Best Instant Pot Cashew Chicken

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!).

Cover images for three of Aileen Clark's Cookbooks with the words "order my cookbooks today!".

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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White ceramic bowl filled with cashew chicken.

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken Recipe

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 58 minutes

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!! 

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

    1. Press saute button on Instant Pot.
    2. 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.
    3. Add carrots, celery, and zucchini to the instant pot, stir to combine. Saute until soft. About 6 minutes.
    4. Add the chicken back into the instant pot with the vegetables.
    5. In a small bowl, add the soy sauce, water, vinegar, brown sugar and hoisin sauce. Mix well.
    6. Pour the sauce into the instant pot, over the chicken and vegetables.
    7. Press the cancel button.
    8. Close the lid on the instant pot and set the pressure release valve to sealing.
    9. 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.
    10. Allow the pressure to release for 10 minutes.
    11. Quick release any remaining pressure and remove the lid.
    12. Whisk together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water to make a cornstarch slurry.
    13. Mix the cornstarch slurry into the cashew chicken until fully combined. This will thicken the sauce.
    14. Stir in the cashews.
    15. Serve cashew chicken with cooked rice and topped with green onions.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 415Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 64mgSodium 1436mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 2gSugar 5gProtein 31g

Nutrition information is an estimate.

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