The best way to make stir fries more filling? Add nuts! Cashew chicken stir fry makes a quick and healthy dinner, and is one of my favourite stir fry recipes. With colourful vegetables and sweet hoisin sauce, I consider this an easy weeknight success.
Cashew chicken stir fry recipe
In this recipe we combine red peppers, mangetout, cashew nuts and chicken in a delicious stir fry sauce. I absolutely love this combination of colours and flavours, but you could of course replace the vegetables with any other vegetables you like. I think sliced carrots, baby corn, broccoli and water chestnuts would go great in cashew chicken stir fry. Although chicken and cashews are a great combination, you could also try to make this dish with baked tofu or prawns as the main protein.
To avoid overcooked and dry chicken, I prefer to cook the chicken first, then set it aside. Stir fry the vegetables in the same pan until they are warm and slightly softened, then add the chicken back along with the sauce and stir fry for a minute to heat the sauce through. I always use this method with any stir fry and any protein, and it always turns out great.
The best cashew chicken stir fry sauce
This recipe uses hoisin sauce. You can buy this from the store, or make your own. Hoisin is a sweet sauce that's often used in Chinese cooking, and commonly as a glaze. You can also substitute the hoisin sauce with any other sauce of your preference. Most supermarkets or grocery stores have a wide range of ready made stir fry sauces. Sweet chili, satay, soy & garlic and black bean stir fry sauces are my personal preferences. It is also very easy to make your own sauce, as all you need is to combine some seasoning, condiments and oil. You can use the sauce in this stir fry recipe if you would like to give it a go!
What to serve with chicken and cashew stir fry
Stir fries are typically served as is, or with boiled rice or noodles. For a healthier option, you can opt for brown rice, quinoa or black bean noodles. Alternatively, bread is always great with anything. I find that because this recipe is quite filling, you can actually just serve it as is, with no side dishes at all.
I often use spring onions and freshly sliced chili to garnish my stir fries. You can also add some sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds or a drizzle of sweet chili sauce on top.
Can you freeze leftover stir fry?
Yes! Leftovers can be frozen for up to a month. Thaw overnight, and reheat in the microwave until the food is piping hot before serving. Alternatively, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. As such, this recipe is great for meal prep. Double the recipe, and you have 4 lunches ready for a busy work week!
More quick and healthy chicken dinners
I love a good chicken dinner, and the quicker, the better! Here are some of my favourites:
- Chicken and broccoli stir fry
- Walnut crusted chicken
- Moroccan chicken and couscous skillet
- Pasta with broccoli and chicken
- Salsa chicken
- Sesame chicken
Cashew chicken stir fry
- 2 chicken breast fillets
- 1 red pepper
- 160 g mangetout or sugar snap peas, snow peas
- 4 tbsp hoisin sauce or any other stir fry sauce
- 50 g cashew nuts
- sliced chili and spring onion optional, to garnish
- 1 tsp olive oil for cooking
- Slice the pepper, and cut the chicken breast fillets into bite sized pieces.
- Heat some olive oil in a frying pan or wok on medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces, and cook until they have completely cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, and place them in a bowl.
- Add the mangetout and sliced red pepper to the frying pan. Cook until they have warmed through, stirring occasionally. This takes about 10 minutes.
- Finally, add the chicken and cashew nuts to the pan with the vegetables, and pour the sauce on top. Stir to combine, and allow the stir fry to cook for another minute or two.
- Optionally, garnish the stir fry with freshly sliced chili and spring onion.