Easy Cashew Chicken

Easy Cashew Chicken from Very Culinary

by Amy Flanigan on September 19, 2013 · 49 comments

This super easy recipe is a standard in our house and one of my favorite one-pot dishes. A while back I made it so often that everyone got tired of it. So I stopped.

Then, my friend Melissa (thankfully) reminded me of it last week. So I made it for the family. And everyone said, “Oh, I love this dish. How come you never make it anymore?”


So, it will go back into the rotation until they beg me to stop again.

Easy Cashew Chicken | Very Culinary

I highly recommend you make it until your family gets tired of it, too. It’s simple, flavorful, and also great the next day if you have any left over.

Easy Cashew Chicken | Very Culinary

Easy Cashew Chicken
Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

• 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• salt and pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 8 scallions, chopped, white and green parts separated
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 3 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
• 3/4 cup unsalted, roasted cashews

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the cornstarch until the chicken is coated, season with a little salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, tossing often, until browned and cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and white parts of the scallions and cook for 3 minutes. Add the vinegar to the pan, toss for 1 minute. Add the hoisin sauce and a few tablespoons of water; cook, tossing, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute.

Remove from heat and stir in the scallion greens and cashews. Season with a little more salt and pepper. Serve over rice.

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Shari October 19, 2014 at 1:10 pm

I made this this using chicken breast and adding broccoli. Meant to add water chestnuts but forgot. Haha. It was terrific. I served it with fried rice using sesame oil. Sooooo yummy! Thanks for recipe.


Amy @Very Culinary October 19, 2014 at 6:57 pm

I’ve made it with broccoli, too. Glad you liked it!


Kristyne October 17, 2014 at 5:48 pm

A very yummy dish. I made it tonight & we enjoyed it. My first time using rice vinegar & hoisin sauce. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the recipe!


Amy @Very Culinary October 17, 2014 at 9:26 pm

So glad you enjoyed it!!


Frances April 22, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Hi. I don’t have rice vinegar in the house and wanted to make it tonight. Is there anything I can substitute for rice vinegar?
Thank you


Amy @Very Culinary April 22, 2014 at 12:19 pm

The closest substitution would be to use 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar. It won’t be the exact flavor, but close.


Chris March 30, 2014 at 8:08 am

How do u roast cashews . Can’t wait to make this receipe. Thank you. Chris


Amy @Very Culinary March 30, 2014 at 8:35 am

Hi Chris – I buy pre-roasted cashews, but if you want to roast your own, follow these instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts in an even layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle 1-2 teaspoons of oil over the nuts and toss to coat evenly. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes, stir, then cook for another 3 minutes until they are just a few shades darker and smell nutty, stir, and then maybe cook for 3 minutes longer. About 10-12 minutes total. Make sure you stir so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to a plate; let cool.


chris March 31, 2014 at 7:44 am

Thank u so much Looking forward to this dish , my favorite of all. The other one will be sesame seed chicken receipe then I will save from hitting the restaurants. Lol and money in my pocket. Can I also roast the cashews in my Nuwave Oven ? I use that a lot saves on dish .Lol. Thanks again for Ur help making this dish tonight .:) chris


Amy @Very Culinary March 31, 2014 at 8:22 am

I’m not familiar with that type of oven, so I don’t know, sorry :/


Maralyn Woods March 21, 2014 at 3:47 pm

I am forever in your debt for suggesting equal parts ketchup and molasses for hoisin sauce substitute. I am salt free and usually just delete recipes using bottled sauces. I’ll use my salt-free ketchup with the molasses. THANK YOU!


Nicole February 8, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Made this for dinner tonight. Simple and fantastic flavor. Love the fact that there are no veggies. We could actually taste the chicken and cashews. We got our Chinese food fix and it was so nice knowing exactly what went into it :)


Amy @Very Culinary February 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Awesome, so glad it worked out for you! It’s a family favorite in my house :D


teddy February 2, 2014 at 4:19 am

I love the idea of this, nice and simple. I like to add some vegetables though. What would you suggest? Broccoli springs to mind.


Amy @Very Culinary February 2, 2014 at 7:16 am

yes, broccoli would be good :)


Lou Fay January 21, 2014 at 3:05 pm

I am leaving the recipe and all ingredients with DH tomorrow. He should be able to handle it for tomorrow night’s dinner. I will be great to come home from work to a nice hot tasty meal!!


Lindsay December 27, 2013 at 1:02 am

I couldn’t find hoisin sauce so I got tianmianjiang (tian mian sauce aka sweet bean sauce) will that mess up the flavor too much? I know it’ll make it sweeter.


Amy @Very Culinary December 27, 2013 at 7:57 am

Hi Lindsay. I do know that substituting Hoison with sweet bean sauce is not uncommon. I’ve also heard equal parts ketchup and molasses can be used. I’ve never tried either, so I don’t know for sure. It will definitely change the flavor, but not quite sure for the good or bad. Try it and let me know how it comes out!


