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20-Minute Saucy Cashew Chicken & Broccoli

 January 16, 2024

It’s time to put the delivery apps aside and run to the kitchen for a simple and easy dinner recipe that comes together faster than you can order takeout. Introducing my 20-Minute Saucy Cashew Chicken & Broccoli, a delicious, nourishing, restaurant-quality stir-fry that comes together in just a matter of minutes. It’s a fantastic recipe to include in your meal-prepping, or to make on those weeknights where you’re craving a dish that’s better than takeout!

A plate of the saucy cashew chicken and broccoli, sitting on a countertop with a fork sitting on the plate

Friends, if you’ve been following me on Instagram lately, then you’ve probably seen my brand-new series, “Dinner in Twenty.” These are simple and easy meals that come together in 20 minutes or less, and are perfect for serving to the entire family. If your family’s intention for the new year is to eat healthier, or to cook more at-home, then this series is for you. I know firsthand what it’s like to come home from a busy day of work and wanting to just reach for my phone and order takeout. But, I’m here to show you just how simple, quick, easy, and HEALTHY cooking at home can be. And what better place to start than with a classic Cashew Chicken recipe?

Chinese-style takeout has always been one of my favorite comfort foods, and my boys love it too. But dare I say, this Cashew Chicken is even better than takeout! It’s made with just a few simple ingredients which means that it’s perfect for prepping in a pinch. In fact, I love using frozen broccoli (or whatever vegetables I have on-hand) to make this recipe even easier!

And if you don’t like chicken, you can absolutely swap it out for another ground meat of choice. I’ve made this recipe for my family with ground turkey and beef and it has turned out amazing. That’s because the combination of spices alongside the thick and savory sauce is what truly brings this dish to the next level. No matter how you decide to make it, you truly can’t go wrong. It’s that good!

What You Need to Make This Better-Than-Takeout Cashew Chicken

  • Olive Oil or Avocado Oil: To cook the chicken and vegetables, I like to choose a better-for-you oil such as olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Ground Chicken: While ground chicken is the classic way to make this recipe, you can also use ground turkey or ground beef, if you prefer!
  • Broccoli: Broccoli is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it the perfect veggie to include in this recipe.
  • Scallions: This recipe calls for both the whites and the greens of the scallion.
  • Cashews: It wouldn’t be a cashew chicken recipe without the cashews! I love cashews as a healthy source of plant-based fats and protein, and for added texture to this recipe.
All of the ingredients needed to make the sauce, actively being whisked together in a small bowl
Prepare the sauce by adding the chicken broth, hoisin sauce, honey, ground black pepper, and arrowroot starch to a bowl and whisk until the ingredients are fully combined.
  • Garlic: I always recommend using fresh garlic, whenever possible. The flavor is truly unbeatable!
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger packs a punch to any recipe, including this one.
  • Chicken Broth: Instead of using water as the base for this sauce, I love using chicken broth. Not only does it add much more flavor, but you can also use chicken bone broth for some extra protein.
  • Hoisin Sauce: If you want to keep this recipe gluten-free, be sure to use a gluten-free hoisin sauce. My favorite one is by San-J!
  • Honey or Maple Syrup: Either honey or maple syrup works just as well to add the right amount of sweetness to the sauce, without the refined sugars.
  • Ground Black Pepper: Since this sauce is salty enough as-is, just a pinch of ground black pepper helps to really round out all of the flavors.
  • Arrowroot Starch, Tapioca Starch or Cornstarch: A thick sauce is key to any restaurant-style recipe, so a thickening agent is necessary here to achieve that perfect texture. This recipe has been tested with all three of the above ingredients, and they all work just as well!
  • Garnishes: These are optional, but I love garnishing this Cashew Chicken & Broccoli with some sesame seeds and some more chopped scallions!
The cooked ground chicken and broccoli, sitting in a skillet, with the sauce actively being poured on top of it
Once the chicken and vegetables are cooked, add them back to the pan and pour the sauce on top, allowing the ingredients to cook in the sauce for another 2-3 minutes, until the broccoli softens and the sauce thickens.

How to Make This Simple & Easy 20-Minute Dinner

To make this stir-fry, start by preparing the sauce. Add all of the sauce ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until they’re smooth and fully combined. Then, set the sauce aside.

Next, head a large skillet, on the stove, over medium heat, and add in one tablespoon of the oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the ground chicken (or meat of choice) and cook the chicken until it is cooked through. Then, remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.

A skillet full of the cooked saucy cashew chicken and broccoli, sitting on a countertop
Once it’s done, serve it over rice and enjoy!

Wash and chop the broccoli and green onion, then add them to the pan alongside the second tablespoon of oil. Allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring them as they cook. Then, chop the cashews, garlic, and ginger, and add them to the pan with the broccoli and scallions, stirring for another 2 minutes.

Then, add the cooked chicken back to the pan alongside the sauce. Toss the stir-fry ingredients together until they’re fully coated in the sauce. Allow the ingredients to cook in the sauce for another 2-3 minutes, until the sauce thickens and the broccoli has cooked through to your desired consistency. Once the stir-fry is done, remove it from the heat. Serve it over rice, and enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Tanya Pilgrim
A plate of the saucy cashew chicken and broccoli, sitting on a countertop with a fork sitting on the plate
Dairy Free/gluten-free/Grain Free/Refined Sugar Free

20-Minute Saucy Cashew Chicken & Broccoli

No ratings yet
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
SERVES 4 Servings
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It's time to put the delivery apps aside and run to the kitchen for a simple and easy dinner recipe that comes together faster than you can order takeout. Introducing my 20-Minute Saucy Cashew Chicken & Broccoli, a delicious, nourishing, restaurant-quality stir-fry that comes together in just a matter of minutes. It's a fantastic recipe to include in your meal-prepping, or to make on those weeknights where you're craving a dish that's better than takeout!

Ingredients

For the Stir-Fry:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Avocado Oil divided
  • 1 Pound Ground Chicken or beef or turkey
  • 4 Cups Broccoli Florets chopped into small, bite-sized pieces
  • 3 Scallions finely sliced, using both the green and whites
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Cashews roughly chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic mashed
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger grated or diced

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 Cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Arrowroot Starch, Tapioca Flour, or Cornstarch

For Garnishing:

  • Sesame Seeds optional
  • Sliced Green Onion optional

Instructions

  • To make this stir-fry, start by preparing the sauce. Add all of the sauce ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until they're smooth and fully combined. Then, set the sauce aside.
  • Next, head a large skillet, on the stove, over medium heat, and add in one tablespoon of the oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add in the ground chicken (or meat of choice) and cook the chicken until it is cooked through.
  • Then, remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
  • Wash and chop the broccoli and green onion, then add them to the pan alongside the second tablespoon of oil.
  • Allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring them as they cook. Then, chop the cashews, garlic, and ginger, and add them to the pan with the broccoli and scallions, stirring for another 2 minutes.
  • Then, add the cooked chicken back to the pan alongside the sauce.
  • Toss the stir-fry ingredients together until they're fully coated in the sauce. Allow the ingredients to cook in the sauce for another 2-3 minutes, until the sauce thickens and the broccoli has cooked through to your desired consistency.
  • Once the stir-fry is done, remove it from the heat. Serve it over rice, and enjoy!

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I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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