime Cilantro Chicken with Mixed Rice and Black Beans - Easy, one skillet, 15-minute meal! Tons of textures and bold flavors in every bite!! The lime makes this dish just POP!!

One-Skillet Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables –  A tangy-sweet balsamic glaze coats juicy chicken and crisp-tender veggies! Healthy, easy, ready in 15 minutes, and perfect for busy weeknights! It’s a keeper!

One-Skillet Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables - A tangy-sweet balsamic glaze coats juicy chicken and crisp-tender veggies!! Healthy, easy, ready in 15 minutes, and perfect for busy weeknights! It's a keeper!!

 

48 comments

  1. Totally, you can’t be wasting that peanut sauce ;) It’s too good to go to waste! This looks so AHHHHMAZING! I could see this coking up in my meal plan very soon! :)

  2. This looks every bit as good as the orange chicken! I love peanut sauce also so I ‘m already anxious to try this version. I’ll probably be on a big slow cooker kick too since I have a new one now!

    • This is my last one for a little bit, probably the next month :) Because I had the last 4/6 posts or so were slow cooker recipes…oh well! Making up for lost time :) But I already have some more formulated for a bit off into the future. This was so good. The peanut sauce! Enjoy! LMK what you think!

    • This hit the spot today–easy to whip up and incredibly tasty! Jon was ready for dinner as soon as he walked in the door and smelled it. The peanut sauce is awesome– thick with just enough richness and great flavor…very satisfying!

    • So glad you guys enjoyed it and you’re certainly breaking in that new slow cooker! I loved how thick and rich this peanut sauce was too!

  3. My slow cooker is waiting for this one out on our countertop right now!  A quick sub for GF soy sauce will be so easy to do.  Thanks for such a great idea :)

  4. This looks so yummy!! I’m with you on the peanut sauce – it takes anything from bland to amazing!

  5. I could just DRINK that sauce!!!

  6. Wow very interesting with peanut sauce, it must give the chicken lots of flavour. Peanut sauce is new to me and I like the idea :-)

  7. You can’t go wrong with peanut sauce!  Yum!

  8. Very different way of doing it!

  9. This is fantastic! I love that peanut sauce, perfect in a slow cooker.

  10. Love this dish. Thank you.

  11. hello averie…this recipe looks amazing … what would you advise me if cooking this in a dutch oven instead?? or maybe a regular skillet ? thanks a lot…

    • I haven’t made this recipe without a slow cooker so can’t give specifics about how to tweak it. I have other peanut chicken and peanut sauce-based recipes listed in the Related Recipes that you can try until you get a slow cooker.

  12. Thanks for the great recipes, Averie, love your blog.

    Question though – if I don’t have a slow cooker what’s an alternative method to make this? I plan on getting one eventually but just waiting until everything is finalized on the new home bc I have enough kitchen stuff as it is in our tiny apartment!

    • I haven’t made this recipe without a slow cooker so can’t give specifics about how to tweak it. I have other peanut chicken and peanut sauce-based recipes listed in the Related Recipes that you can try until you get a slow cooker.

  13. peanut sauce is addicting! and anything that I can make in the slow cooker is a win in my book!

  14. Could you make this and freeze it after ?

  15. Looks really good on your pictures. I’m not much of a cooker, but you got me, I’ll try this recipe for sure.

  16. What would the cooking time be if I doubled the amount of chicken (4lbs)?

    • I can’t say because I haven’t tried that but it would depend on the size of the slow cooker for one thing – so somewhat longer but not necessarily double the time. You’ll just have to watch it and use common sense.

  17. Do you happen to know the nutritional values?

    • No I don’t but there are online nutritional calculators that you can use to plug the data into.

    • Kate | HappyForks.com

      I’ve checked nutritional values. I portion provides about 750 kcal | Protein 49 g | Fat 48.5 g | Carbohydrates 36 g | Fiber 3.7 g | Sugars 1.85 g. Peanuts do the job! The good news is that with one serving you also get daily requirements for Vitamin B3 and B6 .

