Spicy Cashew Chicken

This spicy cashew chicken is better than take out. Made with delicious fresh ingredients and ready in just 30 minutes. It’s fake out take out and it’s delicious!

This spicy cashew chicken is better than take out. Made with delicious fresh ingredients and ready in just 30 minutes. It's fake out take out and it's delicious!

When I’m writing a recipe I have a little notepad all my notes and directions go into. This notebook is filled with my work for the past 1-1/2 plus all my random recipe ideas and bored doodles. Normally this book does not leave the house because it’s pretty important. However, the other day I took it with me to store because I foolishly wrote my grocery list in the book.  So I went shopping and when I get home I realized my book was not in my bag.

Soooooo in classic freak out Brandy mode I drove like a bat out of hell to the store to try and find the book. The cart was no longer in the corral so I started having a meltdown as I was walking into the store. I’m not kidding when I say if you saw me you would have thought I had “issues.” I’m pretty sure I said f*ck under my breath the entire way into the store. As I approached the customer service desk I saw my book and literally screamed “MY BOOK!” The poor kid working behind the counter about had a heart attack, handed me my book and tried to tell me it was ok and I should maybe calm down.

This of course tells me two things.

  1. I should never take my book outside the house.
  2. I bet when I’m freaked out I look bat shit crazy because I’m pretty sure the kid from Stop & Shop was about to call security on my crazy ass.

Also I’m wondering if my excitement level and feeling after I found the book is the same as someone who scores a point (touchdown?) in the Superbowl. Obviously I’m a huge sport fan. Don’t be jealous. 

This spicy cashew chicken is better than take out. Made with delicious fresh ingredients and ready in just 30 minutes. It's fake out take out and it's delicious!

So now that we have established that I’m borderline crazy I’m here to bring you a recipe that you should try. Always trust a crazy person.

I made this recipe a few months ago but never quite felt like it was right for the middle of summer. I mean it was fine as a random dinner but not everyone wants spicy food in the middle of July. So now that the weather is finally turning chilly I’m all about the spice. Seriously, I have been drowning my food in Tabasco and adding jalapeños to just about everything. Now for this dish you get the spice from those little dried Thai bird chilies. Trust me when I say they might looks small and cute but they are hot. The longer they sorta sit around in your dish the hotter the dish becomes. So keep this in mind when you add the chilies.

Also please don’t eat the peppers. That would be a really bad idea….

This spicy cashew chicken is better than take out. Made with delicious fresh ingredients and ready in just 30 minutes. It's fake out take out and it's delicious!

I also used chicken thighs in this dish because lets face it – they’re the best. I love a good chicken breast but the thighs are where it’s at. Super tender, easy to cook and almost never get dried out. I also added in broccoli but feel free to add in any vegetable that you have on hand. I like to think of this dish as capable of handling whatever you throw it way.

{Looking for more quick and easy 30 minute meals? Try my easy beef and vegetable stir-fry, crispy pan roasted chicken thighs or my 20 minute kalamata olive, tomato and caper pasta.


Spicy Cashew Chicken

This spicy cashew chicken is better than take out. Made with delicious fresh ingredients and ready in just 30 minutes. It's fake out take out and it's delicious!

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1-1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and green separated
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dried Thai bird eye chilies
  • 2 cups lightly steamed broccoli
  • 3/4 cup toasted cashews
  • White or brown rice, prepared


Season cubed chicken thighs and set aside.

In a large skillet set over medium heat add olive oil. Once the oil is hot add in chicken and sauté for about 10 minutes until the chicken starts to brown. Add in garlic and white parts of the scallions. Sauté for another 5 minutes until the scallions are soft and the garlic is fragrant. You don't want to garlic to burn so if you see this turn down the heat a little.

Add in hoisin sauce, chicken stock and soy sauce. Stir to combine and add in dried chilies. Be careful to not break apart the chilies too much. Just let them simmer with the chicken until the sauce becomes thick and coats the chicken.

Stir in steamed broccoli and toasted cashews. Sprinkle the top with reserved scallion greens and serve over rice.

24 Responses to “Spicy Cashew Chicken”

  1. #
    Tori — September 24, 2015 at 6:13 am

    MMMmmmm! This looks so delicious! I am all over asian flavors, my fave!

  2. #
    Christie — September 24, 2015 at 8:39 am

    I would have freaked out too. So glad you found your book. This definitely looks better than take out. I have to admit I have tried the chilis before, seriously, seriously hot and I can take a lot of spice.

