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If there was ever a chicken dinner of my dreams, this would be it. 20 Minute Basil Cashew Chicken. I don’t know what I like more. The fact that it only took 20 minutes to make or the yummy flavors!

20 Minute Basil Cashew Chicken | @hbharvest

Watch the How To Video Here:

I’ve told the story of my chicken and rice days many, many times, so I won’t bore you once again, but the short version is, when you combine chicken and rice, I’m all about it. Especially when that said chicken is full of Thai flavors, basil and cashews…aka Tieghan food. 🙂

So you guys, I’ve probably mentioned that my days are twice as long and twice as hard as they have ever been. I’m cramming to meet my book deadline and basically my life is cooking non-stop from morning till night… and then from night till morning I write. OKAY. That’s a lie, I do find some time to sleep at night because I am one of those people who needs sleep to survive. Like you four hours of sleep peeps? Yeah, you guys are just plain weird. Sorry to be harsh, but sleep is where it’s at.

Just sayin.

The weird thing is, you would think I would be SOO over everything. Over cooking, over writing, over answering emails and comments, just over work in general. But you know what I have found really odd? I kind like it. I kind of like having every second of every day filled to the max. It keeps me focused and on task, which can sometimes be hard for me.

So I dunno, I guess I’m super weird too. I guess I just really love what I do….oh but the dishes. I really HATTTTEEEEEE the dishes. I am on my own this week, like completely. No help from the best Dad ever. It’s kind of miserable. All the dishes. UGH. Think about making six-eight recipes a day and then doing the dishes…and then needing to go feed the chickens.

It’s like NOOOOO.

The good news is that the goats are actually not here right now. So at least I’m not taking care of them too. I can’t believe I haven’t told you guys this yet, but baby goats are coming!!! Yes, BABY goats!! I know, I know. Too cute. I am SO excited. If all goes as planned this month (meaning that Billy Goat does his thing and does it well ?) than we should have baby goats come mid to late September!! The girls will be back in a few weeks, hopefully with full bellies. Prepare for way too many snaps of all the little goats. 🙂

20 Minute Basil Cashew Chicken | @hbharvest

OKAY. But back to the point.

With the non-stop days, I am all about these 20 minute, quick and simple recipes. Not only are they easy but they tend to be the foods I crave most…chicken and rice. When life is a little on the stressful side, or just GO GO GO, that’s when I GO to my fall back food of chicken and rice. Dad made it all the time when I was growing up, it just has a major comfort factor for me.

This chicken and rice dinner is a little different from Dads. Alright, it’s a lot different, but in a very good way. I mean no offense to Mom or Dad, but their chicken and rice dinners where kind of bland. I loved them back as a kid, but now it’s kind of like, let’s add a little flavor, you know?

Enter this 20 Minute Basil Cashew Chicken.

20 Minute Basil Cashew Chicken | @hbharvest

Flavor is one thing it is definitely full of, but yet it’s still really simple. The chicken gets a quick marinade in some soy and oyster sauces, then stir-fried with ginger, garlic and a few chile peppers. Finish it all off with a whole bunch of Thai basil (or regular basil if you cannot find Thai basil) and a handful of cashews. And that’s it, dinner is DONE.

I served my chicken over a giant bowl of coconut rice. I highly recommend making either this coconut rice or this lemongrass rice. Both are kind of the best rice recipes ever. 🙂

Lastly, I added some fresh slices of mango for a tropical little kick. I know I’ve mentioned before that I’m currently obsessed with any and all tropical fruits. They’re kind of my way of escaping from the “winter is my spring” I’ve got going on here. If you too are looking for a delicious and colorful pick-me-up, mango slices are where it’s at!

So that’s it – simple, simple!!

20 Minute Basil Cashew Chicken | @hbharvest

20 Minute Basil Cashew Chicken | @hbharvest

20 Minute Basil Cashew Chicken.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 395 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger peeled + grated
  • 1 serrano chile or jalapeno seeded + chopped
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups fresh Thai basil or regular basil
  • steamed [coconut rice |] for serving
  • 1 mango peeled + sliced


  • Add the chicken to a bowl and toss with the oyster sauce and soy sauce. Let the chicken marinate 10 minutes.
  • Heat a large skillet or wok over medium. Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Add the garlic, ginger and serrano chile, cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Watch close, you don't want to burn the garlic. Increase the heat to medium high. Add another drizzle sesame oil and the chicken. Stir-fry over medium high heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cashews and cook another minute. Remove from the heat and stir in Thai basil.
  • Serve the chicken over steamed rice with fresh mango slices and extra basil. EAT!

