Cashew Chicken (Healthy) – an easy 25 minute guilt-free skinny version of the popular classic Chinese takeout dish. Best of all, comes together in just one pan and perfect for busy weeknights and Sunday meal prep! Plus paleo and keto friendly options and a short recipe video.
Cashew Chicken is one of our all time favorite Chinese restaurant takeout favorites. We love a good takeout fakeout at home. It’s so much tastier and healthier than what you can get at the local Asian restaurant.
This Cashew Chicken is a lightened up, gluten free version (with paleo and low carb friendly options) of the Cashew Chicken I have in my cookbook.
It’s probably one of the most requested copycat recipe and happens to be one of my son’s favorites. He absolutely loves anything with cashews.
HOW TO MAKE CASHEW CHICKEN
This cashew chicken starts off with tender juicy chicken that gets browned for a few minutes in a large non-stick skillet or a wok.
The sweet and tangy sauce is made with all gluten free or paleo or keto friendly ingredients. I’ve also included the regular version with ingredients you can easily find at your grocery store.
- gluten free tamari (this is the one I use) or coconut aminos for a paleo version
- hoisin sauce – use a gluten free sauce , make your own paleo-friendly version or leave out for low carb
- apple cider vinegar
- honey (use raw for paleo or a low carb sweetener (erythritol, monk fruit or stevia)
- toasted sesame oil
- garlic and ginger
The great thing about this healthier than restaurant version is that there is also generous serving of broccoli and red bell peppers. So it’s another awesome way to get your family to eat some extra veggies.
Prep this Cashew Chicken ahead of time:
One of the best parts about this dish is how quickly it all comes together….especially if you have everything prepped ahead of time or even the night before.
- Cut the chicken into chunks and place into a zip-top bag in the fridge
- Chop the veggies and place in zip-top bags or containers
- Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and store in a small glass container
- If you plan on serving this with zoodles (paleo), quinoa or steamed rice – those can easily be made ahead of time too and stored in the fridge.
Once you’re ready to dive in – all it takes is ONE PAN and less than 10 minutes to come together on the stove.
Weekly meal prep-tips for your school or work lunch bowls
- Delicious for leftovers or make a batch on Sunday meal prep and pack for your weekly school or work lunch bowls
- Serve with your favorite side – Jasmine rice, brown rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice or spiralized vegetables or zoodles
- For easier weekly meal prep – chop all the vegetables ahead of time and store in an airtight container the night before.
- Make lunch the day before and store in an air-tight container – I use this lunch container
More lunch bowls:
Healthy Cashew Chicken + Recipe VIDEO (Meal Prep)
- 3/4 lb chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
- sea salt and black pepper as needed
- 1 tablespoon tapioca or arrowroot starch or cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1 red bell pepper cut into bite-sized chunks
- 3/4 cup roasted unsalted cashews
- Sauce and Marinade
- 6 tablespoons gluten free tamari or low sodium-soy sauce or coconut aminos for paleo version
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce (leave out for low carb or use a gluten free brand if possible)
- 3/4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey (use low carb sweetener like erythritol, stevia or monk frui for l
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch (or 1 teaspoon xanthum gum for low carb)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup water plus more as needed to thin out sauce
- red pepper chili flakes
- toasted sesame seeds
- 1 green onion sliced thinly
For Meal Prep
- Lunch containers
- Your favorite side: cauliflower rice, zoodles, jasmine / brown ri
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, tapioca starch and 1 tablespoon of sauce/marinade.
- Add oil to a wok or a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes, or until the chicken is starting to brown.
- Toss in the broccoli and bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the chicken is cooked through. Pour in the remaining sauce and add the cashews. Toss everything together and allow sauce to bubble and thicken. Season with salt, pepper or red pepper chili flakes as needed.
- Remove from heat and serve warm on a large platter or over zoodles, cauliflower rice(paleo), quinoa or regular rice or noodles. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions if desired.
- For meal prep
- Cook rice and divide evenly into lunch containers. Add cashew chicken, cover and store in fridge for up to 4 days.
The ingredient options I've listed first are all gluten free. For paleo-friendly or the classic non-gluten free options, I've listed them in brackets.
More takeout favorites: