Chris’ Cashew Chicken Dinner

At our house, I am the primary baker. I make breads, cookies, rolls, and doughnuts on a regular basis. These sweet treats are fun and tasty, but they’re not exactly the healthiest dinner options for our family.

Fortunately, my husband is an excellent cook. He has no problem grilling chicken, sautéing veggies, or stirring together the perfect pasta sauce at a moment’s notice. His healthy meals balance out my unhealthy snacks, and together we get by just swimmingly.

One of our go-to dinner recipes is Chris’ cashew chicken, and I’m so glad it has become one of our family favorites. It’s packed with fiber and protein, and even my young daughter eats her entire bowl whenever he makes it.

Chris' Cashew Chicken in a blue bowl

It’s a Family Tradition

Chris learned to make Cashew Chicken from his mom, and she cooked that recipe for her family for years. However, Chris cooks with his heart and soul, and he tweaks his ingredients depending on his mood. Although he has long since perfected it, the recipe always feels fresh and new with his changes.

Depending on company, he can easily make a mild but flavorful version or a ludicrously spicy variation of the recipe to suit differing tastes. Personally, I’m more of a fan of the mild. I like to taste my vegetables, thank you very much.

We like to serve Cashew Chicken over rice made in our DASH mini rice cooker. Of course, you don’t have to use a dash cooker – any old rice cooker will do. I just like to recommend products I love and use regularly, and affiliate links through Amazon help support my site.

It’s Adjustable

One of my favorite things about Chris’ Cashew Chicken is how easily you can adjust it to your tastes and what you have on hand.

You can adjust the level of spiciness by adding more (or less) dried red chilies. Some of our younger family members prefer mild flavors, so we only use about two or three peppers and don’t add them back in after frying them in the oil.

If you don’t have dried red peppers, you can also use cayenne pepper or dried red pepper flakes. However, we don’t have exact measurements for this substitution. Since dried ground spices tend to be more potent than fresh, we guess you can use about 1 teaspoon dried cayenne pepper or 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes. Add more or less depending on your spice tolerance. 

As for vegetables, feel free to use as many or as few as you like. The original recipe only called for 1 small onion. We, however, like to pack it full of vegetables. We prefer a sugar-snap pea stir fry mix (you can find them in the frozen aisle at Walmart or WinCo). We’ve also made this recipe with fresh broccoli, snap-peas, water chestnuts, and bell peppers. There’s a lot of wiggle room to be creative with this recipe. 

Don’t have cashews? We’ve also substituted the cashews with dry-roasted, salted peanuts and it was just as delicious. 

Chris' Cashew Chicken in a blue bowl with chopsticks

Chris’ Cashew Chicken

An Asian-inspired dish pack full of protein and fiber. Make it mild or amp the spice to suit your preferences. Serve over rice.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 29 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 432 kcal


  • 28.6 Grams Vegetable Oil (2 Tablespoons)
  • 3.5 Grams Dried Red Chilies (7 Medium-Sized Peppers)
  • 453 Grams Chicken Breast, Boned, Skinned, Sliced into 1/2-Inch Strips (1 Pound)
  • 675 Grams Stir-Fry Vegetables, Frozen or Fresh (5 Cups)
  • 15 Grams Fish Sauce (1 Tablespoons)
  • 5.5 Grams Soy Sauce (1 Teaspoon)
  • 2.5 Grams White Granulated Sugar (1/2 Teaspoon)
  • 70 Grams Cashews, Dry-Roasted and Salted (1/2 Cup)


  • Heat a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat.
  • When the oil is hot (but not burning), add dried chilies and stir-fry for 1 minute until they darken. Use a slotted spoon to remove chilies, and set aside.
  • Increase heat to medium high, and add chicken. Stir-fry until chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes. (The chicken will turn white and if using a probe thermometer, temperature will reach about 165° Fahrenheit).
  • Add vegetables and stir fry until onions in the mix start to wilt, about 5 to 10 minutes depending on if using frozen or thawed.
  • Add fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar and stir fry for another minute or two.
  • Add cashews and reserved chilies and stir well.
  • Serve over sticky rice.
Keyword Cashew Chicken

Did You Try It?

I love Chris’ cashew chicken recipe, and I can’t wait for the days Chris makes it for our family. But I’m also excited to hear back from you. Did you try the recipe? Do you prefer mild or spicy? Do you have your own changes or suggestions to make it even more flavorful? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.