Main Dishes Recipes Whole30

Paleo Spicy Cashew Chicken Stir Fry Recipe

Growing up with a Chinese mother, delicious and healthy stir fries were a staple in my house. Stir fries are kind of a comfort food for me. I love cooking up a big meat and veggies stir fry in my wok, then serving it up on a steaming bed of rice or cauliflower rice, or even just on its own. And with our weekly produce box, I always have a large supply of fresh, local veggies on hand to make these amazing meal in ones. I only wish I had a bigger wok!

Chinese stir fries typically use cornstarch and soy sauce, but in this paleo and Whole30 compliant recipe I’ve replaced them with arrowroot starch and coconut aminos (gluten-free tamari sauce is another paleo-friendly alternative). We like ours spicy, but feel free to reduce the amount of red pepper flakes if you like it milder.

Besides the homey comfort of a good stir fry, I also love how infinitely adaptable stir fries are with whatever you happen to have on hand. They’re a great way to use up older produce before it goes bad in the back of my fridge, and the yummy sauce makes this an easy way to get veggies into the kids.

I used chicken, carrots, zucchini, snap peas, and cauliflower for this one, but of course you can use whatever protein and produce you have available. Thinly sliced beef or pork or whole shrimp would all work well. If you’re using different veggies, the general rule is to add the hardest vegetables first as they take the longest to cook.

Try this one the next time you’re in the mood for a flavourful and healthy Chinese stir fry. Enjoy!

Check out more of my paleo/gluten-free recipes!This West Coast Mommy's Paleo and Gluten-Free Recipes

Paleo Spicy Cashew Chicken Stir Fry


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 pounds chicken
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 2-3 large carrots
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • 1 cup toasted cashews


  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 6 tablespoons coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 8 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


To toast cashews

  • Grease a small skillet with a touch of coconut oil and heat over medium.
  • Once hot, add whole, unsalted, raw cashews and stir frequently to toast evenly, about 5 minutes.

For the stir fry

  • Chop chicken and vegetables into bite size pieces suitable for stir frying and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix arrowroot starch and coconut aminos until starch is dissolved. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir until well-mixed.
  • Heat coconut oil in wok or large skillet over medium heat. Once shimmering, add chicken and stir fry about 5 minutes.
  • Add sliced carrots and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Next add cauliflower and cook 3-5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook another 3-5 minutes.
  • Add snap peas and toasted cashews, then pour in sauce. Stir fry for 2-3 more minutes until vegetables are cooked, ensuring everything is well-coated in sauce.
  • Serve alone or over rice or cauliflower rice. Enjoy!
This post is linked up to some fantastic recipe link parties. Check out my Link Parties page to see where I’m linking up and to find some wonderful blogs and more amazing recipes!

Leave a Comment


  • I love the sounds of teh recipe, but am not sure of ‘coconut aminos’ and where I would find these? Is it a big taste difference between that and the tamari?

    • There is a bit of a difference as they’re fermented from different foods, but they both work well. You can buy coconut aminos at, but when I don’t have any on hand I just use tamari (because it’s wheat-free). If you don’t care about gluten, you can also just use regular soy sauce.

  • hmm, I’d have to leave out the red pepper flakes or my lips and mouth will burn up but otherwise it sounds good. Like Soozle I have no idea what ‘coconut aminos’ is. I do love a nice stir fry 🙂

    • LOL! We do like spicy food, but it’s not too scorching! Coconut aminos is just a non-soybean alternative to soy sauce. You can substitute tamari or soy sauce too if you like.

  • Love learning about new things like coconut aminos…. and how to use them. This dish looks really tasty, I’m all about veggies 🙂

  • Yum! Yum! Yum! Stirfry is a staple at our household. Everyone gobbles up their veggies that way. I’m always looking for new sauce recipes though as I tend to get bored with mine. Haha! Thanks for the new one to try!

  • I’m not very well versed in stir fry dishes, but I know when something looks good! Adding nuts to savory dishes is something I really like because of the texture they add. And we definitely love spicy food at my house!
    Thank you for sharing, Olivia.

  • My mom loves cashew chicken! I’d love to make this for her, so thanks for sharing. I’ve pinned it to Pinterest so I can make it in the future.

  • Thank you for linking up to Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday last week. As one of the co-hosts, I will be featuring your recipe on Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday this week on my site, Detours in Life. Congrats! Please stop by and grab a feature button when you get a chance.

  • This recipe sounds amazing but I’d have to leave out the spicy since I have little ones that don’t like spicy.

  • This sounds really good. my husband loves to eat stir fry although we havnt made it at all yet. this would be a good recipe to try since we trying new things.

  • My husband loves chicken and cashew dishes at restaurants, so this would be perfect to try! And much healthier than a restaurant meal too.

  • This sounds so good. I would definitely have to cut the pepper flakes because my kids hate spicy. Which is hard for my husband! Thanks for the recipe

  • I’m allergic to tomatoes. Is there something I can use instead of the tomato paste? or do you think it would be okay without?

    • Sorry, I don’t know of any non-tomato substitutes. Stir fries are pretty resilient though. You could try just leaving it out – it won’t taste the same but I bet it’ll still taste good!

  • We made this tonight, and it looks so good… Up until we put the sauce on it. The sauce really thickened up and became almost jellylike. Not really sure what went wrong. It was really good except for the jelly-ness of the sauce.

    • Oh no! It’s supposed to be thick like a glaze, but not like what you’re describing. Try adding less arrowroot starch next time and make sure you mix it in right away. If you let the sauce cook all in one place it will start to get gloopy. Once you see the texture, you can always add more starch dissolved in a little bit of water if you want it thicker.

  • I lo-ove stir fry and I agree it’s such comfort food to me. Thanks for sharing at the This Is How We Roll Link Party on Organized 31.

  • I have absolutely no tolerance for spicy food so ill have to leave the pepper flakes out but, otherwise, sounds yummy!

  • iI used to do Stir-Fries all the time. However, I haven’t made any for years. Stir-Fries make a healthy and delicious dish anand I plan on making one very soon. Thank you for this delicious and healthy recipe.

  • Oooh, I would love to try this! I really love the combination of chicken with cashews in the stir fry dishes that I make. Yum!

  • Made this tonight. WOW!!! D E L I C I O U S ! My 5 and 17 year old girls did not mind the red pepper flaked at all. I asked my little one if it was spicy and said, “uhm, just a little but it’s super good”. The entire family gives this recipe a round of applause. Thanks for sharing. :))

  • I made this recipe about a year ago a few times and meant to save it…. anyways I’m so glad that through some searching google bought it back!! It’s so delicious! i can’t wait to make it again! THANK YOU!

  • I have always chicken to try new receipes..unsure how to use spices is really my issues but i will try this one and see how it goes. Looks deliecious.

  • I LOVE this recipe ! I haven’t made it in a while and now am going to make it for a crowd. How many would you say this single recipe serves?
    Thank you!

  • Yum! This sounds like it would fit in with the diet my husband is doing right now, and he loves spicy stuff! Is there a more “run of the mill” option I could use instead of arrowroot powder? Or could I use collagen powder instead if the point is to thicken it up? Thanks!