Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

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Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

Wholesome Recipes and Healthy Living

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

This instant pot cashew chicken tastes like the familiar Chinese takeout we all love, but in a better-for-you, Whole30, Paleo, gluten-free version that only takes 30 minutes. No more waiting for your delivery full of MSG! This instant pot paleo cashew chicken is a family friendly meal, I promise even those who don’t adhere to a real food diet will love it.

My recipe for instant pot cashew chicken is the closest I could get to the real deal. Many healthy cashew chicken recipes out there have a bunch of veggies added . But when I’m craving those takeout cartons of cashew chicken, it’s the chicken, cashews and rice I want, you know?! I wanted to have a go-to recipe that I know will satisfy those cravings in a healthy, Paleo way so being tempted to eat crappy isn’t even worth it!

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Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

Especially when I can have it ready to eat in only a half hour.. much less time than it takes to order in. The recipe itself is super simple and would be great for a quick weeknight meal. While it looks like there’s quite a few ingredients, I assure you it’s largely the spices, seasonings and Paleo/Whole30 substitutes you already have hanging out in the pantry.

Some of the things you’ll need is an , of course. But I’m assuming you already gathered that. The cashew chicken recipe also calls for , raw cashews , for thickening, sesame oil and . Most of this can be found in the grocery store or cheaper on . You can also make your own Paleo and Whole3o ketchup, or grab a bottle of Primal Kitchen’s Whole30 Approved ketchup.

It’s by far the best healthy, sweetener-free ketchup that’s available. I’m not even just saying that. My boyfriend goes through it constantly and won’t touch the old stuff anymore. It’s available at Whole Foods, or online for 5 bucks . I also really recommend not skipping out on the Chinese Five Spice either.

This spice, often just label “” in the grocery store, is one that really adds so much flavor to Chinese-inspired dishes. It’s what gives East Asian inspired recipes that familiar tangy-sweet flavor and basically it’ll take your meals up a notch. Pretty much every grocery store has this, from Target to Whole Foods to Walmart either with all of the spices or the international items. I’ve linked it here so you can see what it looks like, but it’s much more expensive on Amazon than it is in stores and I recommend grabbing it from there next time you’re grocery shopping.

If you’re on a Whole30, you can omit the sweeteners for the instant pot cashew chicken. Instead, you can opt for 2-3 tablespoons of fresh orange juice. If you’re not currently doing a Whole30, the recipe calls for coconut sugar and honey. If you wanted to use only one, you can add an additional tablespoon of coconut sugar to replace the honey. I’ve tried it both ways or without both while testing this recipe, but I found that the honey helps make the sauce and chicken a bit more “sticky” and thicker. The coconut sugar adds a deeper, slightly sweet flavor to balance out the vinegar.

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

Check out my with veggies and a “peanut” sauce!

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Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

This instant pot cashew chicken tastes like the familiar Chinese takeout we all love, but in a better-for-you, Whole30, Paleo, gluten-free version that only takes 30 minutes. No more waiting for your delivery full of MSG!

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

★★★★★ 4.9 from 17 reviews

- 1.5–2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1“-1.5” pieces

- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

- In a medium bowl, combine 1 tbsp sesame oil, coconut aminos, ketchup, vinegar, coconut sugar, honey, garlic, ginger, Five Spice, and red pepper flakes. Whisk well to combine and set aside.

- In a bowl or baggie, coat chicken pieces with 1 tbsp of the arrowroot flour, salt and pepper. Add 1 tbsp sesame oil to the bottom of the instant pot and turn it to “sauté”.

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

- Allow oil to heat up and then sear chicken for 1-2 minutes. Press “cancel” and pour the sauce into the instant pot. Stir the sauce in with the chicken to evenly distribute. Cover, set the valve to “sealing” and press “manual” and adjust the time to 10 minutes.

- Right before the instant pot is done, combine 1 tbsp arrowroot flour with 2 tbsp water and stir well to dissolve. Once the instant pot is done, do a quick release and open the lid. Press the “sauté” button and pour the water and flour mixture into the instant pot and whisk into the sauce.

- Add the cashews and then continue stirring until the sauce has thickened. If you’d like it thicker after 1-2 minutes, add an additional 1/2 tbsp arrowroot dissolved in 1 tbsp water. Once the sauce has thickened, add any additional salt and pepper and serve.

- Serve over broccoli, cauliflower rice, on it’s own with a side, over spaghetti squash “lo mien” noodles, etc. Garnish with any additional cashews, green onion, or sesame seeds

- *Omit for Whole30. Optional substitutions include 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice, or 1-2 medjool dates, pitted and pureed in a food processor with 1/4 cup water to help blend.

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

- If sauce gets too thick, you can easily thin it back out again by adding a few tablespoons of water. Only do a few at a time until at your desired consistancy.

Keywords: cashew chicken, instant pot, asian

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Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

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I’m Bailey. Whole30 Certified Coach. Former 300 pound chip eatin' couch potato. Current Paleo goddess. Just kidding. No, but I have found my passion for health, cooking and finally living like I mean it, all while dropping over 120 pounds naturally.

This is UNREAL. Bailey. UNREAL.

I used a bit of orange juice like you suggested to keep it Whole30 and i couldn’t tell you if it felt like anything was missing without the sweetener because oh my it was too good to care!

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

Ahh that’s so great to hear!! Thank you for letting me know!

Everyone loved it! I kind of wish they wouldn’t have so that I would have had leftovers but that means I’ll be making it again soon! Really great recipe

Great! I’m so glad it was a hit ???? Thank you for coming back and letting me know!!

