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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. Hi Joanne,
      Happy Memorial Day weekend!🇺🇸 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a bunch for making it! xx

    1. Hi Rosanna,
      Fantastic!! 🍇🍌 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks for making it and your comment! xx

  1. 5 stars
    This was super tasty and easy to make – one of those recipes where I immediately send it to everyone I know after trying it out. 😅 I could see myself reusing the sauce recipe for other dishes, too! Thank you!

    1. Hi Kyvie,
      Happy Sunday!!🍍🥥 Thank you so much for trying this recipe and your feedback, so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xT

  2. The flavor was good but I wasn’t able to get my chicken crispy or the sauce shiny. I used a nonstick pan. Would it get crispy if I used an iron skillet?

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe! I always prefer cooking with cast iron. Did you use the cornstarch? Let me know how I can help! xT

      1. Yes, I did use the cornstarch, but I’ll definitely try it in an iron skillet next time. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    Very good. I used a 1 lb package of chicken and adjusted sauce and spices accordingly.
    I wasn’t sure what I would think about the pickled ginger, but it was great. Don’t skip it if you can find it. It was in the refrigerator section near kimchi and other similar items at my grocery. Served over brown rice.

    1. Thanks so much Danita!! Love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you and I appreciate you making it! xT

  4. Soooo good. Very flavorful and while I’m always skeptical when it says “as good as takeout” it really is, if not better!

    1. Hey Lauri,
      Fantastic!! I appreciate you making this dish and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it was enjoyed! xT

  5. Another winner, Tieghan! Just like your other recipes, this is packed with yummy flavors. I didn’t have ground chicken so I subbed ground beef and added tons of broccoli – delicious! It got two thumbs up from my family.Thanks!!

    1. Hi Laura,
      Happy Wednesday!! 🌸🌤️ I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad it turned out well for you! xT

  6. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! No need to get ‘take out’ ever again! I will definitely make it again! I shared the recipe with several friends today! I would love to see a couple more easy Asian recipes to go with this to make for a large group! Thanks!

  7. 5 stars
    This was an instant hit in our house for everyone including the toddlers. Andddd it was so easy. Thank you as always for sharing the best recipes to help make dinner fun each night.

    1. Thanks so much Amanda!! Love to hear that you family enjoyed this dish and I appreciate you making it:) xT

  8. This was so quick and easy, and we absolutely loved it! I couldn’t find pickled ginger so I just left that out, but it didn’t feel like it was missing anything. It’s so good!!!

    1. Hi Andrea,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit and appreciate you making it! Thanks for your comment! xT

  9. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, this was delicious! I didn’t have any pickled ginger, but next time I will try it with it. My husband also loved it. Super easy, thanks for another awesome recipe!

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      Wonderful! Thank you so much for making this dish and your comment, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! xT

  10. Just made this last night! We loved it. Also yummy with ramen. The only hoisin sauce I found at the store was a chili-lime one …it worked. Our family wants to back off the ginger a little bit to make it more pleasing for our kids. I couldn’t quite get the chicken “crispy” …maybe because I used two lbs of ground chicken…I did add extra cornstarch. But the flavors are great! Will add this to our rotation!

    1. Hey Molly,
      Happy Monday!! I am so glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! xT

  11. I’ve looked for pickled ginger but can’t find it at my primary grocery and have tried several departments: pickles, international/asian, etc. Any tips/substitutions besides making it myself?

  12. 5 stars
    Really tasty and fast! I added a little water when I added the broccoli and covered the dish for a few minutes so the broccoli got soft enough for my picky toddler. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect!

    1. Hi Niki,
      Perfect!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and thanks so much for making it! Happy Mother’s Day!💐