Go Back
+ servings

Cashew Chicken

Forget the take-out because this speedy Cashew Chicken recipe tastes 10X better!  It’s loaded with juicy chunks of chicken, crisp-tender bell peppers and deliciously crunchy cashews bathed in deeply fragrant, nutty, garlic ginger stir fry sauce.  This full-flavored, healthy recipe is easy to make with pantry friendly ingredients and amendable to whatever veggies you have on hand. Your family will love this Cashew Chicken Stir Fry with rice or low carb cauliflower rice and if you’re feeling even more gourmet, add a side of Ramen Noodle Salad and homemade egg rolls!
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings





  • 1 cup UNSALTED cashews
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil, divided
  • 1 bunch green onions, white and green parts separated, chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, 1-inch chop
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1-inch chop
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced


  • Add the velveting ingredients to a large freezer bag or bowl; whisk to combine. Add chicken and turn until evenly coated. Let sit at room temperature while you prep your veggies; preferable 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile:
  • Whisk the Stir Fry Sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside. Chop your veggies and aromatics.
  • Toast the cashews in a dry, large nonstick skillet over medium heat until toasted golden in spots, stirring a few times; remove cashews from the skillet.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in the now empty skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add chicken in a single layer and sear for 1-2 minutes; then continue to stir until cooked on all sides (does not need to be cooked through). Remove chicken to a plate.
  • To the now empty pan (don’t wipe out), heat one tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and the white parts of the green onions only. Stir fry until vegetables are crisp tender, about 3 minutes. (Don’t over-cook because they will continue to cook in sauce). Add garlic and ginger to the veggies and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Whisk the Stir Fry Sauce (to recombine) and add to the veggies along with the chicken, cashews and half of the remaining green onions. Simmer, while stirring, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through; 1-2 minutes. Adjust to taste with additional, honey, soy sauce or chili sauce. Garnish with remaining green onions if desired, dig in.



Ingredient tips and tricks

  • Oyster sauce:  Oyster sauce is the base of almost ever stir fry sauce and bumps up the savory umami character; its flavor cannot be replicated.  Please use QUALITY oyster sauce such as Lee Kum Kee or Kikkoman.  You truly can taste the difference and will be sorely disappointed with less quality brands.
  • Vegetarian oyster sauce:  Use Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce.  You may also use soy sauce in a bind - just don't expect as spectacular of results.
  • Rice wine:  Adds a sweetness and depth of flavor.  I use “Kikkoman Aji-Mirin: Sweet Cooking Rice Seasoning” which is commonly found in the Asian section of most grocery stores or you can Amazon it. I highly suggest you google image before you head off to the grocery store so you know exactly what you are looking for.  The best substitute for rice wine is pale dry sherry. Do NOT substitute rice wine with rice vinegar, they are NOT the same.  Rice vinegar will add an acidic flavor without the sweetness.
  • Asian chili sauce:  I use Sambal Oelek with the green lid but you can also use your favorite chili sauce such as sriracha.
  • To make it vegan: Try out cubed tofu!  Place firm tofu in a pie plate, top with a heavy plate and weigh down with 2 heavy cans (to release water). Set aside for 10 minutes, then chop into 1-inch cubes before marinating. Swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth and the oyster sauce for Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce.
  • To make it gluten free: Use tamari instead of soy sauce and gluten free oyster sauce. The rest of the ingredients are gluten free.


Even though this Cashew Chicken recipe is easy to make, you can still prepare it in stages if that works best for you:
  • Cashews:  Toast in a skillet, cool, then store in an airtight container.
  • Stir fry sauce: Whisk the sauce ingredients together but do not simmer/thicken. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
  • Chicken: Chop the chicken and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.  You can also marinate up to 4 hours ahead of time.


  • How to store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • How to freeze:  Let the dish cool completely then transfer to a large freezer size bag or divide the dish into smaller bags or airtight container(s) and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight then reheat per any of the below methods.
  • How to reheat on the stove:  Leftovers are best reheated on the stove, even if they are small portions.  To reheat, heat a drizzle of oil over medium heat.  Once hot, add the chicken, stirring occasionally until warmed through. 
  • Reheating in microwave:  Take care not to overcook the chicken or it can become rubbery in the microwave.  Microwave for one minute then at 20 second intervals until warmed through.