Lunch Meal Prep Cashew Chicken is a healthy Chinese food fake-away that you’re going to love all week long! It’s a little bit spicy with a hint of sweet, and really delicious. Pick your favorite grain and veg to go on the side, and you have healthy whole food lunch your co-workers will be jealous of.
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Besides the fact that we are on a budget and eating out every day for lunch just isn’t going to work for us, I really enjoy sending my husband to work with a home-cooked lunch that I know he’s going to enjoy.
I’ll be honest, it’s not always this impressive! There are a lot of repeats, and more often than not, he gets leftovers from the night before. But since I’ve been scheduling my recipe creation and photography days for Sunday while he’s home to watch the girls, I’ve been able to plan a special meal prep lunch just for him.
Last week he got this Meal Prep Cashew Chicken, and I’m not gonna lie, I wish I made a double batch so I could have it too!
Meal Prep Cashew Chicken
Step 1 – Prepare chicken and brown
I use chicken thighs because they are more affordable, more flavorful, and easier to keep moist. Once upon a time I was afraid of them because they look like a mess before they’re cooked, but once you do a little bit of trimming and get them nice and brown, all that’s left is juicy deliciousness.
Trim the boneless, skinless chicken thighs of any extra skin or fat, then cut into 1 inch bite sized chunks. Season the cut chicken with salt and pepper and then brown in a large pan with some cooking oil – I used grape seed oil, but olive or avocado would work too!
Step 2 – Make the sauce
While your chicken thigh pieces are browning, put together the cashew chicken sauce.
Whisk together the hot water, tamari/coconut aminos/or soy sauce, and corn starch. Then you just add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until it’s all combined.
Step 3 – Simmer the chicken with the sauce
Once the chicken has browned on both sides, you are going to add the sauce, stir and bring to a simmer. The chicken may not be fully cooked when you add the sauce, but that’s fine. It’s going to cook further as you simmer the sauce.
You can see below that the sauce is thin and doesn’t stick to the chicken when you first add it, but after it thickens you get a gorgeous, shiny sauce that coats every piece of chicken.
Step 4 – Toast your cashews (skip this step if you’re using roasted cashews)
It’s very easy to quickly toast any nut. For this cashew chicken we are using, of course, cashews.
Take a small, dry pan and heat it over medium/high heat. After it’s hot (just a minute or two) add the raw, dry nuts. Gently swirl them around as they toast and heat through. If your pan skills are fancy you can toss them around with a flick of the wrist, or you can use a spoon to turn them as you go.
Watch carefully because it’s easy to burn them. After just a couple of minutes you’ll start to smell the nuts and notice they are browning. That’s when they’re done. Pour the toasted nuts right on top of the chicken and sauce in your large pan.
If you’re using gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos, this Meal Prep Cashew Chicken will be completely gluten-free!
Individually package this for your lunches with brown rice and your favorite green vegetable, and you have a super healthy, super delicious Chinese fakeaway lunch that your whole office will envy.
Get your Chinese food fix the healthy way with my other Chinese takeout inspired recipes! Mushroom Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas is always a favorite with my clients, and Passion Fruit Sweet and Sour Chicken is a fun and delicious way to use passion fruit in a savory dish!
LOOKING FOR MORE FLAVORFUL AND HEALTHY RECIPES? CHECK THESE OUT.
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