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Cashew Chicken

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

Bowl of cashew chicken over rice.

This cashew chicken, or stir-fried chicken with roasted cashews in garlic sauce, tastes just like take-out from your favorite Chinese restaurant. It’s easy to make at home. You don’t need a wok — just a large nonstick skillet — and, aside from the chicken, the only chopping involves garlic and scallions. The rest of the ingredients come out of bottles and jars. As with all stir-fries, the dish cooks quickly, so be sure to have all your ingredients prepped before you start cooking. Also, be sure not to cut the chicken pieces too small, or they will cook too quickly and overcook.

Looking for more Chinese take-out favorites to try at home? Try sweet and sour shrimp with broccoli, kung pao chicken, orange chicken, and beef and broccoli.

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.

Cashews on a lined baking sheet.

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.

Whisk in a bowl of sauce mixture.Next, 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

Chicken in a skillet.

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

Cooked chicken in a skillet.

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.

Chicken in a skillet with seasonings.

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

Sauce mixture and chicken in a skillet.

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

Scallion greens and cashews in a skillet with chicken.

Serve with rice.

Bowl of cashew chicken over 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.

Servings: 4
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup roasted, unsalted cashews
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce, best quality such as Kikkoman or Lee Kum Kee
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins, cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ 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
  • ¼ 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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Comments

  • I made this last night and LOVED it!!!! The Chinese restaurant that I used to get cashew chicken from would put a bunch of carrots in it and I don’t care for cooked carrots so I googled a recipe and this one (from the images), looked the BEST! I was not disappointed! I would have added water chestnuts if I had them, but this was so good too. Thank you, Jenn!

    • — Lori West on March 21, 2024
    • Reply
  • My husband and I LOVE this recipe at the end of a long day. You can easily adapt with pre-cooked chicken (we often sous-vide chicken thighs and breasts on the weekends to use in quick weeknight preps) and get the same satisfaction. Totally delicious. We serve over jasmine rice with broccoli or snap peas – perfect every time.

    • — Katie on January 3, 2024
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  • Excellent Dish! Like others, I doubled the sauce and used half and half with hoisin and oyster sauce. Served over “perfect jasmine rice” with Baby Bok Choy in a ginger sauce. Added a little Asian hot sauce to the chicken and it was outstanding!

    • — MAR on December 10, 2023
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  • This was FANTASTIC! I still can’t figure out why you cook the chicken in two batches. I added veggies, so I definitely could have used more sauce. Wonderful taste!

    • — Erin O. on November 19, 2023
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  • Made this for the first time tonight. It was quick to prepare and we all enjoyed it. My only issue was that it’s very salty. Next time I would not salt the chicken before cooking, since the sauce has plenty of sodium in it.

    • — Amy D. on September 27, 2023
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  • So good! Both my husband and daughter loved it. I had to substitute white wine vinegar for rice wine because they were out at the grocery store and I’m sure getting that right will make it even better. Definitely going in the recipe rotation!

    • — Julie on July 4, 2023
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  • Have made this a couple of times now. We love it – quick and simple but so delicious.

    • — Roslyn on May 12, 2023
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  • Delicious. I used 5 spice powder instead of salt and pepper. Added red pepper, celery and sugar snap peas. Doubled the sauce using half ea hoison and oyster.

    • — charrington on April 30, 2023
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  • We really liked this, I did make 1 1/2 the sauce and that was perfect for us.
    Definitely need to have ingredients ready to add when ready.

    • — Mary on March 23, 2023
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  • Wow, what a simple treat! I love Chinese food but hate the fact that every dish I try is swimming in sauce! The flavor to me was spot on. I personally think this dish is a keeper!

    • — Dove on February 27, 2023
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  • Made this tonight for my wife and myself. Fantastic! We left out the garlic and it was still “like eating in a restaurant” according to my wife. Thanks!

    • — Kevin Willis on February 23, 2023
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  • Unbelievably delicious meal! I have made other cashew chicken recipes but this one is tops!! I think the hoisin sauce does it.

    • — David on February 18, 2023
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  • I’ve made this several times and we love it. Tonight I added broccoli florets- stir fried them before adding all the chicken back and also a can of bamboo shoots and a can of sliced water chestnuts for additional texture and bulk. Other times I’ve added sliced carrots, celery and a bit of fresh grated ginger. It’s always a hit!

