Asian, Chicken, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Main Course

Sweet & Spicy Cashew Chicken -GF, DF

One thing I’ve missed soooo much since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease is easy, convenient takeout. I live in a fairly small town in Wyoming, and my options for local dining include all of three restaurants… four on a good day. Sometimes, after a long day at work, it would be so incredibly wonderful to just call in an order for some guilty-pleasure restaurant food, pick it up, and go park on the couch. Ya feel me?

This Sweet & Spicy Cashew Chicken fulfills at least half of my wish list above, because it’s delicious and tastes just as good if not better than takeout. And, although it does require us to make it ourself, it’s quick and easy and comes together in less than 30 minutes.

We start by marinading the chicken in a combination of sesame oil, seasoned rice vinegar, gluten-free soy sauce, and cornstarch. If you’re strict paleo, you could sub arrowroot starch. The starch additive makes the chicken more “sticky,” as many takeout Asian-inspired chicken dishes are known to be.

While the chicken marinates, we whip up our sauce and get our veggies prepped. We mix together more cornstarch, more seasoned rice vinegar, more gluten-free soy sauce, honey, sriracha, ginger, garlic powder, and gluten-free no salt added chicken broth. We then dice up a large, sweet onion and a red bell pepper. Press 6 cloves of garlic (yes, I REALLY like garlic haha), trim and prep broccoli florets, and drain a can of water chestnuts. You’ll also want to have your cashews and crushed red pepper flakes close by. It’s important that all of this is done before you start the cooking process because it goes quickly once you begin.

If you’re making rice to go with this dish, you’ll want to consider that cooking time in your prep. We love to jasmine rice in the instant pot- cooks up beautifully and in a short amount of time, so it can be ready in the time it takes to stir fry the chicken.

This Sweet & Spicy Cashew Chicken is everything your takeout dreams are made of, but healthier and, of course, gluten-free! Well-balanced flavors, full of umami and textures galore. I personally love the contrast of sweet and spicy, and you can easily adapt the heat level to your preferences by leaving the red pepper flakes and sriracha out altogether or doubling them for some fire in your life.


Sweet & Spicy Cashew Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Sweet & Spicy Cashew Chicken 


  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces


  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 3 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp each ground ginger and garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sriracha, adjust accordingly
  • 1/2 C gluten-free chicken stock

Everything Else:

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 C broccoli florets, cut and prepped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic,  pressed or minced finely
  • 1 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 C unsalted cashew pieces
  • Rice, for serving


  1. Mix together all marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Place diced chicken in bowl, toss to coat, and refrigerate for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients until well-combined. Set aside.
  3. Remove the chicken from the fridge and remove from the marinade. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, which will impact the stir fry process and end consistency of the dish.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp of the avocado oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok, if available. Add the chicken once the oil is hot and saute until browned, approximately 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  5. Add the remaining tablespoon of avocado oil to the pan, allowing it to heat up. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and garlic and saute until fragrant and the broccoli is a beautiful bright green color, about 3 minutes. Reduce your heat to medium-low.
  6. Return the chicken to the pan, then add the sauce. Mix well to coat. Cook, stirring regularly, until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from the pan from the heat and stir in the cashews.
  8. Serve over rice and enjoy.
  9. Refrigerate leftovers.


This is such a quick and easy weeknight dinner. It seems like a lot of steps, but I promise it goes really quickly and the effort is minimal! You could prep a lot of it the night before to make the kitchen-to-table time even shorter. Sweet & Spicy Chicken also makes great leftovers or meal prep!


I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we did. It is already making it back into the weekly rotation. Make sure you find me on Facebook and follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss any new recipes! As always, thanks for being here! Hope you have a happy, restful weekend!

Be back soon with Huevos Rancheros and Layered Enchilada Casserole with Homemade  Enchilada Sauce. 🙂



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