20 Minute Basil Cashew Chicken | @hbharvest

Easy 20 Minute Basil Cashew Chicken… Wednesday done right! 🙂

20 Minute Basil Cashew Chicken | @hbharvest

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  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious!! I cut down the heat since my husband can’t tolerate hot foods but loved it just the same. I used coconut cauliflower rice instead of regular rice. I will be making this again and again!!

    1. Hey Janine,
      Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try, I am thrilled that it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  2. Hi! Can I substitute the oyster sauce to fish sauce?

    Thanks for all wonderful cooking inspo!!

  3. 4 stars
    Very yummy! Made iit with normal basil as it was what I had on hand and left out the chilies as little kids ate it too. My only issue was that it came out quite salty. Unless you’re eating it with a lot of rice, I’d recommend perhaps draining some of the marinade or watering it down a little if you’re a little sensitive to salt. Otherwise, a great recipe.

  4. The recipe sounds great except for the chili peppers. I can’t eat hot food. I can only take mild taste. I hate when my whole mouth burns. Can I make the recipe without the hot or maybe make it mild?

    1. Hey Joan! Yes, you can omit the peppers. That is no problem! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe and happy 4th of July! Thank you! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    I made this last night for dinner and it was DELICIOUS! It was pretty easy, too. I made the coconut bazmati rice and it complimented the chicken so well. Loved this, will definitely make it again. Thank you for the unique recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    I have quite some experience with Wok cooking, when I saw the pictures of the recipe on your Instagram, I thought I’ll give it a shot.
    Although I was very worried that the recipe might be on the bland side, but I was so wrong, it was really really tasty, I just put a bit more soy and oyster sauce into the wok to make in saucier.
    Really hit the spot and will definitely be cooked again!

  7. 5 stars
    This is my all time favourite dinner! I love cooking and eating it! The coconut rice is soooo good too.

  8. 4 stars
    Omg I made this last night for family and they loved it. Although they said it was a bit salty it was great with rice. Next time I’ll just cut down on the soy and oysters sauce a bit.

    I’ve made a handful of your recipes and haven’t been disappointed yet. Thank you for easy friendly yummy dishes. I’m gonna make the pesto chicken sandwich as. Mealtrain for a friend battling cancer and her family. So thank you again. Love love your recipes

    1. Hi Lucy! Thank you so much I am so glad you and your family enjoyed this recipe! That is so sweet of you to make those for your friend, I hope she loves the pesto chicken sandwich! & I hope you are both doing well! Thank you!

  9. 5 stars
    This was DELICIOUS! I followed the recipe to the letter except for one small detail which I couldn’t help. I live overseas, and it can be difficult to find the same products that are so common in American stores. Of all things, I could not find coconut water! So I used Mango juice (slightly diluted with water, but keeping the liquid/rice ratios the same) instead which gave the rice a slightly sweeter/stickier consistency, but it worked beautifully. It was devoured immediately, leaving not a grain of rice in the pan! Total success – and really easy to make! 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    Made this tonight! Delicious and easy. I used Thai chilies instead of the Serrano bc I have a huge Asian market down the street. My boyfriend loved it too!

  11. I have made this a few times and LOVE it!! Wondering the best way to freeze it though…should I leave out the basil and cashews for freezing and just add them in when warming it up? Not sure if the cashews and basil will get overly soggy otherwise? Thanks!!

    1. So happy you love this! Yes, i’d leave out the basil and cashews and stir those when warming. Let me know if you have questions. 🙂

  12. I made this for Iftar today and everyone absolutely loved it. Such an easy yet flavourful meal. My dad who is an absolute cashew chicken fanatic even went back for seconds!

  13. I’m eating this for dinner as I type. The only thing I did different was use boneless, skinless chicken thighs and add some green onion. It’s absolutely delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again.