    • — Amy on February 16, 2023
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  • Came out better than take out! I did add some extra garlic powder to the chicken with the salt and pepper.. because I love garlic. However, I don’t think it really needed it. Loved this dish!

    • — Aymee B on January 28, 2023
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    • So much better than I was expecting! We doubled the sauce, sautéed some extra veggies and mixed it all together. Definitely a stronger flavor than our local restaurant, but it was delicious! Will definitely make again. Thank you!

      • — Keri on February 16, 2023
      • Reply
  • This is a go to favorite! I think it is so flavorful and so fun to make! My family prefers this recipe over getting take out at a local restaurant.

    • — Jenny G on January 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • Maybe I did something wrong but I was not a fan of this recipe I felt like it was pretty vinegary for only having 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and it really lacked the Chinese flavors I enjoy.

    • — Grace on January 26, 2023
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    • I am not a huge fan of the taste of hoisin sauce and I felt like I tasted too much of that in this recipe. A little bit too much of the rice wine vinegar too. I feel like cashew chicken is much more simpler then this recipe, but it came close! Just a different take.

      • — Jessica on April 5, 2023
      • Reply
  • I can’t believe I waited so long to make this. We order cashew chicken from our local Chinese place on Fridays. I thought I would mix it up last Friday and make it at home, despite protests from my family. IT WAS SOOO GOOD! What’s more, my family thought it was better than our usually take-out. A few days later, I tried your beef and broccoli. Delicious! These recipes may have ruined take-out for us, but in a good way. 😉

    • — Lacy on January 13, 2023
    • Reply
  • Your recipes look amazing (I just found you on-line).
    I was wondering can this dish be prepared a day or two in advance and then reheat?
    I will be a busy beaveer cooking for the holidays and it would help if I could make most of the dishes ahead of time so I will be able to spend more time with my family (granddaughter especially).
    Also I would like to know if your oven cooked Brisket can be adapted to cook in my slow cooker and if so what the changes might be.
    I do intend to make a chicken dish and open to which one. I like using coconut aminos for my sauces rather than soy based sauces.
    I also thought a brisket would be great too.
    So one red meat and one chicken dish it is!??
    I will be cooking a 3 pound at the most brisket as two of the guests don’t eat red meat.
    There will be 5 adults and one 4 year old at the table.
    Also I will be making either your green beans recipe or the brussel sprouts with the balsamic glaze.
    Looks so amazing and very yummy!
    Again can the veggies be cooked a day or 2 in advance and reheated.
    If so what temp and for how long?
    Thanks a lot.

    Happy Holiday Season
    Deena

    • — Deena on December 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Deena, so glad you discovered the website! While I really think this dish is best if eaten right after it’s prepared, a few readers have commented that they’ve refrigerated and then reheated it; so you could certainly give that a try.

      Regarding the Brussels sprouts, you can roast the sprouts ahead and then reheat them in a 350-degree oven (wait until after reheating to add the honey and balsamic vinegar). Hope you enjoy both dishes if you make them!

      • — Jenn on December 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • Delicious recipe but you really need to double the sauce.

    • — Laura J Ahlberg on December 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Did it last year for Christmas, and denitely repeating it this year.
    Greetings from Chile!

    • — Manuela on December 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious recipe. I double the sauce. I don’t think it is enough as written

    • — Wea Girl on November 17, 2022
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  • So delicious, do try! I used peanuts because I didn’t have cashews on hand. Used half hoisin and half oyster sauce based on another’s review. I’m skeptical of too much hoisin. I also had broccoli l, so I tossed that in before adding the rice vinegar. If you like spice add 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. My belly is so satisfied. Hubby loved it!

    • — Monica Van Rickley on November 7, 2022
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  • This was excellent! It really did taste like I got it from a great restaurant. I did 1.5 times the sauce and added broccoli and mushrooms. (Served with rice)

    • — GPB on October 23, 2022
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  • This is good – but it’s on the sweet side. So know that it’s a different style of “cashew chicken”. For me I would use about half the amount of hoisin and add another Asian sauce like oyster.

