Home ยป Healthy Cashew Chicken {Better than Takeout}

Healthy Cashew Chicken {Better than Takeout}

Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry is an all-time favorite because, well, cashews are the best. Crunchy cashews are the star of this easy cashew chicken recipe that rivals that of your favorite restaurants and is perfect for busy weeknights. Chinese take-out? Why bother?!


Mark and I snuck up to Grand Rapids for Friday night and let me just say, I felt like we were in need of a little recharge. The fact that our time in Grand Rapids included good beer, twin lobster tails, and hockey was just the cherry on top! We woke up Saturday morning with nothing on the agenda other than an 11am checkout time. We stopped at Perani’s Hockey World where I got new hockey skates, followed by a trip to Trader Joe’s (we don’t have one close by) and a lunch at Chic-Fil-A (also don’t have one of those close by). We returned home to watch the Illinois basketball game – a hard fought loss against Indiana, which was a most enjoyable game to watch. We went out for Mexican with my in-laws and I lounged around on my new living room furniture before joining the rest of the crew in front of the TV for some bad TV: Below Deck. A guilty pleasure, no doubt. It was a blissful 36 hours of nothing productive and I enjoyed it immensely.

The week ahead looks busy — the final week of swim team for the girls, 2 half days on Thursday and Friday for the kids, and book club on Thursday evening. The count down is on for Spring Break and my kids’ first ACTUAL vacation – Cancun! They have dresses for the white party and are ready to go! But first, a few more weeks of normalcy.


  • Takeout Fake-Out: We love ordering Chinese food and sure, it’s probably not authentic, but it’s something we all love. With a couple of minutes spent on prep, whipping up this Cashew Chicken makes for a healthy meal that rivals what I’d get in most any Chinese restaurants.
  • One Skillet: This meal is made in one large skillet while working in batches. I love a good meal that leaves me with very few dishes to clean.
  • Weeknight Warrior: The chicken, veggies, and sauce for this recipe can all be prepped ahead of time for an even quicker weeknight meal. Stir-frying is a great way to whip up a meal with its high heat cooking methods that have dinner on the table in no time!


  • Oil: You can stir fry in oils other than avocado oil, such as grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, safflower oil, or peanut oil. However, olive oil, flaxseed oil, and toasted sesame oils are not as favorable for high heat cooking, such as stir-frying.
  • Cashews: I mean, cashew nuts are our literal favorite and make this meal truly amazing, but you could sub in almond slivers or peanuts in a pinch or if you happened to like one of those nuts butter.
  • Vegetables: I used red bell peppers and yellow bell peppers, along with the onion, but you can add additional veggies such as water chestnuts, carrots, or snap peas.
  • Cornstarch Slurry: Using a cornstarch slurry to coat chicken before stir-frying helps create a crispy chicken exterior while limiting the absorption of oil and ensuring juicy chicken pieces from drying out.
  • Soy Sauce: You can use coconut aminos or tamari in place of soy sauce.
  • Seasoned Rice Vinegar: You can swap sherry vinegar here.
  • Chicken Broth: Any low-sodium broth will work just fine here! Be sure to use vegetable broth if going with tofu or a meat-free version!
  • Maple Syrup & Molasses: Brown sugar or honey can be swapped in for the syrup, and the molasses can be omitted, if needed.


  • Healthy Fats: Cashews and avocado oil are rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats while chicken is very low in saturated fat, making this recipe lean and colorful!
  • Gluten-Free: When using gluten-free ingredients (such as soy sauce), this recipe is gluten-free. That said, gluten can sneak into ingredients so just be mindful of that if pursuing a gluten-free finished product!
  • Vitamin C: With lots of colors in this dish, the bell peppers offer loads of vitamin C!
  • Carb-Conscious: Serve as is or over top cauliflower rice to keep this meal lower in carbohydrate.


  • Chicken: You can swap tofu, pork, beef, or even shrimp in this recipe for a change or to go vegetarian.
  • Spice: Want to make things a bit spicy? Increase the amount of red pepper flakes or consider adding something like sriracha for some added heat!
  • Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Healthy Cashew Chicken

Healthy Cashew Chicken

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry is an all-time favorite because, well, cashews are the best. Crunchy cashews are the star of this easy cashew chicken recipe that rivals that of your favorite restaurants and is perfect for busy weeknights.


Stir Fry:

  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil, divided
  • 1 onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 bell peppers, cup in 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 4 green onions, sliced

Stir-Fry Sauce

  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger root or ginger paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper (optional)
  • a pinch or two of pepper flake


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, water, and salt until well-combined. Add the diced chicken and stir to fully coat chicken; set aside.
  2. In a blender, mini food prep, or bowl with a whisk, combine the sauce ingredients until well-combined; set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until browned and nearly cooked through; remove to a plate.
  4. Return skillet to the heat, increase to high heat, and add the remaining tablespoon avocado oil. Once hot, add the onion and bell peppers. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes or until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally.
  5. Return chicken to the skillet and add the sauce; stir and reduce heat to medium low. Once simmering, reduce heat and allow to thicken for a minute. Stir in the cashews and finish with green onion.


Recipe adapted from Feasting From Home

Serve over hot rice, quinoa, cauli-rice, or as is!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: scant 1.5 cups (approx)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 363Total Fat: 18.4gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 955mgCarbohydrates: 24.6gFiber: 2.4gSugar: 10.0gProtein: 27.0g

Did you make this recipe?

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Looking for more Asian-inspired meals? 

Weekly Menu: February 19th – 24th

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Anastasia
    February 19, 2023 / 8:06 pm

    Nutritional info?

    • Nicole Morrissey
      February 22, 2023 / 12:27 pm

      Good catch! The plug in hasn’t been saving my changes because I calculate by hand vs. the plug and chug feature of their (always grossly inaccurate). It’s there now, thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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