Cashew Chicken

Last week I shared my top 5 food goals for 2011, one of which is to eat and cook more adventurously. When eating out, I’d like to try different types of food, as well as ethnic cuisines that I have not had before. And while cooking at home, I want to try foods that I enjoy eating while out but have yet to master at home. Enter cashew chicken. I really love Chinese take out, but aside from Sweet and Sour Chicken (which is absolutely, hands-down, amazing), I haven’t done much (read: any) Chinese cooking at home. This recipe is my first step in embracing more Asian recipes in my own kitchen. I love Japanese and Thai just as much as Chinese, and am looking forward to experimenting!

This was a pretty simple recipe to throw together and it tastes amazing. None of the flavors are overpowering, so the ginger, soy, green onions, rice vinegar and cashews all balance each other nicely and pump up the brightness of the dish. You could serve this with noodles or rice; I personally love brown rice so that’s what I went with. Soba noodles would also be a great option.

Do you have a favorite make-at-home Chinese dish? Share with me!

One year ago: Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Cashew Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons dry sherry (or cooking wine, or omit)
2 teaspoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
3½ teaspoons cornstarch, divided
Coarse salt
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup unsalted cashews
2 green onions, white and green parts divided and thinly sliced


1. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the sherry, ginger, and 1½ teaspoons cornstarch; season with coarse salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Set aside.

3. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add half of the chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the skillet and cook the remaining chicken (reduce the heat if the chicken is over-browning). Transfer to the covered plate.

4. In the same skillet, add the remaining teaspoon of vegetable oil. Add the cashews, garlic, and green onion whites. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic begins to soften, about 30 seconds. Whisk the sauce again to combine and add to the skillet along with the chicken. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 30 seconds. Serve over rice or noodles and top with the green onion greens.

(Recipe adapted from The Bitten Word, originally from Everyday Food)


63 Responses to “Cashew Chicken”

  1. Justeen @ Blissful Baking on January 13, 2011 at 2:05 am

    I am also a huge fan of cashew chicken! Love all of the different flavors and textures in the dish. This looks delicious!


  2. The Housewife on January 13, 2011 at 3:02 am

    I love this! But then I love anything with cashews in it. I make a traditional indian cashew chicken curry, so its fascinating to see an chinese version!


  3. Blog is the New Black on January 13, 2011 at 6:49 am

    I love cashew chicken! This looks amazing. Def trying it for dinner soon!


  4. Katrina on January 13, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Cashew chicken is an old favorite of mine. Since going vegetarian, I don’t eat it anymore, but I’ll give this a try for my boyfriend. I’m sure he’ll love it!


  5. AliGirl Cooks on January 13, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I make Chinese food at home quite often. This is a great recipe to add to my collection!


  6. Kristin on January 13, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I love cashew chicken! I’m going to have to try this one. My favorite do-at-home Chines recipe is this one: It’s a perfect quick meal.


  7. Kelly @ JAX does design on January 13, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Mmmmm, looks and sounds like a yummy recipe! I love all Asian foods, and my absolute favourite food is Thai. Still looking for the perfect Pad Thai recipe….

    My favourite make-at-home Chinese food recipe is ginger beef. I’ve made some modifications to the recipe over time, and I think it’s perfect now! 🙂


  8. Kathleen on January 13, 2011 at 9:20 am

    At my house, your sweet and sour chicken recipe is the number-one dinner request. Even picky kids say “yay” when they know we are having this for dinner!
    I am printing this cashew chicken recipe to expand our repertoire. Thanks Michelle!


  9. Evan Thomas on January 13, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I love cashew chicken, and this looks too good for words. Pass a fork.


  10. stephanie on January 13, 2011 at 9:35 am

    i just started experimenting with chinese food, too! my first stop? cashew chicken: what a coincidence!


  11. Belinda @zomppa on January 13, 2011 at 9:45 am

    This is totally one of my favorite dishes – and why go out for greasy food when you can do it well at home? Thanks!


  12. Kath on January 13, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I was wondering what to do with some chicken breasts I have in the refrigerator….I may have just found it! Thank you!


  13. elizabeth on January 13, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I made cashew chicken last night! It’s one of the boyfriend’s favorite dinners and it’s ridiculously easy to throw together. My version is a lot simpler and I’ve been looking for a way to up the flavor. I’m definitely going to give your recipe a try soon.


  14. Cornelius the Pig on January 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

    We tried making cashew chicken once and weren’t very happy with the recipe. Yours looks really authentic though! Since cashew chicken is Cal (the cow)’s favorite, I think we’ll definitely be giving this a try.


  15. Cantstopbaking on January 13, 2011 at 10:32 am

    YUM. Can’t wait to try this!


  16. Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat on January 13, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I will definitely be trying this cashew chicken! Homemade Chinese food is the best. I just made Moo Shu Pork and it turned out fab!


  17. Keeley on January 13, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I just bookmarked this post! I like Everyday Food, too and one of my favorite Chinese-style recipes is from that magazine.

    My favorites are:
    Chicken Stir-Fry With Green Beans

    Lighter General Tso’s Chicken


  18. Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos on January 13, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Looks delicious! I really want to learn to make great Chinese at home…this looks like a great place to start!


  19. Lisa @ the Cooking Bride on January 13, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Oh, yum! Chinese food is always a big hit at my house. Will be trying this!


  20. LauraB @ foodsnobstl on January 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Oh boy, now I want Chineese for lunch!


  21. RavieNomNoms on January 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I love love cashew chicken! Although I love cashews just in general!


  22. Katie on January 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I will definitely be making this, we love all Asian food. I know you are a peanut butter lover, so may I recommend you try the Thai Honey Peanut Chicken from the pioneer woman’s tasty kitchen blog? it’s delicious. My favorite sneaky easy Asian “cheats” are chili garlic sauce- it’s so easy to add zip, the ginger people’s minced ginger or ginger paste in a jar- just like fresh but oh so easy, and fish sauce to give good depth to any stir fry or noodle dish. Enjoy your adventures, I look forward to seeing and trying these recipes!


  23. Rachel on January 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    We love asian food, but it is usually take out. I can’t wait to try this dish, it sounds awesome! My husband makes a delicious Kung Pao chicken


  24. Margaret on January 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I have just made a couple of Asian dishes. Now I have another one to add to the list. I love this out, knowing I can make it at home is fantastic!! And it looks fantastic.


  25. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on January 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Yum! This is a tasty resolution. 🙂 Loving this recipe.


  26. Darla @ Bakingdom on January 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Yay!! I’m super stoked to make this! Thank you!!!


  27. Janalyne on January 13, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Cashew chicken is one of my favorites as well. This recipes looks delish..and pretty simple as well! Can’t wait to try it.


  28. Maria on January 13, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    That looks fantastic! Great recipe that I’d love to try.


  29. Courtney on January 13, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    yummy this looks really good!


  30. Beth on January 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks Michelle. Looks amazing! We’ll definitely have to try this next week.
    General Tso is my favorite chinese dish (aka the only one ive ever had) but looks like you cant go wrong with cashew chicken.
    @Katrina–Im also a veggie, but i either just omit the chicken from my recipes or use Quorn fake chicken and adjust the cooking time. Have you tried that?
    Michelle–along those lines, you’d be able to substitue vegetable broth for chicken broth, correct?


    • Michelle on January 13th, 2011 at 11:07 pm

      Thanks Beth! General Tso’s is my favorite too, and usually my standard takeout order, go figure we’d have the same favorite 😉

      And yes, you could definitely sub vegetable broth. Let me know how you guys like it!


  31. Skylar on January 13, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Looks delicious! I love both cashew and almond chicken, great stir fries


  32. Maria on January 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Great flavors going on here! Kuddos on a killer dish:)


  33. Tessa on January 13, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Yum. Your picture makes me hungry! My husband loves Chinese food, so I’m always looking for new recipes. This one’s on the list.


  34. ChefAnn on January 14, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Made this for dinner last night. Fabulous! And yes, I am like you …. don’t venture much into Asian cooking, but when I do, I always think “now why don’t I do this more often?” I might add a bit of sesame oil to the sauce, but otherwise would not change a thing. Somewhere in my archives, I have a delicious shrimp and green onion stir fry recipe that I need to dig out!


  35. Deborah on January 14, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I love it when I find a good at-home Chinese recipe. This sounds wonderful!


  36. Cherissa on January 15, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Michelle! Thank you so much! I made this for dinner tonight- we all LOVED IT! even our 8 year old! She ate the last bits of chicken right out of the pan when we were cleaning- thankfully she saved me the cashews! I didn’t have any Ginger or sherry so I omitted both and just added a bit of minced garlic whole cooking the chicken! This was super easy and quite possibly my new favorite dinner! Loved it! After dinner I said to my boyfriend, “you know who you have to thank for this?” He immediately said, “the Brown Eyed Baker??”… DUH! Thanks again!


  37. Shelby on January 15, 2011 at 9:11 am

    This looks delish and I will definitely have to try the recipe!
    I too love to make dishes (mostly asian & Indian) that I like to eat out – at home. I started last year with General Tso’s Tofu, Honey Walnut Shrimp (Grumpy’s Fav), Black Pepper Chicken, and I love Jaden’s recipes on her blog – especially the Garlic Scallion Noodles (served with shrimp) and Ground Beef with Beijing Sauce – all I have blogged and totally loved. I am sure I am going to love yours too!


  38. AGS on January 15, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I know this is by nature a flavorful dish, but not spicy. Would adding chili paste destroy the balance of the current flavors. My husband and I enjoy dishes that allow us to get some “tingling” on our tongues!


    • Michelle on February 15th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      I actually haven’t ever used chili paste, but I don’t think it would hurt to try a little and see how it tastes! You could also try adding a couple pinches of red pepper flakes to the sauce.


  39. Sortachef on January 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Great flavor combo, Michelle. Last time I had cashew chicken at a restaurant it was so darned salty; your recipe reminds me I can do this at home!
    And your photos are absolutely stunning… Thanks!


  40. Amy Nielsen on January 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I made this Friday night for dinner and it was amazing! Finally, a recipe for Chinese food that is actually better than our local takeout. Thanks!


  41. Molly on January 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Thanks for the excellent recipe! I only recently came upon your blog after being referred by a friend, and this is the first recipe I have tried (but will not be my last!). I made it tonight and it was wonderful, my whole family enjoyed it. I added veggies; carrots, celery, and water chestnuts (because that’s what’s in our favorite take-out dish) and doubled the sauce to accommodate (probably upped it to about 6 servings). I think it’s better than our favorite take-out and undoubtedly healthier (I like that I know exactly what’s in it)! The only complaint was from my 5-year-old who wondered where the crab rangoons were! Thanks again!


  42. Mark on January 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Looks great. Way better than most of the Asian food I eat out. Thanks.


  43. Laura Witts on January 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    This recipe is hands down awesome!


  44. cspurlock on January 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    YUM! We made this for dinner tonight & what a treat it was! Thank you for posting! I subbed Sun Crystals sugar packet for the 2tbsp of regular sugar. I also used red quinoa instead of serving with rice. It was crowd pleaser!


  45. Brittany on January 21, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    This looks so simple! I will definitely have to try it!


  46. starralex76 on January 24, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    This is the kind of recipe that keeps me coming back to your site: simple, colorful, and easy to cook. Not to mention – gorgeous recipe


  47. a frog in the cottage on January 26, 2011 at 9:00 am

    where there are cashews there is pleasure !! have you ever try chiken korma !! yummy !!


  48. brie on January 29, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    i just made this for dinner. AMAZING.

    i had no idea i could make chinese food at home…how silly of me!

    this was such a fabulous recipe! thank you for sharing!!!


  49. lexmilo on February 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    My husband and I just enjoyed another one of your recipes! This is delicious! We love sauce, so I doubled the sauce recipe and let it boil a bit longer. Thanks for making our Saturday night in perfect! Also, HERE WE GO STEELERS!


  50. KitchenArtistry on February 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Wonderful detail on the 1st photo – We’d love to have you feature this photo at


  51. Erin on February 17, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    I love making Chinese at home (sweet and sour, lettuce wraps), but I had yet to do this dish until tonight – delish! Thank you for sharing this.


  52. Shy on September 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    What a wonderful recipe !!! made this yesterday & it was so good ,,, looking to try more from ur site ..Thank u Michelle 🙂


  53. Jessica on October 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I found this recipe and have made it many times now! My family, all ages, love it. I use Sprite instead of sherry and I add snow peas as well. This is a winning recipe every time! Thank you!


  54. Sarah Boye on May 29, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    I just made this with Quorn chicken, snow peas, carrots, and red bell pepper. SO GOOD! I haven’t had cashew chicken in almost 12 years and I didn’t realize how much I missed it! Thank you!


  55. Cheryl on August 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I made your recipe and it was EXCELLENT! Definitely a hit in our household! Thank you so much!!!! 🙂


  56. Deen on August 27, 2013 at 12:27 am

    I am a big fan of Springfield Cashew Chicken (if you’ve never had it, “google” it and make it sometime.) I don’t have a deep fryer right now, though, so I went with this recipe. It was nice! Very similar to the above, but less fattening, I’m sure. I’ll keep this on rotation!


  57. Aubrey on February 8, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I just tried this…amazing!! I added some sesame oil too. Super yummy 🙂 Do you have the nutrition info for it?


    • Michelle on February 9th, 2014 at 11:19 am

      Hi Aubrey, I’m glad you liked it! I do not calculate the nutritional information for recipes.


  58. Rem on February 20, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    I dont have rice vinegar at home, what could be a better substitue for this?


    • Michelle on February 21st, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Hi Rem, Any other mild vinegar would work here, something like a white wine.


  59. Shelley Calissendorff on January 11, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    I veganized it! But, it was super easy. I just replaced the chicken with vegan chicken substitute and the chicken broth with vegan vegetable broth. Also just because I wanted to, I doubled the green onion and the garlic. It was fantastic! If I make it in the future I will either half the amount of “chicken” or double the sauce because I like to have enough sauce that when served over rice, a lot of the rice can soak up a bunch of the sauce and that really wasn’t the case in this recipe. There was only just enough sauce to coat the “chicken” and the cashews. But the flavor was GREAT! Thank you, Brown Eyed Baker! 😀


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