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Saucy Cashew Chicken in a bowl, ready to serve
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5 from 3 votes

Cashew Chicken Recipe

A quick and easy cashew chicken recipe with loads of crunchy cashews, aromatic seasonings, and huge flavor, all simmered in a glistening sauce.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: chicken, recipe, spicy
Servings: 4
Calories: 304kcal


  • 1 tablespoons olive oil (or use sesame oil, sesame oil, or vegetable oil)
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1-2 spicy chili peppers chopped (I love serrano, Thai peppers, or cayenne here - use bell pepper for a milder version)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts (or more to taste)
  • 1 pound boneless chicken chopped (use chicken breast or chicken thigh)
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice (optional - it's not traditional, but I love the flavor)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or use oyster sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (or Chinese cooking wine)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

FOR GARNISH: Sesame seeds; fresh chopped herbs, green onion or scallions; sliced peppers; spicy chili flakes.


    • Season the chopped chicken with salt and pepper, and Chinese 5 spice (if using). Set aside until ready to use.
    • Heat a wok or large pan to medium heat and add oil.
    • Add onion and peppers. Cook for 5 minutes to soften.
    • Add the garlic and cook another minute, stirring, until the garlic becomes fragrant.
    • Add the cashew nuts and chicken and stir. Cook another 7-8 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
    • Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and add to the wok or pan. Stir to coat everything and warm the sauce, about 1 minute or longer. The sauce will thicken up.
    • Serve with rice and garnish!


    Heat Factor: Mild, though you can spice things up with hotter peppers and spicy chili flakes. Cashew chicken is not traditionally spicy.


    Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 1276mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg