This freezer Asian Peanut Chicken can be assembled ahead and stashed in the freezer until you're ready to cook it up in the slow cooker or Instant Pot! Vegan and low carb options listed.
Our Freezer Meal Prep Challenge is nearly upon us and that means I've been testing freezer meals like crazy!
This Asian peanut chicken recipe is a great one because you can really change it up depending on your diet; I've included some swaps to make it low carb, and vegan!
Not only that, but this recipe can be cooked in either a slow cooker OR an Instant Pot. How's that for versatile?!
This Asian Peanut Chicken
- can be assembled ahead and frozen as a freezer crock pot meal
- can be made gluten-free, vegan or low carb
- can be cooked in a slow cooker or an Instant Pot
How to make it
This Asian peanut chicken is adapted from the Thai Peanut Chicken Marinade recipe in this post! I simply increased the sauce a bit for a larger volume to cook in the Instant Pot or slow cooker.
- Combine the peanut sauce ingredients, chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, onion and carrots in a slow cooker or Instant Pot.
- Pressure cook for 5 minutes or slow cook for 3-4 hours.
- Stir in the spinach (this is optional but makes it a more balanced meal).
- Serve over rice!
A few important points
- when cooking in the Instant Pot, slice your chicken breasts in half so that they cook through in the 5 minutes
- you may want to leave the carrots out of the slow cooker or cut them very small as they might not cook through in 3-4 hours on low
- to swap the sweet potatoes, onions & carrots for low carb options like zucchini, broccoli or asparagus- you will need to add these during the last hour of cooking in the slow cooker or after the chicken has cooked in the Instant Pot. Select sautee and cook them in the sauce for a few minutes.
How can I serve Asian peanut chicken?
We served over rice (or cauliflower rice).
How do I prep it as a crockpot freezer meal?
Simply combine the ingredients in a sturdy freezer bag (or one of these awesome eco-friendly silicone freezer bags!), and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight before cooking as directed.
Can I swap for chicken thighs?
Absolutely. Slow Cooker- you can cook for 4-5 hours on low for boneless skinless chicken thighs (I do not recommend skin-on chicken thighs for the slow cooker as they will release a lot of fat during the cook time). Instant Pot- cut them in small chunks and pressure cook for 5 minutes.
- ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped ginger (or 1 teaspoon powdered)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup water
- 4 cups 1 inch sweet potato cubes (1 large sweet potato)
- 2 carrots (peeled & sliced)
- 1 red onion (sliced)
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (each breast cut in 2 lengthwise for Instant Pot)
- 4 handfulls spinach
- green onions
- rice or cauliflower rice
- Instant Pot- Combine all ingredients in the Instant Pot. Pressure cook for 5 minutes; allow pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes before releasing the rest.
- Slow Cooker- Combine all ingredients in a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on low.
- Add in the spinach and stir into the sauce until it is wilted.
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and return to the sauce.
- Serve over rice or cauliflower rice.
To Prep Ahead and Freeze
- In a gallon sized heavy duty freezer bag, add the soy sauce, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, maple syrup, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and water. Squish it all together until it is roughly combined.
- Add in the sweet potato cubes, carrots, red onion and chicken.
- Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag and freeze flat.
- Thaw completely before cooking as directed above.
gluten-free: use tamari or coconut aminos in place of soy sauce vegetarian & vegan: swap the chicken for a 15 or 19 oz can of chickpeas (drain and rinse first; they can go in the freezer too!) low carb: swap maple syrup for 1.5 tsp monk fruit sweetener; omit the sweet potato and carrot.
- Instant Pot- After chicken has cooked, remove from the pot, select 'sautee' an add in some low carb vegetables: green beans, broccoli, zucchini. Cook for 5 or so minutes until softened. Serve with cauliflower rice.
- Slow Cooker- Add low carb veggies such as green beans, broccoli, zucchini during the last 1 hour of cooking.
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