Paleo Cashew Chicken

February 15, 2021

Move over Panda Express, this Paleo Cashew Chicken is about to rock your world! The chicken is coated with lots of sauce (no sauce shortage here) and then it all gets tossed with lots of crunchy broccoli, for the perfect quick and easy, family-friendly dinner in under 30 minutes!

This meal is basically an upgraded cashew chicken stir fry. The chicken breast pieces are first coasted with tapioca/arrowroot flour, so that the chicken doesn’t stick to the pan and the sauce reallyyyy sticks to the chicken well. Then, we add some broccoli florets, which stay crisp-tender – exactly the way I like it. No soggy broccoli here.

And of course, you can add other veggies besides broccoli, such as red and green bell peppers and even some yummy edamame! Like all my recipes, just have fun, use up what you have in your refrigerator and make it your own!

The Cashew Chicken Sauce 

Of course, the sauce is the star of this recipe, and it’s very easy to make. I recommend using a blender to mix it all up, if you have one, because I feel like the flavors really come together well. If you don’t have one, or don’t feel like using it, you can simply whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and call it a day!

To make the sauce, you need the following ingredients:

  • Coconut aminos: I love using coconut aminos in this recipe because it’s gluten-free, and contains less sodium than soy sauce. However, soy sauce/tamari will give the sauce more flavor, since it has a stronger flavor than coconut aminos. If using soy sauce, I recommend looking for low sodium soy sauce.
  • Chicken broth: You can use any broth you like, I use chicken since we are already using chicken in this recipe. 
  • Maple syrup: The maple syrup will offset some of the saltiness and add just the right about of sweetness.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is always best, so if you have it, I recommend using it! Otherwise, you can substitute for 1 1/2 teaspoons of granulated garlic powder.
  • Ginger: I also really love using fresh ginger in this recipe, because it does make a difference with the flavor panel. That said, if you don’t have it, feel free to use ground ginger. Just don’t skip the ginger, it really tastes so delicious in this recipe!
  • Red pepper flakes: I like my cashew chicken a touch spicy, so I add just a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. You can omit it all together, or even add more, depending on your spice level preference. 
  • Salt & pepper: Salt and pepper to taste!

How to make this Paleo Cashew Chicken

To make this dinner in under 30 minutes, it’s pretty simple!

  1. The first think you need to do is chop the chicken into small cubes, then toss them in either tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, or corn starch. This is really helpful so that the chicken does not stick to the pan when cooking it, and also helps the sauce adhere to the chicken and not just slide off.
  2. Next, cook the chicken in the skillet for about 5-8 minutes total, then transfer the chicken to a plate. Note, the chicken won’t be completely cooked at this point, but that’s ok. It will eventually get cooked once you return the chicken to the skillet later.
  3. The next step is to saute the broccoli and onion in the same pan, and while that is cooking, prepare the sauce!
  4. To prepare the sauce, simply whisk together/blend the sauce ingredients and set it aside.
  5. Then it’s time to return the chicken to the skillet, add the sauce, and coat everything well.
  6. Add cashews on top, along with sesame seeds and cilantro, and plate your meal!

I love serving this meal on a bed of white rice, but you can definitely enjoy it alone or with some extra veggies!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so I can see them and repost on my IG stories! Enjoy! xx

Paleo Cashew Chicken

Author: Nicole Modic of @KALEJUNKIE

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
SERVES 4 people
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Move over Panda Express, this Paleo Cashew Chicken is about to rock your world! The chicken is coated with lots of sauce, which sticks to the chicken easily because it's first coated in arrowroot/tapioca flour. Add some broccoli, toss everything together well, and dinner is ready to serve in under 30 minutes! This recipe is a quick and easy weeknight dinner that the whole family is guaranteed to love for years to come!

Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot flour or corn starch
  • 4 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil divided
  • 1 head broccoli cut into small, even size florets (about 1 1/2 -2 cups)
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos or low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic mashed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger grated (or ground ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Chop the chicken breasts into small pieces and place them in a medium bowl.
  • Next, toss the chicken pieces in the tapioca/arrowroot flour, to coat well. Set aside.
  • Next, in a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the oil.
  • Once the pan gets hot, add the chicken pieces, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until just cooked through. They don’t need to be fully cooked, just browned on all sides.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  • Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet.
  • Once hot, add the broccoli florets and the diced onion. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes.
  • While that is cooking, prepare the sauce, either by whisk together the sauce ingredients in a bowl, or by blending in a blender (preferred)!
  • Add chicken back to the skillet.
  • Pour sauce on top and coat everything well. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the broccoli is tender and chicken is cooked through!
  • Add cashews, sesame seeds and cilantro on top.
  • Serve alone or over white rice, and enjoy!

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  1. 5 stars
    Loved the sauce! The whole meal was easy to make and didn’t take too long. Will definitely be making again soon:)

    • I am so so so happy to hear that you enjoyed this dish! It’s a family favorite! And love the addition of bell peppers!

  2. Really great simple recipe for a 30 minute family meal. I substituted tofu for the chicken and served it all over udon noodles. It was great!

    • That sounds delicious, Erin! My husband loves it with tofu, too!!! Going to try with udon noodles – yum!