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An image of the cashew chicken served over white rice in a white bowl with a black rim. The bowl is set on a white table with a gray linen and a fork to the top right side.

Cashew Chicken

This cashew chicken recipe is the weeknight trifecta, quick, easy and delicious. In this recipe, boneless, skinless chicken thighs are cooked with cashews in a homemade stir fry sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword chicken, chicken stir fry, stir fry
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 442kcal
Author Elizabeth


Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • cup Water
  • 3 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin
  • 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced or grated
  • ½ teaspoon Ginger Powder
  • Pinch Crushed Red Pepper optional

Chicken Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Oil use a neutral (flavorless) oil with a high smoke point (we use canola oil)
  • 1 - 1¼ pound Chicken Thighs boneless, skinless, trimmed of fat and cut into roughly 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¾ cup Cashews
  • ¼ cup Sliced Green Onions


Make the sauce

  • Add the cornstarch and water to a jar or bowl. Stir well until the cornstarch is dissolved. Next, add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, mirin (or rice vinegar), brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger powder and crushed red pepper, if using. Shake, or stir the sauce using a fork or small whisk until combined. Stir well right before using too.

Make the chicken

  • Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Heat the oil in a large, deep, non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken. Arrange it in a single layer and cook for 4-5 minutes. Do not disturb the chicken, let it cook without stirring.
  • Use a spatula or a wooden spoon to stir the chicken and arrange it in a single layer again. Cook for another 3-5 minutes or until it is cooked through. Stir occasionally and arrange it in a single layer after stirring.
  • The chicken is cooked through if it is opaque all the way through, there is no pink and it is at least 165°F at the thickest part of the largest piece.
  • Lower the heat to medium. Add the prepared sauce (shake or stir right before using) and cashews to the chicken. Stir well to combine the ingredients and to coat everything with the sauce.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low as soon as the sauce starts to simmer. Continue to cook the chicken for 3-5 minutes, to warm through and give the flavors a chance to combine.
  • Lower the heat a bit if the sauce if boiling too vigorously. Also, stir frequently. The sauce will be thick and sticky, stirring often will prevent it from burning.
  • Finally, stir in the green onions.
  • Serve the cashew chicken with white rice or with noodles if desired and enjoy.


  • Everything moves quickly with this cashew chicken stir fry. It’s best to have all the ingredients ready to go before you start cooking.
  • If serving with rice or noodles start them first so everything is ready at the same time.
  • If you are sensitive to salt, halve or eliminate the salt from the chicken and use unsalted or lightly salted cashews. You can always add a little salt at the end if needed.


Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 1210mg | Potassium: 566mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 97IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 3mg