Chris’ Cashew Chicken

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 Chris’ go-to recipes is 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

Chris learned to make Cashew Chicken from his mom, but he’s long since perfected it with his own 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. But for your convenience, I’ve provided a few notes for adjusting the spice level. Feel free to eat the cashew chicken as is or serve it over rice.

Chris' Cashew Chicken

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.


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. 
Keyword Cashew Chicken

Did You Try It?

I love this 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.