Do you ever get overwhelmed with real food? I sure do, which is why I make SMALL goals and work on one at a time.
A few years ago I made it a foodie goal to have soup for dinner once a week because it’s inexpensive and healthy (especially when you use homemade chicken stock).
A recent goal was to incorporate more fast meals into our meal plan, like my 15 Minute Kung Pao recipe, and now this 30 minute cashew chicken.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I don’t love cooking. I wouldn’t be a FOOD BLOGGER if I didn’t.
But there are some seasons and some nights that are just too full to spend hours upon hours in the kitchen.
Tuesday nights and basketball practice?
Wednesday nights and AWANA?
Thursday nights and cheer?
These nights need something REALLY fast. Something that can be made with what I have, relatively quickly and without much fuss.
There are bonus points if the recipe is easy enough for Mr. Crumbs to follow too, which is why I LOVE this cashew chicken!
30 Minute Cashew Chicken
Let’s talk about why this recipe is so great, shall we? I mean, beyond the fact that it’s a super easy dinner to make, it’s also…
- Ready in under 30 minutes. You literally toss everything together and bake! That’s it!
- Healthy. Lean chicken, mixed vegetables and cashews are baked in a delicious sweet and spicy sauce!
- Keto-friendly. Just substitute the cornstarch (thickener) for almond flour.
- Better than take out! Not only is it quick, easy and filled with fresh ingredients, you don’t have to worry about the fillers, preservatives and sodium common in take-out food.
Ingredients for Cashew Chicken
With 4 main ingredients (and only a few ingredients for the sauce), this recipe is simply delicious!
- Chicken Breast
- Sauce (including chicken stock. Here’s how to make your own).
The sauce is where the magic happens! Somehow a very ordinary list of pantry staples becomes delicious saucy goodness when you combine it all together with cornstarch. (Ok, so it’s probably more science than magic, but whatev.)
How Do I Prep the Chicken for 30 Min Cashew Chicken?
As I mentioned, we’re using chicken breasts in this recipe. You’ll pound them out to thin little cutlets, so they cook evenly, and can be cut with a fork or poked with a chopstick.
Have you ever seen knives at a Chinese restaurant? Didn’t think so.
What Vegetables Can I Use for Cashew Chicken?
I used a combination of what I thought should go in a ‘stir-fry-ish’ recipe based on what I had in the kitchen. That turned out to be green bell peppers, carrots, frozen peas and frozen green beans.
Next time I think I’d like to try cauliflower or red bell peppers, just to add more color besides green. Some recipes call for water chestnuts, which would be tasty as well!
Really though, anything you have will work. You can use fresh or frozen or a mix of both, like I did.
How to Make 30 Minute Cashew Chicken
Once you have your chicken pounded out, sliced, and your sauce whisked, this recipe comes together so quickly…especially if you choose to use frozen vegetables.
- Combine chicken, vegetables and cashews in a greased 9×13 glass pan.
- Add onions.
- Whisk together sauce and pour over chicken, vegetables and cashews.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until chicken is done and roasted cashews are golden brown.
- Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
Can I Make Substitutions in the Sauce for Cashew Chicken?
This is a totally forgiving sauce. If you splash too much soy sauce, or use up the last bit of homemade apple cider vinegar last week and it’s white distilled until payday…it’s all good!
Did the honey pour out too quickly, or do you have Frank’s rather than sriracha? No worries.
Substitute away, my friends, and enjoy the differences. I’m 99% sure it won’t matter and you’ll love this dish anyway.
Note**I have seen some cashew chicken recipes call for store-bought hoisin sauce, oyster sauce and chili garlic sauce, even brown sugar rather than honey.
If you have these flavors on hand and you’d like to experiment, I’m sure this recipe will still taste delicious. Just be sure to double check that the sauces are free of preservatives. Let me know what flavor combinations you come up with!
Are the Cashews in Cashew Chicken Healthy?
You bet! Cashews are filled with protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats! Nutritionists at Harvard say that nuts are great for our health and may even contribute to a longer life!
For More Quick and Easy Recipes…
- Simple Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Easy Homemade Minestrone
- Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers
- Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken
For more ideas on fast meals, check out this free 5 Day Challenge to get dinner on the table FAST!
- 1 lb chicken breasts, pounded out to ¼” thick and cut into 2” strips
- 4 cups vegetables, fresh and/or frozen (I used a combination of bell peppers, carrots, green beans and peas)
- ⅔ cup cashews
- 3 green onions, white and green parts sliced.
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce (I use liquid aminos)
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sriracha sauce
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 tsp sesame seed oil
- 1 tsp sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Spray a 9” x 13” glass pan with cooking spray or grease with a butter wrapper.
- Place the chicken pieces in a single layer in the pan.
- Top with the cashews and 4 cups of vegetables.
- Add all the white onions and about half of the green onions on top. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce: stock, soy sauce, vinegar, sriracha, cornstarch, honey, garlic and sesame seed oil.
- Pour over the vegetables and chicken.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the chicken is cooked through.
- Let cool slightly for about 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken.
- Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Salt and pepper to taste.
What’s your favorite chicken dish that can be made in under 30 minutes?
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