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Quick and Easy Cashew Chicken

32 Reviews

This Cashew Chicken Recipe comes together in about 10 minutes and is a healthier version of the classic Chinese takeout dish!

Cashew Chicken with rice on white plate

Chinese Cashew Chicken Recipe

I have no idea why this is, but Christmas always makes me crave Japanese and Chinese food. Yup, not an Asian ancestor in me, but during the holidays, a time when we reflect on family and make family favorite recipes, always makes me want Chinese food like our crispy honey chicken. I have never had cashew chicken at home until now, and I’m sure there are gobs and gobs of recipes out there, but this one is our personal favorite, especially because it’s quick and easy. For real.

I adore cooking, but there’s nothing I love more than a delicious dinner that took no time at all to clean up and then busting out our pajamas and relaxing. It’s my favorite time of day. I love sending everyone upstairs to hop into pajamas.

Especially during the winter because it means I can really get cozy and warm. I have the worst circulation and unless one of you know of some secret way to fix that I depend on layers all winter long. In fact, even during the summer you’ll always catch me in slippers or socks because my feet are freezing. I can’t be the only one, don’t any of you love getting into your pajamas and snuggling up?

Chinese Cashew Chicken and rice garnished with green onions on white plate with fork

Cashew Chicken Ingredients

For this chicken with cashew nuts recipe, you’ll need only a handful of pantry staples. To make this homemade cashew chicken, you’ll need boneless skinless chicken breasts, all-purpose flour, salt and pepper, ketchup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, brown sugar, ground ginger, dry roasted cashews, and canola oil. 

We didn’t want the cashew chicken sauce to be too sweet, so we scaled back the amount of sugar and ketchup in it. Because of this, the sauce turned out perfectly sweet and savory and has a lovely, deep flavor. 

How to Make Cashew Chicken 

In addition to keeping the ingredients list as simple as possible, we also decided to skip the deep-frying and opted to cook the cashew chicken in an oiled skillet instead. Here are the main steps for making this cashew chicken recipe: 

  1. Toss the diced chicken with the flour, salt, and pepper. 
  2. Cook the chicken in a well oiled skillet until it’s brown on all sides.
  3. While the chicken cooks, stir together the cashew chicken sauce. 
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken and let the mixture simmer until slightly thickened. 
  5. Toss the cashews with the chicken and serve. 

Cashew Chicken and rice on white plate

Can I Make Cashew Chicken with Chicken Thighs Instead? 

Yes, I’m sure chicken thighs could be used instead of chicken breasts. Just note that you’ll want boneless skinless thighs for this Chinese chicken recipe. 

Can I Add Veggies to My Cashew Chicken?

Definitely! Snap peas, broccoli, mushrooms, bell pepper, and baby corn would all be delicious additions to this homemade cashew chicken. You may want to saute the vegetables before cooking the chicken and add them back to the skillet when you toss everything with the sauce. (You don’t want to overcook the vegetables!)

Can I Make This Gluten-Free? 

We’ve only made this chicken with cashew nuts using all-purpose flour, but I don’t see why you couldn’t use a gluten-free flour blend. You’d also want to double check that your soy sauce is gluten-free (if it’s not, you can use tamari instead). 

Tips for Making Cashew Chicken

Try to dice the chicken into even-sized pieces so that it all cooks at roughly the same rate. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but do your best.

If you prefer your cashew chicken on the spicier side, add some crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce. Be careful, a little goes a long way!  

And if you have leftover Chinese cashew chicken, I recommend reheating it in a skillet with a little oil over low heat. This will prevent the chicken and sauce from drying out and becoming rubbery. 

More Asian Recipes: 

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Quick and Easy Cashew Chicken that even the kids eat! ohsweetbasil.com

Quick and Easy Cashew Chicken

4.16 from 32 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 servings
This Cashew Chicken Recipe comes together in about 10 minutes and is a healthier version of the classic Chinese takeout dish!


  • 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless, chopped into 1" cubes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup cashews dry roasted
  • canola oil


  • Place the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss with the chicken.
  • Shake off any excess flour.
  • Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, add a drizzle of canola oil.
  • Add the chicken and brown on each side for about 2 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the ketchup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, brown sugar and ginger.
  • Pour over the chicken in the pan and turn the heat to medium low.
  • Allow to simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until thick and the chicken is cooked through.
  • Toss the cashews in and serve over rice.


store left overs in the refrigerator for 2-3 days
Nutrition Facts
Quick and Easy Cashew Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 276 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 72mg24%
Sodium 817mg36%
Potassium 574mg16%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 54IU1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 21mg2%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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Healthy Habits That Help Me!

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • This is now my Go-to recipe for Cashew Chicken!! So easy, so yummy!!! I’ve made this several times and like others usually double the sauce so to put over rice! It’s a keeper for sure!

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much Dea!!

      • Reply
  • This cashew chicken recipe sounds yummy. Could cornstarch be used instead of flour.

