There’s just something about the cooler temps that make us crave warm, hearty dishes and that perfect combination of sweet and heat has made cashew chicken a staple dish in our house. Depending on the recipe (or takeout menu!) though, this dish is typically loaded with empty calories, unhealthy fats, and sodium. So, we set out to recreate this dish with a recipe that is gluten-free, guilt-free and, most importantly, absolutely delicious.
Before we dive in, we need to touch on one absolute essential step that you need to add to your cooking game: Brine that chicken, friend! Seriously. Brining simply means to soak your meat in a salty water bath. This helps meat retain more moisture when cooking and adds an insane amount of flavor. We’ll walk you step-by-step through this easy – but super impactful – process!
Let’s get to cooking, shall we?!
4-5 chicken breasts
¼ c. salt
1 clove garlic
¼ c. fresh or dried parsley
¼ c. fresh or dried thyme
Arizona Olive Oil Toasted Sesame Ginger Olive Oil
½ red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 c. roasted, unsalted cashews
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp coconut aminos*
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sriracha or hot sauce
½ tsp Chinese five spice
Sesame seeds for garnish
Green onions for garnish
Cooked brown rice or cauliflower rice for serving
*Can substitute soy sauce if not doing gluten-free
You can brine your chicken either the evening before or morning of cooking this meal. Simply place your chicken breasts and brine ingredients into a mixing bowl and fill with cold water until all ingredients are fully submerged. Place in refrigerator.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add about 1 tbsp Toasted Sesame Ginger Olive Oil to your pan and then add the onions, garlic, and bell pepper. Sauté for about five minutes. Add your chicken breast and season with salt and pepper and sauté until chicken is cooked through.
In the meantime, whisk together coconut aminos, honey, sriracha, a dash of the Toasted Sesame Ginger Olive Oil, and Chinese five spice in a small mixing bowl (Note: If you do not brine your chicken, add ¼ c. water to this sauce). Once chicken has cooked through, add the sauce and bring to a boil. Add the zucchini and cashews. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for five to ten minutes.
Serve on top of rice or cauliflower rice, and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
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