Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken is wholesome, filled with bright, good-for-you veggies like butternut squash, green peas, and bell peppers, and the leftovers will keep on living long into the week.
While steadfast and reliable—this is an easy dump-and-go crockpot recipe—this crockpot chicken recipe is not to be underestimated.
It is bursting with layers of flavor, lightly creamy, packs in the veg, and is healthy too.
I’m a sucker for Thai food (like Thai Chicken Curry, Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai, and Coconut Curry), because I adore its freshness and complex layers of spice.
Considering Ben married me for the Thai Peanut Chicken Stir Fry in my cookbook, I’d say he’s a fan too!
5 Star Review
“I love this recipe! It’s my fiancé’s favorite! He absolutely loves it. It’s been amazing every time!”— Sara —
How to Make Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken
Asian-inspired dishes like Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken, Slow Cooker Chicken Curry, and Crockpot Beef and Broccoli work well in the slow cooker, as the meat can bathe in the sauce as it cooks.
You can prep this slow cooker Thai chicken with coconut milk earlier in the day, then forget about it until dinner when the fragrant scent of it cooking brings you back to the kitchen.
Plus, since it offers lean protein and a variety of vegetables, this crockpot Thai chicken is an ideal all-in-one savory meal.
Don’t forget to build in time to make rice. Brown rice, what I prefer to serve with this recipe, takes about 45 minutes. For ultimate ease, I like to make big batches of rice, then portion and freeze it for quick access.
Forget to put on the rice? Try swapping a quicker-cooking grain like quinoa, cauliflower rice, or serve Thai peanut chicken with noodles.
You can also make Thai peanut chicken lettuce wraps!
- Chicken Breast. The pices of boneless, skinless chicken breast almost seem to absorb the sauce and become ultra tender, moist, and flavorful.
- Coconut Milk. Rich, creamy, and nutty, coconut milk is a staple in many Thai recipes. It’s critical for the sauce’s flavor and texture.
- Peanut Butter. Not only does it impart the rich, beloved flavor of peanut butter into the sauce, but it also gives it body. Peanut butter packs a protein punch and has healthy fats, which make this dish more satisfying.
- Red Curry Paste. Mega flavor in a jar, red curry paste is the driver behind the sauce’s depth of flavor and hint of spice.
- Fish Sauce. This does NOT make the Thai peanut chicken taste like fish. Rather, it gives the dish savoriness, depth, and (for lack of a more eloquent explanation) makes it taste more Thai. Fish sauce is preferred over soy sauce in this recipe.
- Sugar. Helps balance all of the flavors in the sauce.
- Ginger + Garlic. The ultimate flavor building duo.
- Red Pepper Flakes. For a little extra heat.
- Butternut Squash. The nutty, sweet flavor of butternut squash pairs wonderfully with the coconut peanut sauce. Plus, it’s rich in vitamins and potassium.
- Red Bell Pepper. Sweet, colorful, and packed with vitamins.
- Peas. Frozen peas are a quick and easy way to add an extra veggies to the dish.
- Lime Juice. Wakes up and brightens all of the flavors in the dish.
Make this gluten-free by insuring all ingredients are labeled gluten-free!
- Whisk the sauce ingredients together in the slow cooker.
- Stir in the chicken and veggies. Cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours or on LOW for 5 to 6 hours.
- Thirty minutes before serving, add the peas. Just before serving, pour in the lime.
- Serve with rice and garnish with fresh cilantro. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm chicken in a deep skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, whisk the sauce ingredients together in a slow cooker (or separate bowl) and cut the chicken and vegetables (except the peas). Cover and refrigerate the sauce until you’re ready to finish the recipe. Refrigerate the chicken and vegetables in separate airtight storage containers.
What to Serve with Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken
Air Fryer Broccoli
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Slow Cooker. Ideal for making crockpot Thai peanut chicken.
- Extra-Large Cutting Board. Always running out of room on your cutting board? This is the answer!
- Citrus Juicer. The easiest and fastest way to juice a lime.
Whether you are looking for fresh, healthy meals to better your diet, make-ahead dinner ideas, or just want to shovel your fork into a big plate of tasty goodness, slow cooker Thai peanut chicken is the dish for you.
Fire up the crockpot, friends!
Frequently Asked Questions
As written, this recipe has a fairly moderate spice level. However, if you want to decrease the amount of spice, you can reduce or omit the amount of red pepper flakes. Those who want the heat can add some to their individual servings for more of a kick. You could even add a splash of sriracha sauce!
While I like to use light coconut milk as a healthy swap, you can certainly use full-fat coconut milk if you prefer.
While I’ve only tested this recipe in a slow cooker, I think you could gently slow simmer it in a Dutch oven on the stovetop instead.
Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken
- 2 cans light coconut milk (14 ounce cans)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter creamy or crunchy
- 3 tablespoons red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 large red bell peppers cored and thinly sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
- 2 cups frozen peas thawed
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
- Prepared brown rice for serving
- Chopped fresh cilantro for serving
- In a 6-quart or larger slow cooker, whisk together the coconut milk, peanut butter, curry paste, fish sauce, coconut sugar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes until smooth.
- Add the chicken pieces, squash, red bell pepper, and onion to the slow cooker and stir gently to coat with sauce. The mixture will be very thick. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or on low for 5 to 6 hours.
- Thirty minutes before you are ready to serve, add the peas. Immediately before serving, stir in lime juice.
- Serve over rice with a generous sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm chicken in a deep skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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I made this on Sunday & the two meat-eaters in our 5-person household polished it off 3+ days later… So today, I made a double batch. I’d say you have a winner! Thank you so much for sharing! :) They LOVE it, & neither of them are super crazy about winter squash, so double-yay! :)
Janet, I’m so glad to hear it was a success! Thanks for taking the time to share this review!
Just came across this recipe. Any thoughts on how to do this in an instant pot?
Hi Naomi! Unfortunately, I’ve never tried this recipe in the Instant Pot, so I can’t say for sure. If you decide to experiment with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!
I made it in our insta pot and it turned out great! Cooked it for about 35 min on high pressure and it was super tasty! I’m wondering how it would taste with green curry paste instead of red…
Thanks for the feedback Monique! So glad you enjoyed it!
I’m obsessed with your beautiful cookbook and have made many many recipes out of it that may family all Love! It’s my favorite go to cookbook- ❤️Thank you’ ! I came across this recipe on line and I’ve got to try it tonight! My only question is – when the chicken goes in the crockpot is it raw or already cooked? Just wanted to clarify.
Please keep sharing your wonderful recipes! They NEVER disappoint!
THANK YOU so much for your kind words, Tresa! The chicken should be raw when it goes into the crockpot. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
I’m never organized enough to use slow cooker, I’m an instant pot kinda girl. How can I switch this recipe over to IP? It looks really yummy!
Hi Janet! I’ve only tested it in the slow cooker, so I am unsure how to convert it. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes.
I haven’t tried this, but I’m prerating it because all the other stuff I’ve made from this site is 5-star, and you never disappoint.
My Sweetheart has seafood and nut allergies. What can I substitute for the peanut butter and fish sauce?
I’m also going to purchase your book. Can I have your permission to transcribe it to hard copy Braille? I’d like to share your recipes with the students at the rehab center for the blind on the island. It would give them a chance to practice both their Braille reading and cooking skills, and would also introduce them to you and your website.
Hi Dani, you could use a nut free butter and soy sauce. Although the flavor will be different. Please email at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about the cookbook! THANK YOU!
What can you say use instead of the fish sauce?
Hi Michelle! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so I don’t have any suggestions on substitutions. You could probably just leave it out if you really don’t want to use it.
My husband and I love this recipe! We’d recommend adding a bit more peanut butter and/or crushed peanuts for a garnish. The peanut butter taste was very faint otherwise.
Hi Terry! So glad you enjoyed the chicken! Thank you for this kind review!
Made it exactly as written with no substitutions, and was not flavorful. Not a hint of peanut which was thought to be one of the top notes per name of recipe. This was so disappointing as we were so excited to eat it. Slight Thai flavor but overwhelming fish sauce imho. Hate to leave negative review but after purchase of all ingredients and lots of work …
I’m sorry to hear this wasn’t what you hoped for, Lisa. Many other readers have tried it and loved it, but I know everyone has different tastes. I truly wish you would have loved it!
