Gluten Free Cashew Chicken (Spicy, Vegetarian, Nut-Free, & Soy-Free Options)

Using your choice of vegetables like snow peas, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, celery, or even water chestnuts, you can make this delicious and saucy gluten free cashew chicken. Add some peppers or other ingredients for some heat or omit completely. It’s absolutely delicious and flavorful either way.


Depending on your diet, you can make this recipe a number of different ways. To avoid that, is very little oil in frying the chicken or even boil pieces. If you want to go full fat, use the phone out of oil for frying and definitely coat the chicken and corn starch, which will absorb more oil. You can also omit the sauce completely.

You’ll notice that in the more simpler version I made the thick sauce using cornstarch, but only use chopped water chestnuts and green beans.

Soy free?  No problem. Use Braggs coconut amino‘s, or another brand, instead of soy sauce.

Low carb?  Omit the rice or noodles.

Gluten Free Cashew Chicken

A simple and easy to make gluten free cashew chicken recipe that combines chicken (either white or dark) with cashews in a thick sauce made from chicken broth.
Course Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine Asian, Thai
Ingredient Keyword chicken, vegetables
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 people


  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons peanut oil avocado oil, or other high smoke-point oil
  • 3/4 pound cubed chicken breast or bite-sized brown-meat chicken pieces or cubed tofu
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetables of choice cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fish* sauce Dynasty
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch divided (or other starch as needed)
  • 1 cup water or gluten free chicken broth if not using chicken base paste or bouillon cubes
  • 2 tablespoon gluten free reduced-sodium tamari sauce San-J (or GF soy sauce or coconut aminos - Bragg's)
  • 1/2 tablespoon gluten free hoisin sauce Dynasty (or half ketchup and brown sugar with dash garlic powder)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons gluten free reduced-sodium chicken base or chicken bouillon Better Than Bouillon Organic Reduced-Sodium Chicken Base, only if using water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 10 red chili peppers for super spicy or less (or as little as 1/8 teaspoon chili oil or a dash of cayenne pepper, or more as desired)
  • 1 tablespoon water or as needed
  • Chives or thinly sliced green onion for garnish and flavor
  • Sesame seeds for garnish, if not using cashews
  • Cooked rice or gluten free noodles


  1. If you prefer roasted cashews, fry them in an unoiled skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often until roasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet; set aside.

  2. Dredge the chicken pieces using only 2 tablespoons cornstarch; transfer to a plate.
  3. Preheat a 12-inch skillet with oil. Fry chicken until golden brown and the outside of the chicken is no longer pink, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the vegetables and fry, stirring often, until vegetables are a little crisp but slightly tender.

  5. In a 2-cup measuring cup or bowl, add water, tamari/soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chicken base, vinegar, and chilis (or chili oil or cayenne) if using. Bring to a boil, stir, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. For a thick sauce, bring back to a boil while combining 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water. Once the sauce boils again, stir in the cornstarch mixture/slurry. If desired to coat cashews in sauce, stir them in now. If not hold them for garnish.

    Easy Gluten Free Cashew Chicken
  7. Serve over rice or gluten free noodles. Garnish with chives or green onion. If not already added, also garnish with whole, chopped, or crushed cashews, either roasted or not. You can also sprinkle with sesame seeds roasted in a skillet or not. Top with sliced green onion or long strips of chives, as I did.


*This dish is traditionally made with oyster sauce, but since I didn't have any on hand I used fish sauce since it is also salty. Fish sauce did not impart a fish flavor in this dish.

For a lower-calorie version, do not coat chicken in cornstarch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.