This easy cashew chicken recipe is saucy, sweet, and savoury. It is a delicious entree of crispy chicken pieces, tossed with the most amazing sauce and of course some toasted cashews.
Serve this cashew chicken with noodles and broccoli for a perfect meal.
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for the chicken
- Chicken Breasts
- Raw Cashews
- Vegetable Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Spices; Paprika and Garlic Powder
for the sauce
- Brown Sugar
- Hoisin Sauce
- White Wine Vinegar
- Soy Sauce
- Rice Vinegar
- Sesame Oil
- Sambal Oelek Chili Paste
- Red Chili Flakes
See recipe card for quantities.
This recipe takes about an hour to come together and tastes exactly like the take out version!
how to make cashew chicken sauce
To make the cashew chicken sauce, in a small saucepan combine the brown sugar, hoisin sauce, garlic, white wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sambal oelek chili paste, and red chili flakes.
🌶 Tip: This recipe has a very mild spice. It is not super spicy but if you are not up for any kind of spiciness at all, then eliminate the chili paste and red pepper flakes.
Whisk all of the ingredients together and bring to a boil over medium heat, as soon as the mixture is boiling add the slurry.
🧑🍳 Hint: a "slurry" is a term used for a water and cornstarch mixture.
Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.
In a small frying pan add the raw cashews and heat over medium-low heat for 2 minutes, stirring a few times just until lightly browned.
preparing the chicken and setting up the breading station
Set up two large frying pans on the stove and add around ¼ cup of vegetable oil to each of them, but don’t turn them on yet. If you don't have two frying pans, you can cook the chicken in batches too, you will just have to add more oil in between batches.
You’ll also need to preheat your oven to 350°F and get a 9x13 baking dish.
Cube up your chicken breasts into 1 inch pieces and toss them with some salt and pepper. Set that aside for a second and get the rest of your breading station ready.
To assemble the breading station you will need two bowls. One for the cornstarch and spices, and one for the eggs.
In a large mixing bowl combine the cornstarch and spices.
In a medium sized mixing bowl add the eggs and whisk.
Turn the fry pans on over low heat.
I get it, you might be dreading the breading process, dip one piece at a time, blah, blah, blah. Nope, we don’t have time for that, your pans are already heating up!
the fast and easy way to bread chicken
Throw all of the cubed seasoned chicken breast straight into the cornstarch mixture. Toss it around with your hands or a pair of tongs and make sure that the chicken is completely covered in the cornstarch.
Now, you can work with a whole handful of chicken at a time. Grab 6-8 pieces of chicken out of the cornstarch mixture and put them into the whisked eggs. Dip them just to cover and transfer them directly to the heated frying pans.
Be sure to not crowd the fry pans with chicken and cook in a single layer. Depending on the size of your pans, more than one batch may be required.
Fry the chicken for 8-10 minutes, flipping a few times until the chicken is golden brown and fully cooked.
Transfer the chicken straight from the frying pan into the 9x13 baking dish.
After all of the chicken is cooked and in the baking dish, add the toasted cashews. Stirring around to evenly distribute.
Then pour the prepared sauce over top of all of it. Stir again to distribute the sauce and then bake, stirring once in the middle of the cooking time.
What to serve with Cashew Chicken?
Well, the first option is that you can just eat it straight from the pan, by the fork full (we won’t judge).
Some other options include serving cashew chicken with rice, steamed vegetables, or noodles. Personally, I prefer serving this cashew chicken recipe with buckwheat soba noodles and broccoil!
Leftovers? Yea right.
But in all seriousness, if you do have leftovers store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 2-3 days.
Reheat by transferring the leftovers to a frying pan and heating them over medium-low heat until hot.
cashew chicken sauce
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- ⅓ cup Hoisin Sauce
- 4-5 cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek Chili Paste
- Pinch of Red Chili Flakes
- 1 cup Raw Cashews, unsalted
chicken and breading
- ½ cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 Chicken breasts, cut into 1” cubes
- Salt & Pepper
- ¾ cup Cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 eggs, whisked together
Making the Sauce
- In a small saucepan add the brown sugar, hoisin, garlic, white wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili paste, and red chili flakes.
- In a small bowl stir together the water and cornstarch to make a slurry.
- Whisk all of the ingredients together and bring to a boil over medium heat. As soon as the mixture is boiling add the slurry (water and cornstarch mixture).
- Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes until just slightly thickened. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.
Toasting the Cashews
- In a small frying pan add the raw cashews and cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Stirring a few times just until the cashews are lightly browned and starting to give off a nutty aroma.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
Breading the Chicken
- Add around ¼ cup of vegetable oil to two large fry pans and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Season the cubed raw chicken with salt and pepper (around ½ teaspoon of each) and toss to combine.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the cornstarch, paprika, and garlic powder.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs.
- Place all of the chicken into the cornstarch mixture and toss to coat it completely.
- Begin to heat the fry pans over medium-low heat.
- Dip the chicken in small batches (6-7 pieces at a time) into the egg and transfer directly into the heated frying pan. Place chicken in a single layer and do not crowd the pans, fry in batches if necessary. Repeat until all of the chicken is coated with egg and cooking.
- Cook the chicken until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes, and no longer pink on the inside.
- After the chicken is golden brown and fully cooked, using tongs transfer the chicken to a 9x13 baking dish. (do not transfer the excess cooking oil)
- Set the excess oil in the frying pans aside to cool before disposing of it.
- Add the toasted cashews and pour the prepared sauce over the chicken, stir to combine and bake for 25 minutes, stirring once midway through the baking time.
- Remove the cashew chicken from the oven and serve immediately.
Serve with rice, buckwheat noodles, and/or steamed broccoli.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 594Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 799mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 2gSugar: 27gProtein: 19g
Please Note- The nutritional information provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator and it will vary based on the ingredients that you use.