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Slow Cooker Chicken and Acorn Squash with Coconut-Cashew Sauce

Posted by ReganJonesRD
November 03, 2015
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Looking for a new way to make a healthy chicken recipe in the crock pot? Try this Slow Cooker Chicken with Cashew Sauce.

Looking for a new way to make a healthy chicken recipe in the crock pot? Try this Slow Cooker Chicken and Acorn Squash with Coconut-Cashew Sauce.

by Regan Jones, RD

I had another post lined up for you today. But either the rainy weather around my house or discovering yesterday that I'd been included recently in these two posts about crock pot recipes (7 Cozy Cocktails You Can Make in Your Crock Pot via Greatist and 50 Crock Pot Recipes to Warm You This Winter via Domino Magazine) has me ready to take the lid off this: 

Looking for a new way to make a healthy chicken recipe in the crock pot? Try this Slow Cooker Chicken with Cashew Sauce.

If you've grown tired of making the same old reliable roast or chicken-topped-with-a-can-of-soup in your crock pot and want to upgrade your slow cooker meal, this recipe is for you. By carefully removing the squash and chicken from the cooking liquid, straining and adding cashew butter at the end (or peanut, if you prefer), you'll create a thick, rich sauce that no one would ever know started in the slow cooker. 

Another thing I love about this recipe is that I made it using frozen chicken breasts. While cooking frozen chicken in a slow cooker from start to finish is a no-no, I've included a fool-proof microwave thawing method to get you started on dinner making the minute you turn on your slow cooker. 

Lastly, I've included cook times based on prepping this in the morning to be ready for lunch (which is what I did before church on Sunday) or in the late afternoon before you head out for carline and an evening of sports practices (which is what I'm often doing.) But if you're setting your slow cooker up in the morning and want it to cook all day, then feel free to cook on LOW for about 8 hours. The main issue is the longer this cooks, the more the squash will begin to lose it's shape. But it'll still taste yummy. So you know, no biggie. 

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you give this a try. Or let me know how you like to upgrade your crock pot cooking! ~Regan  

Looking for a new way to make a healthy chicken recipe in the crock pot? Try this Slow Cooker Chicken with Cashew Sauce.

Looking for a new way to make a healthy chicken recipe in the crock pot? Try this Slow Cooker Chicken with Cashew Sauce.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Acorn Squash with Coconut-Cashew Sauce

Yield

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound frozen* chicken tenderloins
  • 1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk (or light coconut milk, if preferred)
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup cashew or peanut butter (I used ALDI cashew butter)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or freeze-dried cilantro, reconstituted (I used Litehouse)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari, for gluten-free
  • Juice of 1 lime

Directions

  1. Turn slow cooker to HIGH.
  2. Arrange frozen chicken in a single layer on a microwave safe plate. Defrost in Microwave on MEDIUM power (50%) for 3 minutes. Let stand 3 minutes. Turn chicken over. Microwave an additional 3 minutes on MEDIUM power (50%) for 3 more minutes. 
  3. While chicken defrosts, pierce flesh of squash using a knife (be careful to turn blade side away from the hand holding the squash. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut cream off top of coconut milk into bottom of slow cooker; let melt while you finish prepping squash. 
  4. Once chicken is thawed, microwave squash 3 minutes on HIGH or until you can easily slice off top, bottom and cut in half (be careful not to overcook). Scoop out seeds. 
  5. Arrange chicken over melted coconut cream in bottom of slow cooker; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon curry powder and 1/2 teapoon salt.
  6. Arrange squash over chicken. Pour remaining coconut milk over squash and sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon of curry powder. 
  7. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 hours.
  8. Carefully remove chicken and squash to a serving platter with a slotted spoon; keep warm. Strain liquid in slow cooker over a bowl with a sieve (discarding solids.) Add cashew butter, cilantro, soy sauce and lime juice to slow cooker. Stir until smooth. 
  9. Serve sauce over chicken and squash.    

 

*To prepare this recipe using fresh chicken, simply skip step 2. If using large frozen chicken breasts, continue defrosting on 3 minute MEDIUM power intervals until chicken is thawed. I recommend cutting large pieces into smaller pieces before placing in slow cooker.

Click for nutritional information
Calories 334
Carbohydrates 23.3g
Fiber 3.5g
Sugar 3.5g
Fat 17g
Protein 25.3g
Sodium 743mg
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ReganJonesRD

ReganJonesRD
Regan Jones is the Founding Editor and Sponsorship Director of HealthyAperture and is the author of the QUICK FIX KITCHEN Feature - a collection of recipes that focuses on shortcut cooking without shortcut taste. Her recipes largely focus on baked goods and desserts ranging from gluten free to sugar free to slightly indulgent eats for the entire family, but also include easy everyday recipes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Jones is a registered dietitian and owner the web's most prominent portfolio of dietitian-owned websites, including HealthyAperture.com, TheRecipeReDux.com, BlogBrulee.com and RDs4Disclosure.org. She is also the host of the podcast, This Unmillennial Life, which was recently named New & Noteworthy on iTunes.
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