This Cashew Chicken Recipe comes together in about 10 minutes and is a healthier version of the classic Chinese takeout dish!
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?
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:
- Toss the diced chicken with the flour, salt, and pepper.
- Cook the chicken in a well oiled skillet until it’s brown on all sides.
- While the chicken cooks, stir together the cashew chicken sauce.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and let the mixture simmer until slightly thickened.
- Toss the cashews with the chicken and serve.
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:
- Thai Peanut Chicken with Noodles
- Homemade Orange Chicken
- Korean Asian Braised Short Ribs
- Teriyaki Chicken Casserole
- Thai Peanut Steak Salad
- Asian Chicken Skewers with Honey Garlic Sauce
- Pork Dumplings
- Teriyaki Chicken Noodles
- Sweet and Spicy Orange Salmon
- Grilled Sweet and Sour Chicken
- …All of Our Asian Recipes!
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Quick and Easy Cashew Chicken
- 2 boneless skinless, chicken breasts, 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.