Quick Cashew Chicken Recipe

This is one of my favorite dinner recipes. It’s full of flavor, with enough spice to add zest but not so much it leaves you panting and gasping for water.

It’s best served over sticky rice, so we like to use medium grain white rice. Long grain rice doesn’t quite give the same texture, but it’s still tasty. If you want to go for a healthier option, choose brown rice because that has more fiber.


  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 15 Small Dried Red Chilies (you can use fewer chilies if you don’t like spicy)
  • 3/4 Pound Chicken Breast, Skinless in 1/2 inch cubes (or shrimp)
  • 1 Small Onion, Peeled and Sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Dry Roasted, Salted Cashews (or Peanuts)

1 16 oz. bag frozen vegetables. We like to use Flav-R-Pac Vegetable Stir Fry because it has all our favorite veggies.


Step 1: The Chilies

  1. Heat a wok or medium skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the oil and swirl to coat the surface.
  3. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add chilies.
  4. Stiry-fry for 1 minute.
  5. Remove the chilies with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Part Two: The Chicken and Onions

  1. Increase heat to medium high, add the chicken.
  2. Stir-fry until it changes color and is cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the onion and stir-fry until onion begins to wilt, about 1 minute.

Part Three: The Veggies (Optional)

Technically the original recipe doesn’t call for the additional veggies, but I’ve never had the recipe without it. The veggies add a LOT to the dinner.

  1. Toss in the whole bag and cook until veggies are no longer frozen.

Part Four: The Sauce

You can add this while the veggies are cooking – it won’t hurt it!

  1. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar.
  2. Continue stir-frying for another minute.
  3. Add the cashews and reserved chilies and stir well. (You don’t have to re-add the chilies if you don’t want them. It makes it less spicy this way.)
  4. Serve over sticky rice and enjoy!

Yield: 4 Servings

Note and Suggestions:

  • The peppers will darken when cooked, but try not to burn them!
  • Be sure to take the stems off the chilies – they might fall off and be hard to take out.
  • Don’t handle the chilies and then rub your eyes – it WILL BURN LIKE THE DEVIL!
  • Cracking a window when cooking the chilies is recommended; the fumes will make you cough and your eyes burn.
  • Wear oven mitts when stir frying – the oil tends to bubble and splash at high heat. Oil burns are not fun!

Nutrition Information

This is information I pulled from MyFitnessPal for one serving. Nutritional facts will vary depending on the brands of food you use.

  • Total calories: 432
  • Total Fat: 26.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.4 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.2 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 9.8
  • Trans Fat: 0.0g
  • Cholesterol: 95 mg
  • Sodium: 1126.3 mg
  • Potassium: 210.1 mg
  • Total Carbs: 20.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 5 g
  • Sugars: 9.3 g
  • Protein: 33.9 g
  • Vitamin A: 25%
  • Vitamin C: 33%
  • Calcium: 4.3%
  • Iron: 9.7%

Also, 1 cup of medium grain white rice adds:

  • Total Calories: 242
  • Total Fat: .4 g
  • Saturated Fat: .1 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: .1 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: .1 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.0
  • Cholesterol: 0.0
  • Sodium: 0.0
  • Potassium: 53.9 mg
  • Total Carbs: 53.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: .6 g
  • Sugars: 0.0
  • Protein: 4.4 g
  • Vitamin A: 0%
  • Vitamin C: .6%
  • Iron: 15.4%

Look at Us Cook

I’m not the greatest cook, so I usually let my husband do the dirty work. Here he is prepping the onions. He prepped the chicken, too, but uncooked chicken doesn’t look pretty.

prepped onions

Next he cooked the chilies.

cooking the chilies

After he took out the chilies, he started on the chicken and the onions.

cooking the chicken

And let’s not forget the veggies – it looks so tasty!

cooking the veggies

Finally, he stirred in the sauce, and we served it over rice – so tasty and perfect!

finished cashew chicken

There you have it: amazing dinner without too much work! After watching my husband do it a few times, I think even a beginner cook can learn to make it. This recipe is pretty flexible, so don’t be afraid to use more or less chicken, veggies, chilies, etc. to match your tastes.

Written By JenniBee


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