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May 6, 2020

Paleo Cashew Chicken (Whole30, Keto)

This Paleo Cashew Chicken is a Chinese takeout classic that’s stir-fried in just 20 minutes. With tender chicken, crunchy cashews, broccoli, snap peas, and bell peppers, it tastes just like your favorite Chinese restaurant, but healthier. All topped with a flavorful sweet and savory sauce. Whole30, Keto, gluten free, and soy free too!

Paleo Cashew Chicken in skillet

30 MINUTE HEALTHY STIR FRY

Yes, you read right. This cashew chicken stir fry is ready in just 30 minutes. It’s made with better-for-you ingredients, and cooked at home so you can eat without guilt, and save money!

It’s the ultimate comfort food with juicy chicken, crunchy cashews, and crispy-tender veggies, all made in your own home. Let’s be honest, no one likes a take-out hangover. All the sugar, and processed ingredients in typical Chinese food can make you feel like crap the next day.

I promise you won’t miss takeout. This cashew chicken is easy enough to make for busy weeknights, and the perfect “treat-yo-self” dinner to make on Saturday nights. It’s even good to have as leftovers the next day, or for meal prep.

Whole30 Cashew Chicken in skillet

WHY THIS PALEO CASHEW CHICKEN IS HEALTHIER

Traditional Chinese cashew chicken contains soy, gluten, corn, vegetable oils and loads of sugar. I wanted to make this recipe taste like the classic take-out version but without all the nasty ingredients. This paleo cashew chicken recipe is better for you with healthier swaps like:

  • coconut aminos: to replace the soy sauce
  • honey: to naturally sweeten, instead of high fructose corn syrup
  • arrowroot starch: to thicken the chicken, instead of corn starch
  • coconut oil: to fry the chicken and saute the vegetables. Much healthier than using vegetable oils and performs great at high heat cooking.
Black bowl filled with paleo cashew chicken

TIPS FOR MAKING PALEO CASHEW CHICKEN

  • Prep all the ingredients beforehand, and this recipe will move a lot faster, as well as prevent anything from burning/overcooking. Chop the bell peppers, broccoli, and green onions. Set those aside in one bowl and then cube your chicken.
  • Wait to add chicken to the skillet until the coconut oil is sizzling and spitting. This means the skillet is hot enough to begin sauteing the chicken. Keep the coconut oil out on your counter in case you need to add a little bit more throughout browning the chicken.
  • You want crispy, but tender chicken bites, just like your favorite Chinese restaurant. Make sure to saute chicken on medium-high heat to ensure the chicken gets the right crispiness.
  • Roasting the cashews is optional, however I find that roasting the cashews provides a delicious crunch in each bite.
  • If you are using a stainless steel pan (not non-stick) be sure the coconut oil is sizzling before adding the chicken. Let the chicken brown on one side before flipping and stirring. Once the chicken is browned on one side it will flip easily. If the chicken is sticking give it a little more time before flipping.
  • If you want to thicken the sauce more, let it simmer for 1-2 minutes longer in the skillet.
Keto Cashew Chicken in skillet with wooden spoon

MORE PALEO RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE:

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Paleo Cashew Chicken in skillet

Paleo Cashew Chicken (Whole30, Keto)

  • Author: Abbey Blackwell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stir Fry
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This Paleo Cashew Chicken is a Chinese takeout classic that’s stir-fried in just 20 minutes. With tender chicken, crunchy cashews, broccoli, snap peas, and bell peppers, it tastes just like your favorite Chinese restaurant, but healthier. All topped with a flavorful sweet and savory sauce. Whole30, Keto, gluten free, and soy free too! 


Scale

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into 1” cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or corn starch (not paleo or Whole30)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos or gluten free soy sauce (not Paleo or Whole30)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon honey (omit for Whole30)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or water

For the vegetables:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1” bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • sesame seeds, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Toast cashews: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place cashews in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes.
  2. Prepare the sauce: Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the coconut aminos, white vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, honey, and chicken broth. Set aside.
  3. Coat chicken: place cubed chicken in a large bowl with sea salt, black pepper and arrowroot starch. Toss chicken until coated evenly.
  4. Cook chicken: In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken once the oil is sizzling hot. Cook chicken until golden brown, for 3-4 minutes, flipping and stirring so all sides cook evenly. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate.
  5. Stir-fry vegetables: In the same skillet, add coconut oil, then add garlic. Saute until fragrant, then add bell pepper, broccoli, snap peas, and green onions. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender. Add the chicken back to the skillet.
  6. Add sauce: Add the sauce and toss with chicken and vegetables until evenly coated. Let sauce simmer for 1-2 minutes, until thickened. Toss in the cashews and green onions and stir. Serve hot with cauliflower rice.


Notes

  • If you are using a stainless steel pan (not non-stick) be sure the coconut oil is sizzling before adding the chicken. Let the chicken brown on one side before flipping and stirring. Once the chicken is browned on one side it will flip easily. If the chicken is sticking give it a little more time before flipping.
  • If you want to thicken the sauce more, let it simmer for 1-2 minutes longer in the skillet.

Keywords: Whole30 cashew chicken, keto cashew chicken, healthy cashew chicken,

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Hi, I’m Abbey! Food blogger, health coach, and personal trainer. I’m just a girl who loves food, and loves to show others how good healthy eating can taste! Here you’ll find easy real food recipes as well as healthy lifestyle and fitness content. I’d love to get to know you!

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