Your favorite Cashew Chicken takeout now made at home in under 20 minute in your instant pot. The juicy and tender chicken smothered in a creamy cashew sauce, this recipe is so flavorful and easy to make!

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

You know I love to take traditional recipes and give them a healthy twist, especially take-out meals! This one has quickly become a favorite in SKS community. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comment section!

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. The 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 of 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 instant pot Cashew Chicken

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

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

What Makes this Cashew Chicken Recipe Different?

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, my SKS version used coconut aminos to swap out the conventional soy sauce, which also contains less salt.

Moreover, I used cashew butter in this recipe to achieve the creamy and decadent sauce.

1. Coconut aminos

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

Coconut aminos is my go-to when it comes to cooking Asian dish. Ever since we discovered that my husband can not tolerate soy, I have been creating soy free Asian recipes without comprising the taste or texture.

2. Cashew Butter

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

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, give it a glossy and sticky texture. And it coats the chicken 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 are with

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

Any busy moms out there trying to scramble up dinner within 30 minutes after work while the kids are tearing down the house?

I am right there with you.

This cashew chicken recipe is made in one pot and takes less than 20 minutes to cook. That includes the time it takes for an instant pot to seal and preheat to high pressure.

Besides how quick and easy this recipe easy, it has minimal ingredients that you can feel good about feeding your whole family.

Last but not least, it is the perfect meal prep recipe. You can store them in individual portion in the freezer. And reheat them in the microwave or over the stoptove.

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

 

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

Get the recipe:Instant Pot Cashew Chicken {20 Minutes}

Your favorite Cashew Chicken made in under 20 minutes in an instant pot. The juicy chicken smothered in a creamy cashew sauce, so delicious!
4.56 stars (38 reviews)

Ingredients

  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 – 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews, divided

Chicken Marinade

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

Sauce

  • 3 tbsp 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
  • 1/4 cup filtered water

Instructions 

  • 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.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce – coconut aminos, water, sesame oil, rice vinegar, cashew butter, red pepper flakes, honey (if using any). Set aside.
    Instructions step by step on how to make instant pot cashew chicken.
  • Using "saute" mode, heat up 1 – 2 tbsp oil in an instant pot. Add onion and garlic, saute until fragrant. Add additional 1 – 2 oil if needed ( I used extra 2 – 3 tbsp oil to prevent the chicken from sticking) then add chicken cubes. Flip a couple of times until the chicken is slightly browned on the outside. ***
  • Turn off the saute mode on instant pot, stir in the sauce, cashew, garic and ginger. Make sure the chicken is evenly coated.
    Instructions step by step on how to make instant pot cashew chicken.
  • Cover and set the valve to “sealing” and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • In a small greased saucepan, toast half (roughly) of the cashews on medium heat for a couple of minutes. Flip often.
    Instructions step by step on how to make instant pot cashew chicken.
  • Once the cashew chicken is done, do a quick release of the instant pot.
  • Following an optional step: mix 1 tbsp filtered water with 1 tbsp arrowroot flour. Add into the cashew chicken and incorporate well ***.*

Notes

  1. *Coconut amino itself is salty, so take that into consideration when you salt the chicken.
  2. ***I personally prefer pre-sear the chicken in a separate non-stick pan before adding it to the instant pot. Depending on the type of instant pot you are using, the arrowroot starch in chicken marinate may create a sticky layer on the bottom of the pot.
  3. **** Stir in 1 tbsp arrowroot flour mixed with 2 tbsp of water at the end if you prefer a thicker sauce. Stir well until the sauce thickens.
  4. There will likely be a sticky layer on the bottom of the instant pot after cooking, it is due to the arrowroot starch. Use a wooden spatula to scrape and stir the chicken gently before serving.
Serving: 1g, Calories: 289kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 93mg, Sodium: 319mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 8g

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