Instant Pot Cashew Chicken

Your favorite takeout can now be made completely in the Instant Pot with clean ingredients! This Instant Pot Cashew Chicken Stir Fry is perfect for weeknight dinners or meal prep — and it’s ready to serve in 45 minutes or less.

instant pot cashew chicken in a bowl with rice and chopsticks

Takeout Taste, Healthy Ingredients

Cashew chicken is always one of my go-tos when we’re having takeout for dinner, and until now, we’ve never been able to replicate that delicious sauce and perfectly cooked chicken and veggies of our favorite takeout restaurants in a home-cooked version.

Well, today’s the day! We’ve perfected the classic cashew chicken dish and make it COMPLETELY IN THE INSTANT POT. The sauce is spot-on (and only 5 ingredients!), the veggies are never mushy, and the chicken is cooked to perfection.

And if you’re like us, this will quickly become one of your weeknight dinner faves :D

diced chicken for cashew chicken in an instant pot with sauce

How to Make Instant Pot Cashew Chicken

Instant Pot recipes (especially ones with multiple steps, using multiple Instant Pot features) can be intimidating, we get it. This is why we’re here to walk you through this recipe step-by-step to ensure your Instant Pot cashew chicken is oh so delicious every time. Lez do it:

Make the Stir Fry Sauce

First, you’ll prepare the most delicious (and clean ingredient!) stir fry sauce you’ve ever had. In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, maple syrup, minced garlic, grated ginger, and white rice vinegar, and then set aside.

Prepare Chicken

Next, you’ll prepare the chicken breasts by slicing into 1-inch chunks like the image above. Pro Tip: use a plastic or other non-porous cutting board when dicing your chicken breast to avoid cross-contamination of the raw chicken.

Turn on Instant Pot to Sauté

Turn on your Instant Pot’s sauté feature, and heat 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil in the Instant Pot. When olive oil is fragrant, add diced chicken breast and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to brown. Note: your diced chicken will NOT be fully cooked — it will cook the rest of the way in the next step.

Then, turn OFF the sauté feature and add stir fry sauce, and toss chicken and sauce together.

Turn Instant Pot to Manual High

Cover your Instant Pot and turn the valve to seal. Cook on manual high pressure for 4 minutes. Note: The Instant Pot should take a few minutes to build pressure, but eventually it will count down from 4 minutes.

Prep Stir Fry Veggies

While the chicken is cooking, prepare your stir fry vegetables by dicing 2 large red peppers and cutting broccoli into bite-sized florets. Then, set aside.

instant pot cashew chicken ingredients in the instant pot ready to be sauteed

Slurry Time

Next, prepare a slurry. What is a slurry, you ask? It’s a mixture of a thickening agent (in this case, corn starch!) and water to help thicken a sauce, stew or soup. You’ll make the slurry by whisking together 1/4 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl.

Quick Release Instant Pot

Once the Instant Pot beeps, quick release to release the steam that has built up. Once your Instant Pot is done quick releasing, remove the top and add chopped veggies, the slurry, and raw cashews into the Instant Pot, and toss everything together.

Sauté Round 2

Turn on the Instant Pot’s sauté feature again, and sauté for approximately 3 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.

instant pot cashew chicken being cooked in the instant pot

Steam Stir Fry Veggies

Once the sauce has thickened, turn off the sauté feature and immediately cover the Instant Pot for around 5 minutes to let the veggies steam and fully cook. Note: your Instant Pot will be OFF during this time, but still hot enough to steam the veggies.

Remove lid and assess how cooked the veggies are. If they are still too al dente need to continue cooking, put the top back on to continue steaming. Remember, no one likes overcooked veggies!

Note: You can always turn the sauté feature back on at this time, and cook your veggies that way if steaming is not working well for you. We tested pressure cooking the veggies on manual high for ‘0 minutes,’ but found that the veggies came out just a little over cooked.

Serve and Enjoy!

Serve over your favorite grain. We love a classic white rice with this stir fry recipe, but any of the following would be delicious as well:

instant pot cashew chicken in a bowl with rice and chopsticks

More Instant Pot Meals

More Asian Recipes

Watch how to make this recipe!

Recipe

Best Instant Pot Chicken Stir Fry

Your favorite takeout can now be made completely in the Instant Pot with clean ingredients! This Instant Pot Cashew Chicken Stir Fry is perfect for weeknight dinners or meal prep — and it’s ready to serve in 45 minutes or less.

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
Author: Lee Funke
Yield: 6 1x
Category: Lunch and Dinner
Method: Instant Pot
Cuisine: Asian

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoon white rice vinegar
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large red peppers, diced
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup raw, whole cashews

Instructions

  1. First, prepare stir fry sauce. In a medium bowl, mix together soy sauce, maple syrup, minced garlic, grated ginger, and white rice vinegar. Set aside.
  2. Next, prepare chicken breast by slicing into 1-inch chunks.
  3. Turn on the Instant Pot’s sauté feature. Heat 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil.
  4. When olive oil is fragrant, add diced chicken breast and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to brown.
  5. Turn off the sauté feature and add stir fry sauce. Toss.
  6. Cover Instant Pot and turn the valve to seal. Cook on manual high pressure for 4 minutes. The Instant Pot should take a few minutes to build pressure, but eventually it will count down from 4 minutes.
  7. While the chicken is cooking, prepare vegetables. Dice 2 large red peppers and cut broccoli into bite-sized florets. Set aside.
  8. Next, prepare a slurry. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Set aside.
  9. Once the Instant Pot beeps, quick release to release the steam that has built up.
  10. Remove top and add chopped veggies, the slurry, and raw cashews to the Instant Pot and toss everything together.
  11. Turn on the Instant Pot’s sauté feature and cook for around 3 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  12. Turn off the sauté feature and immediately cover the Instant Pot for around 5 minutes to let the veggies steam and fully cook.
  13. Remove lid and assess how cooked the veggies are. If they need to continue cooking, put the top back on to continue steaming*. Remember, no one likes overcooked veggies!
  14. Serve over your favorite grain.

Notes

  • Veggies: you can always turn the saute feature back on and cook your veggies that way if steaming is not working well for you. We tested pressure cooking the veggies on manual high for ‘0 minutes,’ but found that the veggies came out just a little too cooked. However, you always have the option to do this as well if you prefer your veggies more cooked.
  • Nutrition information does not include a grain.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 recipe
  • Calories: 355
  • Sugar: 17
  • Sodium: 927
  • Fat: 15
  • Carbohydrates: 27
  • Fiber: 3
  • Protein: 26

Photos by: The Wooden Skillet

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