Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken

Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken | platingsandpairings.com
Tracking Pixel

This Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken is perfect for weeknight dinners. Chicken thighs are simmered in a spicy sauce and finished off with crisp sautéed red peppers and crunchy peanuts. Yum!

This Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken is perfect for weeknight dinners. Chicken thighs are simmered in a spicy sauce and finished off with crisp sautéed red peppers and crunchy peanuts. Yum! | platingsandpairings.com
This Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken is perfect for weeknight dinners. Chicken thighs are simmered in a spicy sauce and finished off with crisp sautéed red peppers and crunchy peanuts. Yum! | platingsandpairings.com

I teamed up with Minute® Ready to Serve Rice to bring you this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken | platingsandpairings.com

I absolutely love a good slow cooker recipe. It’s such a good feeling to walk in the door after a long day of work and have dinner ready to greet you. It’s an even better feeling when that meal is as delicious as this Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken!

Tidbit of information for you: I’m not a big peanut fan. Is anyone really??? I feel like they are at the bottom of the nut totem pole. For me, almonds will always top that list. (I like mine raw and unseasoned). Followed by cashews, pistachios, and macadamia nuts. However, I do enjoy the topping of peanuts on kung pao chicken. You could also use cashews, but I feel good giving peanuts some love where they deserve it – Here, in peanut butter, and on top of pad thai.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a total dump and go slow cooker recipe. There’s a teensy bit of work involved before and after everything goes into the crockpot – But trust me, it’s not a lot of work, and these tips will really help you get the most out of this slow cooker version of kung pao chicken.

Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken | platingsandpairings.com

First, we brown the chicken before adding it to the slow cooker. This helps to hold the chicken bits together. If we skipped this step, we would end up with shredded kung pao chicken. Not really what we’re going for here. You can definitely brown the chicken the night before. Then, in the morning, just toss the sauce and chicken together in the slow cooker, turn it on, and you’re good to go.

The other step we can’t sidestep here: Sautéing the red peppers. In order to maintain crisp peppers, I like to quick sauté them at the end, and then add them to the finished kung pao. This really helps to maintain the texture of the dish, and it’s quick! The peppers will be ready in five minutes flat. I like to prepare them while I’m cooking the rice to serve alongside this yummy dish.

On extra rushed nights, I reach for Minute® Ready to Serve Rice. I like that its portion controlled, allowing me to make just a small portion for the two of us. No more leftover rice! Plus, it comes in lots of great new flavors – My recent favorite is the Jasmine Rice which has a fragrant, nutty quality to it.

One final tip: I prefer using chicken thighs as opposed to breasts in my slow cooker recipes as the dark meat tends to retain its moisture better.

What’s your favorite slow cooker recipe? Do you have any slow cooker tips that you’ve picked up along the way? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken | platingsandpairings.com

Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Platings & Pairings
This Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken is perfect for weeknight dinners. Chicken thighs are simmered in a spicy sauce and finished off with crisp sautéed red peppers and crunchy peanuts. Yum!
Print

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 6-10 dried red chili peppers split and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/3 cup peanuts
  • Green onions chopped, for garnish
  • Minute® Ready to Serve Rice for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken cubes with salt and pepper and cook until browned on all sides. Place the browned meat in the slow cooker, along with the dried chili peppers.
  2. Combine water, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, garlic, and ginger in a bowl. Stir until well combined. Pour over the chicken and peppers in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  3. Combine the cornstarch and water. Whisk until smooth. Add this mixture to the chicken at the end of its cooking time, and let warm through for 5-10 minutes. The sauce will thicken.
  4. While the sauce is thickening, sauté the red pepper in oil, until softened, but still crisp. Add the peppers and the peanuts to the slow cooker and stir gently to combine. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve immediately, over rice, if desired.

Wine Pairings for Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken:

  • Gewurztraminer or an off-dry Riesling would make a good match for this dish. The acidity and residual sugars along with the moderate alcohol content of these wines, help to keep the dominate flavors and spice in balance.

This Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken is perfect for weeknight dinners. Chicken thighs are simmered in a spicy sauce and finished off with crisp sautéed red peppers and crunchy peanuts. Yum! | platingsandpairings.com

Note: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Minute® Ready to Serve Rice.

This Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken is perfect for weeknight dinners. Chicken thighs are simmered in a spicy sauce and finished off with crisp sautéed red peppers and crunchy peanuts. Yum! | platingsandpairings.com

22 comments

  1. Kristyn

    Um. Yum! Love that this can be done in the slow cooker.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Me too! I wish that everything could be cooked in the crockpot! I’d be a happy girl!

      Reply

  2. Ali

    I love a good slow cooker recipe! And I am one of the weird who loves peanuts. A lot.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      🙂 No shame in loving peanuts Ali! As long as you love the slow cooker too!

      Reply

  3. Chloe | The Paper Airplane

    Another delicious recipe! Adding this to my long list to try. 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Fall/Winter always seem like the best times to experiment in the kitchen – It’s a good way to stay warm! Good luck making it through your list and happy eating!

      Reply

  4. Dijana

    This looks amazing and it seems easy enough for me to handle it! Thank you for idea

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Of course Dijana! I hope you give it a try!

      Reply

  5. Warren

    Yumm!! I’m not a spicy foods person, but crockpot cooking is right up my alley, and these pictures make me want to try this dish! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Warren – You could always cut WAY back on the peppers, or omit them completely. Maybe add some sautéed zucchini in there along with the red peppers instead.

      Reply

  6. Melinda

    Oh man…this looks delicious! I love to use our slow cooker, so I will definitely be trying this one!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I hope you enjoy Melinda! I’m a HUGE fan of the slow cooker too! I’m always on the hunt for new, delicious ways to use it!

      Reply

  7. Wmom23

    Not a big fan of crock pot cooking – everything seems to come out tasting the same. Also, so many recipes are not “dump and go” as you point out. I had to adjust my thinking about the crock pot and relegate it to weekend cooking – when I have the time for the added steps, but still enjoy the convenience of having a meal ready OR cooking something for a crowd/pot luck – it’s good at keeping it warm 🙂 My current favorite recipe is: http://www.workingmom2three.com/2015/08/27/slow-cooker-buffalo-chicken-mac-cheese/

    Reply

    1. Erin

      That mac n cheese looks great!

      Reply

  8. The Little Tourist

    This recipe looks SOOOO good! As a busy mom, the slow cooker is a dear friend. lol! Thanks for sharing 😉

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I really, really enjoy using the crockpot any chance I get – Such a timesaver!

      Reply

  9. Suparna

    Just tried making this today – I was super-excited about it but something seems really off about it 🙁 I think that much rice wine vinegar is also really overpowering the rest of the dish.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m sorry that you felt that the flavors were off. The vinegar helps to lend itself to the sweet (brown sugar), salty (soy sauce) and tart (vinegar) combination. If it didn’t suit your taste, please feel free to reduce the vinegar to just a couple of tablespoons.

      Reply

  10. P.M.

    Uhhh, not so Yumm
    Kung Pao is not to taste TOO spicy. Your recipe calls for way to much chili or spice. A little spice is exact, this will more flavor of the other ingredients.
    Each person is to TASTE the flavors, NOT feel one overbearing one.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      P.M. – I’m sorry you feel that way. Spice is definitely a personal preference. This recipe can be easily adapted if you would prefer less heat in your dish. Cheers!

      Reply

  11. MartyM

    What is the sodium content of this meal?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Marty – The exact sodium count of this meal will vary on the soy sauce you use – Because that is the only real sodium going into this recipe, you should be able to determine the total sodium content based on that. I hope this helps!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

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