This Easy Paleo Cashew Chicken Stir Fry is a healthy, gluten free weeknight meal that the whole family will love! Ready in 20 minutes and way better than takeout!
Did you know that I live in the city that INVENTED CASHEW CHICKEN?
Like, my house is literally 3 mins away from the VERY restaurant that introduced this magical, sticky-sweet and nutty takeout dish to the world. And, for that little establishment, I AM SO GRATEFUL.
How-EV-er, “Springfield style” cashew chicken is, UHHH, REAL WEIRD you guys.
The kind of recipe for cashew chicken that I have grown to know and DEVOUR is more stir-fry like, with a sticky sauce, full of garlic goodness and SPICE, and PILED HIGH with rich and toasty cashews. The juicy, TENDER morsels of chicken are not crispy and deep fried like firecracker pineapple chicken or paleo orange chicken
But, here? It’s deep fried and the sauce is more like GRAVY. So thick. So weird.
SO NOT INTO IT.
Hence the need to make a stir-fried version of my FAVORITE take out dish. Which OBVI means that it’s going to be healthy and nourishing, WHILE being SO YUMMY.
‘Cause when do we NOT do nutritious deliciousness?
You guys. This easy PALEO cashew chicken stir fry? SO INTO IT.
Even more than the easy healthy cashew chicken sheet pan dinner that I thought was the ultimate! The mecca! Of healthy cashew chicken recipes.
How to make cashew chicken 101:
- Like we talked about b4, my cashew-chicken-brain says STIR FRY, not DEEP FRY. So, stir fry those itty-bitty bite-sized pieces of protein-packed chicken in some <3 healthy avocado oil until JUST about cooked. <– Don’t go ALL THE WAY friends.
- Add in your garlic (always garlic) green onion, and red peppers, sautéing them up until they’re juuuust fork tender. NOW you can go ALL DA WAY with your chicken.
- Add your sauce. Stir! Stir! Stir!
- Let sauce Bubble! Bubble! Bubble! Until it’s thick, sticky and glossy like WHOA.
- Stir in some sesame oil for a flavor PUNCH and go HARD on the roasty, toasty, salty cashews.
I mean, you can’t make this easy paleo cashew chicken stir fry recipe WITHOUT THEM.
Let’s talk sauce for a second.
The traditional chicken with cashews has hoisin sauce. Whiiich is loaded with who-knows-what.
In one of my rare moments of GOOD IDEAS, I decided to look at the ingredient label, figure out where the flavor was coming from an MAKE MY OWN using simple, similar ingredients:
No weirdo, thick sauces with questionable ingredients. Just tender, saucy, spicy-sweet chicken for your takeout loving face that is made from REAL FOOD.
Fun fact: I even fed this to someone FROM Springfield and they thought it was DELISH. <– They actually had the seconds that I was hoping would be leftover for MY lunch the next day.
Don’t you hate when people like food more than you expect and you end up with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich the next day instead?
Take that Springfield style chicken.
Easy Paleo Cashew Chicken Stir Fry Recipe
- 2/3 cup Cashews
- 1 tablespoon Avocado Oil
- 1 pound Grass-Fed Chicken Breast
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- 1 Red Bell Pepper chopped
- 1/2 cup Sliced Green Onions plus additional for garnish
- 2 teaspoons Garlic
- 8 teaspoons Rice Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Water
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Aminos
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Hot Chili Paste
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
- 1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- Sesame Seeds for garnish
- Cooked White Rice or cauliflower rice, for serving
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the cashews on a small baking sheet and bake until lightly golden brown and toasted, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside.
Heat the oil on med/high heat. Add in the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until JUST completely cooked, but with a little bit of pink left.
Add in the red pepper, green onion and garlic and cook until tender and the chicken is no longer pink.
Add rice vinegar and cook until it has evaporated, about 1-2 minutes.
Whisk together the water, coconut aminos, chili paste, honey and five spice.
Add into the pan, turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook until thickened, approximately 2-3 minutes
Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil and cashews.
Serve with rice of choice and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.