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Instant Pot Cashew Chicken (Whole30)

A bowl of cashew chicken and stir fried veggies and a side of jasmine rice.
This Whole30 instant pot cashew chicken tastes better than our favorite Chinese takeout but much healthier. Not only it is Whole30, Paleo, gluten-free, but can be made under 20 minutes.

 

You know I love to take traditional recipes and give them a healthy twist, especially take-out meals!

We’ve really been loving simple and tasty Asian dishes lately, like my

  1. Chicken Pad Thai (Whole30)
  2. Healthy Paleo Orange Chicken
  3. Crockpot Thai Coconut Curry Chicken

 

And now this Cashew Chicken recipe is no exception. It’s healthy, delicious, quick, easy and virtually mess-free. 

 

How to Make this Instant Pot Cashew Chicken

 

A pan of cashew chicken topped with crunchy cashews and fresh scallions

 

1. Marinate the Cashew Chicken

You can use either breasts or thighs. First step, marinate with arrowroot flour and coconut aminos.

For best results to have the flavor soak in the chicken, let them marinate for at least an hour in the fridge. 

 

2. Sear the Chicken in Instant Pot

Heat up a couple tablespoons of oil in your Instant Pot on the “sautee” function.

Sear the chicken for about 1-2 minutes. This will give your chicken a nice crispy outside  and also lock in some of that flavor from the marinade.

Be careful not to overcook during this step because the chicken will continue to cook in your Instant Pot throughout these next steps.

 

Whole30 Instant Pot Cashew Chicken

 

3. Stir in the Sauce

Once the chicken is done searing, add your sauce and turn the Instant Pot to high pressure.

 

4. Cook Sides for Cashew CHicken

Cook whatever you want to pair with your chicken: vegetables, cauliflower rice, stir fry, jasmine rice etc.

Use the time while your Instant Pot is cooking your chicken so that everything will be ready around the same time. 

You can find how to make cauliflower rice in this post in order to make a perfect Whole 30 Friendly dinner!

 

Why is Paleo Cashew Chicken Recipe Healthy?

 

A bowl of cashew chicken and stir fried veggies and a side of jasmine rice.

 

Compared to the traditional Cashew Chicken you may have had for Chinese Food Takeout, this version is much healthier.

I made a few simple substitutions to make this recipe paleo, gluten-free, Keto and Whole30 Friendly as well.

 

1. Coconut aminos

Traditional cashew chicken uses hoisin sauce which is mainly made up of peanut butter and soy sauce.

Coconut aminos is the paleo substitute for soy sauce.

 

2. Cashew Butter

Cashew butter replaces the peanut butter used in a traditional hoisin sauce.

Peanuts are a legume and are not part of a paleo diet. If you are not following paleo, feel free to use peanut butter to capture the authentic flavor.

 

Instructions step by step on how to make instant pot cashew chicken.

 

3. Arrowroot Flour.

Arrowroot flour is used in place of cornstarch in the sauce recipe.

It thickens the sauce beautifully so that it coats the chicken and sticks to it nicely.

Other ingredients that you will need for this recipe are

  • sesame oil
  • rice vinegar
  • honey
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • red pepper flakes

 

How to Serve this Instant Pot Cashew Chicken

 

A bowl of cashew chicken and stir fried veggies and a side of jasmine rice.

 

You can serve this healthy cashew chicken with any of your favorite vegetables, but some of my favorite ways to serve it is with

  • Jasmine rice
  • steamed broccoli
  • cauliflower rice (for low carb and paleo rice options)
  • zucchini stir fry

 

Additionally, I love to toast some cashews to add a little crunch on top!

 

Instructions step by step on how to make instant pot cashew chicken.

 

 

The Perfect Instant Pot Cashew Chicken Recipe for the Family

 

This healthy version of Cashew Chicken is a great combination of lean protein and vegetables.

This easy dish is loaded with flavor and nutrition. In 20 minutes, you have a perfectly balanced meal that will keep you and your family satisfied.

 

A bowl of cashew chicken and stir fried veggies and a side of jasmine rice.

 

Additionally, it’s also a great recipe to make a bigger batch to use for meal prep because you can pair it with a variety of sides (see the “How To Serve section” above) and you’ll have healthy meals all week!

 

What is your favorite way to eat cashew chicken? Leave a comment below!

 

I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOUR CREATIONS! YOU CAN USE “TRIED IT” ON PINTEREST OR SHARE ON INSTAGRAM BY TAGGING #SHUANGYSEATS

A bowl of cashew chicken and stir fried veggies and a side of jasmine rice. Pinterest Image

 

You may also like these other Asian-Inspired recipes:

  1. Chicken Pad Thai (Whole30)

  2. Whole30 Cauliflower Rice with Chicken

  3. Thai Coconut Curry Meatballs 

Yield: 8

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken (Whole30)

A bowl of cashew chicken and stir fried veggies and a side of jasmine rice.

This better-than-takeout Cashew Chicken recipe is healthy, delicious, and so easy to make. It makes the perfect gluten-free, whole30 and keto-friendly dinner.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

Chicken Marinade

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast or thighs
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • Salt to taste

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp sesame oil 
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1 - 2 tbsp honey (Optional**)
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot flour (optional***)
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger (thin sliced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup onion (chopped)
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews (divided)

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken into cubes. In a big Ziploc bag or medium bowl, marinate the chicken with coconut amino, salt * and arrowroot flour. Make sure the chicken is completely coated. Instructions step by step on how to make instant pot cashew chicken.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside. Instructions step by step on how to make instant pot cashew chicken.
  3. Using "saute" mode, heat up 1 - 2 tbsp oil in an instant pot. Add onion and garlic, saute until fragrant. Add Chicken cubes (add more oil if needed). Flip a couple times until the chicken is slightly browned on the outside.
  4. Turn off the instant pot, stir the sauce, and make sure the chicken is evenly coated. Instructions step by step on how to make instant pot cashew chicken.
  5. Cover set the valve to “sealing” and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  6. In a small greased saucepan, toast half (roughly) of the cashews on medium heat for a couple minutes. Flip often. Instructions step by step on how to make instant pot cashew chicken.
  7. Once done, do a quick release. stir in the other half of the raw cashews and arrowroot flour if using any ***.
  8. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice for Whole30 option, stir-fried vegetables, a sprinkle of chopped scallion.

Notes

  1. *Coconut amino itself is salty, so take that into consideration when you salt the chicken.
  2. ** Omit honey for 1 Whole30 compliant recipe. Use Keto-friendly sweetener for Keto option.
  3. *** Stir in 1 tbsp arrowroot flour at the end if you prefer a thicker sauce. Stir well until the sauce thickens.

Recommended Products

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This does not result in any extra cost for you, but it does mean that I make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 289Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 319mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 31g

The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.

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Shuang Shuang

Hi Friends! My name is Shuang Shuang! I love creating healthy, delicious and accessible recipes that can nourish our bodies and improve our mood. Welcome to a Kitchen Sink full of yummy goodies that you’ll want to give a try yourself!
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