20 Minute Cashew Chicken

Easy and delicious, cashew chicken is the perfect quick and healthy meal for busy weeknights! Skip the take-out line and make your own Asian-inspired dinner in just 20 minutes from the comfort of your own kitchen.

Looking for more chicken recipes? Try my Baked Chicken Tenders, Honey Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry or my Honey Lemon Garlic Chicken!

Cashew chicken with chopsticks picking up chicken bite, garnished with cashews, green onions, and sesame seeds

20 Minute Cashew Chicken

Cashew chicken has to be one of my all time favorite take-out dishes. And last year, with so much more time spent at home with social distancing, I certainly ordered my fair share of take-out, like General Tso’s Chicken and Beef and Broccoli — great in my stomach but hard on the wallet! So I finally decided it was time to create my own version of the mouthwatering cashew chicken that was as delicious (if not better) than my favorite restaurants while also being super quick and easy.

Yes, I said QUICK and EASY! If you’ve ever wondered what cooking magic happens in the restaurant kitchen, I’m here to tell you that you, too, can be a magician. This tender juicy pan fried chicken, stir fried in a sticky, sweet and tangy sauce, takes only 20-minutes and is perfect for all chefs, novice to pro!

First, I coated the chicken in cornstarch, and then pan fried it over really high heat, which keeps the chicken really juicy and also helps to thicken up the sauce. Speaking of the sauce, I mixed together soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and hoisin sauce to create this mouthwatering glaze. I suggest using low-sodium soy sauce in this dish to control the salt level, but you can always add some water to help with the salt if you only have regular soy sauce.

Cashew chicken in white bowl with chopsticks picking up chicken bite, garnished with cashews, green onions, and sesame seeds

Ingredients

  • Chicken breast
  • Cornstarch
  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Sesame oil
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Red bell pepper
  • Unsalted, raw cashews
  • Green onions
  • Sesame seeds

Cashew chicken with chopsticks picking up chicken bite, garnished with cashews, green onions, and sesame seeds

How to make Cashew Chicken

  1. Coat the chicken: Add the chicken and cornstarch to a large Ziplock bag and toss to coat.
  2. Sauté cashews: Heat a large skillet or wok. Add in cashews and sauté until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Sauté chicken: Add olive or vegetable oil to the same pan. 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).
  4. Prepare sauce: While the chicken is cooking, add soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil and hoisin sauce to a medium bowl. Mix until fully combined.
  5. Add sauce to chicken: With the chicken still in the pan, add the sauce and stir frequently. The sauce will thicken up pretty quickly. Add in red bell pepper and cook for 2-3 additional minutes.
  6. Garnish and serve: Stir in cashews and serve immediately with green onions and sesame seeds for garnish, if desired. You can even serve this as an appetizer over lettuce wraps!

Cashew chicken in white bowl with chopsticks picking up chicken bite, garnished with cashews, green onions, and sesame seeds

What to serve with Cashew Chicken

  • Rice: These delicious cashew chicken bites are the perfect protein for a simple rice bowl. You can use white rice, brown rice, or my personal favorite vegetable fried rice. Trying to keep things low carb? Try simple cauliflower rice or my 20-minute cauliflower fried rice.
  • Veggies: Choose and chop you favorite vegetables and serve them steamed aside your cashew chicken or even mix it into your rice bowl! I sautéed my chicken with red pepper and green onions. You can always sneak in some extra veggies to this dish.
  • Noodles: Noodles make everything better — always. Stay true to this Asian-inspired chicken dish and serve with delicious Chow Mein or Lo Mein noodles.
  • Spring Rolls: I know this one may sound a little more intimidating, but spring rolls are actually VERY easy to make. Ready in just 20 minutes, my Rainbow Vegetable Spring Rolls would be a fresh, bright addition to your cashew chicken.

Here are more delicious chicken recipes to try!

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20 Minute Cashew Chicken

4.13 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Easy and delicious, Cashew chicken is the perfect quick, healthy meal for busy weeknights! Skip the take-out line and make your own Asian-inspired dinner in just 20 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • Add chicken and cornstarch to a large ziplock bag and toss to coat the chicken.
  • Heat a large skillet or wok.
  • Add in cashews and saute until golden brown. Remove from pan.
  • Add oil to the same pan.
  • 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).
  • While the chicken is cooking add soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil and hoisin sauce to a medium bowl.
  • 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.
  • 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

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Comments - page 3/4

  • 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!

    Kelley

  • 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!

    Kelley

  • 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.

    Thanks!

    Kelley

  • 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!

    Thanks,

    Kelley

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