Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken makes the perfect easy weeknight meal. Best of all, this popular takeout favorite is lightened up with low carb keto & paleo friendly options with the same classic sweet & spicy flavors as your local Chinese restaurant…
Ingredients [ For 4 to 5 people ] [ Preparation time : 18 minute – Cooking time : 4h35 minutes ]
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch use arrowroot powder or almond flour for paleo & keto
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 – 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3 pieces), cut into bite-sized chunks
- 3-4 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- **4 – 6 dried red chili peppers to taste found in Asian supermarkets or the International section of a large chain grocery store – see NOTE)
- 2/3 cup roasted cashews or roasted peanuts
- 1 red bell pepper chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 zucchini chopped into halves
- Sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos if necessary
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons honey use low carb sweetener for keto
- 3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce use gluten-free hoisin sauce if necessary – leave out for keto
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper chili flakes
- Cornstarch slurry
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch use arrowroot powder for paleo
- 3 tablespoons water
For meal prep
- Cooked rice quinoa or noodles
- Lunch containers.
For Instant Pot Method:
- Turn Instant Pot to SAUTE (skip steps 1-2 and just cook on MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK (high) for 5 minutes if you are in a pinch or prefer.
- The chicken won’t have that crispy coating.)
- Allow pan to heat up for a few minutes then add oil.
- Cook chicken in batches (placing the browned chicken on a paper-towel-lined plate) about 3-4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.
- Once all the chicken is browned, add back to the Instant Pot and pour sauce over top.
- Close and seal Instant Pot and set the valve to seal.
- Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK (high) and set for 3 minutes.
- Once the 3 minutes is up and the Instant Pot beeps, do a quick release after 5 minutes.
- Open the lid and transfer chicken to a large serving plate or bowl.
- Return inner pot back to the Instant Pot. Press the SAUTE button and add additional oil as needed.
- Toss in the zucchini, bell peppers, and dried red chili peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until tender.
- Combine the cornstarch with water to make a slurry and stir into the Instant Pot.
- Allow the sauce to bubble and thicken up. Return chicken back to the pot along with the cashews and cook for another 1-2 minutes until everything is heated through.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions and serve over rice, quinoa or zoodles, if desired.