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Chipotle Cashew Chicken


This is a recipe that I would never have tried to make by just reading it. In fact, I passed it up until I caught Rachael Ray making it one night. So, I took a chance and made it. This recipe is one of my husband's very favorites. He smiles every time I make it for him, and it really is simple.

There are several different flavors that work together so well in this chipotle cashew chicken -- chipotle chili, cumin, honey, maple syrup, tamari sauce. I just love water chestnuts-- they really don't have much flavor, but they give a nice crunch to the recipe along with the cashews.

**A WARNING: Chipotles are very spicy-- we're talking heat! I now use about 1 teaspoon of chipotle for this recipe and I freeze the rest (it keeps well, and I toss it in to thaw from the heat of a dish). Seriously, the first time I made this recipe I went with Rachael Ray's measurement and it was way too hot for me to eat. Go easy! Trust me!

Rachael Ray's recipe includes a brown rice to serve this with. Since then, I've switched to making coconut rice. This meal reheats well, for taking to work-- and I do look forward to leftovers...if my family doesn't polish the whole thing off first!

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  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds chicken meat: tenders, boneless, skinless breasts or boneless, skinless thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning blend by McCormick)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons tamari dark soy sauce, eyeball it
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 10 to 12 water chestnuts, whole
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 3 tablespoons chipotle in adobo** (2 peppers and their sauce), available in cans on the international foods aisle or substitute 1 1/2 tablespoons ground chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, a palm full
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey, 2 healthy drizzles
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup real maple syrup, eyeball it
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley leaves, your preference
  • 1 cup raw cashews


Servings 8
Preparation time 25mins
Cooking time 45mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan, then the chicken.

Season the chicken with grill seasoning. Brown the chicken on both sides, season with soy sauce then move off to one side of the pan. Add the remaining onions, garlic and peppers.

Cook 2 to 3 minutes then add water chest nuts and green peas and mix vegetables and meat together.Add the chipotles and cumin. Toss to coat. Glaze the mixture with honey and maple syrup and turn off the heat. Add in the chopped cilantro or parsley and the cashew nuts.

Top rice with cashew chicken and serve.

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