Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

December 4, 2019

Craving Asian cuisine without the takeout price tag? Try these simple Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps; a budget-friendly, one-pan, 30-minute meal. Perfect for a busy weeknight meal, this dish is a healthier classic packed with Asian-inspired flavor!

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Originally published on sofabfood.com on December 4, 2019.

Our weekends can be just as busy as our weekdays. With so much going on, sometimes I’m exhausted by dinner and don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking. That’s why we love Asian-inspired cuisine. It’s easy to make and there’s so much flavor packed in every dish!

The idea for these Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps came from a package of cashew chicken sauce I had previously purchased from the store. It was an easy way to make a takeout favorite, but I wanted to try making a homemade sauce this time around.

Make it a Healthier Classic with Simple Ingredients!

Most of the time, packaged sauces have a lot of sodium and other ingredients I like to stay away from. Creating your own sauces at home is a great way to monitor your sodium intake and make a nice sauce with fresh flavor. Plus, if you eat as much Asian cuisine as we do, chances are that you’ll have all the ingredients to make a great sauce at home already!

The sauce for these Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps is made with a simple mixture of water, corn starch, low sodium soy sauce, red chili paste, and Hoisin sauce. I added just a couple drops of sesame oil to the sauce, too. Sesame oil is really strong, so one or two drops will go a long way to flavor this recipe!

How Can This Be a 30-Minute Meal?

Once the sauce is ready, cook up diced chicken in a wok or large skillet with some fresh ginger and garlic. Then, add the sauce and cook until it thickens slightly. Mix in the cashews and serve in lettuce wraps.

I toasted the cashews for a couple minutes in a small pan before adding them to the chicken mixture. This brought out more of the cashew’s nutty, sweet flavor, and added crunch. You can skip this step, if you like, but I totally recommend it!

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 3 tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp red chili paste
  • Drop of sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • Boston lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: chopped green onions, sliced red peppers, sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. In a small skillet, toast the cashews over a low flame. They'll only take a couple minutes to start browning. Remove from heat at the first sign of them turning and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the water, corn starch, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, red chili paste, and sesame oil. Set side.
  3. Heat olive oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until lightly browned.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger and cook just until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Then, pour the sauce into the skillet and stir in the cashews.
  6. Serve immediately in Boston lettuce leaves and top with green onions, sliced peppers, and sesame seed.

Notes

Home Chef Tip: Save money on cashews by buying them in the bulk bin at the grocery store. Grab what you need to make this recipe instead of a big bag.

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This is basically a one-pan-and-done dish that’s better than takeout! Serve it with a side of brown rice and toppings like green onions, sliced peppers, and sesame seeds. If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy my Slow Cooker Asian-Inspired Meatballs!

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