Tony and I moved into our home back in 2016 because we fell in love with the Chicago neighborhood. It’s very diverse and has some of the most amazing food in the city. When we first moved and started trying all of the delicious restaurants I immediately fell in love with one of the Thai restaurants that served a wonderful dish filled with noodles, a coconut-peanut sauce, scallions, cilantro and usually pork or chicken.
Of course, anything that resembles peanut butter flavor has my heart.
Because I loved it so much, I decided to turn it into a slow cooker meal you could make any time of year right at home. A creamy true peanut butter sauce made with either coconut or almond milk is poured over chicken in the slow cooker to create the ultimate comfort food. Serve over rice and you’ve got yourself a nutritious well-balanced meal.
When I first started making this Thai-inspired peanut chicken Tony requested that we have this at least 3x a month. That must mean it’s pretty damn good, right?
An AK twist on Thai peanut sauce
Thai peanut sauce is often used for dipping chicken and other proteins, like in chicken satay, and is a wonderful balance of sweet and savory. It’s typically made with:
- A curry paste (often red curry paste)
- Coconut milk
- Natural peanut butter
- Soy sauce
- A sweetener like regular sugar
- And an acid like apple cider vinegar
Some recipes also call for fish sauce for an extra savory flavor. In my take on peanut sauce, I use:
Instead of using the sauce as a dip, we’re actually cooking chicken right in the sauce using a slow cooker until it’s juicy, tender and filled with that peanut butter flavor.
What is purple sticky rice?
Purple sticky rice is also known as black rice, or sometimes forbidden rice. It’s slightly sweet in flavor, a little sticky and chewy, and absolutely delicious. Black or purple rice also boasts one of the best nutritional profiles when it comes to rice; each serving has around 5g protein and it’s lower in carbs than brown rice or white rice! I toasted mine in a little coconut oil to enhance the flavor and it was unbelievable — especially with the Thai-inspired peanut chicken on top.
Truth be told, black or purple rice can be hard to find, but this is typically the brand I use. If you can’t find it or don’t want to order it online, try searching for black or forbidden rice at Whole Foods or in the Asian cooking section of your grocery store. Still can’t find it? Then I recommend using short grain brown rice. (Please know that if you use brown rice, the cooking time will vary, so just pay attention to the package.)
Make this Thai-inspired peanut chicken in your slow cooker
This slow cooker Thai peanut chicken makes the perfect weeknight dinner because it’s hands-off and perfect for meal prep. Here’s how to do it:
- Mix your sauce. Add all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce into your slow cooker and whisk until smooth.
- Cook the chicken & veggies. Next, add your chicken breasts whole, plus the red pepper slices. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high.
- Shred the chicken. Once it’s done cooking, take the chicken out, shred it, and add it back to the slow cooker. Mix it all up in that peanut sauce.
- Cook the rice. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve the peanut chicken, make the rice by toasting it in a little coconut oil and then adding water to simmer it on low. Once it’s done, remove it from the heat and let it steam for about 5 more minutes.
- Serve & enjoy. Distribute the rice and chicken into four bowls (or meal prep containers) and top with hot sauce, peanut and cilantro if you’d like!
Storing & freezing tips
- To store: store this peanut chicken in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container. Simply reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.
- To freeze: let the chicken cool completely before transferring to a freezer safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 2 months. I would recommend making the purple rice before serving the chicken rather than freezing it. To reheat, thaw the chicken in the refrigerator and then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
More healthy slow cooker recipes to try
- Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
- Amazing Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos + video
- Slow Cooker Yellow Chicken Curry
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Peanut Butter Chicken Soup
- Mom’s Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Get all of our delicious slow cooker recipes here!
I hope you love this Thai-inspired peanut chicken recipe! If you make it, be sure to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram! I love seeing your creations! xo.
Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken with Sticky Coconut Purple Rice
Slow cooker Thai-inspired peanut chicken served over a scrumptious sticky coconut purple rice. This healthy peanut chicken recipe is packed with protein and veggies for the perfect meal prep or a weeknight dinner. This is a dish you'll make again and again!
- 1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce (gluten free, if desired)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon sriracha or chili paste
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup thai sticky purple rice
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- Cilantro and chopped peanuts for garnish
Add peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, garlic, hot sauce and almond milk to the slow cooker and whisk until sauce is well combined.
Add chicken and red pepper slices to slow cooker and spoon sauce over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
Once done cooking, remove chicken with a slotted spoon, shred with two forks, then return to the slower cooker; stir to combine the shredded chicken with the sauce.
About 30 minutes before you are ready to serve the chicken, make the rice: Place a medium pot over medium heat and add in coconut oil and purple sticky rice. Toast rice with the coconut oil for 5 minutes; stirring frequently to toast the rice and infused the coconut oil flavor in.
After 5 minutes add in water and bring mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. (If you are not using thai purple sticky rice, then cooking time may vary. For instance, brown rice takes about 45 minutes.)
After rice is done cooking, remove heat, then re-cover and let stand for 5 more minutes. Once done, season with a little salt to taste.
To make the bowls, evenly distribute rice and chicken on top. Add hot sauce, peanuts and cilantro on top, if desired. If you are making for meal prep, simply divide into 4 containers (leave off toppings until ready to eat). This recipe can also be doubled if you are making for a crowd. Makes 4 servings.
To store: store this peanut chicken in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container. Simply reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.
To freeze: let the chicken cool completely before transferring to a freezer safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 2 months. I would recommend making the purple rice before serving the chicken rather than freezing it. To reheat, thaw the chicken in the refrigerator and then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.