  18. I have GOT to make these. The  photos are mouthwatering.

  19. I have read all the reviews and it does not appear that anyone actually tried this. I did and I had some problems. Is the amount of cornstarch correct? Did you brown the chicken in the crock pot? Is that even an option in a crock pot? Why did the cornstarch stick to your chicken while cooking? Less than two cups liquid and 1/2 cup cornstarch going into solution made for a pasty, dry, souffle texture. After adding additional liquid and additional coconut milk the flavor was gone and it was still a pasty mess. That said, I would make it again in a flash, substantially reducing corn starch. And thoughts? How did this go so wrong? All I can think is when shaking in bag it was not all intended to adhere to the chicken but in my case it did. Then melted immediately off as it began cooking. 

    • With regard to the cornstarch, all you’re trying to do is put some in a big baggie, add the chicken to the bag, shake, and get the chicken coated with cornstarch. And yes, it’s supposed to adhere to the chicken.

      I didn’t brown the chicken in the Crockpot, I just added it straight from the baggie to the crockpot, exactly as I wrote in the recipe.

      You’re not adding 1/2 cup cornstarch straight into the slow cooker, you’re adding it to the baggie for the chicken to be coated with. Not every ounce of it is going to stick; take the chicken out of the bag, and place in slow cooker and carry on with the recipe. If you were to add 1/2 cup cornstarch directly into the slow cooker, yes I can see where that would be a pasty mess but that’s not what I wrote to do. Can’t determine if that’s what you did or not.

      If you think reducing the cornstarch will help you next time, go for it. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  20. I am sorry I wasn’t clear in my review. I followed the recipe directions exactly. I put the cornstarch, salt and pepper in bag with cubed chicken that I had previously even blotted dry with a paper towel. ALL the cornstarch adhered to the chicken. The bag was empty except for some pepper in the bottom after I removed chicken. I did not just dump chicken in the crock pot but gave it a little shake between my fingers as I removed pieces from the bag. No cornstarch was left after shaking chicken. And your chicken pieces appear to have a coating of cornstarch on them. Mine were white cubes of, yes, temder cooked chicken and the cornstarch dissolved and went into solution. I am curious what other cooks encountered?

    • Not sure what exactly happened in your situation. It’s tricky to troubleshoot from afar when I wasn’t in your kitchen with you :)

      Others have made the recipe successfully so not sure what happened for you – but you could try reducing and/or eliminating the cornstarch if you think it would help.

    • I just made this (my 4-year-old loved it!) and found the sauce to be thicker than I’d have liked. Not really clumpy, but not smooth and creamy like i was hoping. I’m thinking next time less cornstarch. I used organic peanut butter (without added oil or sugar), not  sure if that affected the consistency. That being said, the flavor was amazing! I love peanut sauce, and thought this was really good. My husband thought it was too peanutty; I think there’s no such thing.

    • Glad you loved the flavor and as far as the texture you could experiment with different peanut butters and/or less cornstarch and/or maybe a bit less time in the slow cooker. You want it cooked obviously but the longer the sauce is in there, the thicker it will get. I agree, there’s no such thing as too peanutty!

    • Oh, also wanted to add I used fresh garlic and ginger, and 1/2 a fresh squeezed lime. Delish! 

    • I tried it also, and had to tweak it a lot: less cornstarch, more garlic and ginger, used regular strength soy sauce, and zested a lime into the sauce before putting it into the slow cooker. It came out a hundred times better than the first round, which was kind of gummy and bland, after following the recipe exactly.

    • I’m glad you tweaked the recipe to your liking. We all have different sensitivities towards spices/salt (the sodium in regular soy sauce for example my family doesn’t prefer). Glad it was a success for you.

  21. Averie, you are wonderful!  Just tried the slow cooker Thai peanut chicken & it is great.  Had to made just a few substitutions that I googled (didn’t have rice wine vinegar, or the ginger) & used chunky peanut butter (my favorite) and it turned out so tasty!  Thank you.  Next will be the slow cooker orange chicken, but like others, I’m planning on substituting out the orange (mild allergy to citrus).  Going to try apricot, again one of my favorites.
    Thank you!

  22. Mine ended up pasty too, I’m guessing I didn’t shake enough cornstarch off before I added it to the crock.  It still tasted great, I’ll just be sure to not put quite as much cornstarch in the bag next time so it has a bit of a lighter coating.  Also, since I was feeding kids I didn’t use any cayenne, but I added some chili garlic sauce to mine for some spice.  SO GOOD!  I will definitely be making this again!

  23. I made the Thai peanut chicken tonight and it turned out sooo tasty.

  24. Can you make this sauce ahead and keep it in the fridge until using? Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *