Cashew Chicken

4.5 stars based on 212 votes
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This cashew chicken with tender stir-fried chicken and roasted cashews in garlic sauce tastes just like take-out, only better.

This dish of tender stir-fried chicken and roasted cashews in garlic sauce tastes just like take-out, only better. You don’t need a wok — just a large nonstick skillet — and, aside from the chicken, the only chopping involves some garlic and scallions. The rest comes out of bottles and jars.

The only way to mess it up is to overcook the chicken so have all your ingredients prepped before you start cooking and don’t cut the chicken pieces too small (they’ll cook too fast). You’ll be amazed how much better it feels to eat fresh, homemade Chinese food — and it won’t take you any longer to cook than it would to call it in and wait for it.

What You’ll Need To Make Cashew Chicken

cashew chicken ingredientsBe sure to use a high-quality hoisin sauce like Kikkoman or Lee Kum Kee; it makes a big difference.

How To Make Cashew Chicken

To begin, place the cashews on a baking sheet in a single layer.

how to make cashew chicken

Toast in the oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. (They will crisp up as they cool.) Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: in a small bowl, whisk together the water, cornstarch, hoisin sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.

sauce mixtureNext, season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over high heat until very hot. Add half of the chicken to the skillet

how to make cashew chicken

Stir-fry until lightly browned but not cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

how to make cashew chicken

Add the remaining tablespoon vegetable oil to the skillet; then add remaining chicken, garlic and white parts of the scallions. Stir-fry until the chicken is lightly browned but not cooked through, about 3 minutes. Return the first batch of chicken to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and add the rice vinegar; cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.

how to make cashew chicken

Add the sauce mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute.

how to make cashew chicken

Remove from the heat. Stir in the scallion greens, cashews and sesame oil.

how to make cashew chicken

Serve with rice.

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Cashew Chicken

This cashew chicken with tender stir-fried chicken and roasted cashews in garlic sauce tastes just like take-out, only better.

Servings: 4
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce, best quality such as Kikkoman or Lee Kum Kee
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 scallions (1 bunch), white and green parts separated, each cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the cashews on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast in the oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside; they will crisp up as they cool.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: in a small bowl, whisk together the water, cornstarch, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce. Set aside.
  4. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly.
  5. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over high heat until very hot. Add half of the chicken to the skillet and stir-fry until lightly browned but not cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  6. Add the remaining tablespoon vegetable oil to the skillet; then add the remaining chicken, garlic and white parts of the scallions. Stir-fry until the chicken is lightly browned but not cooked through, about 3 minutes. Return the first batch of chicken to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and add the rice vinegar; cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the sauce mixture to the chicken; cook, tossing, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is nicely thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the scallion greens, cashews and sesame oil. Serve immediately.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Serving size: about 1 1/4 cups each
  • Calories: 464
  • Fat: 24 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 45 g
  • Sodium: 855 mg
  • Cholesterol: 125 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I love the recipes on this site.

    • — Becky Edgar on May 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • The taste was wonderful. The only issue I had was that the sauce became extremely thick and coagulated. I did notice the hoisin sauce was very thick. Interested in knowing what I may have done wrong because I intend on making this again. Thank you.

    • — Luci Gutierrez on May 12, 2021
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    • Hi Luci, Sorry to hear the sauce was too thick for you. When you added the chicken back to the pan, did you cook it for only about 1 minute?

      • — Jenn on May 13, 2021
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  • I just made this and oh my! Even my picky grandkids ate it up! This is a no fail delicious dinner!

    • — Áine on April 28, 2021
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  • This was very good. Not overly spicy for the one in the house that doesn’t do spice and easy enough to add spice for the rest of us. Will be adding to the stir fry rotation.