  3. #
    Catherine — September 24, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Dear Gina, I love this spicy dish…it sounds wonderful! Love a good protein packed meal. …So happy you recovered your notebook! xo, Catherine

  4. #
    Catherine — September 24, 2015 at 8:49 am

    So sorry!

    *Dear Brandy! Oh my! …It’s been a long morning! 😉

    xo, Catherine

  5. #
    Chandra@The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen — September 24, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Oh My God! I think we must have been separated at birth! I am that crazy when I am in a panic about something too. It’s good to know that we are not alone out there.
    Alos I am making this chicken for dinner! Seriously it looks so good. Totally pinning this one!

  6. #
    Danielle | The Creative Bite — September 24, 2015 at 9:36 am

    OMG, I completely understand the anxiety of loosing recipes. I have sadly done it myself and when I go to write up a recipe that I photographed weeks or months ago I realize it’s gone. Heartbreaking! So glad you found your book, and this cashew chicken looks simply amazing!

  7. #
    allie @ Through Her Looking Glass — September 24, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Fake out take out. I love that Brandy. And it looks WAY better than takeout too. We are big cashew fans here, and I’ve never used Thai bird eye chilies. I always use chicken thighs when I can, so tender and flavorful. So you have widened my horizons today (thank you) and I can’t wait to try this delicious recipe!

  8. #
    Alisa @ Go Dairy Free — September 24, 2015 at 10:18 am

    It LOOKS better than take out, too! Just pinned this one for later 🙂

  9. #
    Kacey @ The Cookie Writer — September 24, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I don’t know what I would have done in that situation!! I also write my recipes in a book/note pad but have learned long ago not to make a shopping list on it (because I tend to throw out the sheet thinking I am done with it!) At least we can be thankful this recipe was not lost! It looks amazing 🙂

  10. #
    Barbara | Creative Culinary — September 24, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I am imagining you freaking out and it is a bit hysterical…of course only because you actually found THE book. I have a file folder because I prefer typing notes and printing…this confirms it will never, ever leave the house!

    Love how easy this recipe is and hoping I have some cashews; the chicken is already thawed!

  11. #
    Julia — September 24, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Loosing something like that is just about the worst! I keep my recipes in a book too! 🙂 If I lost that thing I would be in big trouble. This dish looks amazing by the way. I love cashew chicken and the crunch that the nuts add. Making this soon!!

  12. #
    Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet — September 24, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I loooooove cashew chicken and this sounds delicious!

  13. #
    Lauren @ Hall Nesting — September 24, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    As I picture you losing your mind over your book I would have reacted the same way. Added this recipe to try out!

  14. #
    Jennifer | Bake or Break — September 24, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    One of my favorite Thai dishes! Pinning this one to try ASAP!

  15. #
    Alice — September 24, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    I would skip the spicy part but this looks great! 🙂

  16. #
    maria — September 24, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Next time I want to make my husbands day, I am totally making this. Thank you for the recipe!

  17. #
    Andi @ The Weary Chef — September 25, 2015 at 10:42 am

    This looks so delish! I love cashew and the spicy flavor. Thank you for sharing this fun recipe. 🙂 I’m so happy you’ve got your book back.

  18. #
    Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen — September 25, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    OMG, your story made me sweat! I’d be in freak-out mode too. I’m so glad you found the book! This dish looks incredible and the photos are gorgeous!

  19. #
    rachel @ athletic avocado — September 26, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    i love how this is only made in 30 minutes! it looks amazing!!

  20. #
    Michele @ Alwayzbakin — September 27, 2015 at 6:46 am

    Love your blog! So happy you found your book. That could have been a disaster. I totally understand. THIS spicy cashew chicken looks crazy delicious! Pinning it and making it. Cashew chicken is my favorite chinese dish. 😉

  21. #
    Maris (In Good Taste) — September 27, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Love any Chinese takeout makeover — I don’t have a good Chinese place nearby and it’s one of my favorites!

  22. #
    Cat @ Reader/Eater — September 28, 2015 at 11:06 am

    The idea of losing a notebook gives me extreme agita. Like, the shakes.

  23. #
    Sommer @aspicyperspective — September 28, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    My mouth is watering over this dish! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  24. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — September 28, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    I love that you’re sharing this now because it looks so comforting and a perfect weeknight dish! Also…you definitely need a new book just for your grocery lists 😉

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