Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken is a delicious and quick stir-fry dish that combines tender chicken with crunchy cashews in a savory and slightly sweet sauce. Perfect for a weeknight dinner, this dish is best served over rice and paired with your favorite steamed vegetables for a complete and satisfying meal.


  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (add 1 tbsp more if you prefer a sweeter sauce)
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breast
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup cashews, whole


  1. Make the Sauce:
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, chicken broth, minced garlic, brown sugar, oyster sauce, and sesame oil until the sugar is dissolved. Set this aside to allow the flavors to combine while you cook the chicken.
  2. Prepare the Chicken:
    • Cut the chicken breasts into one-inch cubes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the seasoned chicken to a gallon-size freezer bag. Add the cornstarch to the bag, zip the top, and shake until all pieces are evenly coated.
  3. Cook the Chicken:
    • Place a large skillet on the stovetop, pour in the olive oil, and heat to medium-high. Once the olive oil is hot, add the coated chicken (you may need to work in batches to avoid crowding the pan) and cook until all sides are cooked through and the pieces are a bit seared.
  4. Add Cashews:
    • After the chicken is cooked, add the cashews to the pan and toast them for about a minute.
  5. Combine with Sauce:
    • Pour the prepared sauce into the pan with the chicken and cashews, and toss to coat. The sauce will heat and thicken as it mixes in.
  6. Serve:
    • Serve the Cashew Chicken over rice and/or with your favorite steamed veggies.

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Over Rice:
    • Serve the Cashew Chicken over a bed of steamed rice for a classic and satisfying meal. Jasmine rice, brown rice, or even cauliflower rice are great options.
  2. With Noodles:
    • Pair the Cashew Chicken with cooked noodles such as lo mein, rice noodles, or udon noodles for a delicious alternative to rice.
  3. Steamed Vegetables:
    • Add a side of steamed vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, snap peas, or carrots to create a balanced and nutritious meal.
  4. Garnishes:
    • Sprinkle chopped green onions, sesame seeds, or cilantro over the Cashew Chicken just before serving for added freshness and flavor.
  5. Appetizer Option:
    • Serve the Cashew Chicken as a filling for lettuce wraps or as a topping for crispy wonton chips for a fun and appetizing starter.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration:
    • Store any leftover Cashew Chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure to cool it completely before storing.
  2. Freezing:
    • Cashew Chicken can be frozen for longer-term storage. Place cooled leftovers in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  3. Reheating:
    • To reheat, thaw frozen Cashew Chicken overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat gently in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave until heated through. You may need to add a splash of water or chicken broth to prevent the chicken from drying out.
  4. Refreshing Leftovers:
    • If the Cashew Chicken sauce thickens upon refrigeration, add a splash of chicken broth or water when reheating to restore its original consistency.
  5. Batch Cooking:
    • Consider doubling the recipe and batch cooking Cashew Chicken to have convenient, ready-to-eat meals throughout the week. Portion out leftovers into individual containers for easy grab-and-go lunches or dinners.
  6. Meal Prep:
    • Prep components of the Cashew Chicken in advance, such as chopping vegetables, marinating the chicken, and mixing the sauce. Store each component separately in the refrigerator until ready to cook and assemble.
  7. Avoid Overcooking Cashews:
    • If planning to store leftovers, slightly undercook the cashews during the initial cooking process to prevent them from becoming too soft when reheated.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can enjoy delicious Cashew Chicken anytime, whether freshly prepared or as convenient leftovers.


  1. Spicy Cashew Chicken:
    • Increase the heat by adding sliced red chili peppers or a dash of chili flakes to the sauce for a fiery kick.
  2. Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry with Vegetables:
    • Enhance the dish with a colorful array of vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, snap peas, carrots, and water chestnuts for added texture and nutrition.
  3. Hoisin Cashew Chicken:
    • Substitute oyster sauce with hoisin sauce for a sweeter and more robust flavor profile. Adjust the amount of brown sugar accordingly.
  4. Thai-Inspired Cashew Chicken:
    • Infuse Thai flavors by incorporating ingredients like fish sauce, lime juice, and Thai basil into the sauce. Serve with jasmine rice for an authentic touch.
  5. Coconut Cashew Chicken:
    • Create a tropical twist by adding coconut milk to the sauce and garnishing with toasted coconut flakes for a creamy and exotic flavor.
  6. Orange Cashew Chicken:
    • Introduce citrusy notes by incorporating orange zest and orange juice into the sauce. Finish with a sprinkle of orange segments for a burst of freshness.
  7. Teriyaki Cashew Chicken:
    • Replace soy sauce with teriyaki sauce and omit the brown sugar for a tangy and slightly sweet variation. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions for extra flavor.
  8. Garlic Ginger Cashew Chicken:
    • Elevate the dish with the addition of minced ginger and garlic to the sauce, providing aromatic depth and complexity to the flavors.
  9. Sesame Cashew Chicken:
    • Incorporate toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds into the sauce for a nutty undertone and sprinkle extra sesame seeds on top for a crunchy finish.
  10. Mango Cashew Chicken:
    • Infuse a tropical flair by adding diced mango to the dish, along with a splash of mango juice in the sauce. Serve with a side of coconut rice for a delightful combination of flavors.


  1. Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?
    • Yes, chicken thighs can be used as a flavorful alternative to chicken breasts. Adjust cooking time as needed.
  2. How do I prevent the chicken from becoming rubbery?
    • Avoid overcooking the chicken by cooking it just until it’s no longer pink in the center. Remove from heat promptly to prevent drying out.
  3. Can I make Cashew Chicken ahead of time for meal prep?
    • Yes, Cashew Chicken is suitable for meal prep. Store cooked chicken and sauce separately in the refrigerator and combine when ready to serve.
  4. Is Cashew Chicken gluten-free?
    • To ensure a gluten-free dish, use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari as a substitute for regular soy sauce.
  5. Can I omit the cashews for a nut-free version?
    • Yes, you can omit the cashews or replace them with toasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free alternative.
  6. Can I use frozen chicken instead of fresh?
    • While fresh chicken is preferred, you can use thawed frozen chicken for convenience. Ensure it is fully thawed before cooking.
  7. Can I use pre-made stir-fry sauce instead of making my own?
    • Yes, you can use store-bought stir-fry sauce, but making your own allows for customization and ensures freshness.
  8. How do I know when the chicken is cooked through?
    • The chicken is cooked through when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C) and is no longer pink in the center.
  9. Can I make Cashew Chicken without cornstarch?
    • Cornstarch helps to thicken the sauce and coat the chicken pieces. You can substitute with arrowroot starch or tapioca flour if desired.
  10. Is Cashew Chicken suitable for a low-carb diet?
    • Yes, you can enjoy Cashew Chicken on a low-carb diet by serving it over cauliflower rice or with stir-fried vegetables instead of rice. Adjust the amount of sugar in the sauce to suit your dietary preferences.

Cashew Chicken offers a delightful combination of tender chicken, crunchy cashews, and savory sauce, making it a versatile and satisfying dish for any occasion. Whether served over rice or noodles, with a side of vegetables, or customized with different flavor variations, Cashew Chicken is sure to please the palate. With easy preparation and storage options, this recipe is perfect for busy weeknights or leisurely dinners alike. Enjoy the delicious flavors and flexibility of Cashew Chicken as you create memorable meals for yourself and your loved ones!