Cashew Chicken

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Cashew Chicken is a crispy on the outside and tender on the inside chicken recipe combined with the nutty flavor of cashews in a sweet and savory garlic sauce. Even better than take-out!

A bowl of the Cashew Chicken.

Simple Cashew Chicken

This amazing chicken recipe is so delicious and simple to make. The ingredients are perfectly paired together to make a combination of flavors that are like a bomb going off on your tastes buds. This easy Chinese recipe is a great choice for dinner and is the ultimate comfort food.

Key Ingredients You’ll Need

Chicken Breast: I use boneless and skinless chicken breast for this recipe, but you can use chicken thighs if desired.

Seasonings: Use Salt and Black pepper powder to season the chicken.

Cornstarch: Using cornstarch will help achieve that crispy outside of the chicken.

Cashews: I love to roast my cashews because it adds a lovely smokey and nutty flavor.

Oil: Using Canola or Vegetable Oil will give the recipe a more tender and moist texture.

Garlic: Garlic adds such wonderful flavor and aroma to this recipe.

Hoisin Sauce: using Hoisin sauce adds saltiness and sweet flavor to the chicken.

Sesame Oil: Sesame oil is one of my favorite ingredients to use in Asian-inspired dishes because it adds a nutty taste.

Brown Sugar: Using brown sugar will add sweetness to the recipe as well as make it a little richer in flavor.

Soy Sauce: Use this to add a bit of salt into the recipe to bring out the flavors as well as add additional taste.

How To Make Cashew Chicken

Step 1: Add the chicken pieces, salt, and pepper into a bowl and toss to combine. Put in 1/4 cup of cornstarch and combine until coated.


Step 1: Place all the sauce ingredients into a bowl and combine. Place the cashews into a large heavy bottom pan and roast for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Place aside and once cooled they will become crispy.

Step 2: Add 2 tbsp of oil into the same pan and heat on medium-high until smoking hot. Put in the coated chicken in single-layer batches and cook until lightly brown on each side.

Cooking the chicken.

Step 3: Put in the roasted cashews and sauce and mix until well coated. Cover with a lid and allow the chicken to cook for an additional 5 minutes on medium heat until it thickens.

Combining the ingredients

Step 4: Top with spring onions, sesame seeds, and/or chili flakes if desired. Serve over hot rice with your choice of veggies. Enjoy!

Chopsticks lifting up some of the Cashew Chicken.

What To Serve With Cashew Chicken?

Some of my favorite things to serve with this chicken are the following. I prefer serving it over hot rice and making steamed veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, corn, or green beans. I like making a refreshing side like salad to cool off while I eat the warm chicken too.

Tips & Tricks For Making Cashew Chicken:

These are some of my favorite tips and tricks for making the best cashew chicken:

  • To bring out the nutty and smokey flavor of the cashews, I love roasting them on a pan for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. They will be fragrant when they are ready.
  • To add more flavor and color, you can add veggies like peppers, broccoli, zucchini, and more. All you have to do is take the chicken out when done and fry your preferred veggies before adding the chicken back in. All the following steps will stay the same.
  • To make sure the chicken cooks evenly, you will want to cut the chicken into the same size pieces to get the perfect juicy and tender chicken. If you skip this step, the chicken can become chewy and rubbery.
  • You have the choice of using boneless and skinless chicken thighs if you don’t want to use chicken breasts.
The Cashew Chicken on a light blue table.

More Delicious Chicken Recipes:

A close up of the Cashew Chicken.
Chopsticks lifting up some of the Cashew Chicken.
5 from 6 votes

Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken is a crispy on the outside and tender on the inside chicken recipe combined with the nutty flavor of cashews in a sweet and savory garlic sauce.
Servings: 4 people
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes


  • 1 lb. chicken breast boneless and skinless, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • ¼ cup corn-starch
  • ¾ cup cashews whole unsalted
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil



  • In a bowl take the chicken pieces, add salt and pepper, and mix. Add ¼ cup corn starch, and mix well to coat properly.
  • Prepare the sauce by mixing all the ingredients given under the sauce.
  • Heat a large heavy bottom pan and add cashews, roast them on medium-high flame for 5 minutes. Set aside, the cashews will turn crispy once cooled.
  • In the same pan heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil on medium-high heat until smoking hot. Add the corn-starch-coated chicken pieces in a single layer in batches. Cook each side until golden brown.
  • Add roasted cashews and sauce, and toss until the sauce is well coated with the chicken. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat until the sauce thickens.
  • Garnish with spring onion, sesame seeds, and chili flakes (optional)
  • Serve hot with rice and steamed broccoli.

Last Step:

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Cashew Chicken is a crispy on the outside and tender on the inside chicken recipe combined with the nutty flavor of cashews in a sweet and savory garlic sauce.

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10 comments on “Cashew Chicken”

  1. 5 stars
    i’ve been looking for this recipe, thank you. plan on making it next week. I couldn’t remember all the ingredients, but this is basically what i used to make and it was wonderful… i didn’t know about crisping the cashews ..yum

  2. 5 stars
    Amazing! Made this tonight! Added some sriracha to sauce and made with broccoli. So glad I looked for another cashew chicken recipe before giving up lol. I tried another recipe last week that use ground chicken (big fail). It never got crunchy and was more like sloppy joes after all the cornstarch. Definitely needs chicken breasts instead. This is so good!

  3. 5 stars
    Really good! Retired and trying to make my budget stretch by cooking more at home. This was perfect for a date night in.

  4. 5 stars
    This may be a dumb question but is there any chance I could air fry this? It looks amazing! Just trying to avoid the oil. Thanks!

    1. Hi Rachelle. Actually a smart question! I think that’s a great idea and should work well in the air fryer.