Cashew Chicken {Better than Takeout!}

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Better-Than-Takeout Cashew Chicken — 🙌🏻😋🌶️🥦 Juicy chicken, crisp-tender vegetables, and crunchy cashews coated with the best garlicky soy sauce!! Skip takeout and make your own restaurant-quality meal that’s easy, ready in 20 minutes, and healthier than the restaurant version!

Cashew Chicken stir fry in serving bowl

I’ve shared many peanut chicken recipes, but never one for copycat takeout chicken with cashew nuts. I don’t know what I was waiting for! This easy cashew chicken really does taste better than a restaurant. Not that I’m partial or anything.

Consider this dish like a cashew chicken stir fry. The chicken is sautéed with sesame oil for depth of flavor before adding broccoli, red bell peppers, edamame, and garlic.

The vegetables stay crisp-tender, which is exactly the way I like them. If you prefer green bell peppers or other vegetables, mix and match as you see fit.

Better-Than-Takeout Cashew Chicken - Juicy chicken, crisp-tender vegetables, and crunchy cashews coated with the best garlicky soy sauce!! Skip takeout and make your own restaurant-quality meal that's easy, ready in 20 minutes, and healthier!!

The dish is finished with cashews, of course, and that wonderful cashew chicken sauce that’s made with soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and Asian chili garlic sauce. Asian chili garlic sauce is kept in the Asian section of my regular grocery store.

The heat from this sauce really makes the chicken come to life without being overly hot and spicy, but if you’re sensitive to heat and spices, scale back as you see fit.

The sauce helps keep the chicken moist and tender and clings to the veggies beautifully.

I loved how fast and easy dinner came together. Now, this cashew chicken recipe is going into our regular rotation. No need for takeout when homemade tastes so good.

Better-Than-Takeout Cashew Chicken - Juicy chicken, crisp-tender vegetables, and crunchy cashews coated with the best garlicky soy sauce!! Skip takeout and make your own restaurant-quality meal that's easy, ready in 20 minutes, and healthier!!

Cashew Chicken Ingredients

To make the actual Chinese cashew chicken, you’ll need: 

  • Cornstarch
  • Chicken breasts
  • Sesame oil
  • Olive oil
  • Broccoli florets
  • Bell pepper
  • Shelled frozen edamame 
  • Garlic
  • Roasted unsalted cashews 

And for the cashew chicken sauce, you’ll need: 

  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Asian chili garlic sauce
  • Ground ginger 

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

Better-Than-Takeout Cashew Chicken - Juicy chicken, crisp-tender vegetables, and crunchy cashews coated with the best garlicky soy sauce!! Skip takeout and make your own restaurant-quality meal that's easy, ready in 20 minutes, and healthier!!

How to Make Cashew Chicken 

This is a super simple recipe — the hardest part is chopping up some veggies! Here’s an overview of how to make copycat takeout chicken with cashew nuts: 

  1. Add the cornstarch, diced chicken, salt, and pepper to a large zip-top bag and squish the chicken around to coat it. 
  2. Add the chicken to an oiled skillet and cook until the chicken is about 90% done (it will finish cooking in the sauce). 
  3. Add the broccoli, bell pepper, edamame, and garlic to the skillet and cook just for a few minutes. You want the veggies to remain crisp-tender. 
  4. Add the sauce and roasted cashews to the skillet. Simmer for a minute or two, just to give the sauce time to heat up and thicken slightly. 

Recipe FAQs

Can I Use Different Vegetables? 

Yes, feel free to mix and match the veggies to use up whatever’s in your produce drawer. Just note that different veggies will have different cook times. 

Can I Use Chicken Thighs? 

I’m sure you could use chicken thighs to make this easy cashew chicken recipe. Just make sure they’re boneless, and that you dice them into 1-inch chunks. 

What Are the Best Cashews for Cashew Chicken? 

You’ll want to use roasted and unsalted cashews to make this recipe. I do not recommend using salted cashews otherwise your Cashew nut chicken will be far too salty. 

Is rice wine vinegar the same as mirin?

No! Make sure to buy rice wine vinegar and not rice wine (also called mirin). They’re two different things! 

Can the cornstarch be omitted?

Do not omit the cornstarch in this recipe. It coats the chicken and helps it crisp up in the skillet without having to deep fry it. The cornstarch also thickens the cashew chicken sauce. 

Can This Recipe Be Prepared in Advance? 

Yes, you can make the entire recipe as written and eat leftovers throughout the week or you can prep the ingredients in advance of making the entire recipe.  For example, the veggies can be diced ahead of time, the sauce can be whisked together, and the chicken can be diced and stored in an airtight container until ready to use. 

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. If you also made rice or rice noodles, store that separately from the chicken and green beans. 

Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe because the green beans will soften once frozen. 

To Reheat: Warm individual portions in the microwave for 30-second intervals or in a skillet over medium heat but I prefer the micro for quickness and ease.

