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Orange Cashew Chicken

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
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Why we love it:

Healthy, easy to make take out recipes will always have a place in my kitchen. This one is a classic! It’s colorful and satisfying. If I had a teenager, I’d recommend this as their first dinner to make alone. (Your teenagers make dinner, right?)


  • 1 cup Basmati Rice (White)
  • 12 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 112 cups Water (cold, divided)
  • 1 pound Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 Bell Pepper (Orange, Yellow or Red)
  • 12 Yellow Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger (about 1 inch of the root)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Orange (zest and juice)
  • 1 teaspoon White Sugar
  • 14 cup Soy Sauce (or tamari)
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
  • 12 bunch Cilantro (leaves and stems chopped, 2 generous handfuls or so)
  • 3 Green Onions (sliced, optional)
  • 14 cup Cashews
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter (optional)

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. RICE

    In a small pot with a tight fitting lid, combine the rice, salt, and 1 ½ cups of water (for 1 cup of rice. If scaling the ratios are- ½ cup rice: ¾ cup water / 1 ½ cup rice: 2 cups water).

    Bring to a boil then stir well. Turn heat to low and cover. Steam for 15 - 17 minutes then turn off the heat until serving but leave the lid on.

  • 2. CHICKEN

    Slice the chicken into ⅓” thick slices on a bit of an angle. If the slices are longer than 1 ½ inches, slice them in ½ too.


    Dice the pepper and the onion into ½ inch squares.

  • 4. SAUTÉ

    Heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add the oil. Add the chicken, onions and pepper, and cook for about 2 minutes before you stir at all. After that you can stir occasionally but you want to chicken to stay in contact with the pan so it browns a little.

  • 5. SAUCE

    While it's sautéing, mince ginger and garlic finely (if the ginger has thin, moist skin, you can leave it on but if it's dry or thick, scrape it off with a peeler or the back of a spoon first).

    In a medium bowl, whisk together orange zest (reserve a pinch for garnish if so inclined) and juice, sugar, soy sauce, minced ginger and garlic, remaining water and cornstarch in a small bowl.


    Wash and chop cilantro and the stems. Slice the green onions if using. Set aside.


    Return the pan, and sauté until the chicken is just barely cooked through. If it’s getting too brown at any point, you can turn down the heat a bit.

    Whisk the sauce once more, so the cornstarch doesn’t settle, and pour it all in the pan. Bring to a simmer, it will thicken as it boils. Add the cashews (perhaps reserve a few for garnish, or keep it simple and add them all!). Whisk often during this time. Cook for 1 minute or until thick and glazing the chicken.

    Turn off the heat. Stir in butter, if using.

  • 8. SERVING

    Serve scoops of rice in bowls. Spoon sauce and chicken over top. Garnish with a few extra cashews, some zest and a big pile of chopped cilantro.

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    make sure to use tamari
    simply omit butter
    make without cashews, try sunflower seeds, sesame seeds or pepitas for crunch
  • PALEO:
    omit rice or serve over cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles. Or, serve the whole filling with lettuce cups to make wraps. Sub agave for sugar or omit it
    brown rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa, noodles
    serve over pork, fish, beef, or roasted veggies
    omit or use basil
    the sauce should be a hit and the rice too. Try serving the chicken separate and perhaps with the sauce on the side to dip into instead. Try adding in a vegetable you know they’ll love - edamame, broccoli, or mushrooms perhaps

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Combine sauce ingredients in a jar. Shake well to dissolve cornstarch before using
  2. Steam rice
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