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Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken – Skip the take out and make this super easy cashew chicken recipe at home.  Comes together in minutes using ingredients you probably already have!

My family loves Chinese food. Chicken Lo Mein is one of our favorites, but 9 times out of 10 it is the homemade version instead of take out.  I like making our favorites at home, so I can control the ingredients.  Plus most of the time they are just so darn easy!

Chow Mein Noodles takes literally 15 minutes to make. It is hard to order take out, go there, pick it up, and then drive home in that amount of time. So making it at home works really well!  Plus you can add veggies or anything else you want when you are at home.

cashew chicken stir fry in a skillet


When I was growing up we almost never has Asian food of any kind.  Quick Chicken Curry would have never been on the menu. It wasn’t until I was older and could cook for myself that I discovered some of our favorite recipes.  Like Chicken Tikka Masala!  Oh my so many comforting spices, we all love it.

The one and only thing we did have was cashew chicken.  It was about the only thing my dad would go for. And the thought he was being adventurous!  So this cashew chicken recipe is based on our favorite take out, but a super easy homemade version!

cashew chicken ingredients

What’s In Cashew Chicken

  • Chicken
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Garlic
  • Onions and whatever other veggies you want
  • Cashews
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Water
adding cornstarch, salt and pepper to chicken in a mixing bowl

The cashew chicken sauce is just a few staple ingredients you can always have on hand. It is really just hoisin sauce, a little water, and vinegar. You can find hoisin sauce at pretty much any grocery store in the Asian section. So there are no trips to a special market to make this!

Can I Add Vegetables

I like to add water chestnuts to our cashew chicken, so there is just a little crunch. That is also the way the take out place I grew up with served it.  Often times it is served with broccoli, but you can definitely add in more vegetables to bulk up this stir-fry.

  • Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Snow Peas
  • Zucchini
cashew chicken over rice with broccoli on a white plate

How to Make Cashew Chicken

  1. Start by coating the chicken pieces in cornstarch, salt and pepper.  This makes sure the chicken stays super tender when you are cooking it.  
  2. Mix the hoisin sauce and water together for the sauce.  The dish comes together quickly, so having everything in place ahead of time is nice.  
  3. Next you brown the chicken and onions together until the chicken is mostly cooked and the onions are soft.  
  4. Mix in the water chestnuts and any other veggies that you are using. 
  5. Mix in the rice wine vinegar and let is cook for just a minute.  Then you pour the sauce mixture over and let it simmer until it thickens and the chicken is fully cooked.  
  6. Mix in the cashews and you are ready to go.  You can garnish with green onions if you are using them.  

I like to serve over steamed white rice, but you could use brown rice, noodles, cauliflower rice or even serve as lettuce wraps.

cashew chicken in a large skillet


This cashew chicken reheats really well, so you can definitely make extra. If you have a large amount you can heat in a skillet over medium heat until it is warmed through. Or you can microwave as well.

This cashew chicken recipe has been a staple in our house for years.  It can not get any easier to make, and the whole family loves it!  Really you just brown the chicken, mix in the sauce and you are pretty much done.  20 minutes and dinner is on the table!

close up cashew chicken for pinterest

Other Great Asian Dinner Recipes To Try

Yield: 4

Cashew Chicken

cropped in cashew chicken stir fry on a plate

Cashew Chicken - Skip the take out and make this super easy cashew chicken recipe at home.  Comes together in minutes using ingredients you probably already have!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, (or breasts), cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 5 Tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup roasted cashews
  • Green onions, optional garnish
  • 2 cups cooked white rice


  1. In a bowl combine chicken, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  2. In a skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and onions. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the chicken is nicely browned, stirring occasionally.
  3. Mix in garlic and water chestnuts. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant.
  4. Mix vinegar into the chicken mixture. Cook for 1 minutes.
  5. Add hoisin sauce and water. Cook for a few minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.
  6. Remove from heat, stir in cashews and garnish with green onions.
  7. Serve over rice.


Slightly Adapted from Belly Full

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 646Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 22gCholesterol 208mgSodium 1059mgCarbohydrates 49gFiber 3gSugar 9gProtein 49g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

Did you make this recipe?

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Allyson Zea

Thursday 5th of January 2023

I added this to my meal plan, can't wait to try it!

Sandra McCollum

Thursday 5th of January 2023

I'm definitely going to have to try this recipe!


Wednesday 8th of January 2020

So flavorful and so easy to make! Love that this is a quick dinner option!

Tiffany La Forge-Grau

Wednesday 8th of January 2020

That batter seriously looks perfect. Nice even flavor is the key to great cashew chicken!

Sara Welch

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

What a great recipe for busy weeknights! Definitely adding this to my dinner line up for the week; looks too good to pass up!

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