Cashew Chicken Stir Fry is a classic Chinese take out dish. Tender chicken sautéed with fresh vegetables and cashews in a sweet and savory stir fry sauce.
Cashew Chicken Stir Fry Recipe
Cashew Chicken is a classic takeout meal. It is so simple and easy to make yourself so you can actually skip the takeout! I’m always on the lookout for unique chicken dinners. Chicken is a great healthy protein to cook with but can often get boring if you are constantly cooking with it.
In comes my 30 minutes cashew chicken stir fry. The combination of tender chicken, fresh crunchy veggies and cashews is simply delicious! This stir fry is also easily customizable as you can use your favorite veggies and what is on sale at the store or fresh in season.
I love recreating takeout dishes at home as I can control exactly what goes in the dish, save money making it at home and it’s just as quick to make at home!
What is Cashew Chicken?
Cashew chicken is a stir fry that combines tender seasoned chicken, crunchy vegetables, cashews and a sweet and savory stir fry sauce. This stir fry is classically served with rice that soaks up all the amazing stir fry sauce.
Chicken breast or thighs can be used for cashew chicken. Commonly broccoli and bell peppers are the vegetables in this stir fry. The stir fry sauce is an irresistible sweet and savory sauce packed with classic Asian flavours.
Who Will Like Cashew Chicken?
Cashew chicken is the perfect dish for anyone who likes Chinese takeout and stir fries. It is a simple dish that is easily customized with your favorite vegetables. The dish is low spice so it is perfect for those who do not like spicy foods.
What is in Cashew Chicken Stir Fry?
Cashew Chicken Stir Fry Ingredients
- Chicken Marinade – boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs can be used for this recipe
- Ginger, Garlic, Green Onion – the aromatics to season the chicken
- Soy Sauce – adds an umami flavor to the chicken
- Corn Starch – adds a protective coating to the chicken to keep it tender and moist
- Broccoli – fresh or frozen can be used, see notes in recipe
- Red Pepper – I love the color of red bell peppers but any variety can be used
- Cashews – roasted unsalted cashews are recommended, but salted can be used if that is all you have on hand
Cashew Chicken Stir Fry Sauce Ingredients
- Chicken Broth – the base of the stir fry sauce. Can be home made, store bought or prepared from bouillon powder
- Hoisin Sauce – an Asian style BBQ sauce that has a deep and rich flavor. Can be found in local Asian grocery store and the international aisle of most grocery stores
- Corn Starch – to thicken the sauce and give it a smooth velvety texture
- Honey – the sweetness of the sauce comes from honey
- Rice Vinegar – sweeter than regular white vinegar, rice vinegar adds the tang to the stir fry sauce. Can be sound in local Asian grocery store or the international aisle of most grocery stores. Can be substituted for white vinegar, or white wine vinegar.
- Soy Sauce – adds a deep umami flavor to the sauce. I prefer cooking with low sodium soy sauce but regular soy sauce can be used as well.
- Ginger, Garlic, Green Onions – the aromatics of the sauce
- Sesame Oil – a classic Asian ingredient that has a deep and rich sesame flavor. Just a splash is added into the sauce, a little goes a long way.
- Chili Flakes – just a pinch is added to the sauce. It does not add a high spice level but this can be omitted.
More Chinese Takeout Recipe you will Love!
- Beef with Broccoli – one of my favorite quick weeknight dinners! Tender beef in an irresistible sauce packed with garlic and ginger. A sweet and savory dinner the whole family will love.
- Sesame Chicken – a perfect combination of crispy chicken in a sweet and tangy sesame sauce! Serve with fried rice for an easy home made takeout style dinner!
- Wonton Soup – one of the most well known soups and one of my personal favorites! So quick and easy to make at home. Perfect for a quick lunch or side dish for your next dinner!
How to Make Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
Full Printable Recipe and Video at Bottom of Page
Marinate the Chicken
1 In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until evenly combined. Set aside.
2 In a medium sized bowl or Ziploc bag combine all of the chicken ingredients. Mix until evenly combined.
Prepare the Stir Fry
1 In a large skillet, heat 1/2 tbsp oil on medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering add half the chicken to the pan. Sauté until evenly cooked through and golden brown, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a large plate or clean bowl.
2 Add 1/2 tbsp of oil to the pan and cook the remaining chicken for 5-6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
3 Prepare the stir fry by adding the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the pan and sauté the green onions, garlic, ginger, broccoli and bell peppers until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
4 Add the cashews to the pan and sauté until lightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes.
Finish the Stir Fry
1 Add the chicken back to the pan. Pour the sauce over the stir fry and toss until evenly combined.
2 Bring the sauce to a simmer. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until thickened.
Serve with rice. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
What to Serve with Cashew Chicken Stir Fry?
Cashew chicken stir fry is most commonly served with rice (ex. white, brown, or even cauliflower rice). The rice soaks up all the stir fry sauce and is the perfect accompaniment. Pair with a classic Asian appetizer for an easy homemade takeout style meal:
FAQs Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
Yes, since the chicken in this stir fry is not battered and deep fried this is a healthy dish. The chicken is sautéed in a small amount of oil and the stir fry sauce is also low in oil and sugar. Packed with veggies this stir fry is a great healthy dinner served with rice (ex. white, brown or cauliflower rice).
Cashew chicken is great for meal prep. The stir fry can be prepared in advance and frozen in air tight containers with rice for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes or until warmed through.
To reheat, simply add the stir fry back to a frying pan on medium heat and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until warmed through. Or, microwave for 2 minutes, stirring after each 30 second interval.
Cashew chicken is lower calorie stir fry as the chicken is sautéed rather than deep fried. This recipe makes 6 servings at 354 calories per serving (not including rice).
More EASY One Pan Recipes!
- Teriyaki Salmon and Vegetables – one of the easiest 20 minute one pan meals! Tender salmon baked in sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce. Baked in a sheet pan with cauliflower, broccoli and red peppers for a quick dinner.
- Chicken and Rice (Arroz con Pollo) – the perfect mix of chicken, rice, vegetables and spices cooked in a flavor packed tomato sauce. The dish cooks all in one pan making clean up a breeze! Top with sour cream and sliced avocados for an easy and delicious dinner!
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup – made at home is just as creamy and delicious as the classic Olive Garden soup! The best part is it can be made in your kitchen in just 30 minutes!
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.
Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/3 cup chicken broth, or water
- 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar, or white vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp chili flakes, optional
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided, or cooking oil of choice
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 2 cups broccoli, cut into small pieces/florets, 1 head of broccoli
- 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 3/4 cup cashews, unsalted roasted
- Sesame seeds
- 1 green onion, finely diced
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until evenly combined. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl or Ziploc bag combine all of the chicken ingredients. Mix until evenly combined.
- In a large skillet, heat 1/2 tbsp oil on medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering add half the chicken to the pan. Sauté until evenly cooked through and golden brown, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a large plate or clean bowl.
- Add 1/2 tbsp of oil to the pan and cook the remaining chicken for 5-6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Prepare the stir fry by adding the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the pan and sauté the green onions, garlic, ginger, broccoli and bell peppers until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the cashews to the pan and sauté until lightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the chicken back to the pan. Pour the sauce over the stir fry and toss until evenly combined.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until thickened.
- Serve with rice. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
- Chicken – boneless skinless thighs or breast can be used for this recipe.
- Vegetables – broccoli and bell peppers can be substituted for any vegetable of choice. For example, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, etc.
- Frozen Vegetables – can be used for this recipe. Follow the recipe as per instructions but only sauté until just warmed through to avoid over cooking the vegetables. Then add the cashews, chicken and sauce as usual.