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Slow Cooker Thai Chicken

| 85 Comments

In my dreams, I’m a cool, flirty free spirit—the kind of woman who keeps men guessing, is adept at salsa dancing, and can pull off a hat. In reality, I’m much more Slow Cooker Thai Chicken.
Slow Cooker Thai Chicken. Healthy, easy meal packed with flavor.
Slow Cooker Thai Chicken is wholesome. It’s filled with bright, good-for-you veggies like butternut squash, green peas and bell peppers. As a former Girl Scout and current wearer of plaid flannel, I’m almost as wholesome as they come.

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken is predictable. You set it to be ready 8 hours from now, and when the timer beeps, your fragrant, all-in-one meal is ready and waiting. I order the same truffle grilled cheese sandwich every Monday night at Ben and my favorite neighborhood bar, to the extent that I feel the server only asks me what I’d like for dinner for the sake of conversation.

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken, however, is not to be underestimated. It is bursting with layers of flavor, lightly creamy, and healthy too. Despite my sub-5’4’’ height and pre-teen looks, whiskey is my liquor of choice, I’ll rock a leather jacket, and I flip a killer burger. Give Slow Cooker Thai Chicken and The Law Student’s Wife a chance: we’ll surprise you.

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken. Perfect for a healthy dinner. I’m a sucker for Thai food, because I love its freshness and complex layers of spice. At least once a month, I try a new twist on a slow cooker Thai dish, and every one up until now has disappointed me. Either there was too much sauce, or the chicken dried out, or worst of all, the dish totally lacked in flavor. As a woman whose husband married her for her Chicken Stir Fry with Thai Peanut Sauce, a lackluster Thai chicken slow cooker meal was unacceptable. Today’s recipe for Slow Cooker Thai Chicken is my slow cooker Thai redemption.

Light coconut milk, red curry paste, and a dollop of peanut butter form the base of our healthy, flavorful sauce. To this holy trinity, we add fish sauce, which (this is important) does NOT make our dish taste like fish. Rather, it gives the Slow Cooker Thai Chicken savoriness, depth, and for lack of a more eloquent explanation, makes it taste more Thai. Brown sugar, a heap of ginger, crushed red pepper, and a dash of lime arrive on scene, and we have a 3-minute sauce that bathes our chicken and veggies in thriller Thai flavor.
Slow Cooker Thai Chicken. Healthy crock pot recipe loaded with flavor.
Whether you are looking for fresh, healthy meals to better your diet in 2014, make-ahead dinner ideas, or just want to shovel your fork into a big plate of tasty goodness, Slow Cooker Thai Chicken is the dish for you. Fire up the crock pot friends!

Love Thai peanut flavor? Try my Chicken Stir Fry with Thai Peanut Sauce and Asian Noodle Salad. Both are reader favorites, and the stir fry is so tasty, Ben married me for it.

Looking for more healthy recipe ideas? Don’t miss these 10 Healthy Recipes for 2014.

 

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 6

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken

A healthy slow cooker chicken recipe made with a simple, delicious Thai peanut and coconut milk sauce. Easily adapts to whatever vegetables you have on hand. This version is loaded with creamy butternut squash, red and green bell peppers, and peas for a beautiful, wholesome dish.

Ingredients

  • 2, 14-ounce cans light coconut milk
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 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
  • 3 cups peeled and 1/2-inch cubed butternut squash pieces (about 1 pound)
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and sliced (fresh or frozen and thawed, about 8 ounces total)
  • 2 green bell peppers, cored and sliced (fresh or frozen and thawed, about 8 ounces total)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
  • Prepared brown rice, for serving

Directions

  1. In a 5-quart or larger slow cooker, stir together the coconut milk, chicken stock, peanut butter, curry paste, fish sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Place the chicken breast, squash, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and onion in the slow cooker and stir gently to coat with sauce. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  2. Thirty minutes before you are ready to serve, add the peas. Immediately before serving, stir in lime juice. Serve garnished with cilantro, atop brown rice.
http://www.thelawstudentswife.com/2014/01/slow-cooker-thai-chicken/

This recipe is inspired by a Thai chicken soup my friend Mariah served me at her apartment. I loved it so much, I rushed home to create my own version.

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Author: Erin Clarke

I'm Erin, and I'm on a mission to cook everything that's tasty, {mostly} healthy, and budget-friendly—all while Mr. Right is in the library. I'm convinced that cheese and chocolate are the answer, that you can love sweets and veggies equally, and that delicious, satisfying food should be accessible to everyone. The recipes here are affordable, approachable, and delectable, and I can't wait to share them with you!