Mary Ruppert December 8, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Can breast of chicken be used?


Amy @Very Culinary December 8, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Hi Mary. I’m partial to thighs because they are more moist and lend additional flavor, but yes, breasts can be used…the results will be a little different. Although, I’m sure still delicious!


Carol November 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Make this


Laura Lane October 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm

This looks really good! I’ve been wanting a recipe for cashew chicken that I could make at home. The take-out place by us puts chicken, pea pods, sliced water chestnuts, and a TON of cashews in theirs. It’s great but a little pricey. Can’t wait to give this a try!


Amy @Very Culinary October 29, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Hi Laura – I love this just the way it is, but I love pea pods and water chestnuts too…might try that next time. Hope you like it!


Ray September 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

This was Friday night dinner (sans scallions, because of Cheri’s aversion to onion-y things). We made it with chicken breast instead of thighs.



Amy @Very Culinary September 27, 2013 at 7:06 pm

I’m so happy you guys liked it! I prefer thighs over breasts (insert joke here, ya ya) because they are more tender and flavorful, but I understand the reasons why so many others prefer breast meat. Glad to know this recipe can get away with them and not be compromised. Awesome!


Jackie September 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm

The hoisin sauce makes it kind of a curry taste. Good recipe!


Stephanie September 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I so love Asian food, and cooking it at home is always hit or miss for me. We’ve tried a few cashew chicken recipes that are good, but aren’t quite what you would find in an Asian restaurant. This one is next on my list to try!


vanillasugarblog September 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Always wanted a good cashew chicken recipe that doesn’t require a thousand strange asian ingredients!


ashley - baker by nature September 23, 2013 at 1:01 pm

It’s been years since I’ve made cashew chicken! I need to change that asap.


Mom September 20, 2013 at 7:26 pm

It is truly delicious. I haven’t made it in awhile myself, but this is a good reminder.


Aggie September 20, 2013 at 4:00 am

Ohhh, love this! Cashew chicken would go over well in my house, something I need to try. :)


DessertForTwo September 19, 2013 at 7:20 pm

This sounds awesome! What a great easy dinner! Thanks :)


Cassie | Bake Your Day September 19, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I love, love, love cashew chicken, Amy. This looks fabulous!


Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out September 19, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I loooove cashew chicken, but I can’t get it at restaurants because it’s basically 2 pieces of chicken, 1 cashew, and 99,000 hunks of celery. GROSS. This is just perfect! Lots of chicken and cashews and zeeeero celery. Amen.


Amy @Very Culinary September 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Oh my gosh, Stephie…RIGHT? I loathe celery. It’s a miserable filler in anything.


Ray September 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

Yeah. So much “traditional” Chinese food these days is 99% veg filler, 1% protein.

Cheri is not a celery fan. This will work great!


Amy @Very Culinary September 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Also, seems like most Chinese take-out is so greasy. We haven’t found a good quality place since we lived in Minneapolis (go figure.)


Shari Kelley September 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm

This looks so delicious! I know my husband would love it. I was wondering if you could tell me what brand of hoisin sauce you use. I am not very familiar with it. Thanks so much!


Amy @Very Culinary September 19, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Hi Shari – the brand I use is Dynasty, but there are many other brands that are also good. I find it in the section of my market that carries all the other asian staples, like soy sauce.


Joanne September 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm

My mom did that to us with ramen. I still can’t eat it, to this day!


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious September 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm

I love the simplicity of this – something that is much needed in our household! And hoisin is my favorite Asian sauce ever!


Meghan Gorham September 19, 2013 at 11:28 am

Making this as soon as we return from vacation!


Sandi Benoit September 19, 2013 at 10:05 am

Printed this sucker!!! Anytime I print a recipe from the internet, hubby asks me if it came from “Amy.” If not, he’s very skeptical about eating it. I don’t have scallions and am feeling under the weather…another night..and can’t WAIT!!!


Amy @Very Culinary September 19, 2013 at 10:10 am

Is there any better compliment? I think not! Thank you, Sandi. Hope he enjoys it!


Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen September 19, 2013 at 9:23 am

I know my family would love this, I will have to make it soon!


pam (Sidewalk Shoes) September 19, 2013 at 9:06 am

Why get take-out when you can make it this good at home!


Melissa September 19, 2013 at 8:16 am

:D I need to make it again, too.


Amy @Very Culinary September 19, 2013 at 9:34 am

So happy you made it and loved it like I do. You and me and our one-pot dishes, huh? <3


Tieghan September 19, 2013 at 6:35 am

I LOVE cashew chicken!! Your homemade version sounds awesome! I have to make it soon!


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