Whenever I have a craving for Chinese food, I always have a tough decision to make. Get take-out, which includes driving at least 25 minutes each way, knowing it’s not going to settle well? Or make it myself? Lately, I’ve been opting to make it at home more often- a cheaper and healthier option. I made this Skinny Pineapple Chicken with Cashews the other day and wow… absolutely delicious! It was easy to make, it’s low-fat and healthy, it settles well, and tastes amazing.
AND, it doesn’t have any added sugar! The sauce is AMAZING. The sweetness of the pineapple is just enough to make a slightly sweet brown sauce, complimented by a hint of spiciness from Sriracha sauce, umami from soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, earthiness from garlic, coriander, and ginger, and acidity from rice wine vinegar.
ANDDDDDDD, the whole meal only takes 20 minutes to make!
This is the perfect recipe for this busy back-to-school time of year. The sauce can even be made ahead of time for an extra quick and easy weeknight meal, if you’re into meal planning.
Yup, this is definitely being added to my regular dinner rotation.
First, cook some chicken breast meat with a touch of oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, in a skillet.
Then, make the sauce. Simply blend the ingredients together in a food processor. You can also use an immersion blender in a bowl or glass measuring cup. I made a slurry of soy sauce and cornstarch to add last to the mixture, so the cornstarch didn’t clump together.
Lastly, heat up the sauce in the same skillet until it’s thickened, and add the chicken back in along with some cashews and pineapple. That’s it!
Usually, I garnish stir-fries with chopped green onion, but I chose fresh cilantro this time. You don’t have to use a garnish at all, but be warned: it won’t be as pretty :-)
If you like making your own Chinese food at home, be sure to check out this skinny orange sesame chicken. And also, check out my friend Maggie’s blog, Omnivore’s Cookbook, for authentic Chinese meals you can make at home!
Printable recipe below, including adaptions for making this gluten-free or Paleo/Whole30 compliant.
|Skinny Pineapple Chicken with Cashews|| |
- 1 tablespoon canola (or other neutral tasting) oil
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast meat, cut into 1" cubes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup fresh diced pineapple, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- ½ cup whole cashews
- steamed rice and fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Cook chicken on all sides until browned on the outside and fully cooked, about 6 minutes. Remove to a plate.
- Meanwhile, add ½ cup pineapple, along with the garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, sriracha, sesame oil, and coriander to a food processor and press on until smooth.
- Whisk together cornstarch and soy sauce in a separate small bowl and add to pineapple mixture in the food processor. Pulse to combine completely.
- After removing chicken from skillet, add the sauce. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened (about 3 minutes).
- Add the chicken back into the sauce, along with the cashews and remaining pineapple.
- Serve over steamed rice garnished with fresh cilantro.
For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free soy sauce.
For a paleo version, use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch.