Slow Cooker Chicken and Acorn Squash with Coconut-Cashew Sauce


Serves 4


  • 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


  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).
  4. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut cream off top of coconut milk into bottom of slow cooker; let melt while you finish prepping squash. 
  5. 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 and cut into large slices. 
  6. Arrange chicken over melted coconut cream in bottom of slow cooker; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  7. Arrange squash slices over chicken. Pour remaining coconut milk over squash and sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon of curry powder. 
  8. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 hours.
  9. 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. 
  10. 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