Healthy Cashew Chicken (Gluten Free, Paleo-Friendly)
Healthy Cashew Chicken – A yummy take-out fave made at home! We love the tangy sauce, vibrant colors, and all that FLAVOR! (Gluten-free & Paleo-friendly!)
Why, hello quick and easy dinner. I love you.
That’s basically the conversation I’ve had with everything that’s quick or doesn’t involve a ton of cook time recently. With heat advisory after heat advisory, I’m basically doing anything NOT to turn on my stove or oven. So minimally-cooked or quick-cooking dinners are a must!
One-pan dinners have been a big win for me lately. I’ve always loved stir-fries, but this healthy cashew chicken? It’s extra amazing.
So… basically it’s my best friend right now.
You can serve this healthy cashew chicken over rice or cauliflower rice, enjoy it plain, or wrap it up in lettuce leaves for a super amazing dinner done in no time. Count me in!
As always, I love that it’s pretty flexible and forgiving, with lots of ways to change it around a bit or use what you have. Check out the notes for some of my favorite ways to change things up, plus some tips for making it!
TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST HEALTHY CASHEW CHICKEN:
LET’S TALK SAUCE (HOW TO ADAPT FOR YOUR DIETARY NEEDS). I provide a few options in the recipe for the soy sauce component. If you don’t have any dietary restrictions, you can absolutely use soy sauce. If you’re gluten-free, I like tamari, which is GF soy sauce. The taste is identical. If you’re paleo or avoid soy, you can substitute coconut aminos. Coconut aminos is really similar to soy sauce/tamari, but does have a slightly sweet flavor. It shouldn’t impact your recipe too much.
PLAY UP THE VEGGIES!. You can really play with the veggies you use in this healthy cashew chicken. Want to use double the peppers and skip the zucchini? Go for it! Not into broccoli, but want to use snow peas? Do your thing! You’re basically just looking for around 4-5 cups of veggies.
USE A BIG SKILLET. In the video, I had to use a smaller skillet than I normally use (because my big skillet doesn’t fit on my hot plate). The bigger your pan, the better everything will cook. You can cook your chicken in batches to get a little browning on the chicken. If it’s crowded together (like in the video), it won’t brown as well, but it will still taste delicious.
ARROWROOT VS. CORNSTARCH. One last substitution note. To make this as grain-free or paleo cashew chicken, you’ll want to substitute arrowroot for the cornstarch. You can use the same amount. Arrowroot is a little more finicky–if boiled too long, it actually loses its binding powers. Just watch it and take it off the heat as soon as your sauce has thickened a bit.
LIKE THIS HEALTHY CASHEW CHICKEN RECIPE? YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE OTHER TAKEOUT FAVES…
- Healthy Beef & Broccoli
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Healthy Orange Chicken
- Egg Drop Soup
- Healthy Sesame Chicken
HELPFUL TOOLS & INGREDIENTS FOR THIS RECIPE:
Healthy Cashew Chicken
- Total Time: About 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
Another takeout fave made at home. We love the tangy sauce, vibrant colors, and all that FLAVOR!
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1” pieces
- 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
- 2–3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1/4–1/2 cup cashews
- Olive, coconut, or avocado oil, for cooking
- pepper, to taste
- 1/2–3/4 cup water
For the sauce:
- 1/3 cup gluten free tamari (can sub coconut aminos or soy sauce)
- 3–4 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1–2 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
- Heat a drizzle of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add your chicken and cook 4-5 minutes per side, or until completely cooked through. (Work in batches if you’d like crispier chicken). Remove cooked chicken to a plate or bowl and set aside while you cook the veggies.
- Heat another drizzle of oil in the pan and add bell pepper, zucchini, and broccoli. Cook 4-5 minutes, or until veggies are crisp-tender.
- While the veggies are cooking, make your sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together tamari, vinegar, honey, and cornstarch until smooth. Taste and add more vinegar, honey, or tamari, to taste.
- When veggies are crisp-tender, add garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute longer. Pour in sauce, and 1/2 cup water. Stir and cook until sauce thickens. Fold in the chicken and cashews to coat with sauce. Add additional water as desired to thin things out. Sprinkle with pepper, to taste.
- Serve with rice, cauliflower rice, or in lettuce wraps.
Veggies. You can really play with the veggies you use here. Want to use double the peppers and skip the zucchini? Go for it! Not into broccoli, but want to use snow peas? Do your thing! You’re basically just looking for around 4-5 cups of veggies.
Use a BIG Skillet. In the video, I had to use a smaller skillet than I normally use (because my big skillet doesn’t fit on my hot plate). The bigger your pan, the better everything will cook. You can cook your chicken in batches to get a little browning on the chicken. If it’s crowded together (like in the video), it won’t brown as well, but will still taste delicious.
Arrowroot vs. Cornstarch. One last substitution note. To make this a grain free or paleo dish, you’ll want to substitute arrowroot for the cornstarch. You can use the same amount. Arrowroot is a little more finicky–if boiled too long, it actually loses it’s binding powers. Just watch it and take it off the heat as soon as your sauce has thickened a bit.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Main Dish, Chicken
- Method: Stir Fry
- Cuisine: Asian
Keywords: Healthy Cashew Chicken, Cashew Chicken, Cashew Chicken Recipe, Paleo Cashew Chicken, Gluten Free Cashew Chicken
This looks so good! Totally going to make it for one of my meal preps next week!
Yum, but cashews are not listed in the recipe anywhere.
Kimberly – THANK YOU! I can’t believe I left them out of the recipe card! I’ve corrected that with the right amounts and instructions in the recipe.
Made this tonight with red & green bell peppers, red onion & zucchini – AMAZING!!!!!!
I’m so glad to hear that Andrea! So glad you enjoyed it!
We’re back for round 3 tonight! Tonight it’s carrots, broccoli, and green bell pepper. Seriously, our family is obsessed!
That makes me SO happy to hear! That veggie combination sounds awesome!
Made this tonight and my husband almost licked the plate. A keeper!! Thank you!’
Oh, I’m SO glad to hear that!!! Thank you so much for sharing!
What are the nutritional values for this dish if you have them!
This has become a monthly standard in our house. It’s so delicious, easy to make, and healthy!
I’m SO, SO happy to hear that! That’s WONDERFUL!
I needed to add water to thin out ..
Also nutrition? Macros?
Mary – You should be able to see the nutrition facts/macros at the bottom of the recipe card. Hope that helps! 🙂
Can I use another vinegar instead of rice vinegar, I can’t have that.
Yes! A few people have made this with white vinegar or cider vinegar. I’d start with one of those if you can’t do rice vinegar 🙂