    • — Lucy on October 5, 2022
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  • Just fabulous!!!! I did double the sauce due to the fact I had a bit more meat that I planned! So glad I did because it is amazing!

    • — Elisabeth on September 30, 2022
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  • This is so good. My husband and I both loved it. 5 minutes roast time for the cashews and then letting them crisp counter top was just perfect. A side of steamed broccoli was also a great suggestion by Jenn. We had egg rolls and crab Rangoon from our local Chinese restaurant with it too.

    • — Sarah on September 1, 2022
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  • Great recipe! My first time making cashew chicken and everyone loved it!

    • — Blanche Mesteth on August 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • The Hosin sauce kills it to be honest. I would did without it next time.

    • — John on August 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • Loved the recipe! Used a bit more hoisin sauce and added a bit of sliced celery and broccoli. Used some Chinese vinegar as an accent at the end. Used my oil from my natural peanut butter for extra flavor.

    • — Polly Washington on July 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jennifer,
    My wife of 53+ years has never “liked” Oriental cooking. Meaning she had never tried it and would not do so. However, after being ill for a while her taste buds changed and I talked her in to trying cashew chicken that I put together using your recipe. She absolutely loves it and it has become a regular staple in my dinner rotation along with your beef and broccoli. Keep up the great work. Next will be sesame chicken. Slowly making progress.

    • — Bruce Holmes on July 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • EPIC!! Best homemade Chinese food I’ve made and I cook a lot. I want to try adding some fresh ginger next time.

    • — William on June 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • Why go out when you can cook like this? Again, another very tasty recipe. Tonight we are making her meatloaf recipe for the third time!

    • — Kmaxey9921@gmail.com on June 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • soooo gooood!!!! added extra garlic and ginger.. sauce was thick and delicious!!!

    • — molly on June 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Added a bit extra rice vinager. Damn good.

    • — George on June 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is a good quick recipe, for nights you’re in a hurry but need something special. It packs a lot of flavor that Jen is SO great at doing!! Thanks, Jen!

    • — Gina Stevens on June 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • Loved it! Added some celery and peppers to increase veggies and it was still a big hit.

    • — Tracy Jimenez on June 7, 2022
    • Reply
  • It’s delicious! Great quick minute weekday night meal.

    • — Kristina on June 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • Another winner from my favorite chef…my guest told me that I could open a Chinese restaurant. Doubled the sauce, served with jasmine rice and oven roasted broccoli. SO good. Used Tsang hoisin sauce which was nice. Watermelon for dessert was a perfect ending. Jenn, you are amazing

    • — Carol J Winkelman on June 5, 2022
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on June 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • I make this all the time now, it’s THE BEST cashew chicken, EVER! I used to always order Cashew chicken at Asian restaurants, but now I make my own with this recipe! So much better than any restaurant I’ve been to! Thank you, Jenn! Fantastic!!!

    • — Vicki Bercot on June 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Quick and easy. My teenage son and his friends all raved how good it was. Thanks!

    • — Stacy on May 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can this be done with left-over rotisserie chicken?

    • — Anne-Marie Amore on May 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • Unfortunately rotisserie chicken won’t work here – sorry!

      • — Jenn on May 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • We really enjoyed this. Added celery and doubled the sauce but still not saucy enough so will triple it next time. Will be adding this to the rotation !

  • This was really good and easy. My husband is already planning for the next time we make it – “one of my favorite meals at home” and my toddler loved it

  • Absolutely delicious! I made it following your recipe exactly (except for the scallions, as I didn’t have any! A keeper, for sure!

  • What are your thoughts on making this with ground chicken? Thank you!

    • Hi Siobhann, I’ve never tried this with ground chicken, but I suspect it should work.

  • This is so easy, and best of all, my picky, meat-averse 4 year old gobbled it up and asked if I can make it every day. Priceless!

  • I made your cashew chicken recipe tonight and received compliments and requests to make this dish again. Thanks Jenn!

  • So good! A family favourite! I used PC Honey Hoisin sauce; sliced celery; shallots instead of scallions. The flavour is amazing. Love it!

  • 😋 yummy!

  • It made a happy Valentines Day dinner for my husband and I would make it again.

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