This post may contain affiliate links, please see our privacy policy for details.

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!
View Recipe Comments
20 Minute Garlic Butter Cashew Chicken |

Add a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    1. Hey Stacey,
      Sure, that would work nicely for you, you may just need to add some cook time depending how large the chunks are. I hope you love this recipe! xT

    2. I’ve replaced ground meat with cubed meat in a few of her recipes and haven’t had any issues, just need to increase the cook time and if she uses cornstarch, you may want to dust a little on your chunks/cubes before adding so you get a similar crunch effect.

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! This was amazing-delicious and easy! I didn’t have picked ginger but added shredded cabbage with the broccoli because I needed to use. I would definitely make this again!

  2. This was so quick and delicious!! I used ground chicken because that is what I had and it worked perfectly!!

    1. Hey Lindsey,
      Wonderful! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you making it and your feedback! xT

  3. 4 stars
    The recipe was delicious, but I was never able to get my chicken crispy or that well-coated in sauce. I used a pound and a half as the recipe calls for, and a 12-inch skillet. Perhaps I need to use an even bigger skillet, as it took much longer than the recipe called for to brown the chicken (which was thawed and at room temperature) especially at medium heat. I think next time I will reduce the amount of chicken down to a pound. Otherwise, this was a delicious recipe we will use again.

    1. Hey Vanessa,
      Happy Friday!! I appreciate you making this recipe and your feedback, so glad to hear it turned out nicely for you! I also used a 12 inch skillet, but you could definitely try using a bigger one to see if that helps! Xx

  4. 5 stars
    Quick and delicious meal packed with flavor! This is the second time I’ve made this dish and it’s so tasty. Even my toddler loved this one! Half Baked Harvest does not miss!!!

    1. Hey there,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I’m so glad to hear it turned out nicely for you! xT

  5. I love all her recipes, but this one was particularly amazing and I agree with most of the other reviews so easy to put together. Definitely will be making again.

    1. Hey Tammy,
      Amazing!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! Thanks for your comment! xx

  6. I’ll definitely try the recipe with pickled ginger next time, but if I’m out and don’t feel like (another!) run to the grocery store this week, what would you suggest as a substitution?

    Have loved several of your recipes. Thanks for teaching this “I’ll never ever cook” to cook.

    1. Hi there! If you’re wanting to sub pickled ginger I would use a little bit of rice vinegar with a sprinkle of ginger! xT

  7. 5 stars
    This has become one of my favorite recipes ever! It really does come together very fast and it’s always a crowd pleaser. I’ve never cooked with pickled ginger before but I am obsessed. Such good flavors, this is a great dish.

      1. 5 stars
        My family loves this dish (as with most of your recipes). I usually steam the broccoli separately, then add it in at the end. Great meal, and so quick to come together!

        1. Hey Lori,
          Happy Friday!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! xx