Today’s cashew chicken recipe, a healthy take on the popular Chinese street food, is going to save you a bunch of time while taking mealtimes to the next level. This recipe requires only 10 minutes of stir-frying — can you believe that?
What Is Cashew Chicken?
Cashew chicken is a popular Chinese take-out that includes golden fried chicken pieces, crunchy cashews, and a vegetable mix. A sweet-spicy sauce is usually combined to create an excellent blend of flavor and texture.
Is This Recipe Healthy?
Yes, it is.
505 calories per one serving of this cashew chicken will satisfy your craving for take-out foods while keeping you healthy. This recipe requires no breading or deep-frying, thus cutting back considerably on excess fat and cholesterol.
Let’s learn more about the nutritious ingredients incorporated in this recipe:
Chicken breast: Skinless and boneless chicken breasts are the best choice cut for this cashew chicken recipe. You’ll need to cut them into no larger than 1-inch cubes, but also not too small so they won’t cook too quickly.
Cashews: Roasted unsalted cashews are surely the vedette of this dish as they add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture to accompany the juicy tender chicken. You can purchase raw cashews and then quickly toast them in the skillet beforehand. Try not to incorporate salted cashews into this recipe as it will raise the sodium content to too high a level.
Broccoli, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper: Lightly crisp veggies complement the chicken and cashews beautifully and add diverse textures to the dish.
Ginger and garlic: An essential combo of spices in Asian cuisine.
Paprika: For a pleasant kick of spiciness.
Scallion and sesame seeds: For extra aroma and colors before serving.
Cooked white rice: Any kind of rice pairs well with cashew chicken, including but not limited to brown rice, basmati rice, and jasmine rice. If you’re not so into rice, consider egg noodles instead.
The key to lending this dish some Asian flavor is creating a perfect blend of ingredients for the sauce. It needs to be slightly sweet and sour, followed by a spicy kick on the tongue.
Our recipe calls for these ingredients to make the sauce: water, ground black pepper, sesame oil, sriracha, soy sauce, mirin, ketchup, brown sugar, and cornstarch.
Ground black pepper — For a tangy boost of flavor.
Cornstarch — To crisp up the chicken in the skillet and thicken the sauce when it cooks.
Sesame oil — For another touch of Asian flavor.
Sriracha — To add a light kick of heat.
Soy sauce — For more depth of flavor.
Mirin — To incorporate a complex and intense flavor to the dish. Mirin is available on the market as “rice wine”, so make sure that you don’t mistake it for rice wine vinegar when buying.
Ketchup and brown sugar — To caramelize the sauce and give it extra sweetness, balancing out the salty elements.
How to Store and Reheat the Leftover
You can keep cashew chicken sealed tightly in the fridge for up to 3-4 days and have tasty pre-made meals ready for the whole week. Cashew chicken can also last for up to 3-4 months if kept in a freezer-safe container and stored in the freezer.
To reheat, first, thaw the leftover batch in the fridge overnight. On the day of serving, heat it until warmed through on the stovetop and enjoy. You may need to add a little chicken broth to thin out the sauce as it heats.
If you are in the mood for healthy Chinese chicken recipes, Kung pao chicken is another great option.
What to Serve With
Our cashew chicken carries with it an extensive range of side-dish possibilities. Simply choose what your stomach desires, or really go to town and pull a full Chinese meal out of it.
Here’s the side dish we’ve come up with for today’s cashew chicken:
Winter Melon Meatball Soup
A simple Chinese soup with wholesome and delicious ingredients is definitely the ideal side for this cashew chicken.
Our winter melon meatball soup is one of the easiest and fastest dishes you’ll find on our website. It’s easy to make and takes only 15 minutes of cooking to create the unique heart-warming flavors of Chinese cuisine.
Orange Pineapple Juice
When it comes to a homemade refreshing juice with digestion-aiding ingredients, our five-ingredient orange pineapple juice is second to none. Let’s enjoy this drink fresh and chilled to round off today’s meal!
Our chicken fried rice recipe is an excellent choice for a fuss-free and satisfying main course for the entire house. It combines rice, corn, peas, carrots, and chicken thighs for an easy meal for everyone. Everything is thoroughly seasoned and sometimes, you’ll catch some crispy grains of rice.
Our soy sauce chicken may not cook rice with the meat, but as the flavorful glaze is drizzled on top it’s surely not short of flavor. We use chicken thighs and make them real juicy and shiny, then plate them with cooked rice and steamed bok choy.
Today's cashew chicken recipe, a healthy take on the popular Chinese street food, is going to save you a bunch of time while taking mealtimes to the next level. This recipe requires only 10 minutes of stir-frying — can you believe that?
Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup water, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp sriracha, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1 1/2 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp ketchup, 1 tsp brown sugar, and 2 tsp cornstarch until dissolved.
In a skillet, heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Sauté 4 oz broccoli, 2 oz red bell pepper, and 2 oz green bell pepper for 2 minutes. Remove them from the skillet and set aside.
Add another 1/2 tbsp olive oil to the skillet, sauté 1 tbsp garlic and 1 tsp ginger for 30 seconds until golden.
Add 16 oz cubed chicken breast and 1/2 tsp paprika to sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the broccoli, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper back to the skillet.
Add the sauce and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Then add 2 oz chopped cashew.
Turn off the heat. Sprinkle 2 tbsp freshly chopped scallions and 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds on top. Enjoy it with a hot bowl of white rice on the side.
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 507Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Vitamin A 862IU
Vitamin C 56mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Natalie Butler is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion to help others live their best life through food, fitness, safer beauty and a healthy lifestyle. She has expertise with a variety of diets and diseases and believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health.