Paleo Cashew Chicken Recipe

Whether you follow a paleo diet or not, this bold and tasty Paleo Cashew Chicken Recipe, will easily become a favorite mid-week go-to meal. 

Paleo Cashew Chicken Recipe #paleo

Thinking healthy thoughts…. Thinking healthy thoughts.

Our New Year Detox is underway, and I’m trying my best to ramp up our intake of greens, and get rid of processed ingredients this month. Yet one week in, and I’m already tired of salad for every meal. Something’s got to give.

Easy Paleo Cashew Chicken Recipe #paleo

My plan to stay on the straight and narrow is to recreate some of our most-loved dishes into lighter cleaner versions of themselves.

You can find quite a few “comfort food reborn” recipes sprinkled around our site.  And today’s cleaned-up meal idea, my Paleo Cashew Chicken Recipe, is an instant favorite. Guaranteed.

I’ve taken our classic cashew chicken recipe and substituted several paleo-friendly ingredients to make it (hopefully) fit into your eating plan this month.

Since paleo eaters avoid grains, legumes, and processed sugar, I’ve removed the typical cornstarch, soy, and sugar. Then replaced them with arrow root powder to thicken, coconut aminos to add savory flavor, and palm sugar (or raw honey) to sweeten the Paleo Cashew Chicken Recipe.

Best Paleo Cashew Chicken Recipe #paleo

The verdict in my house is that this paleo version of cashew chicken is just as good, if not better, than the original.

You still have the strong tangy essence of the original recipe, yet without the junk. The savory sauce is kissed with garlic, fresh ginger, a touch of palm sugar, and crushed red pepper. So it’s savory and a little spicy, bringing out the natural sweetness in the red bell peppers.

Honestly, I love my new Paleo Cashew Chicken Recipe. I have a feeling we will be eating it a lot this year, no matter what diet we are following.

And if you are planning to make some dietary adjustments this year, the substitute ingredients used in this recipe are nice to have on hand.

Paleo Cashew Chicken Recipe

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time:10 minutes

Cook Time:15 minutes

5 / 5 (14 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »

Easy Paleo Cashew Chicken Recipe. So tasty, you won’t miss the naughty ingredients. This is a quick healthy meal, easy enough to pull together on any night!


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 1/3 cups raw whole cashews
  • 1 large bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons arrow root powder ( instead of 1 tablespoon cornstarch)
  • 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

For the Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos (instead of soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup coconut vinegar (instead of rice vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons palm sugar or raw honey (instead of sugar)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper


  1. Preheat a large deep skillet to medium high. Add the coconut oil and once melted, add the red bell pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes to softened. Then scoop out the bell pepper.
  2. Sprinkle the arrow root powder and salt over the cut chicken pieces and toss to coat. Add the chicken to the skillet. Stir and saute for 5-8 minutes until the chicken is mostly cooked through and seared on the outside.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Once the chicken is mostly cooked, add the sauce to the skillet and stir. Add the red bell peppers and cashew to the skillet. Once the sauce starts to simmer, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer another 3-5 minutes to thicken.
  4. If the sauce tightens up too much, add a little water to loosen it. Turn the heat off and add the chopped scallions. Serve warm with Roasted Cauliflower Rice.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4-6 servings, Serving Size: 1/6th recipe

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 442 Calories
  • Total Fat: 18.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.5g
  • Cholesterol: 135mg
  • Sodium: 311mg
  • Carbohydrates: 20.9g
  • Fiber: 1.6g
  • Sugar: 12.2g
  • Protein: 46g
All images and text ©

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63 comments on “Paleo Cashew Chicken Recipe

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  9. Heatherposted November 11, 2017 at 10:53 am Reply

    Made this recipe without the added sugar for Whole 30 compliance and it turned out great!  Picky husband and child approved ??.

    Rating: 5
  10. Karenposted October 11, 2017 at 10:03 pm Reply

    This was so great! My husband and I made it together after work one night and we had fun making it. We reduced the honey by 2 tablespoons because we are watching sugar intake. It was delicious. We both have lunch tomorrow and we were thinking we would make a little more next time! Served with roasted cauliflower. It was awesome! Thanks for the great Paleo recipe.

    Rating: 5
  11. Cyndieposted September 22, 2017 at 7:24 pm Reply

    Thank you. This was delicious. I added celery and carrots to the recipe for extra veggies and everyone loved it.

    Rating: 5
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  13. Kateposted July 4, 2017 at 4:56 pm Reply

    This is amazing!! Making it for the second week in a row.

    Rating: 5
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  25. Susanposted April 7, 2016 at 7:47 pm Reply

    Quick and healthy recipe. I personally would prefer a more savory, less sweet version… I made it with only half the honey and would cut actually back to just two teaspoons next time. Will make it again and try it with cauliflower rice next time!

    Rating: 4
  26. Alisonposted April 2, 2016 at 6:25 pm Reply

    Made this for dinner tonight. Fantastic!!  We loved it. We will definitely make this part of the regular rotation, plus it’s special enough to make for company. 

    Rating: 5
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  32. Callieposted November 29, 2015 at 2:06 pm Reply

    Just made this for lunch and my husband couldn’t quit talking about how amazing it was! So good!