    • — Sabrina Johnson on April 28, 2021
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  • Jenn, the recipe calls for roasted cashews in the list of ingredients. Then it tells you how to roast them. So am I roasting the roasted cashews or buying raw cashews and roasting them. Not clear. I can buy roasted unsalted cashews. Please clarify. Thanks

    • — Carol Winkelman on April 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, I can see why that would be confusing but, yes, you are roasting the roasted cashews. I find that sometimes cashews get a little soft and roasting helps to crisp them back up. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on April 9, 2021
      • Reply
  • I have had a life-long love of cashew chicken. But I’m picky about what it tastes like. They’re are definitely some great and not-so-great variations on this classic. Your recipe though Jenn was right on target! I loved it, and you made me look good with the kids, who also loved it. So thank you so much for this recipe.

    • — Greg on April 5, 2021
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  • Absolutely delicious just as written! So much better than take out! Served with rice. Thanks so much for a delicious dinner!!!

    • — Danelle on March 30, 2021
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  • Made this recipe for supper with my Mom and it was amazing! This one is going into my “make again” file!

    • — Sandi on March 18, 2021
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  • It was amazing and extremely delicious. I didn’t have the green onion, but I added bell peppers instead. It was restaurant quality and it was my first time making it. I have tried other recipes, but none have been this simple to make and this good.

    • — G. Nickell on March 17, 2021
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  • We really wanted to love this but somehow it did not turn out. The chicken pieces need to be much smaller and were overcooked. We followed the recipe and there wasn’t enough sauce and it was bland. I think the garlic was old. What’s the purpose of the vinegar?

    • — Sash on March 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this! The vinegar adds a touch of acidity which helps to balance out the other flavors.

      • — Jenn on March 9, 2021
      • Reply
  • Prepared this recipe a few nights ago and it was a HIT! The chicken was tender and the toasted cashews added a perfect crunch. We added some red pepper flakes for a little kick and to better appreciate the other flavors.

    • — Maggie on March 4, 2021
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  • Hi!
    I made the cashew chicken tonight and it was so good. I have made several of your recipes and they are all great. I found you by accident, or not 😁because I was searching for a recipe to make Trader Joe’s sweet and spicy pecans. Yours are better.

    Anyway, I loved this recipe. The only thing I did differently was double the sauce and it turned out perfect.

    I can’t wait to try your beef stew next.

    • — Wendy on March 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you found the blog and that you enjoyed this! 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • Absolutely Amazing All 4 kids loved it. Will be making this again for sure

    • — Monica on February 22, 2021
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  • Delicious! I made this tonight for my husband and myself and there we no leftovers. I did halve the recipe. I’m not a huge fan of chicken but will definitely make again. Thanks Jen!!

    • — Dawn on February 21, 2021
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  • We loved it. It was easy to make and you can add in your own favorite veggies like pea pods , green beans, broccoli.
    We will make it again.

    • — Maris Kennedy on February 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • Good Morning Jenn,

    This is my first review! I’ve made several of your recipes and love them all. I made this recipe for dinner last night & was excited to get up this morning to thank you. My 22 year old son is one of those picky eaters. Ugh 🙁 He basically lives on plain chicken & rice. So, as usual, I left some of the cooked chicken aside for him without the sauce. AND as usual, I asked him if he’d like to try the whole dish that the family is eating. He said, “Yes!” (It must have been the delicious aroma). He ate it all & asked for more! To top off the great evening, my husband kissed me goodnight & said, “You made a beautiful dinner tonight.”

    • — Patrice on February 6, 2021
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  • Can I use peanut oil instead of vegetable oil, or would that be overpowering? Thanks!

    • — Laura on February 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • That should be fine (though it will taste a bit peanutty). Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 4, 2021
      • Reply
      • This was the best chicken recipe that I have ever made for my adult kids who love Asian anything but will only eat certain chicken dishes.5 stars. I sauteed broccoli and mushrooms and carrots separately as well as basmati rice separately.Everyone loved the toasted cashews. Can’t wait to cook more of your recipes. Thank you

        • — Rose Chirico on February 17, 2021
        • Reply
  • The Cashew Chicken recipe is perfect just the way it is – so flavorful, easy to create, and beautiful to look at. I’ve tried a few adjustments, like adding the scallions with the other veggies to cook, or adding pea pods for additional color. Everything I’ve tried works!

    • — Jan Case on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this last night. Was awesome and all I expected and more. First, there was lots of food. Second I added three Thai red peppers fresh halved down the middle for extra zip third, when Ms. Ségal says cook for one or two or three minutes, do that…to avoid rubber chicken. Yum yum

    • — Doug Cowdrey on January 30, 2021
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    • I would like to add some spice…when did you add the peppers.

      • — Nicole on June 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • I love this recipe!!! I like getting Chinese take out but now I love to make it at home even more!!! The first time I made this recipe I used chicken thighs. They were full of flavor. The next time I made it I used chicken breast. It was just as good. My husband who just likes Chinese food really likes this dish. I pare it with steamed broccoli and carrots or green beens. This is one of my favorites!

    • — Natalie on January 30, 2021
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  • Excellent dish! Felt like something asian for dinner and saw this recipe – super easy and quick to make. Served with rice. Would definitely do again!!

    • — Kate on January 28, 2021
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  • Ultimate comfort food

    When I’m craving something comforting and simple, I make this. It comes together in a cinch and I usually have everything on hand. If I’m feeling wild I serve it with steamed broccoli. The only trouble is not eating too much of it! It’s easy to do. Another perk? My 3 year old loves it. Definitely a keeper.

    • — Meredith Ferris on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was super tasty and fast! This is one that you definitely need to have all the ingredients prepped before you start cooking, since the steps go so quick when you’re stir frying. The sauce thickened up super fast for me at the end, so that part you need to watch carefully and be ready to get it off the heat fast.

    We served with rice and a package of frozen stir fry veggies.

    • — Erin on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have a home of picky eaters and one nut allergy. This recipe is a win even without the cashews. You can taste the layers of flavors and the chicken is very tender. It is also in my college child’s meal rotation because it taste great after being microwaved.

    • — Cheryl Sheppard on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Cashew chicken was my dad’s favorite takeout dish. Thanks for the happy memory and a lovely recipe.

      • — Jennifer on January 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • I’ve never made a recipe from this site that wasn’t great, and this is one of my favorites. Better than take out and quick and easy to make if you have everything ready to go before starting. Thanks for so many great recipes! This is my go to site for great meals!

    • — Nancy on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is such a quick recipe for a weeknight meal. It has a lot of flavor and it is now on regular rotation in our house. I like to add a chopped up bell pepper to get my family to eat more vegetables. My 8 and 11-year-old love it.

    • — Deanne on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • so yum! once you take the time to make home made takeout, takeout looses its appeal. This dish is simple to make, costs a bunch less than buying it ready made from your local delivery, and tastes so much better!

    • — Debbie T. on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Since I like my food piping hot, especially Asian chicken dishes, I knew I had to make this. Warm takeout would just not cut it. I’m so glad I did! I followed the recipe to a T, except I subbed chicken thighs for the breasts since it was what I had on hand. The sauce was flavorful and it had that glossy take-out-Chinese texture. I served it over a a bed of white rice and a few Trader Joe’s potstickers on the side. Simple, delicious and would 10/10 make again. Oh and…it was piping hot. 🙂

    • — Maddy on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was a hit with the whole family! The cashews definitely crisp up after you take them out so don’t leave them in longer than indicated and make sure to adjust if your oven runs hot or they will get too brown – unless you like that. I also had a huge pan and was able to put all the chicken in at once so that made it seem even easier for me. This is great recipe for a week night with minimal clean-up. The flavor was defined and delicious without being too salty.

    • — Tammy D. on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I don’t tend to leave reviews about recipes, but I absolutely loved this dish. Super easy and fast to make. My family has loved it every time I’ve made it.

    • — anne on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a regular menu item in our house. My husband and father in law request it often. The flavour is incredible and because it doesn’t include a lot of vegetables in the stir fry, left overs are wonderful!

    • — Erika Nakatsui on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • So easy and super delicious. Tastes just like the Chinese Restaurant but without all the unnecessary grease! We added sliced celery for a little extra crunch. Delicious with white rice.

    • — Carol on January 28, 2021
    • Reply

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