Tasty cashew chicken stir fry dish that can prepped and cooked in about 15 minutes. Chicken with cashew nuts, smothered in a yummy sauce made of soy sauce, is easy to make, has a delicious flavor, and because the prep is so fast it is a great option for any night of the week.
This Cashew Chicken recipe is great when you want a healthier and cheaper option than takeout, but don’t want to spend tons of time in the kitchen. Don’t let meal planning overwhelm you. Make a simple, yet flavorful meal with this Cashew Chicken recipe.
Serve it over rice, or with a side of chow mein for a fun take-out themed meal.
Cashew Chicken is one of my new favorite meals. Not only is it fast and easy, it makes for a great economical option too.
Better Than Takeout—Here’s Why:
In a nutshell this Cashew Chicken is Better Than Takeout Because…
- Easy and Fast to Make
- You Control the Flavor
- It’s a Healthier Meal than Takeout
- Provides a More Economical Option
I love this Cashew Chicken recipe. Love! Why am I such a fan, you might ask?
Because it is amazing, delicious, and wait for it… so much better than takeout!!! That’s right. You heard me.
Let’s get into the why behind each of these reasons:
You Can Make It Faster Than It Takes To Get Takeout:
You can cook up your ingredients in about 10 minutes. That’s fast Friends.
How quickly can you order Cashew Chicken from the restaurant menu, wait for them to be ready for you to pick it up, and go get it? Typically longer than 10 minutes.
If you are feeling impatient and want a meal like now, make this Cashew Chicken recipe. You will be so glad that you did.
Homemade Cashew Chicken Means You Control The Flavor:
Have you ever gone to a restaurant and felt like a dish was too spicy or on the other side of the spectrum too bland?
That won’t be the problem with this dish. I have tried and tested the flavor and it is awesome.
However with that said, since you are the one making the dish that means you can control the flavor.
Want to add a little kick or more spice? You can. You are the chef.
Cashew Chicken Made At Home Is Healthier.
- Easier to control portion size and calories
- You are in charge of the quality of the ingredients used
- It is easier to adapt the recipe to fit your needs when you are the one making the dish
A home cooked Cashew Chicken recipe means you control the calories and ingredients. No added preservatives, just fresh food.
You can use fresh, high quality ingredients because you are the one doing the cooking.
Want more veggies and less meat? You can make the dish with more vegetables.
Or, if you want to make it completely vegetarian or sub out the protein, you can.
When you order takeout you simply don’t know what unhealthy additives are being put in your dish. Make it at home and make it healthy. The end.
Eating At Home Is A Money Saver:
Most of the ingredients on the list you probably already have at home and if you have more than one mouth to feed, takeout can become quite pricey.
Save your money and make this easy Cashew Chicken at home.
What You Need To Make Cashew Chicken:
Now that we have discussed why you need this dish in your life, let’s make sure you have all that you need on hand.
- Salt and Pepper
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
- Chicken Stock
- Brown Sugar
- Rice Vinegar
- Chili Garlic Sauce
- Fresh Ginger Root
- Sesame Oil
- Canola Oil
- Broccoli Florets
- Red Bell Peppers
- Garlic Cloves
- Unsalted Dry Roasted Cashews
- Green Onions
- Sesame seeds
Get these simple ingredients and you have the makings for some great Cashew Chicken.
Cashew Chicken Sauce:
What sets this chicken dish apart from the rest is the sauce. Otherwise it’s just another chicken dish with the exception of some cashews.
It’s a thick beautifully delicious sauce. This soy sauce based marinade has some brown sugar, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce, and ginger root.
The combination of ingredients is brilliant!
It’s easy to make and delicious.
How To Make:
- Add all ingredients
- Whisk to combine
- Set aside until ready to cook on stove top.
So easy. Now let’s show you all how easy the whole dish is to make.
How To Make Cashew Chicken:
Just like with the Skillet French Onion Chicken recipe, you will need a skillet for this recipe. Make it a big one! Okay so looking quickly at this recipe there may seem to be quite a few steps, but I promise you this is no long venture.
