Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken

Saucy Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken with a spicy kick! Simple ingredients bring a ton of flavor to this easy-to-make family favorite.  

Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken

 I’ve officially had Kung Pao Chicken twice in the past 36 hours. I made this slow cooker version a couple of nights ago for dinner and instantly fell in love. If you’re a sauce person – like me – you’ll want to double this sauce because it is finger-lickin’ good.

Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken

But that was only the first time I had Kung Pao Chicken this week. Last night my husband came home from a business trip and we went out to dinner with my parents. They picked a Chinese restaurant I haven’t been to in years and I ordered the same thing I always ordered back in the days – Kung Pao Chicken. And here is the real kicker – I was disappointed because this slow cooker version was so much better. Like…. soooo much better.

Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken

Plus I’m pretty sure that this recipe is healthier than any restaurant Kung Pao Chicken. And easy! Just brown the chicken, throw it into the slow cooker with the sauce, let it work its magic for a few hours, and then add the last couple of ingredients. Perfect Kung Pao Chicken made with simple everyday ingredients and loaded with tons of flavor. I’m in love!

Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken

Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken
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4.75 from 4 votes

Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken

Saucy slow cooker Asian Kung Pao Chicken with a spicy kick! Simple ingredients bring a ton of flavor to this easy-to-make family favorite.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword Chicken, spicy
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 4
Author Tiffany


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic


  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/3 cup peanuts (see note)
  • optional: cooked rice, green onions
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • Drizzle a large sauce pan with oil and saute chicken over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until browned
  • Add chicken to a greased slow cooker. In a bowl whisk together sauce ingredients: garlic, soy sauce, chile paste, vinegar, brown sugar, sriracha and 1/3 cup water. Pour sauce into the slow cooker. Cook on high 3-4 hours or on low 5-6 hours.
  • About 10-15 minutes before serving, drizzle a pan with oil and saute peppers, zucchini, and garlic for 2-3 minutes until veggies are tender. Add to slow cooker.
  • Whisk together corn starch and cold water til dissolved. Add to slow cooker and stir. Allow to thicken for 5-10 minutes. Serve over rice and garnish with peanuts and green onions as desired.


*Peanuts are optional. I like to add most of my peanuts at the same time I add the peppers and zucchini so that they can soften up a bit in the sauce, and then sprinkle some more on top when serving.
*double sauce ingredients if you like extra sauce - we do!


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Should that be low for 5-6 hours and high for 3-4hours instead?

    Yep – just need to update that typo, sorry! 🙂

    That’s what I was thinking too.


How much garlic should we use when we saute the peppers, zucchini and garlic?

I am excited to try this recipe!


    Hi Joann, sorry for the confusion – I’ve updated the recipe to be more clear! 🙂

Sounds delicious, and I am going to try it! But don’t you mean “Cook on high 3-4 hours or on low 5-6 hours,” not the other way around?

    Correct! That’s a typo sorry! 🙂

How would you suggest freezing this? I am trying to prepare make-ahead meals…I am thinking I would cook the chicken then throw everything in a zip lock and freeze?

    Hi Carissa – the ziplock method tends to be pretty good for these types of recipes!

      So, would you freeze the veggies too, or would it be better to saute them right before serving? We all know how soggy peppers and zucchini get. Being a shift worker, it is nice to make and freeze leftovers.

      Thanks! Tries the General Tao/Tsao on the stove top last night as I didn’t have time to slow cook it. It was AMAZING!! Thank You so much!

        I’d go with saute and serve rather than freezing because of the water content!

          Thank so much! Will try it that way.

          Tried the Kung Pao Shrimp tonight, it was Delish! I don’t imagine the shrimp would freeze very well either…

How many people will your recipe feed?

    This recipe will feed 3-4 🙂

What type of vinegar would you recommend?

    White distilled vinegar, rice wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar all work well. 🙂

Do you have a good Cashew Chicken
Recipe? Would be great if Slow Cooker!

    Coming soon! 🙂

Your dishes sound delicious and yummy. Your photos are outstanding and….you are quite beautiful!

Made this dish last night following the recipe exactly as written except for the slow cooker times which I assume were inverted. Turned out great. I used a breast and a half but used the same amount of sauce indicated in recipe. Turned out enough for one good size serving for 4 people. Was afraid my slow cooker would be too small for the full recipe and double the sauce.
I feel that it could use a little more sriracha, maybe an extra half tablespoon, to make it a little spicier.
My wife liked it very much also and she suggested adding some green pepper or substituting some green for red. She maintains that green has more flavor than the red.
I keep wondering why you didn’t include some onion is the veggies. Seems to me it might add to the dish. Or is it that Kung Pao just doesn’t have onion in it. Would you comment on this, please.
Took some neat photos. However, not as good as yours!

    Just a comment on my previous comment. Hopefully beautiful Tiffany will find the time to comment on my previous positive comment on her Kung Pao recipe to which I dedicated at least seven and a half minutes of my life. Otherwise I promise never to comment again or will do so only in spanish.