      1. Hey Helen,
        If they are super thick you could slice them in half. I hope the recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  14. Is it possible to use roasted salted cashews? That is all I have on hand. Would it make it too salty? Can’t wait to try it.

    1. Hi Alejandra. Yes, that will be great!! Maybe just cut back on the salt slightly, but honestly I think it will be fine as it. Hope you love this, thanks!

  15. I’ve made this recipe a number of times now – it’s so good! I will definitely make it for company in the future. I like these quick yet flavorful recipes that allow me to spend more time socializing with guests than cooking. Your site is great too by the way – inspirational actually 🙂 Keep it up.

    1. So happy you’ve made this more than once!! Thats awesome!!
      Thank you so much!! Means more than you know ☺️

  16. Oh. My. God. Tieghan!!!! I made this last night and it was HEAVENLY. My boyfriend finished his plate before I even sat down to eat. I’m no chef by any means but I’m a licenseless foodie living in Maine where there’s no delivery, so I’ve been teaching myself to cook over the past two years. To be completely honest, at first, your recipes seemed a taddd intimidating to me just because they’re so cool and different!! But you really do balance eclectic, fresh, doable, and beyond flavorful so well–it inspires me to get out of my comfort zone in the kitchen!! I made this with the lemongrass rice recipe you have and it was my first time cooking with lemongrass, and it was SO fun to explore. I’m rambling just because THAT’S how good it was! SO FRESH!! My boyfriend and I agreed that it was the most distinctively different recipe I’ve cooked out of the 45 recipes I’ve tried since January. He was like “which blog was this?!” (as if he knows which ones I follow) and I said “this was the girl who posted the balsamic glazed nectarine and fried mozza that you loved and the Sunday sauce that made the apartment smell amazing!!” and he was like “oh my god yeah those were both so amazing”. (Honesty again: I botched the Sunday Sauce the first time because I forgot to add the tomato paste and extra tomato juices and thought I was a failure, but tried again and realized what I did wrong PLUS the bone in ribs as opposed to the boneless the first time made all the difference). The whole point of this rant is that you have two HUGE fans in Maine and we’re so grateful for your blog. Hope you’re doing amazingly. Thanks for being the best!!

    1. Hey Neil!!! Oh my gosh, thank you so much!! Your comment has me smiling ear to ear right now. I am so thrilled you are loving my recipes, that is amazing! Please let me know if you ever have any questions. Thanks again!

  17. Pwoar that was good!

    Really easy and quick to make and very tasty! I put far too much jalapeño pepper in it and it was just right – nice and hot!

    I logged the recipe into My Fitness Pal and whilst I had mine with cauliflower rice Mr had his with jasmine rice and we both loved it.

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed it! My family loves jalapeño, so I am sure they would add more too! The cauliflower rice was a nice addition!

  18. I’m going to make this today. You list sesame oil….are you referring to toasted sesame oil and, if not, am guessing peanut or canola oil ok? Looks delicious and easy!!

    1. Toasted sesame oil would be delicious, but I just used regular sesame oil. Yes, peanut would also work. Thanks!

  19. Love the sound of your recipe and will be adding it to my cooking list but I’m very excited about the BABY goats coming along in September. Oh so cute ?????????

  20. Love the presentation of your dish. I will be making this dish really soon!!! Love Thai food!!

    1. HI!! You cut the chicken before you cook the chicken!! Thanks! Let me know if you have any more questions!

  21. Most of the time, I have dinner planned in my head at least the morning of. There are some days where it’s just pure craziness. I one of those just the other day. My solution? I was standing in the grocery store staring at the meat section wondering what the heck to make and I remembered you had just posted this lovely recipe!

    So easy and yummy! They didn’t have any ripe mango so I subbed pineapple and the little bit of leftovers that were left were gobbled up by my picky daughter the next day! Thank you for the save!

  22. Delicious! It was so easy to make. I was wondering if you thought about adding a sort for quick meals on your website? I’m always searching throwing trying to use key words like”crock pot” or “20 minutes”. This would be such a helpful feature. Thanks for making a bust weeknight less hectic.