    • Reply
  • Nice and easy.  I added about three cups of broccoli florets cut small and stir fried them for a few minutes before I added the sauce, which I doubled because of the extra veggies.   Sprinkled sliced green onion on it before serving.   It took less time to cook than the rice.  We have a binder where we keep the print outs of the good internet recipes.  This is definitely going in the book 

    • Reply
    • Woop woop! We have a binder like that too! So proud to be making the binder! Glad you enjoyed it!

      • Reply
  • Wonderful recipe!! We loved the sauce, can’t wait to play with additions…broccoli, water chestnuts, carrots. Thanks so much, this will be one of my go-to recipes 🙂

    • Reply
    • Yesssss!! Go crazy with the add-ins! thank you for leaving a comment!

      • Reply
  • I made this tonight and it was amazing! I used boneless skinless chicken thighs. I made extra for leftovers and made 2 cups of sauce which was perfect! I added broccoli and used sticky rice from the freezer section. My fiancee loved it and this will be added to our favorites!

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much for the feedback and taking time to share your experience with us! So glad it was a hit!

      • Reply
  • I’d like to make this for my boyfriend as a make-ahead lunch for the week (i.e. it would be kept in the fridge a few days), should I omit the flour step or will it be OK? 

    • Reply
  • Love the simplicity of this one. I had everything prepped in advance. When we got home I simply tossed the chicken in flour mixture & started cooking. I used coconut oil throughout. Added approx 2 tsp honey & doubled the Soy sauce. Also, some sliced green onion tops went in with the sauce. But the biggest addition was chicken broth, at least 1 cup. I found it was way too thick to mix with the rice. Hubby really loved it! Served it with a fresh asparagus. Think I’ll also try thighs next time. Thanks much.

    • Reply
    • Oh asparagus sounds like a great addition!

      • Reply
  • I made this tonight and it was delicious! I added canned mushrooms and sliced water chestnuts for extra crunch. Best of all though, I quadrupled the sauce to have plenty to put over our rice! Yummy! Everybody loved it but there’s no leftovers…. :(. Lol.

    • Reply
    • We loooove to make extra sauce as well.Thanks for the great review!

      • Reply
  • This was a quick and tasty dish. A bit of child gives it a bit of a kick.

    • Reply
    • sorry, meant to write CHILI

      • Reply
    • Haha! Well a child can give things a kick sometimes too. 😉 Seriously though, chili is a great addition. Thanks!

      • Reply
  • This was fantastic! I have made many Chinese take out recipes at home and none have turned out this delicious! I forgot to thaw my chicken so I baked them frozen, and breaded the cooked chicken with whole wheat flour, and doubled the sauce. I will certainly have to double or triple the recipe as a whole next time for leftovers. Just wonderful, thank you!!

    • Reply
    • Jessica,
      Thank you so much!! What a sweet comment on this long Monday night. xoxo

      • Reply
  • This was amazingly good!!! I subbed coconut flour for white flour, honey for the sugar, coconut aminos for the soy sauce, added a few dashes of fish sauce, and some red pepper flakes. Also added carrots and broccoli and served over cauliflower rice to make it paleo friendly. Will definitely make again. So so so good!

    • Reply
    • Emma, I’m so glad you took the time to comment so we all could try it your way!

      • Reply
  • I just found your website and cant wait to start trying out some recipes on my family! I have printed off a few recipes, and your print option works wonderfully but would it be possible to insert a small image of the dish in the print? I love to see what it will look like when I am browsing my recipe file … Thanks!

    • Reply
    • Great idea, I’ll write our plugin company and see how to do that. I’ll be honest, our old one did it automatically so I had no idea it wasn’t printing. Thanks!

      • Reply
  • Made this for supper tonight. It was delicious!! I doubled the sauce and added snow peas, scallions and green pepper. I’ll be making this recipe again for sure! thank you!

    • Reply
    • Love the addition of snow peas and I always double the sauce as well. 😉

      • Reply
  • I made this dish last night, and it was soooooooo delicious! I doubled the recipe, and used 12 thighs (skinless and boneless).

    • Reply
  • I have the same problem as Jeff with slow loading. Although this one is not as bad as 2 other recipe blogs that I subscribe to and wait patiently for because the food is so good! Carrian, if you have a suggestion, please email me too.

    • Reply
    • The best suggestion I have is to use Chrome and make sure you keep your cookies cleared.

      • Reply
  • Is anyone as frustrated as I am with how slow this site loads because of all of the pop ups and ads? Anyone know how to speed the load up or how to shut down the pop up marketing stuff so we can keep using it?

    • Reply
    • Hi Jeff, I’ve emailed you. Thanks for your concern. I do hope we can help you.

      • Reply
  • I think I have saved dozens of your recipes, but never have enough time or the right ingredients on hand to actually try any. I made this cashew chicken dish tonight and it was a huge hit! The ingredients are all pretty much pantry staples and it took no time and very little effort for my 11yr old son and I to make. We have a huge family, and it’s rare to find a dish out of the norm for everyone to love. This one’s going down in the recipe book for sure.

    • Reply
    • I loved the flavor of the cashew chicken but would suggest doubling the sauce.

      • Reply
      • I’m always on board for more sauce. Thanks Dee!

Healthy Habits That Help Me!