Best Instant Pot Cashew Chicken

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Enjoy all of the flavor of your favorite take-out cashew chicken at home with this instant pot cashew chicken recipe! The chicken comes out perfectly cooked without drying out and the sauce tastes amazing!! 

Big bowl of cashew chicken with rice.

We love making Chinese food at home! It comes out so flavorful and fresh. Plus, it costs a lot less to make it at home. Some of our other favorite recipes are Air Fryer Crab RangoonInstant Pot Chicken Lo MeinInstant Pot Orange Chicken (Panda Express Copycat), and Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice (Better Than Take-Out!).

A picture showing the cover images for all three cookbooks written by Aileen Clark.

I would also like to invite you to join my Facebook group for instant pot cooking. 

Lastly, you may want to check out my ever-growing list of instant pot recipes and intro to instant pot cooking

Bowl of cashew chicken on red checked tablecloth

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken with Vegetables

One of the things I love about the instant pot is that it creates less dishes for me to wash.

White bowl of cashew chicken in front of stack of white plates and instant pot.

How to make cashew chicken in the instant pot: 

  1. You start by browning the chicken directly in the instant pot – along with some garlic and olive oil.
  2. Then,  you repeat the process with the vegetables.
  3. Lastly, you pour a delicious sauce over the chicken and vegetables and pressure cook it for just 5 minutes. 
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, top it with cashews and green onions and serve with white (or brown) rice.

That’s it. Easy peasy. And you have a delicious Chinese dinner ready for you without the take-out prices. 

Close up of instant pot cashew chicken with vegetables.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts?

Yes, you can absolutely swap out chicken thighs for the breasts in this recipe. If using thighs, use some kitchen shears (or a good knife) to trim off any excess fat while cubing the chicken. 

Can I use different vegetables? 

Yes, you can absolutely tailor this recipe to your tastes. We use carrots, zucchini, and celery. You can switch those out for whatever you have on hand! Keep in mind that some softer vegetables may not need to be sautéed prior to pressure cooking – like broccoli. While other vegetables may need to be sautéed a bit longer – like potatoes. 

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Collage photo of two pictures of cashew chicken with words "Instant Pot Cashew Chicken" in brown lettering.
White ceramic bowl filled with cashew chicken.

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken Recipe

Aileen Clark
Enjoy all of the flavor of your favorite take-out cashew chicken at home with this instant pot cashew chicken recipe! The chicken comes out perfectly cooked without drying out and the sauce tastes amazing!! 
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 58 minutes
Course Main Dish Recipes
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 6
Calories 415 kcal


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 green onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water


  • Press saute button on Instant Pot.
  • Add chicken, oil, and garlic to instant pot and stir until
    chicken is cooked on all sides. Remove chicken and set aside. About 5 minutes.
  • Add carrots, celery, and zucchini to the instant pot, stir to combine. Saute until soft. About 6 minutes.
  • Add the chicken back into the instant pot with the vegetables.
  • In a small bowl, add the soy sauce, water, vinegar, brown sugar and hoisin sauce. Mix well.
  • Pour the sauce into the instant pot, over the chicken and vegetables.
  • Press the cancel button.
  • Close the lid on the instant pot and set the pressure release valve to sealing.
  • Press the manual or pressure cook button and set the instant pot to 5 minutes on high pressure.
    ot to Manual, High Pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to release for 10 minutes.
  • Quick release any remaining pressure and remove the lid.
  • Whisk together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water to make a cornstarch slurry.
  • Mix the cornstarch slurry into the cashew chicken until fully combined. This will thicken the sauce.
  • Stir in the cashews.
  • Serve cashew chicken with cooked rice and topped with green onions.


Serving: 1gCalories: 415kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 31gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 1436mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5g
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