20 Minute Cashew Chicken

Super Easy 20 Minute Cashew Chicken. A quick and easy meal for busy weeknights!

20 Minute Cashew Chicken

Cashew chicken has to be one of my all time favorite take out dishes. Right alongside General Tso’s Chicken and Beef and Brocolli. Tender juicy pan fried chicken stir fried in a sticky, sweet and tangy sauce. Topped with tons of crunchy cashews.


I sautéed my chicken with red pepper and green onions. You can always sneak in some extra veggies to this dish.

I coated the chicken in cornstarch and pan fried it over really high heat. This keeps the chicken really juicy and also helps to thicken up the sauce.

For the sauce I mixed together soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and hoisin sauce. I suggest using low sodium soy sauce in this dish to control the salt level. You can always add some water to help with the salt if you only have regular soy sauce.


I like to serve my cashew chicken over rice or noodles. You can even serve this as an appetizer over lettuce wraps!


20 Minute Cashew Chicken

3.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Super Easy 20 Minute Cashew Chicken. A quick and easy meal for busy weeknights!


  • 1 pound chicken breast cut into bite sized cubes
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup unsalted raw cashews
  • green onions for garnish if desired
  • sesame seeds for garnish if desired


  1. Add chicken and cornstarch to a large ziplock bag and toss to coat the chicken.
  2. Heat a large skillet or wok.
  3. Add in cashews and saute until golden brown. Remove from pan.
  4. Add oil to the same pan.
  5. Add in chicken and sauté for 3-4 minutes to brown the chicken on the outside (the chicken will continue to cook in the sauce).
  6. While the chicken is cooking add soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil and hoisin sauce to a medium bowl.
  7. Add the sauce to the chicken and stir frequently. The sauce will thicken up pretty quickly. Add in red bell pepper and cook for 2-3 additional minutes.
  8. Stir in cashews and serve immediately with green onions and sesame seeds for garnish, if desired.
Nutrition Facts
20 Minute Cashew Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 406 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 73mg24%
Sodium 736mg32%
Potassium 724mg21%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 965IU19%
Vitamin C 39mg47%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: 20 Minute Cashew Chicken, Chicken Breast, Easy Recipe, Take out recipes


Leave a Comment


  • Uh, yes please! This looks so stinking tasty. Excuse me while I gather all of my takeout menus and toss them in the trash!

  • Melody

    It appears that there are some red peppers in the photos but they are not included in the recipe?

    • Hi Betty,

      Sorry about that. You want to use 1 medium red bell pepper, diced. I have added into the ingredient list.

      Thank you & Enjoy!


    • Hi Dana,

      I haven’t done a calorie count on this recipe yet. But if one was done it should not include rice or noodles.



  • Raywy

    The ingredient list says nothing about red bell pepper. I wondered about that after taking a look at the photo, then, there it was in the instructions.

    • Hi Raywy,

      Sorry about that. You want to use 1 medium red bell pepper, diced. I have added into the ingredient list.

      Thank you & Enjoy!


  • Isaac Mizrahi

    and yet…
    there’s no bell pepper(OR green onions) listed in the ingredients…

  • Jim Bryant

    This line in the instructions, “Add in red bell pepper and cook for 2-3 additional minutes.” No red bell pepper in the ingredients list but there are two listings for Sesame Seeds for garnishing.

    Otherwise, good looking recipe with room for other additions — must try.

    • Hi Jim,

      Sorry about that. Thank you for pointing it out. You want to use 1 medium red bell pepper, diced. I have added into the ingredient list.

      Thank you & Enjoy!


  • Betty

    The red pepper in the instructions is not included in the list of ingredients. Should it be chopped, sliced, roasted? Also, the ingredients mention Sesame seeds for garnish twice. I think one should say ‘green onions’ instead. Despite these minor errors, it looks delicious.

    • Hi Betty,

      Sorry about that. Thank you for pointing it out. You want to use 1 medium red bell pepper, diced. I have added into the ingredient list.

      Thank you & Enjoy!


  • Paula

    I’m glad I found your recipe, this was good. I used pork tenderloin and added yellow sweet pepper and onion. I added a little more rice vinegar and hoisin, and about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water to the sauce to weaken the sauce. Served on jasmine rice cooked with half water/half coconut milk. Perfect!

  • Sadie E Edwards

    comes out nothing like the photo, I’m really disappointed in this recipe there are many better ones on yummly

  • Mary

    I used slivered almond as I didn’t have cashews and tasted just as good! A also added red pepper slivers and broccoli to up the veggies and turned out great!!!

    • Hi Bettie,

      Thanks so much! I would divide the recipe in half or quarter it. (It depends on how big your chicken breast is). So if you have a 4 ounce chicken breast quarter the rest of the ingredients and you’ll be good.

      Hope this helps! Thanks,


  • Cam

    Well is the red bell pepper in the ingredients and you have a déjà vu moment on the sesame seeds.

  • Tess

    Came out exactly as the picture. Cooked this for a family get together as a last minute decision because I was too busy to do my original idea and had run out of preparation time. This was fantastic. Everyone wanted the recipe and I will definitely add this dinner to my favourites!

  • I just made this for dinner and found the recipe delicious!! The sauce was a perfect combination of sweet & savory. I added the sesame seeds to the sauce so it would adhere to the chicken more. I will defi ately make this again!

  • Lyn

    I tried to make this recipe last night, and I really don’t know how to say this, the chicken and the sauce looked good, but I wish I didn’t put the sesame oil.

    I doubled the sauce, and even when I doubled the sauce I only put 1/2 tsp sesame oil and still the sesame oil took over the sauce’s taste, I don’t know what did I do wrong, before I put the sesame oil I smelled the sauce and I was thinking that I don’t need sesame oil, but since it was my first time trying out this recipe, so I followed the instructions. My husband said it’s not bad, it’s just he could totally taste the sesame oil and it was too salty for us.
    Did I do something wrong? Please let me know because I believe that I followed the instructions right.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Lyn,

      I’m sorry this did not turn out for you. The sesame oil should not make it salty. Did you use low sodium soy sauce? I know using regular will make it pretty salty. As for the sesame oil I don’t think it would be overpowering especially 1/2 teaspoon.

      Again I am so sorry it did not turn out for you!



      • Lyn

        Hello thanks for your reply.

        Yes, I used low sodium soysauce. I’m not saying it’s bad I couldn’t eat it, we still could eat it, but if I didn’t put the sesame oil, maybe the taste could have been better.
        And yeah! As for the Hoisin sauce, the only brand I could find here is Lee Kum Kee, and when I first smelled it, I could smell a little bit of sesame oil on it (I put the sesame oil the last), so that’s why I was thinking, should I put the sesame oil or not, hehe.

        But then the next morning I tried to fix it because my husband wanted to bring it for his lunch, so I added a little bit water and a sweet&spicy sauce (Thailand’s brand), and it turned out good! 🙂

  • LL

    I just thought this was okay, not out of this world. But maybe I messed up. Usually when I do the chicken and corn starch dealio, it comes out crispy. This was more just grilled chicken and idk why.

    • Nathan

      Thank you Luuk!

      We appreciate your comment and that you took the time to try out the Cashew Chicken recipe!
      Have a great day!