A healthier version of a takeout classic, this cashew chicken is made with the BEST sweet garlicky sauce, tender chicken and crunchy cashews. It's easy to make in 30 minutes and will quickly become a go-to favorite dinner recipe.
About This Recipe
This is an easy, healthier way to make cashew chicken that cooks in one skillet on the stove. It's made with chicken, vegetables and cashews tossed in a sweet sauce.
If you love Asian-inspired takeout or are craving a new way to make chicken, this recipe will be a new favorite. It's ready in only 30 minutes and is tasty as a stand-alone dish or served over rice.
How to Make Cashew Chicken
Cashew chicken is simple to make in just a few steps!
First, you'll brown the chicken in a skillet, add the vegetables, and pour in the sauce.
Then you'll simmer the sauce until it thickens (and add a little cornstarch or tapioca flour + water to help it thicken).
Lastly, you'll stir in the cashews and make sure that everything is coated in the tasty, thick sauce.
Tips & Tricks for The Recipe
- If you like a thicker sauce: to make your sauce thicker, simmer it for longer or add more cornstarch (or a cornstarch alternative). Always combine this with twice as much water (use a 1:2 ratio) and try using up to 1 tablespoon cornstarch & 2 tablespoons water.
- Equipment: use a large skillet (at least 10") or a wok to make this recipe
- Add some spice: if you're craving some spice, sprinkle your cashew chicken with red pepper flakes before serving
- Cashews: don't forget to buy unsalted raw cashews (these are often found in the bulk nut section of the grocery store).
Recipe Substitutions & Additions
- Chicken: this recipe calls for chicken breasts but you can substitute chicken thighs
- Vegetables: this recipe uses about 3 cups of vegetables total. You can use any combination of your favorites: any color bell peppers, broccoli, carrots and green onions are all popular
- Cornstarch: substitute tapioca flour or arrowroot flour
- Soy sauce: substitute coconut aminos or Tamari sauce to keep this recipe gluten-free
- Honey: you can also use maple syrup for sweetness
How to Store Cashew Chicken
In the fridge: cashew chicken can be stored for up to 3 - 4 days in the fridge; however the chicken will become less crispy/lose texture overnight.
In the freezer: it's not recommended to freeze this recipe as the texture will change.
- 2 chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cornstarch divided (or tapioca flour, arrowroot powder)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil divided (or sesame oil)
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup unsalted cashews
- Salt & pepper to taste
To make the sauce:
- ⅓ cup soy sauce or coconut aminos for gluten-free
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
Optional for serving:
- White rice
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Green onions for garnish
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, toss the chicken with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook about 5 - 6 minutes, flipping frequently to brown on all sides.
- Add the chopped vegetables to the skillet. Stir and cook for 3 - 4 minutes more, until the vegetables are barely tender and the chicken is cooked through.
- Pour the sauce into the skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
- In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of water. Pour the mixture into the skillet and simmer and additional 2 - 3 minutes, until the sauce bubbles and thickens.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cashews.
- Serve immediately. Optionally, serve with a side of white rice and topped with sesame seeds and green onions.