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