What to Serve with Cashew Chicken

Recipe Video Tutorial

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4.52 from 759 votes

Better-Than-Takeout Cashew Chicken

By Averie Sunshine
🙌🏻😋🌶️🥦 Juicy chicken, crisp-tender vegetables, and crunchy cashews coated with the best garlicky soy sauce!! Skip takeout and make your own restaurant-quality meal that's easy, ready in 20 minutes, and healthier than the restaurant version!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5
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Ingredients  

Stir-Fry:

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • about 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 heaping cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup red bell peppers, diced small
  • 1 cup shelled frozen edamame
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 cup unsalted dry-roasted whole cashews
  • ¾ to 1 cup green onions, sliced into thin rounds (from about 3 or 4 green onions)

Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chili garlic sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions 

  • To a gallon-sized ziptop bag, add the cornstarch, salt, pepper, chicken, seal, and shake to coat chicken evenly.
  • To a large skillet, add the oils, chicken, and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes over medium-high heat, flipping and stirring so all sides cook evenly. Chicken should be about 80-90% cooked through.
  • Add the broccoli, bell peppers, edamame (I add it straight from the freezer), garlic, and stir to combine. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and chicken is cooked through; stir intermittently. While vegetables cook, make the sauce.
  • To a medium bowl add the soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, and whisk to combine; set aside.
  • Add the cashews to the skillet and stir to combine.
  • Add the sauce and stir to combine. Allow sauce to simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the green onions, stir to combine, and serve immediately.

Video

Notes

Storage: Chicken is best warm and fresh but extra will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 369kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 40g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 96mg, Sodium: 642mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 10g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Asian Chicken Recipes:

Favorite CHICKEN RECIPES and all of my ASIAN-INSPIRED RECIPES

Easy Better-Than-Takeout Chicken Fried Rice – One-skillet, ready in 20 minutes, and you’ll never want takeout again after tasting how good homemade is! Way more flavor, not greasy, and loads of juicy chicken!

Easy Better-Than-Takeout Chicken Fried Rice - One-skillet, ready in 20 minutes, and you'll never want takeout again after tasting how good homemade is!! Way more flavor, not greasy, and loads of juicy chicken!!

Chicken Pad Thai — EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and BETTER than takeout!! Tender rice noodles, juicy chicken, with crisp-tender carrots, cabbage, and more for an IRRESISTIBLE and AUTHENTIC chicken pad Thai!! 

Better-Than-Takeout Sticky Chicken — Stop calling for takeout or going to the mall food court and make this AMAZING sticky chicken at home in 15 minutes!! So EASY with the perfect balance of sweet and spicy with plenty of sticky sauce!! 

15-Minute Skillet Sesame Chicken with Broccoli – Healthier sesame chicken that isn’t breaded or fried! You won’t miss the fat or calories in this fast and easy version that’s loaded with Asian-inspired flavors! You can happily skip takeout now!

15-Minute Skillet Sesame Chicken with Broccoli - HEALTHIER sesame chicken that isn't breaded or fried!! You won't miss the fat or calories in this FAST and EASY version that's loaded with Asian-inspired flavors! You can happily skip takeout now!!

Healthier Orange Chicken — Stop calling for takeout or going to the mall food court and make this HEALTHIER orange chicken at home in less than 10 minutes!! EASY, authentic, and so INCREDIBLE that you’ll never miss the fat and calories!!

15-Minute Chicken, Vegetable, and Ramen Noodle Stir Fry – Don’t call for takeout when you can make this EASY Asian stir fry in minutes!! HEALTHIER and faster than takeout and great for busy weeknights!

15-Minute Chicken, Vegetable, and Ramen Noodle Stir Fry - Don't call for takeout when you can make this EASY Asian stir fry in minutes!! HEALTHIER and faster than takeout and great for busy weeknights!!

Kung Pao Chicken — An easy, BETTER-THAN-TAKEOUT recipe with juicy chicken and such a flavorful sauce!!

Kung Pao Chicken - An easy BETTER-THAN-TAKEOUT recipe with juicy chicken and such a flavorful sauce!! Don't call for takeout when you can make this HEALTHIER version at home in 20 minutes! So AUTHENTIC tasting!!

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken – The easiest orange chicken ever because your slow cooker does all the work! Super juicy, tender, and coated with a sweet-yet-tangy orange glaze that’s irresistible!

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken - The easiest orange chicken ever because your slow cooker does all the work!! Super juicy, tender, and coated with a sweet-yet-tangy orange glaze that's irresistible!!

Originally posted April 23, 2018. Reposted January 11, 2019 and June 11, 2021 with updated text.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My husband’s first bite and “WOW” popped out of his mouth!! “This is so good! What did you do different?” The recipe was so easy to follow and easy to make! Thank you for a new staple that is low in calories and high in protein!

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review, Natalie, and I am glad this got a WOW from your husband! I love stories like this :)

  2. 5 stars
    Excellent!
    Itโ€™s one of our favorites!
    Thank you so much ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

    I make twice as much sauce, so we have enough for all of that like more !๐Ÿ˜‰
    It WAS BETTER THAN TAKE OUT !๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review, Suzy, and I am so glad that this IS better than take out for you! I am all about the sauce, too :)

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe was the bomb!! Absolutely delicious! So flavorful and so crunchy and so healthy. The whole family loved it!!

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review, Kristen, and I am glad it was amazing and that your whole family loved it!