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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. OK, Tieghan, this was delicious! I saw the great reviews and decided to give it a try. It is Friday night, and we were going to go out for dinner, but I decided to stay in and make this dish. We weren’t disappointed. My husband said it was outstanding! (Thank you for helping me get the accolades from my husband!). I didn’t have the pickled ginger so I added extra ginger. I used cut up chicken, not ground, because that is what I had), So I cut it up and found that I needed to add more cornstarch, paprika and pepper. I am glad I did! Finally, thank you for adding extra sauce to the recipe. Very rarely do I have extra sauce made in a receipt to make it creamy and not dry.

    You rock! I love your website! Every once in a while I see negative comments that you forgot to include an ingredient. For the record, I know you can correct it and for someone to send out the daily recipes, I, know is a lot of work. Keep up the great work and you do a Great job! Thank you and looking forward to you next great recipes!

    1. Hey Janelle,
      Awe, thanks so much for your kind message!! I’m so glad to hear that you and your husband enjoyed this dish and thanks for sharing what worked well for you!! Hope you are having a great weekend! xT

    1. Hey there,
      Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a lot for making it! Have a great weekend:)

  2. 5 stars
    Loved it! This was delightfully easy to prepare, and came together quickly. We like a little extra spiciness in dishes typically, so I diced a poblano pepper and added with the onions, and we added a little extra hot sauce to the recipe sauce.

    I love the ease of preparation and the overall flavor.

    Will make again! Thanks for another winner!

    1. Hey James,
      Amazing!! So glad to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it and sharing your review! xT

  3. This recipe had incredible flavor for minimal effort. It will definitely go into our weeknight rotation. 🙂

    1. Hi Laura,
      Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a lot for making it! Have a great weekend:)

    1. Hi Amanda,
      Happy Friday!!🥑🍑 I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks a lot for making it and sharing your review! xT

    1. Hi Jill,
      Happy Friday!!🥑🍑 I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks a lot for making it and sharing your review! xT

  4. 5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious! Made it the other day for dinner and have been looking forward to leftovers for lunch everyday since. It’s just perfection! Way better than takeout!

    1. Thanks so much Kristi!! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, I appreciate you making it! Happy Friday! xx

  5. Going to make this tonight. Do you have a recipe/suggestion on how to make great jasmine rice? I feel like I’m 50/50 when making it.

    1. I buy the Simple Truth (Fry’s/Kroger brand) frozen jasmine rice. You just microwave it, and it turns out great!

    2. 5 stars
      Ended up using 1.5 cups of water, boiled, then stirred in 1 cup of jasmine rice, brought to simmer for 15 minutes, removed from heat and left covered until the meal was ready. By the way, the meal turned out amazing (I never added the cornstarch though), everyone loved it!

      1. So glad to hear this Craig! Thanks for making the dish and sharing what worked well for you! Happy Friday! xT

    3. Hi Craig,
      I sure do!! Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add 1 1/2 cups rice. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let sit, covered another 15 minutes. Do not open the pot. Fluff with a fork. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  6. I’m going to give this a try! What kind of nut would you sub for cashews? Not peanuts bc of allergies.

    1. Hi Dana,
      Walnuts would be another great option! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT

  7. 4 stars
    This dinner was really quick and the flavor was delicious! Next time, I would use cubed chicken. My ground chicken got a little mushy. And I’d add the cashews at the table for crunch vs. cooking them with the sauce in the chicken.

    1. Hey Loni,
      Happy Friday!!🥑🍑 I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks a lot for making it and sharing your review! xT

  8. 5 stars
    We really loved this recipe! It was not a recipe I would normally try, but it said 20 minutes and Whole Foods had everything I needed, so I thought why not? And I am so glad I did- the crunch of the cashews with the zing of the ginger and the slight heat from the sriracha was perfect. We love many of your recipes, adding this one to our favorites!

    1. Hey Deb,
      Awesome!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe and your comment, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT

  9. Haven’t made this yet so no rating, but it sounds amazing! I’m not a ground chicken or turkey fan. Could this also be made with cubed chicken breast?

    1. Hi JoAnne,
      Totally, that would be just fine for you to use! Let me know if you give this dish a try, I hope it’s delish! xT

    1. Hi Ellyn,
      Awesome!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe and your comment, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT