Sweet, spicy, tangy, ginger chicken stir fried with bell peppers, carrots and snow peas garnished with the sweet crunch of caramelized cashews = Skinny Sweet and Spicy Caramelized Cashew Ginger Chicken Stir Fry – in your mouth in 30 minutes!
Last week, as I started reading a new comment on my Skinny General Tso’s Chicken AKA My Favorite Chicken Ever, I immediately thought “uh-oh” within the first few words. The comment stated the chicken was more time consuming than they typically like to spend on a recipe and had already decided they wouldn’t be making again…and then they tasted it. “I will DEFINITELY be making this again. Wow!”
“Phew!” Your comments mean a lot to me and I am always so happy when you are happy with the results of the time and effort you put into my recipes – that’s the reason I share them! Some recipes require more time than others, but I hope the end result is always something you love and “definitely want to make again!” Enter Skinny Sweet and Spicy Caramelized Cashew Ginger Chicken Stir Fry – a new something to love that requires minimal time and effort while bursting with my two favorite words – flavor and texture – that can be on your table in 30 minutes. Happy dance commence.
My goal of this Caramelized Cashew Ginger Chicken was to create an Asian dish that is addictively delicious but quick and easy and still has the satisfying crunch of breaded and baked chicken like my General Tso’s and my Sticky Honey Lemon Ginger Chicken, because, let’s be honest, the best Asian dishes have crunchy chicken OR caramelized cashews! These cashews add the beloved crunch to the stir fry that baked/fried chicken usually adds while also adding a sweet, caramelized nutty flavor that is absolutely heavenly. I made the cashews using my 5 Minute Perfect Caramelized Nuts recipe and can’t get enough! I’m so in love with them, they are the crowning crunch in my Tropical Winter Fruit Salad with Caramelized Cashews coming soon (now HERE!).
Now let’s talk sauce because a stir fry is only as good as its sauce. I woke up, planning on making Crispy Orange Chicken Tenders (still coming, so check back) but most of my oranges had taken themselves to lunch with my husband which turned out to be a blessing because this sweet and tangy little number was born. This delectable sauce reminds me of a less “sour” sweet and sour sauce comprised of apricot preserves, orange juice, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, ginger, garlic and sriracha. Its sweet, spicy and tangy enlivened by the splash of citrus and given a kick with the ginger. AKA you will be craving this sauce…with this chicken…with these cashews. Guaranteed.
The chicken is marinated in buttermilk, soy sauce and orange juice which creates mega tender chicken, but you can definitely skip the marinade if you don’t plan ahead and it will still be delicious. Making the chicken is super quick and easy because its not breaded in egg/flour but simply tossed in spiced cornstarch and sauteed. Super quick, super easy, super healthy, super yum.
As the famous quote states, “all good things take time.” But sometimes, good things don’t take as much time. I hope when you take 30 minutes to make this Skinny Caramelized Cashew Ginger Chicken Stir Fry you will emphatically agree “I will DEFINITELY be making this again. Wow!”
- 1 pound chicken breasts, pounded thin, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips then chopped in half
- 2-3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger*
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 heaping cup snow peas, ends trimmed
Marinade (optional for more tender/flavorful chicken)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Juice from 1 orange (approx. 2 tablespoons)
Sweet and Tangy Ginger Sauce
- 1/3 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1-3 teaspoons sriracha/Asian hot red chili sauce**
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 recipe 5 Minute Caramelized Nuts using 1 cup roasted, salted cashews (click here)
- orange zest from 1-2 oranges
- green onions (optional)
- Optional: Combine marinade ingredients and chicken in a large freezer bag. Marinate 30 minutes up to overnight (longer the better).
- Prepare 5 Minute Caramelized Cashews according to directions. This can be done days in advance and kept in an airtight container/plastic bag.
- Whisk together sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Add breading ingredients to a separate freezer bag and mix to combine. Add chicken and toss until evenly coated. Heat 1 tablespoon olive/coconut oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add chicken and saute for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned (chicken does not need to be cooked through). Remove to a plate.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to the now empty skillet and heat over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and saute for 2 minutes. Add red bell peppers, ginger and garlic and saute 30 seconds. Stir sauce (to make sure cornstarch has not separated) and add to skillet along with chicken and snow peas; stir to combine. Simmer until sauce is thickened, vegetables are crisp tender, and chicken is cooked through, approximately 1-2 minutes.
- Taste and add additional salt, pepper, sriracha, if desired. Add more sugar if you would like it sweeter, more red wine vinegar for more "sour/tang" to taste.
- Garnish individual servings with orange zest, cashews and green onions.
**If you aren't sure how much to use, start with less then add more to taste at the end of cooking.
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