- Dry Chicken: Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and set aside
- Coat Chicken: Add cornstarch, spices listed in chicken section, and chicken to a ziplock bag. Shake to coat evenly and set aside.
- Combine Sauce Ingredients: In a small bowl, add sauce ingredients, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Heat Oil: In a skillet, add canola and sesame oil. Heat.
- Cook Chicken: Once heated, but not smoking, add chicken. Cook for 2 minutes and flip. Cook for another 2 minutes until mostly cooked through.
- Add Veggies: Add broccoli, peppers, and garlic. Stir to combine and cook for 3-4 minutes, unit veggies are tender and chicken is cooked through.
- Add Cashews and Sauce: Add cashews and stir to combine. Then add sauce over the top, coating evenly.
- Cook Until Sauce Thickens: Cook for 1-2 minutes until sauce thickens.
- Garnish and Serve: Serve immediately. Garnish with sliced green onions.
Not too hard at all.
Note: For more detailed instructions, see recipe at the end.
Can You Make Ahead?
So I kind of love the answer to this question. Yes you can make this dish ahead.
Want to cut down on the prep before dinner? Do a little prep ahead of time.
- Slice Veggies
- Prepare Sauce
- Cut Chicken
- Put Veggies, Sauce, and Chicken in Separate Containers in the Fridge, or freezer.
Food should last in airtight container for up to 48 hours. Once ready to cook, coat chicken and follow instructions. This will save you some time.
- Prepare as normal.
- Put in an air tight container in fridge.
- Reheat in the microwave.
Fresh is always best, but I will reheat food in the microwave, especially if there are leftovers. It makes for a great next day lunch.
You can always make, freeze, and store for much later use.
Storage and Freezing:
Anyone who knows me knows I am a sucker for a good freezer meal.
Is it a busy day, lazy day, or in between day? Who cares. How about an, “I just don’t feel like making dinner day?” Slow clap for the freezer meal.
How to Freeze and Store Cashew Chicken:
- Slice Veggies and blanche in boiling water
- Prepare Sauce
- Cut Chicken
- Put Veggies, Sauce, and Chicken in Separate Containers/Bags in the Freezer.
Food should last in airtight container for up to 3 months. Once ready to cook, thaw completely, coat chicken and follow instructions. This will save you some time.
- Follow Recipe Directions and Make the Dish.
- Let Meal Cool Completely.
- Transfer Dish into Gallon Sized Freezer Bags.
- When Wanting to Eat it, Put in Fridge Overnight to Defrost.
- Reheat on Stove.
It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Here is another suggestion. Double the recipe and eat one batch that night and freeze the other batch for later.
Two meals in one sounds like a win to me.
Serve Cashew Chicken over rice or noodles.
Accompany this dish with a side like Baked or Fried Shrimp and Veggie Egg Rolls or Egg Drop Soup. Then finish the dish off with a delicious dessert like Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
Other Take-Out Fake-Out Favorites:
- Asian Lemon Chicken
- Honey Asian Chicken
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Chow Mein
- Beef Lo Mein
- Orange Chicken
- Sweet and Sour Chicken (Sheet Pan)
- Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Easy Beef and Broccoli
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ tsp paprika
- 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts diced into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce low-sodium
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 2 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Chili garlic sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup red bell peppers sliced into thin strips
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 cup cashews unsalted dry-roasted whole
- ¾ cup green onions sliced
- Pat chicken dry with a paper towel, and set aside.
- Add cornstarch, salt, pepper, paprika and diced chicken, to a zip top bag, and shake to coat evenly. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add all sauce ingredients, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- To a large skillet, over medium high heat, add the canola and sesame oils, and heat.
- Once heated, but not smoking, add chicken, and cook for about 2 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until a golden brown on the exterior, and mostly cooked through.
- Add the broccoli, bell peppers, and garlic to the skillet, and stir to combine.
- Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until vegetables are crisp-tender and chicken is cooked through, only stirring occasionally.
- Once vegetables are tender, add the cashews to the skillet and stir to combine.
- Add the sauce over the top, coating evenly, and turn heat down to medium-low. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until sauce starts to thicken.
- Serve immediately, garnished with sliced green onion.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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