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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
    Made this last night after seeing it on Instagram and I am so glad I did! We needed sa change. I am always looking for a fairly simple week night dinner idea and I crave a little kick with my meals. This checked ALL the boxes! It was amazing! Thank you for sharing this simple yet awesome recipe.

    1. Love to hear this Jennifer! I am so glad the recipe turned out well for you and appreciate you making it! xT

  2. A friend made this recently and looks delicious, and she said it got rave reviews! I don’t have picked ginger though, is there anything I could use to substitute, or leave it out? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Stephani,
      I would just skip the ginger:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this dish! xT

    1. Hi Kate,
      Happy Wednesday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it!☀️🌈 xT

  3. As a long time follower and supporter, this may be our new favorite dish in my house! Thank you for always creating and inspiring! House smells yummy after this one too.

    1. Thanks so much Alana!! I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks for making it! xT

  4. 5 stars
    Very good and easy. I also added water chestnuts like someone mentioned! My chicken did not get anywhere near crispy though! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Paige,
      Happy Wednesday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it!☀️🌈 xT

  5. 3 stars
    This one really didn’t do it for me. To be fair I was dubious when I read the recipe but happened to have most of the ingredients on hand so gave it a go. I think it was all the fat. Definitely could have skipped on the added butter or at least cut it down to 1 tablespoon. Between that and the sesame oil 6 tablespoons of added fat was too much. Definitely didn’t feel healthy. I would have rather expended the calories on takeout.

    1. Hi Aimee,
      Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback, sorry to hear it wasn’t enjoyed! xx

    1. Hi Shannon,
      Happy Wednesday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it!☀️🌈 xT

    1. Love to hear this Liz! Thanks for making this recipe and sharing your feedback! Have a great day! xx

    1. Hi Brynne,
      Sorry to hear this! What kind of pan were you using? Did you use enough oils and stirring while cooking? Let me know how I can help! xx

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious! My husband and two boys loved it. I followed the directions until the pickled ginger which I couldn’t find. Next time will probably add more broccoli. I loved leaving extra sauce for the end because we never have enough sauce!

    1. Hi Katharine,
      Awesome!! Thanks so much for making this dish, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! xT

    1. Hi Colleen,
      Happy Wednesday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it!☀️🌈 xT

  7. 5 stars
    Another great recipe & true to form takes so little time to make and tastes perfect. The only difference was that I used ground turkey but again, turned out fabulous!
    Thanks for providing such great recipes, honestly haven’t tried one was wasn’t a hit.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind message Lori! I am so glad you have been enjoying so many recipes and appreciate your feedback on this one:) xT