Wow, what a fantastically easy recipe not to mention the amazing depth of flavours considering the amount of ingredients. Sometimes I don’t want a complicated recipe but still want a great taste. This recipe is in my keeper list. Thank you so much!!!
Hi Marianne! So glad you enjoyed the chicken! Thank you for this kind review!
I made this recipe but my husband is very picky with ingredients so I left out the red curry paste and the fish sauce. It was not a significant amount of either so I did not think it would matter. We very much enjoyed the taste of the dish but it was definitely not a thick sauce. In the instructions where it says that the mixture will be very thick, it was not. And as it cooked, it became thinner and thinner. In fact we had to strain it when we went to eat it. And the squash, which did cook thoroughly, certainly did not turn into part of the sauce like it does in your photo. What did I do wrong?
Hi Caralee, I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe. The squash remains in chunks in the sauce, I’m just not sure if you can see it since it blends in with the sauce. It’s hard to know why your mixture wasn’t thick without being in the kitchen with you. Glad you enjoyed the taste of the dish.
I followed the recipe except I put 1 tablespoon of curry paste instead of 3. Not sure if that is what made it very watery. It was still good, but more like a soup.
Hi Patty, as you see from the photos it does have liquidy sauce, but serving it over rice will definitely soak some of that up.
I started this on the stove in my dutch oven and then put it in the oven (I think 375 F for an hour or so) because my slow cooker is also my instant pot and I wanted to make rice in that. This meal was terrific. We really liked it. Great work, Erin!
Hi Pam! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank for this kind review!
Your recipe sliw cooker Thai peanut chicken looks delicious. Can i make this using instant pot? If so how long can i cook for?
Thank you for answering my question
Hi Glenda! Unfortunately, I’ve never tried this recipe in the Instant Pot, so I can’t say for sure. If you decide to experiment with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!
Very good! I made a few adjustments, out of either preference or necessity.
1. The onion I got turned out to be bad. I didn’t miss it but will definitely add it next time.
2. Left out the frozen peas due to preference.
3. Doubled the PB. Glad I did.
4. Added baby corn because they are cute.
A few other notes:
1. This is a very mild dish as is. Next time I am going to triple the red pepper flakes. However, if cooking for a crowd I would leave it as is and people can add more to their liking at the end.
2. The bell pepper was “mushy”- I expected it to be more firm. Next time I will try adding it half way through the cook time.
3. Speaking of cool time- I cooked on high for four hours in order to get the BNS nice and tender.
Overall, such a satisfying and easy recipe. Curries make great leftovers. It also comes across as “elevated” for a make ahead meal when you have guests.
Oh! And don’t skip the cilantro and peanuts on top. They take it to another level.
Hi Juliet, thanks for the feedback!
Really tasty recipe… thank you so much! I love Thai chicken and also love using my slow cooker. Everyone in my family said they enjoyed this one. I didn’t have butternut squash, but pretty much followed the rest of the recipe as written. I added 3/4 cup of peanuts at the end of cooking and before serving over rice. It was really delicious.
Hi Laurie! So glad you enjoyed them! Thank you for this kind review!
Can the sauce be frozen weeks ahead of slow cooking it, or does it need to be prepared when ready to slow cook it?
Hi Milissa, I’ve only made it one day in advance so I wouldn’t be able to advise on how well it would freeze. I’d probably just prepare it as written. Hope you enjoy it!
Can you use baby corn instead of the butternut squash?
Hi Cheryl! I am not sure it is a 1:1 substitute but you could give it a try! If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!
I love Thai food, but this is nasty. There is absolutely no flavor. I followed the recipe to a T expecting a great , easy meal. Not so much. It tastes like boiled chicken water . Don’t make this if you actually like Thai food
I’m sorry to hear that it wasn’t to your taste Shawn. The recipe has worked well for myself (and others) but I know how frustrating it can be to try a new recipe and not have it work out, so I really wish you would’ve enjoyed it!
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