85 Comments

  1. I LOVE Thai Chicken and I LOVE my slow cooker! So nice to get home from work and dinner is ready! Genius idea to add the butternut squash girl! I can only imagine how extra creamy it makes this yummy meal. perfect!

  2. Ive been seeing fish sauce in a lot of other recipes, and like molasses I have yet to use it – but I am so intrigued by it.
    Speaking of intrigued – the colors in this dish are absolutely intriguing and flavors – good golly! Have some leftovers to share? :)

    • Shashi, I wish! We devoured this entire dish in 48 hours. If you like Thai food, you absolutely need to try a tablespoon or two of fish sauce in your next stir fry. It’s got this “umami” factor that makes the dish extra complex and irresistible.

  3. I am so trying this tonight for dinner, I can’t wait!

  4. Crockpots dishes are perfect this time of year! This looks like the perfect warm and hearty meal to come home to after a long day at school/work!

  5. Haha, alright, consider me surprised! No, really, this chicken is killer. Thai is a real treat in our house and this looks so so good! The colors and the flavors are amazing!

  6. This post cracks me up Erin! I love it. And I love this dish! Pinning!

  7. This is my kind of meal – love the flavors in this Erin!

  8. Aw girl, you’re so funny ;–) This chicken dish might be my new favorite thing. Thai flavors? Peanut? Chicken? Colorful? And healthy too? I’m sold.
    This needs to be my dinner asap ;–)

  9. I’m loving this (slow cooker addicted).

  10. I adore Thai food! And your slow cooker Thai chicken looks yummilicious!

  11. Love this recipe! I use my slow cooker all the time! Glad you made it home safely! :) Should have stayed in Cali- much warmer there!

  12. Beautiful dish with lots of great flavors and colors. Nom nom nom!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  13. This is comforting but exotic! I adore thai food! Thanks for sharing!

  14. This is such a beautiful dish Erin! I love all the colors and love the fact that its a slow cooker recipe!

  15. What an awesome dish – it’s so bright and pretty! We are total suckers for Thai food too and I am super stoked that you made this in a slow cooker :) I love finding new slow cooker recipes. Thanks Erin – pinning and can’t wait to give this a try :)

  16. We are suckers for Thai food as well!! Definitely will be adding this to our weekly meal plan!

  17. Now you are talking! I love Thai and Indian cooking more than anything! You hit me right in the breadbowl. And…….love the comentary.

  18. Oh girl, this is my kind of meal! I love Thai food. We moved away from my favorite thai restaurant and I’ve been dying to find some new thai recipes to try at home!

  19. This sounds awesome!!! I’m all for new slow cooker recipes!

  20. Looks good, and nice to see a recipe labeled “Thai” that actually does use Thai ingredients!

  21. This looks delicious! What an easy healthy meal, can’t wait to try it!

  22. I love Thai food – this is right up my alley! Team fish sauce!

  23. Yum lovin the sound of this. Great photos Erin!

  24. Wahoo! You always have the best dinner recipes.

  25. This looks so delicious- I love Thai flavours, so this looks right up my street. Lovely dinner recipe :)

    Jess

  26. Wow!! I love all of the colors and flavors going on in this dish. And love that it’s a slow cooker meal. Sounds amazing!!

  27. Ooo I love thai chicken!
    Unfortunately I don’t own a slow cooker, so I will have to find an alternative way. Looks delicious!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  28. Hahhah! This post cracks me up. I will definitely give this Thai chicken a go but I am already in love with law student wife so I know I will love it!!

  29. These photos are stunning Erin!! And the meal? YUM!! You make me smile :)

  30. As a big fan of Thai food, this really has my attention. I always love a good slow-cooker recipe too. : ) For some reason, I’ve never used light coconut milk and I need to give it a try. This looks sensational – thanks for sharing!

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  32. Oh I have been craving Thai food. This looks AWESOME!!!

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  34. Oh, my gosh! You are beyond-hilarious! And, I’m kinda scared we might be the same person: I was a Girl Scout, I adore Thai food but find it disappointing in most slow cooker recipes, I’m sub-5’4″ and generally lacking any curves that would suggest I spent any time in puberty, the waitress at our fave breakfast hole-in-the-wall knows exactly what I want for breakfast … and I’m sitting here with my coffee typing this in my PLAID pink FLANNEL pajama pants (which are super comfy, I must say)! I mean really, who needs salsa dancing when you’ve got comfy flannel!?!? Love this post and the promise of this fantastic recipe! :D

  35. I tried it in 4hours and I dont Knowles il it’s normal but there is à huge amount of sauce that did not thickened. Do you hâve somme tricks or advices for next Time ?

    • Hi there! It’s definitely normal to have a good amount of sauce, and cooking for a shorter time over higher heat will leave you with more. Next time for a thicker sauce, you could do a longer cooking time (8 hours) over low heat. Or, if you prefer, you could add less coconut milk too. I hope that helps and that you enjoy the flavor (even if it’s saucy!)

  36. Always looking for a new slow cooker recipe.

  37. “Despite my sub-5’4’’ height and pre-teen looks, whiskey is my liquor of choice” Oh my goodness…I just giggled out loud and I think my coworkers think I’m crazy! At 25…I got carded for a rated R movie. Last week. You only have to be 17 for those! Sheesh. A whiskey lemonade will keep them quiet thought ;) I looooveee Thai food but haven’t ever tried making it myself. I think this recipe is about to change that! Thanks for sharing! :)

  38. I had my eye on this for a few days now and finally got all the ingredients together and going in the crock. Hoping my family loves it too, I’ll let you know how it goes. I have a very picky hubby and a 4 year old who takes after her daddy’s taste buds.

    • I’m excited that you are giving it a try! I hope you and your family truly enjoy the dish. It does have a definite Thai flavor, so I’ll be intrigued to hear if your husband and 4-year-old go for it. Bon appétit and thanks!

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  41. Hi Erin! This is super good – i have made it a few times now. I am not a big chicken fan however so I have just added more carbs. Do you think if I brown some thinly sliced beef or stew meat it would end up cooking in the crock pot well with the curry? Thanks!

    • Lauren, I’m so excited that you like this! I think stew meat or beef in this would work great. I’m not sure about the total cook time, so I’d just reference another crockpot recipe that uses a similar meat and use it as a guide. Thanks for letting me know you tried and enjoyed it. Makes my day!

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  44. Super excited to try this. Thai food and I are practically BFFs.

  45. I love Thai, and doing this in a slow cooker is genius! I may be the only one on the planet, but I’m not crazy about squash. I’m going to sub some other veggies and give it a try!

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  48. Hi Erin – I am curious – does this dish have a strong peanut butter taste? I love Thai food but hate Pad Thai. Thoughts?

  49. This looks great! Do you have any substitution suggestions for the peanut butter? Our pediatrician doesn’t want my kids to eat peanuts until they’re 3 and I can’t eat it while I’m nursing so that’s most of our family right now. :)

    • Great question Rebeka! Are other nut butters OK? If yes, either almond or cashew butter would be great substitutions. Otherwise, I’d say you can simply omit it and reduce the amount of coconut milk by a few tablespoons to keep the sauce from being too runny. I hope that helps!

  50. Have you ever doubled the recipe? …If so, have you doubled Everything or just some things? and how did you adjust the cooking time?

    • Hi Andrea, I have not tried doubling the recipe. If you have a large enough slow cooker, I think it’s certainly worth trying. I would probably double the veggies and chicken, but just do 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 times the amount of the “sauce” ingredients. I imagine the cooking time will need to be adjusted too. It’s a really tasty dish, so I’m sure you will love having leftovers :) Sorry I can’t be of more specific help-I’ve just never tried it doubled before!

  51. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe! It gave me an excuse to finally cook with butternut squash (I had to YouTube the best way to go about it — would have never thought to microwave it for a few minutes prior to peeling and slicing, to soften it up). Anyway, my husband basically licked the bowl. I like my Thai food slightly more peanut-y, so i might double the peanut butter next time. I added a small bit of a water/corn starch mixture to the sauce at the very end to thicken it just a bit before serving.

    • Amy, I’m so so sooo excited that you liked this dish! Also, I fully support your decision to double the PB. I might try it that way next time myself! Thanks so much for taking time to share your review here. It always makes my day to hear from those who enjoy my recipes!

  52. just saw this recipe going to try it. The only thing I don’t have is the red curry paste but I do have green curry. Would make a big difference if I use the green curry?

    • Hi there! I’m so happy that you found this recipe, but I’m afraid green curry paste and red curry paste have pretty different flavor profiles, so it would definitely change the final flavor of the dish. That said, it could still taste quite good–I’ve just never tried it that way, so I can’t give you a clear answer on the final result. I wish I could tell you more!

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  55. Your recipe for slow cooker Thai chicken looks fabulous. Unfortunately, your email is not working at the moment, but as soon as that is fixed I will email it to myself and many others. I have lived in Thailand and quickly recognize a good Thai recipe. Your web site is really beautifully displayed; and the recipes are both easy to follow and quite healthy. I am going to tell all my friends to join your web page–thanks.

    • Hi Susan, I am so happy that you like the look of this recipe! Unfortunately, the problem with the email button is a permanent technical issue. I sent you directions how to copy/paste and send the recipes to yourself via email (I’m so sorry for the work around!). Regardless, I’m so glad to have you here and thank you for your kind words.

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