    1. Hi!! That is such a great idea! I have actually been thinking about that myself…something is in the works!! I am thinking of maybe adding a tab or section to the recipe page of 30 minutes or less dinners. I will update the blog when this happens. So happy you love this recipe! Thank you again!! ?

  23. Cooked this last night, using plain rice, for a hard-to-please family. They raved. I told them the recipe actually called for coconut rice, and they said, “Do that next time!”

    Well done!

  24. Oh my gosh, I just had to tell you. My husband and I made this for dinner last night and it was SO SO good (looking forward to leftovers for lunch!). My new favorite dish for sure. Also, oyster sauce weirds me out so we subbed Hoisin sauce. And we chopped the mango small and threw it in at the same time as the cashews. Delicious!

  25. Another fantastic recipe!! Total success, it was so quick and easy to make for a top result! The mango really makes 🙂 Thank you!!

  26. Basil chicken is one of my favorite Thai take out meals, and I love the addition of mangoes and cashews… so good! 🙂

  27. Holy Frijoles! It was awesome. Great suggestion for the coconut jasmine rice…i added a little extra liquid and used brown rice because I am a fiber freak…my sweet hubby and 13 year old cross country and track runner son sucked it down!!! Love your flavorful yet generally healthy recipes best, but save your more decadent feasts for special occasions. Keep up your lovely and loving posts.
    Food is my favorite!!!

  28. For a silly girl like me I DEFINITELY need more quick and easy recipes! This chicken recipe sounds AMAAAAAZING! <3 I cannot wait to dig right into it!

  29. How much of the oyster sauce and soy sauce should be added with the chicken breasts (after they’ve marinated)?

  30. The dishes are definitely the WORST part about blogging… I don’t know how you do it with how frequently you post!
    I have no doubt that this (gorgeous) recipe is packed with flavor, it looks incredible and I love love LOVE that it only takes 20 minutes to make!

  31. I love that we are in different time zones, because when I get up in the morning, there is always a new recipe to look at while I have my morning tea! This looks so delicious. 😀 I am going to have to start having one night a week when my boyfriend and I make our own meals, because I adore cashews whereas they will put him in the hospital.

    I am envious of all of the baby goat action you are going to have. Have you ever had the occasion to eat goat? I have not, and I am not sure I could.

    I am totally with you on the dishes. I absolutely love to cook and bake, and can keep it up all day even when I am having a fatigue day and can’t bring myself to do anything else. But the dishes are always a bear, especially in my tiny kitchen/double sink. I can only imagine how many you have some days. Do you ever see the dishes pile up and the dish cupboards/shelves become barer? That’s never a good feeling, haha

    I am finally through with college/exams next week and I am soooooo looking forward to making a ton of your recipes. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! 🙂

    1. Hey, hi!!! Nope I have never eaten goat, but I am not sure I am that into it. It would be really weird I think!! And yes, dishes pilling up is a daily thing for me…spent 2 long hours at the sink today. Not fun?
      How exciting that you are almost done with school!!! Congrats!! Let me now if you ever have any questions and thank you for all the kind words!!

  32. chicken with basil-fried rice is my THE go-to Thai order for my hubby, he is obsessed with the stuff!!!!! I have a strong feeling he would adore this recipe – Pinned doll!

  33. I want a goat!!! Been following the goats on Farm Sanctuary’s site – so stinkin cute and it makes me want to move so I can have one! Can’t wait to see your photos when they arrive. And this basil chicken looks amazing!!

  34. YUM! I just tried coconut rice for the first time this past weekend and I’m hooked! Can’t wait to see the little goats!

  35. I think we have all the ingredients in our pantry, PERFECT! I love oyster sauce, it just adds so much flavor – you literally cannot go wrong with it. Thai basil is so good too!

  36. This sounds wonderful. Too bad the wife can’t eat cashews :-(. I on the other hand love them and I love me some Thai food. Great photos and styling btw.

  37. This officially makes you my hero!!!!! 20 short minutes for a meal is a dream come true, but this is chicken with cashew involved TOO????? You definitely nailed it if you were trying to save the day with food!

  38. i love the flavor of thai basil (it’s so fresh!). and i definitely need to start eating healthier after a couple days of gluttony, so this sounds perfect, especially because i have a ripe mango (: