Shake Up Dinner Time: The Best Cashew Butter Chicken Recipes That Are Healthy and Delicious

Chicken has become a more and more popular food option in the United States since the 1960s. In fact, it's the most popular main option!

That's for good reason. Chicken is a lot healthier than most other mainstream protein sources.

And did you know it goes great with cashew butter? So, if you're trying to incorporate more cashew butter into your diet, it's a great choice.

But what recipes should you try when you're cooking with cashew butter? Let's go through the best cashew butter chicken recipes for the whole family.

Cashew Butter Benefits

First, you should know why it's important to incorporate cashew butter into your diet.

Cashew butter is a solid option for essential nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. It provides healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health.

The monounsaturated fats in cashew butter can help lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL cholesterol) and can lower your heart disease risk.

Butter contains various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. These nutrients support various bodily functions, such as immune system health, bone health, and skin health.

Classic Butter Chicken

You can always go all the way and cook up some butter chicken. It's not just one of the most popular Indian dishes in the United States. A recent survey found that butter chicken was the most popular entree option to take to a desert island!

Cashew butter chicken is a delicious and creamy dish that's a healthier twist on traditional butter chicken.

First, you'll need to gather the ingredients for the marinade and chicken. You'll need:

  • 1 lb skinned or deboned chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup¬†cashew butter
  • Two tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Two teaspoons of garam masala
  • One teaspoon of cumin
  • One teaspoon of coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • Around 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper

You'll also need to ensure you have the right ingredients to make the sauce: 

  • Two tablespoons of olive oil or ghee
  • One finely chopped large onion
  • Three cloves of minced garlic
  • 1-inch piece of minced ginger
  • One can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter
  • One cup water or chicken broth
  • Heavy dairy or coconut cream¬†
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Then, it's time to start cooking. Mix up all the ingredients for the cashew butter marinade. Coat the chicken evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. For the best results, leave it overnight.

Heat up either the olive oil or ghee. Add in the onion and cook it up until it becomes translucent.

Next, toss in the minced garlic and ginger to the skillet, and sauté for another 2 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes. The marinated chicken pieces are next up. Cook them until they are cooked through. Stir in the cashew butter.

Pour in the chicken broth and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing it to thicken. Finally, add your cream of choice and simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve your chicken and cashew butter dish over cooked rice, quinoa, or with naan bread. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.

Chicken and Cashew Butter Stir Fry

For a new twist on a classic, try making chicken and cashew butter stir fry for your next healthy dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 1¬†pound of either chicken breasts or thighs
  • Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • One thinly sliced small onion
  • Two cloves of minced garlic
  • One sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter
  • Two tablespoons of soy sauce
  • Two tablespoons of honey
  • One tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Cilantro or green onions
  • Cooked rice or noodles

Whisk up the cashew butter, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, ginger (once its been ground), and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside.

Next, warm up the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until they're not pink in the center. Remove the chicken from the skillet.

In the same skillet, spritz in some oil if needed, and then add the sliced onion, minced garlic, red bell pepper, broccoli, and snow peas. Stir-fry until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

Return the cooked chicken to the skillet and pour the cashew butter sauce over everything. Stir well to coat all the ingredients and heat through. Once it's ready, you can pour it over your noodles or rice and garnish to taste.

Follow it up with a delicious cashew butter dessert!

Poul ak Nwa

Want something more creative? Poul ak Nwa is a Haitian dish that features chicken cooked in a rich and flavorful black mushroom sauce. The sauce is often made using black mushrooms, cashew butter, and a blend of spices.

Ingredients:

  • Four to six chicken pieces (you can use thighs, drumsticks, or a mix)
  • 2-3 tablespoons (adjust to taste) of cashew butter
  • 2-3 cloves of minced or crushed garlic
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh or dried thyme
  • One lime, or the equivalent amount of lime juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water
  • Parsley for garnish

First, wash the chicken pieces with cold water, make sure to remove any excess skin, and pat them dry with paper towels. Combine the cashew butter, cooking oil, lime juice, minced or crushed garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix everything together to create a marinade.

Then, it's time to marinate the chicken. After that's done, preheat a large pot or deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, add some cooking oil to the pot. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Then, it's time to sear it in the hot oil on all sides until it turns golden brown.

If you have any marinade remaining, dump it over the chicken. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Add more water if needed.

Once the chicken is fully cooked and you've got a thick sauce, remove it from the heat. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Cashew Butter Satay

Who wouldn't want to try a cashew butter satay sauce? It's not as hard as you think to put together, too. And skewers are a great choice for your next backyard barbecue!

Ingredients

  • One pound deboned chicken thighs with the skin removed, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter
  • Two tablespoons of soy sauce
  • Two tablespoons of lime juice
  • Two tablespoons brown sugar
  • One tablespoon of curry powder
  • One clove of minced garlic
  • One teaspoon of grated ginger
  • Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • Chopped cilantro and crushed peanuts for garnish¬†

In a bowl, combine the cashew butter, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, curry powder, garlic, and grated ginger. Mix until well combined to create your sauce/marinade.

Thread the chicken strips onto your pre-prepped skewers and place them in a shallow dish.

Pour half of the cashew butter marinade over the chicken skewers, making sure they are well coated. Reserve the other half for dipping. Cover and refrigerate the chicken skewers to marinate.

Preheat your prepped pan. Oil the grates to prevent sticking. 

Grill your chicken skewers for about four minutes per side or until properly cooked through and slightly charred. 

Serve the grilled cashew butter chicken satay with the reserved marinade for dipping. You can garnish it with chopped cilantro and smushed-up peanuts if you feel like it.

Lettuce Wraps

If you're looking to reduce your calorie count, you should definitely consider cashew chicken lettuce wraps.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cashew butter - you can try out¬†different options¬†based on your needs
  • Two tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • One tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
  • One tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • One teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • One clove of minced garlic
  • Two tablespoons water
  • One pound ground chicken
  • One tablespoon of olive oil
  • One small¬†finely chopped onion
  • One¬†finely chopped red bell pepper
  • Two cloves of minced garlic
  • One cup finely chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • One grated carrot
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Butter or iceberg lettuce leaves for wrapping

To start the sauce, whip up the soy sauce, syrup, vinegar, butter, garlic, and water. Then, you can set it aside.

For the chicken, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and red bell pepper. Next, it's time for the garlic. Once that's all combined, you can add in your chicken. Once it's properly cooked, throw in the mushrooms.

Next, it's time to season, remove from heat, and season to taste. Once you've got the components prepared, you can start preparing your wraps. 

Spoon a portion of the chicken, filling into individual lettuce leaves. Drizzle the cashew butter sauce over the top. Fold or roll the lettuce leaves around the filling and sauce. Make sure you have extra sauce on the side for dipping!

Cashew Butter Curry

A nice curry is the perfect lunchtime meal. 

  • 1 pound of prepped chicken
  • Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • One large onion
  • Three cloves minced garlic
  • 1-inch piece of¬†grated ginger
  • Two tablespoons of curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper¬†
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter
  • One can diced tomatoes
  • One can of coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Cooked rice or naan bread

Start off by heating the vegetable oil in a properly sized or pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion. Then, it's time for the minced garlic and grated ginger. Sauté for another minute.

Stir in the curry powder, cumin, cayenne, coriander, and turmeric. Cook them for a little bit to toast up the spices.

Add the chicken pieces. Then, you can cook them up until they are lightly browned on all sides. Mix in the cashew butter until it's well incorporated into the mixture.

Serve the cashew butter chicken curry over cooked rice or with naan bread. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

An Option for Vegetarians

Of course, you could make most of the options on this list vegetarian by switching the meat out with a chicken alternative. You can even recreate butter chicken with tofu! But there are more choices for you.

You can make a curry with chickpeas rather than chicken. You can also make yourself a nice breakfast option with these ingredients:

  • A can of chickpeas
  • At least one tablespoon of your choice of oil
  • ground berbere, to taste
  • 2.2 ounces of cashew butter
  • 11 ounces of rolled oats
  • 4 ounces of diced avocado
  • 22 oz of stock or water
  • Salt, to taste
  • 8 ounces of unflavored Greek yogurt
  • Diced avocado
  • Cilantro, to taste

Drain and rinse your chickpeas, and preheat your oven. Mix them up with the berbere and oil. Put them in a place to cool them off when they're crispy.

Then, it's time to cook your oats. You can choose water or veggie stock, based on your taste. You might want to experiment with both options!

Chicken Mole

Chicken mole is a traditional Mexican dish known for its rich and complex sauce. While it's typically made with chocolate and various chiles, this version incorporates cashews for a unique twist.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 dried ancho chiles
  • 1/2 cup¬†cashew butter
  • Two cloves garlic, minced
  • One small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Four cups of chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat up a big skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Toast the dried ancho chiles on each until they become pliable and fragrant. Be careful not to burn them. 

Remove the chiles from the heat, place them in a bowl, and cover with hot water. Leave them to soak until they soften up.

In the same skillet, heat your vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes.

Try These Cashew Butter Chicken Recipes Today

There are tons of cashew butter chicken recipes that are delicious and nutritious. So, consider what you and your family like and experiment with your options.

Are you ready to get started? Shop for cashew butter, almond butter, and more at American Dream today.

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