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This colorful 20 Minute Garlic Butter Cashew Chicken is inspired by everyone’s favorite restaurant-style cashew chicken. Only this is made healthier, quicker, and with a few tweaks that make it unique and even more delicious. The chicken (or use ground pork) and cashews are cooked in a golden buttery sweet-spicy sauce until caramelized around the edges. Then served simply with steamed rice and plenty of green onions. The addition of butter along with double the ginger (fresh ginger and pickled sushi ginger) are the secrets. It’s saucy, salty, tangy-sweet, and has just the right amount of spice. This dish is sure to become a family staple!

20 Minute Garlic Butter Cashew Chicken |

There are some recipe concepts that I have written down in my notes for less than a few minutes before I’m writing the ingredients down and testing the recipe. And then there are recipes like this cashew chicken, where I’ve jotted down the idea, but then let it sit. I’ve stared at this title, cashew chicken, for weeks now. Then just this week I finally decided to make this dish.

I needed the quick recipe for dinner. I’ve been testing seafood dishes all day and I wanted to try one last dish before calling it a day. This was the perfect quick dish and for whatever reason, I was excited to make it.

20 Minute Garlic Butter Cashew Chicken |

Oddly, I had a lot of confidence the dish would come together just as quickly as I needed it to. And that it would still turn out both pretty and delicious at the same time.

And you know what? I was right. Not only is this the easiest to prepare, but I love the colors, and even more importantly, the taste! Inspired by our favorite takeout style cashew chicken, but made very easily at home with ground chicken and zero frying!

So it’s healthy too! We love that.

20 Minute Garlic Butter Cashew Chicken |

The details

With a 20 minute start to finish cook time, this is fast, simple, and easy. You’ll start with the sauce. It’s hoisin sauce, tamari (soy sauce), maple syrup, vinegar, and sriracha.

Now the chicken. To keep the recipe quick cooking and avoid frying pieces of chicken, I love to use ground chicken. I toss the chicken with cornstarch, paprika, and black pepper. The cornstarch helps the chicken get crispy and gives it a slight “breading”.

Pan-cook the chicken, then toss in butter, garlic, and ginger. Add the cashews and let the butter caramelize and brown around the chicken pieces. This is key.

20 Minute Garlic Butter Cashew Chicken |

Next, pour in the sauce and add some pickled ginger. Let the sauce bubble up and then reduce down to coat the chicken. I toss in broccoli for some greenery and literally, that’s it. The dish is done.

You’ll need rice for serving, and I like to top this off with some extra sauce. I also love adding some green onions and sesame seeds.

Flavor is one thing this recipe is definitely full of, yet it’s still really simple. Sweet, spicy, tangy, and salty – all the right flavors and they all hit so well together.

Plus, I really appreciate all the fresh colors – the best kind of recipe! Great for spring and summer!

20 Minute Garlic Butter Cashew Chicken |

Looking for other quick weeknight dinners? Here are some favorites:

20 Minute Thai Basil Beef Rolls

Chili Crisp Chicken Mango Cucumber Rice Bowl

Spicy Orange Sesame Chicken

30 Minute Sticky Thai Meatballs with Sesame Noodles

Better Than Takeout Sweet Thai Basil Chicken

Thai Basil Beef and Lemongrass Rice Bowls

Lastly, if you make this 20 Minute Garlic Butter Cashew Chicken, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

20 Minute Garlic Butter Cashew Chicken

Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 761 kcal

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



Cashew Chicken


  • 1. To make the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar.
    2. In a large skillet, combine the oil, chicken, cornstarch, paprika, and black pepper. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the meat as it cooks until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, garlic, ginger, and cashews. Cook 2 minutes, until the butter browns and the chicken gets crispy.
    3. Pour over 2/3 of the sauce. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly. Then, add the broccoli and pickled ginger. Cook another 2-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
    4. Serve the chicken, broccoli, and remaining sauce over bowls of rice. Top with sesame seeds and green onion. Enjoy!
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20 Minute Garlic Butter Cashew Chicken |

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  1. 5 stars
    This was such an easy recipe to follow and it turned out so good! I will be adding this one to my weekly rotation.

    Thank you so much for all your hard work.

  2. This dish was really delicious. Definitely flavorful, and it was quick to come together as the recipe says. However, I was not able to get my chicken to “crisp.” I’d love any tips if anyone was successful in achieving the crispiness!

    1. Hey Angelina,
      Thanks for your comment and trying this recipe! I am so glad it turned out well for you! Have a great day:)

  3. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time and it will definitely be on repeat. No only was it simple to make but it tasted just like take out Chinese!

  4. 4 stars
    Super yummy! I never got the chicken to get crispy but it still all tasted delicious and so easy to make. Definitely a make again!

  5. 5 stars
    I really liked this for a quick but tasty mid-week meal. I had trouble getting the chicken to crisp. Next time I would break up the chicken in the pan first and sprinkle it generously with the cornstarch to coat. But, overall a success. I only made a pound of chicken but the full amount of sauce and I used every bit. I bought a jar of grated ginger that was packed in rice vinegar and wasn’t sure if it is considered pickled. Some of the brands marked pickled had aspartame or red dye in the ingredients, which I wanted to avoid.

  6. I was wondering if this would freeze well? I am single and thinking of cutting it in half and freezing some.
    Love your recipes they are so creative and tasty!

  7. This recipe was so simple and delicious!
    The pickled ginger adds so much dimension to the flavor, I had a bit of difficulty finding it in my local stores but it was definitely worth the search. I swapped Brussel sprouts for the broccoli, because I’m not a fan, and it worked great. I also used 2 lbs of ground chicken because our local grocery stores only sell it in 1 lb increments. I was worried that this would throw off the sauce ratio but there was plenty.

  8. 5 stars
    Thank you! I have made this twice now, and it was bloody delicious both times. It’s especially impressive as it has maximum flavour with minimum effort. I dialled up the veggies by the throwing in a bunch of chopped gai lan.

  9. 5 stars
    This dish was delicious! We don’t like things too spicy, so I cut down on the siracha and left off the red pepper flakes. Tieghan clearly dialed in the mixture of sweet and spicy. It was barely spicy. The next time I’ll make it as written. When I say that when a recipe says it takes “20 minutes”, it usually takes me more than twice the time. But this one was really quick! I turned on the rice cooker, didn’t get to cooking right away and finished cooking when the rice was done. I forgot the sesame seeds and I’m definitely making it again a week later just to get the whole experience!

      1. 5 stars
        Made this tonight! My husband and I loved it! I had trouble finding the pickled ginger, it was in the Asian food section way up high. I will definitely make this again.