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Easy Cashew Chicken Recipe

Gone are the days of telegrams for recipes. Here’s a concise guide to making the perfect Cashew Chicken. This recipe is simplified for kitchen novices, promising delicious results.

As we dive into this savory dish, I’ll reveal a secret ingredient that makes it stand out. Ready for a culinary adventure? Let’s cook this delightful Cashew Chicken together.

Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken

Cashew chicken, a beloved dish known for its savory flavors and nutty crunch, isn’t only delicious but also surprisingly easy to make at home. I’ve always been a fan of this classic, and once I discovered how straightforward the cooking process was, it quickly became a staple in my weekly dinner rotation.

The beauty of making cashew chicken myself is the control I’ve over the ingredients and the seasoning. It allows me to adjust the flavors to my liking, making it a bit spicier or adding more veggies for a healthier twist. The dish’s versatility is truly remarkable; it fits perfectly into a cozy family dinner yet is sophisticated enough for entertaining guests.

What I love most about cooking cashew chicken is the minimal time it takes from start to finish. It’s a lifesaver on busy weeknights when I’m craving something hearty but don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen. The combination of tender chicken, crunchy cashews, and that rich, savory sauce never fails to impress. It’s a testament to how simple ingredients, when combined thoughtfully, can create a meal that’s both comforting and exotic.

Ingredients You’ll Need (+ Possible Substitutes)

Ready to cook up some mouthwatering cashew chicken right in your own kitchen? You’ll need a handful of essential ingredients, and I’ve got some clever swaps for you just in case you need to improvise.

Let’s start with the basics: chicken breast is what you’ll be chopping up into those perfect, bite-sized pieces. But hey, if chicken breast didn’t make it into your shopping cart this week, no worries — chicken thighs are an excellent stand-in and they’ll make your dish even juicier.

Now, for that rich, flavorful sauce, you can’t skip the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and a dash of sesame oil. Found yourself staring at an empty hoisin sauce bottle? No stress. Whip up a quick fix with some soy sauce, a drizzle of honey, and a bit of garlic, and you’re back in business. Speaking of garlic, nothing beats the real deal, but if you’re fresh out, a sprinkle of garlic powder will save the day.

When it comes to stir-frying, I reach for vegetable oil, but if your pantry tells a different story, peanut or canola oil are just as good for getting that high smoke point you need. Bell peppers and onions are my go-to for adding some crunch and color, but honestly, any veggies you’ve got will do the trick. And finally, those cashews are key for that signature crunch, but if you’re in a pinch, peanuts can add a fun twist.

Armed with these ingredients or their nifty alternatives, you’re all set to whip up a delicious cashew chicken that’s sure to impress.

How To Make It

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First, I start by getting the chicken ready. I chop it up into bite-sized pieces and set it aside for a bit. Then, I get my large skillet nice and warm over medium-high heat and drizzle in a bit of oil. Once it’s sizzling, I add the chicken pieces in, sprinkling them with a little salt and pepper for taste. I stir and fry them until they’re beautifully golden and thoroughly cooked, which usually takes around 5-7 minutes, give or take, depending on how big the pieces are.

After that, I scoop the chicken out of the skillet and put it on a plate to hang out for a while. Using the same skillet (because why wash more dishes than we’ve to?), I might add a touch more oil if it looks a bit dry and toss in the garlic. I just wait until it smells amazing – that’s when I know it’s time to add the sauce mixture I whipped up earlier. I let it bubble away for a minute or two until it’s nicely thickened.

And here’s the magic part:

  • I get the chicken back into the skillet, stirring it into the sauce so every piece is perfectly coated.
  • Next up, I throw in the roasted cashews for a bit of crunch, mixing everything together well.
  • I add a sprinkle of green onions and a little dash of sesame seeds on top for that extra bit of crunch and flavor.
  • Then, it’s time to serve this beauty, usually piling it high over some fluffy rice or tangy noodles to catch all that incredible sauce.
  • I make sure to keep the heat steady at medium the whole time to make sure everything cooks just right without any chance of burning.

And there you have it, a delicious meal that’s sure to impress!

Tips For Success

Achieving culinary perfection with this cashew chicken recipe hinges on a few key strategies that I’ve honed over time.

First, it’s essential to marinate the chicken. Even a brief 30-minute marinade can significantly enhance the flavor and tenderness of the chicken. I’ve found that soy sauce, a touch of sesame oil, and cornstarch do wonders.

Another crucial tip is to toast the cashews before adding them to the dish. This step brings out a nutty aroma and adds a delightful crunch that contrasts beautifully with the tender chicken. I always toast them in a dry pan over medium heat until they’re golden brown, being careful not to let them burn.

Heat control is vital when stir-frying. I’ve learned that keeping the heat high cooks the chicken quickly without overcooking it, ensuring it stays juicy and tender. However, it’s important to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go, as things move fast once the heat is on.

Lastly, don’t skimp on the fresh ingredients like ginger and garlic. They’re key to achieving that authentic flavor that really makes this cashew chicken dish stand out. Adding them fresh, rather than powdered, makes all the difference in depth and taste.

Serving Suggestions

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After nailing down the recipe for the ultimate cashew chicken, it’s super important to think about how to serve it up just right to really make the meal shine. You don’t want to just toss it on a dish; you want to enhance its yummy flavors and ensure every forkful is memorable. Here are my favorite ways to do just that:

  • *Lay it on a bed of fluffy jasmine rice*: The gentle aroma pairs wonderfully with the bold tastes of the cashew chicken, creating a match made in heaven.
  • *Go for some sautéed veggies on the side*: Broccoli, bell peppers, or snow peas not only add a splash of color but also pack in some vitamins and minerals.
  • *Sprinkle on some extra roasted cashews*: This gives you that irresistible crunch and nutty flavor with every bite, taking it to the next level.
  • *Offer some chili oil or sauce on the side*: For those who like a kick, this can really amp up the dish.
  • *Garnish with a bit of fresh green onions or cilantro*: It brings a burst of freshness and a hint of aroma that beautifully balances out the richness.

Trust me, serving the cashew chicken this way is going to make your meal an absolute hit!

Storing, Freezing & Reheating

To make sure your cashew chicken stays tasty for your next meals, here’s the lowdown on how to store, freeze, and reheat it properly.

So, you’ve had your fill, but there’s still some of that delicious cashew chicken left. No problem, I’m here to help you out. If you’re going to have the leftovers within the next few days, just pop the cashew chicken into an airtight container and stick it in the fridge. It’ll be good for up to three days.

Now, if you’ve cooked up a storm and there’s too much to eat in that time, freezing is the way to go. First things first, let the dish cool down to room temperature to stop any bacteria from getting too cozy. Then, divide it into portions that are just right for a meal in freezer-friendly bags or containers. That way, you only need to thaw what you’re going to eat. Your cashew chicken can chill in the freezer for up to three months.

Ready for another round? When it’s time to bring back the magic, reheating is a breeze. If it’s coming from the freezer, let it thaw out in the fridge overnight. To get the best texture, I always reheat it on the stove over medium heat until it’s nice and hot all the way through. This keeps the chicken juicy and the cashews snappy. It’s like it’s fresh out the kitchen!

CEO at Happy Muncher | benjamin@happymuncher.com | Website | + posts

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.