Use your crockpot or slow cooker to effortlessly make this rich and creamy Thai Peanut Chicken for weeknight dinner! It takes just 15 minutes to prep and doesn't dirty any other dishes (yay!). Serve it with rice, noodles, or cauliflower rice to get another veggie in. And it freezes well, which means it's great for meal prep!
I love the balanced flavor profile that Thai cuisine is known for. A little sweet, a touch of sour, salty notes, and rich umami flavors come together beautifully into a cohesive dish. These are the types of meals that leave you as excited about the last bite as you were about the first!
Unlike my favorite Thai green curry with chicken, this crockpot Thai peanut chicken recipe isn’t something I had in Thailand! But the flavors present and the well-balanced profile means this Thai-inspired recipe has all the bells and whistles. It hits all the right notes!
Also, it bears noting that if you want to try Thai flavors but aren’t sure where to start, this recipe is a good one. It’s rich and creamy with a spice level that’s easy to adjust by adding more or less crushed red pepper flakes. Kids love it too!
You can serve it with rice, noodles, or go with cauliflower rice or steamed broccoli to get in another vegetable. Serving this meal with a side dish or two is also a good way to make it stretch if you need to.
And because it’s made in a slow cooker, this Thai peanut chicken is perfect for weeknight dinner. Especially if your weeknight dinners could use a little excitement!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s a restaurant-quality meal that the whole family will love.
- Thai peanut chicken is delicious served with rice, noodles, or a low carb option like cauliflower rice or steamed broccoli.
- This weeknight friendly crockpot meal is really easy to make! Unlike a lot of slow cooker recipes, there’s no sautéing anything first. We don’t use any other bowls, pots, or pans. And it only needs 15 minutes of prep time. Cleanup is a breeze too!
- If you use tamari sauce instead of soy sauce, this meal is gluten free.
Easy Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken Recipe
This section explains the ingredients. For the full recipe (including ingredient amounts), please see the recipe card below.
Ingredients in Crockpot Thai Peanut Chicken
- Unsweetened full-fat coconut milk – for the best flavor and texture, use full-fat canned coconut milk
- Creamy sweetened peanut butter – I use Skippy; the sugar in this type of peanut butter helps creamy a balanced sweet and savory flavor profile; however, if you want to reduce the amount of sugar, you can use natural peanut butter with no added sugar
- Tamari sauce – using tamari sauce instead of soy sauce keeps this Thai peanut chicken recipe gluten free
- Rice vinegar – adds a tangy flavor to balance the dish
- Coconut sugar – for sweetness; or you can use brown sugar
- Fish sauce – adds a salty, umami flavor; if you don’t have this you can use more tamari sauce instead
- Toasted sesame oil – adds depth and richness with toasted nutty flavor
- Garlic and ginger – these aromatics add a ton of flavor
- Crushed red pepper flakes – this adds spicy heat to create a balanced dish; if you use just ½ teaspoon as the recipe calls for, you will end up with a well-balanced dish that has a "mild" spice level, but you can add more or less crushed red pepper flakes to taste
- Salt – to pull out the flavors of everything else
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs – I like the flavor of chicken thighs, but boneless skinless chicken breasts work just as well here
- Red bell peppers – for flavor and nutrition
- Onion – for depth of flavor
- Lime juice – wait to add this until the dish is cooked so it keeps its bright flavor; fresh lime juice adds a punch of freshness to this slow-cooked meal and wakes up the flavor of everything else
How to Make Thai Peanut Chicken in the Slow Cooker
- Add the coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, coconut sugar, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt to a slow cooker.
- Whisk together to combine.
- Add the chicken, red bell pepper, and onion.
- Stir to mix everything up and coat the chicken.
- The mixture will look like this.
- Cover the slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours, or on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours. Stir in the lime juice. Serve.
Storage and Freezing
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Thai peanut chicken reheats well in the microwave or on the stovetop.
You can also freeze this! Once it’s cooled to room temperature, transfer Thai peanut chicken to freezer-safe containers, cover them, label with the date and contents, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Crockpot Thai Peanut Chicken Recipe FAQs
What Can I Use Instead of Peanut Butter in This Recipe?
If you’re allergic to peanuts, are cooking for someone who is, or just don’t like peanut butter, there are a few different ingredients you can substitute for the peanut butter:
- Cashew butter – this is my top choice for a peanut butter substitute; be careful though, this stuff is delicious enough to eat with a spoon, which makes it dangerous to have on hand, lol!
- Sunflower seed butter – this is a classic replacement for peanut butter
- Almond butter – I love how smooth and creamy this brand is
- Tahini – tahini, which is made from sesame seeds, is a lot less sweet than peanut butter, so you might want to add more coconut sugar
If you’re using one of these peanut butter alternatives, feel free to add more or less coconut sugar and/or salt to taste, depending on the flavor of the seed or nut butter you choose.
How Do You Serve Thai Peanut Chicken?
This dish is great served on a bed of steamed jasmine rice, prepared noodles, or cauliflower rice to keep the carbs down.
More Savory Peanut Butter Recipes to Make
- Domoda (Gambian Peanut Stew) – you’re going to love the veggies and rich broth in this one
- Easy Chicken Satay with Homemade Peanut Sauce – let’s just say, it’s so good I recommend making a double batch of the sauce (I use it as salad dressing too!)
- Peanutty Thai Curry Hummus – this recipe uses powdered peanut butter for a delicious sweet and savory fusion dip
Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken Recipe
- 14 ounce can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons tamari sauce or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- ½ tablespoon fish sauce or more tamari sauce/soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 6 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tablespoons freshly-grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 red bell peppers thinly sliced
- 1 yellow onion halved and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
Optional Garnish Ideas:
Optional Serving Suggestions:
- Prepared rice
- Prepared cauliflower rice or steamed vegetables
- Prepared noodles
- Add the coconut milk, peanut butter, tamari sauce, rice vinegar, coconut sugar, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt to a slow cooker. Whisk together to combine. Stir in the chicken, red bell pepper, and onion.
- Cover the slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours, or on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours.
- Stir in the lime juice. Serve.
- Nutrition Information: The nutritional information for this recipe was calculated without the optional garnish ideas and optional serving suggestions.
- Gluten Free: This dish is gluten free if you use tamari sauce instead of soy sauce.
- Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Thai peanut chicken reheats well in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- Freezing: Once it’s cooled to room temperature, transfer Thai peanut chicken to freezer-safe containers, cover them, label with the date and contents, and freeze for up to 3 months.