    Rating: 5
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  34. Rachelposted August 27, 2015 at 8:16 pm Reply

    seriously easy and super delish

    Rating: 5
  35. RENIE'Sposted June 29, 2015 at 10:59 pm Reply

    Made this tonight along with the cauliflower rice and both were delicious. Made with chicken breasts since that’s what I had on hand but next time I’ll use the thighs. Thanks so much. Have been working hard to find great recipes. My husband loved it too. Appreciate your efforts.  

    Rating: 5
  36. Aleah Axiomposted June 22, 2015 at 9:25 pm Reply

    Yum yum! Just like the real deal! Topped it with sesame seeds too :)

    Rating: 5
  37. Kristinaposted May 8, 2015 at 8:20 am Reply

    Wonderful. Just made this and I definitely repeat it :)

    Rating: 5
  38. the paleo dietposted March 23, 2015 at 3:10 am Reply

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  39. Amyposted March 22, 2015 at 10:26 am Reply

    Great recipies! Thank you for sharing that!
    I’ve lost over 100lbs on low carb and I’ve been doing it for over 2 years. It was rough to get started, but I used a 21 day sugar detox program which helped a lot. Check out the reviews of it

  40. Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)posted March 18, 2015 at 10:50 pm Reply

    I made this tonight for dinner. I added chopped broccoli to it. The husband and I loved it! Thanks for the delicious recipe.

    Rating: 5
  41. Michelleposted March 9, 2015 at 9:11 pm Reply

    I made this for dinner tonight, and it was so fabulous! I even made the cauliflower rice. I added some asparagus to mine, since I already had it. I will absolutely be making this again. Thank you for the recipe :)

    Rating: 5
    • Sommerposted March 9, 2015 at 9:23 pm Reply

      So glad you liked it Michelle!

  42. Tashposted February 3, 2015 at 12:34 am Reply

    What would be a good substitute for the Coconut Vinegar? I cannot seem to find it in Australia? Would Apple Cider Vinegar be ok?

    I’m following Paleo diet so can’t use rice vinegar as the replacement.

    • Sommerposted February 3, 2015 at 7:41 am Reply

      Hi Tash, Yes I think apple cider vinegar would be acceptable in small amounts. Happy Cooking!

      • Alison Windsorposted September 14, 2016 at 2:37 pm

        So should I decrease the amount on your recipe instead of 1/4 cup?

      • Sommerposted September 17, 2016 at 11:14 am

        Hi Alison,

        Apple Cider Vinegar does seem to be a little more potent. Maybe go with 3 tablespoons. :)

  43. Maryposted January 13, 2015 at 8:34 pm Reply

    We just made this for dinner- it was fantastic- thanks for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
  44. Lori @ RecipeGirlposted January 11, 2015 at 1:30 pm Reply

    Great dinner idea! My family would go crazy for it!

  45. Jen and Emily @ Layers of Happinessposted January 8, 2015 at 2:39 pm Reply

    My mouth is seriously watering… I totally feel you about the new years resolution… I debated whether or not to make my resolution as “eat more sugar.” ;) Because I know that’s what’s going to happen anyway. But the way I think about it is if I can cut back on the amount of junk I eat… I’m still making progress!

  46. Kiran @ KiranTarun.composted January 7, 2015 at 11:40 pm Reply

    Love cashew chicken and your healthy version is more reason to devour this, soon!

  47. Carolineposted January 7, 2015 at 9:16 pm Reply

    This has such pretty colors and looks both fresh and flavorful. Must give it a try!

  48. Mariaposted January 7, 2015 at 8:33 pm Reply

    This is totally going on the menu for next week! Yummmm.

  49. Amandaposted January 7, 2015 at 4:35 pm Reply

    I am making this right now, AMAZING!!!

  50. Amanda @ Cookie Named Desireposted January 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm Reply

    wow This is perfect for me. I just discovered coconut vinegar and had no idea what I wanted to make with it yet. I’m definitely making this tonight!!

  51. Faleenposted January 7, 2015 at 9:54 am Reply

    This recipe looks quite good and i see that you list the replacement ingredients. IF i wanted to utilize the original recipe, would the amounts that are given for the replacement ingredients the same as would be for those original ones? Thank you in advance.

    • Sommerposted January 7, 2015 at 10:48 am Reply

      Hi Faleen, Almost! You can substitute the original ingredients in the exact same measurements, except for the cornstarch. Use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch instead of 2. :)

  52. Marla Meridithposted January 7, 2015 at 9:53 am Reply

    Sommer, this looks wonderful & I LOVE that it’s paleo too!

  53. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountainposted January 7, 2015 at 8:48 am Reply

    I need more healthy, comforting meals during the week! This looks fabulous!!

  54. Amandaposted January 7, 2015 at 8:30 am Reply

    This looks absolutely delicious. Love all the colors in this, beautiful photos :)

  55. Tieghanposted January 7, 2015 at 8:03 am Reply

    Wow, this looks so good and something my whole family would! Dinner tonight for sure!

  56. Jenny Flakeposted January 7, 2015 at 7:24 am Reply

    Yes and Yes! Dinner perfection!

  57. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchenposted January 7, 2015 at 7:08 am Reply

    I was just looking for a great Cashew Chicken recipe and this sounds amazing!

  58. Liz @ The Lemon Bowlposted January 7, 2015 at 6:30 am Reply

    Funny – we had cauliflower chicken fried rice two nights ago for dinner! So good and easy!