I love this Paleo cashew chicken recipe because it’s so, so easy – and so fast. And so good. And it tastes good, no matter what diet you are on. I’ve made it for people that aren’t on any diet and they love it.
This Clean Eating quick & easy cashew chicken recipe is all made in one pan and our whole family loves it. I mean who doesn’t love cashews? I often make this easy cashew chicken recipe for my family of six. I love it because it’s comforting, yet light and flavorful at the same time.
A few weeks ago my brother and sister were over and they were trying to figure out if they wanted to go out to eat or make dinner. They were in a hurry, so they just wanted to grab something fast. I told them I could have this recipe made before they could go to fast food and back.
They didn’t believe me, but I proved them wrong. I totally had it ready for them in 20 minutes, from start to finish. And they loved it and even asked for the recipe.
My favorite part of this dish is the cashews. I often put way more than I’m supposed to. They are just so good and I love the crunch and saltiness from the cashews. I also love how the onions soak up the sauce and you get a really nice flavor-packed bite whenever you get an onion.
My children love it because it’s a little sweet and I love that they eat their veggies when they eat this. I mean, I’m not going to lie and say every one of my children eats every one of the veggies in this dish, but most of them do – and the ones that don’t are at least exposed to them and spend forever picking them out and give them to me so I’ll have more veggies.
Just to warn you, this recipe doesn’t taste exactly like what you will get at a Chinese restaurant. It’s simplified and Americanized. I think you will be pleasantly surprised though at how delicious it actually is though.
Paleo Cashew Chicken Tips
- Some people are commenting it takes longer than 20 minutes to cook and I can tell by your photos than in general you are #1 – not heating up the pan for long enough before putting your chicken in it or #2 not heating it on high enough of a temperature.
- Remember that you are trying to get a nice, crunchy batter on your chicken like a chicken nugget or like they get in Chinese restaurants and you can’t get that if you are sauteeing your chicken on low heat. It will also take a lot longer and the batter won’t stick to the chicken.
- I often leave out the red and green bell peppers if I don’t have them or don’t feel like cutting them up or eating them and it tastes fine without them.
- I personally don’t think the onions are optional. I LOVE how they soak up the sauce and the flavor they give the dish.
- This recipe goes faster and smoother if you pre-prep everything because it cooks up fast and if you don’t have the next step ready, you could easily burn it. At a minimum, look ahead while cooking and make sure you have the next step prepped before you go off and put laundry in, or something like that. (Um. . . just a wee bit of personal experience with this advice. In fact, this is a good meal not to leave the kitchen at all while it’s cooking. Trust me. This sauce when it’s burnt is not the best . . .)
- Oh, another thing from personal experience is to make sure you use a non-stick skillet so the breading doesn’t stick to the pan. I’m sure a Wok would be great too.
- The recipe calls for coconut aminos, which are the best for this recipe. But when I don’t have those, I use balsamic vinegar and quite like it. If you aren’t on any particular diet, soy sauce works well too.
Please let me know if you make this healthy cashew chicken recipe and if you make any changes or substitutions to the recipe.
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20-Minute Paleo Cashew Chicken Recipe
This cashew chicken recipe only takes 20 minutes to make and is sweet and tangy with a crunch from the cashews. I love how it uses ingredients I already have. My children love this Paleo chicken!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: Paleo
- 4 tablespoons Coconut Oil (divided)
- 2 pounds Chicken Tenders (cut into cubes)
- 3 tablespoons Arrowroot Starch (or cornstarch if you don’t do Paleo)
- 2 Red Bell Peppers (cut into strips)
- 1 Green Bell Pepper (cut into strips)
- 1 Onion (cut into thick cubes)
- 1/2 cup Coconut Aminos (or balsamic vinegar or soy sauce if you don’t want it to be Paleo or Clean)
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Vinegar (or any white vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 1/3 cup Maple Syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon Real Salt
- 1 cup Cashews (roasted and salted)
- 1/2 cup Green Onion
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil or avocado oil in a large saute pan over medium/high heat.
- Place the chicken and arrowroot starch in a bowl and toss until chicken is generously coated.
- Once the pan is hot enough that when you put a drop of water in the pan it spits, add the chicken to the hot pan of oil and saute until the chicken is golden and crispy on all sides, turning over each piece every two minutes or so.
- Remove the chicken and set aside in a bowl (drain on a paper towel if you want). Place the pan back on the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Add the bell peppers and onion to the pan and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and peppers have begun to soften. Add the chicken back in to the pan and mix in with the vegetables.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut aminos, vinegar, garlic, ginger, honey, red pepper, and salt.
- Pour the sauce into the pan and toss with the chicken and vegetables. Bring sauce to a boil and cook for 1-2 more minutes, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened. Stir in the cashews and 3/4 of the green onions.
- Remove from heat. Sprinkle the remaining green onions over the top of the chicken and serve over cauliflower rice.
Keywords: Sweet, Tangy, Quick