      Sorry about that! Sometimes a comment or two will slip through the cracks but I try to catch them all!

        Wow! What kind of comment is that? Don’t mean to be rude but I took the time to write what I thought was a positive comment on your Kung Pao recipe which turned out great. However, I had some questions regarding the recipe that I thought you would deign to answer. That, it seems to me, would be the purpose of “Comments and Feddback”. Or does the feedback only go one way?
        I have other recipes of yours I have tried and can comment on. However, not receiving a response in this particular case will probably result in my not making any further comment, positive or negative, on any future recipes I might risk trying. Too bad, I think!

          Hi Rodgrigo, I answered your questions and replied thoughtfully to your comment – I’ve copied my response to that comment and pasted it below:

          “Thanks Rodrigo! I’m sure your photos came out great – and the extra sriracha sounds like an addition I would totally love!! As for the onion, it would definitely taste delicious in this recipe – I left it out of this version but I have made kung pao with onions before and loved it.”

    Thanks Rodrigo! I’m sure your photos came out great – and the extra sriracha sounds like an addition I would totally love!! As for the onion, it would definitely taste delicious in this recipe – I left it out of this version but I have made kung pao with onions before and loved it.

Shouldn’t it be 3-4 hours on high, or 5-6 hours on low? I’m confused.

Tiffany, I’m planning to make this for my family latter this week. I have a quick question about the chicken breast. I’m noticing a big difference in chicken breast sizes these days. Sometimes they are so big that one can be 3/4 of a pound and other times they are so small that 3 can be 3/4 of a pound. So can you tell me approximately how much the chicken breast should weigh in this recipe? Thanks!

    Hi Sherri, It’s so true, chicken breasts to vary in size – I generally think of each chicken breast called for in the recipe being “medium size”. If you have a very large one, that could serve as 2 breasts, whereas if you have very small ones you will probably want to use 2 of those to equal one medium breast. I think the best way to put gauge how much chicken you need for a recipe like this is to go off of what your family would need to feed 4 people. If it’s a little more or less chicken than I used, that’s okay! It doesn’t have to be exact. 🙂

This sounds delicious but I think there must be an error in the duration of cook time. Still not corrected??

    Sorry for the confusion, it’s updated now!

If you don’t have the chili paste, is there anything else you can use?

    You could try using crushed red pepper flakes.

Definitely going to try this! Would you be able to just put in whole frozen chicken breasts, right into the slow cooker? I only have whole ones in the freezer right now… do you think that would screw up the recipe at all, or change cooking times?

Made this Kung Pao chicken last night and it was great. My family loved it, i adored it. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

Hi Tiffany, could I make this without pre-browning the chicken/sauteeing the veggies separately? Have you tried just throwing it all in the slow cooker? Thanks!

5 stars

I will definitely try this. In our country we have 2 kinds of chicken. One that is soft and it’s what we use when cooking using oven we call it broiler the other is kienyeji chicken meaning traditional it is the kind that is rared free range in the farm just let loose to find its own food in the farm. This kind is somewhat tough.

My question is for the the recipes where you use slow cooker is the chicken kienyeji? because for broiler if cooked for all those hours it will become soup and there will be no chicken to be eaten.

Have you ever frozen this? To use for like… a freezer meal? I usually buy the kung pao sauce from Wal-Mart because I couldn’t find a recipe to MAKE IT?!?!? OMG it sounds so stinkin’ easy! I can’t wait to try it because I LURVE the sauce!!!

    Hi April! I haven’t had the chance to freeze this yet so I’m not sure how it would turn out. The sauce is the bomb! I hope you enjoy!

5 stars
All I can say is wow — amazing recipe and so simple. My husband also said this was easily nice restaurant quality. 🙂

Thanks for sharing!

What would the sodium count be for this meal?

    Hi Susan- I recommend that you use My Fitness Pal for that! They have an awesome online tool where you can input any recipe URL into and it will generate the nutritional information for you!! Hopefully that can help answer your question! 🙂

5 stars
Hi, I KNOW it calls for SRIRACHA sauce but it’s not even in the ingredients list. I haven’t made the recipe in forever and I don’t know how much to use?

    Hey Madison! You are correct- sriracha should be listed in this recipe! I think it got lost when this recipe was transferred over to my new website design- sorry and thanks for catching that! I have updated the recipe now!

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    Hi Christine- thanks for pointing out that error. It should be fixed now! 2 tsp of chili paste is what is called for in this recipe!

4 stars
Super good i think next time ill use low sodium soY a bit salty for my liking so i had to add some extra water but i also sauteed onions anD serano wHile browning thE chicken for some extra kick. Will definitely be making this again!

    Great idea, Emily!

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. it looks so delicious and i am going to try it sometime this coming week hopefully! also, sorry about that weird guy who got all riled up because you didn’t respond to his comment. i really admire how professionally you handled that!

    You’re the sweetest, Angela! I hope that you love this recipe 🙂

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