This meal was great. Done in under 20 mins, chicken cooked perfectly, sauce wonderful and thick and the flavor was just what i was hoping it would be. Will make again

I’m glad it worked out so well for you and that you enjoyed it! Thank you, Kathy!

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

This. is. MONEY! I literally just exclaimed that after my first bite then immediately returned to my computer to leave this comment. This recipe is decadent without the scary ingredients. Absolutely love it and will be making regularly.

Haha!! So so happy you loved it!! Thank you so much for letting me know!

could you cook broccoli in the instant pot at the same time?

It would get really mushy if it was in for the same length of time. What you could do is steam it in the microwave and mix it in when you’re thickening the sauce, or add it in the end after the chicken cooked and set the IP to manual 0:00 on sealing to cook it in the IP.

Made it, but my instant-pot complained that it was burning. I stopped the cooking a little early because of the burning, but it seemed well done anyway, so didn’t worry about it. It still tasted great! Any ideas of what happened?

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

Glad you liked it!! If you have a newer model, it’s likely because it has minimum liquid requirements , but if that happens, you can just add 1/2 cup-1 cup broth, depending on what your model requires! You can use additional thickener then to thicken the additional liquid at the end ????

Meg, I’m a little late to the party here, but the exact thing happened to me and I had to google it. After the initial saute, you need to scrape the bottom of the pot because it’s sticky and covers the sensors – it solved the problem immediately . My husband and I also enjoyed the recipe!

Baileyyyyyyyy GIRL. I am on my fifth Whole30 round, and I honestly think this is my favorite thing I’ve ever made. I don’t think we have the same instant pot, because I don’t have a manual button. I did it on “pressure cook” for 10 mins on high pressure. It did say “burn” once, so I added a bit of chicken broth and it was fine. I added more arrowroot at the end to compensate. We ate this for dinner last night and now lunch today. I can’t wait to make it again!!! <3

Hey Kelsie! I’m so glad you liked it!! And yes, I think different models get fiesty without extra liquid in there. Mine doesn’t have the burn function/notification thing, but I’m glad it worked out with some added broth! Thank you so much for letting me know! <3 - B

I HATE being this person but I have to ????‍♀️Do you think I could omit the ketchup? I can’t tolerate tomatoes. I know you wouldn’t know for sure but how much does it add to the recipe? Would it still be good? It looks soooo delicious!!

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

I think it would change the flavor quite a bit, as most sweet and sour sauces require some sort of ketchup and/or a thick sweet chili sauce. You could definitely try it out! I’d maybe substitute another liquid for the ketchup amount though so that there’s enough liquid in the instant pot. Broth or orange juice is what I’d try first ????

I was going to ask the same thing. My little girl can’t eat tomatoes but she would love this recipe. Did you try it without the ketchup?

This looks so good! Going to make it pronto.

When you add the oil to the IP and sear, mean sear the chicken?

I do, thanks for pointing that out. I’ll get it clarified in the recipe ????

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

This was so easy and delicious! My picky husband even said it’s a keeper!

I’m SO glad you both enjoyed it!! Thank you so much, Sara!

Holy moly, I guess I didn’t really know what to expect when I decided to make this recipe but it turned out phenomenal!! Better than takeout Chinese food by far, I’ll be making this again soon. Thank you Bailey!

Oh, I love hearing this! Made my night! Thank you, Danielle!

Made this tonight. It was great. However, your recipe is a bit confusing as your ingredient measurements aren’t uniform, ie tablespoon, TBSP, tsp etc. Yummy recipe.

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

Hmm, I only see one that is spelled out! Thanks for the feedback, glad you were able to figure it out ???? Happy you enjoyed the recipe!!

FANTASTIC. Seriously, best “healthy” recipe I’ve ever made. My husband thinks I should go on a cooking show now so basically.. you win. Thanks, Bailey!!

So glad you enjoyed it! And hey- maybe your husband is right!! ????

Any nutritional information for food tracking

I never leave comments, but this was excellent. Next time I’ll use thighs and just season/toss in arrowroot in a bowl vs bag BUT, this sauce was exactly what I’ve been looking for. WTG Bailey!

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

Thank you so much Jess! I so appreciate that!!

Can you do this recipe in a foodi ninja?

I’m unfamiliar with that appliance, but if it’s a pressure cooker, you certainly could!

This looks amazing! I don’t have an instant pot. Has anyone tried it without?

This was delicious! I took it to a potluck and it was wiped clean… if I want to double or triple the recipe, do I double/triple the cooking time too? Not super well versed in instapot cooking yet!

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken: Whole30, Paleo, 30 Minutes

That’s so great to hear! As for doubling/tripling, I’d probably start with an additional 3-4 minutes per pound added

Could I make this just on the stove top with the same recipe?

YUM! Just finished eating this!!! This was so good and so easy to make!! I will definitely make again. I didn’t have sesame oil so I sauteed chicken in a little bit of ghee. I may have used a little too much Chinese 5 spice so I may try and use a pinch or two less next time. I made the dish first then then put aluminum foil on top of pan and placed in a warmed oven so I could make some rice in the IP too. The sauce was nice and thick and I like how after sitting awhile the cashew were a little soft. Thank you for a delicious recipe!!

Thank you, Leslie!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and so thankful you came back and let me know!! <3 - B

This was a great meal! I don’t have an Instapot so I simply reduced the sauce in a saucepan and cooked everything else in a wok. It was great!

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