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Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Cashew Chicken

Pressure cooker cashew chicken is to die for! You just need a few ingredients to make this sweet sauce with crunchy nuts and tender pieces of chicken. Make it in your Instant Pot, Crockpot Express or Ninja Foodi tonight!

Pressure Cooker Cashew Chicken

Last night we made this pressure cooker cashew chicken and served it over rice. OH MY was it good! We love easy Instant Pot recipes! (originally published 5/19, affiliate links present)

We also just got a Ninja Foodi and it’s the bomb too. It works the same way except you can air fry at the end if you want. In this case you’re just pressure cooking.

You can make it in a Crockpot Express too. I honestly can say I haven’t turned on my oven in months.

Let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

Using either chicken breasts or chicken thighs, this turns out great in less than 30 minutes flat.

  • With a sweet sauce, my girls all agree it is one of their favorite meals over rice.

Instant Pot cashew chicken

It’s easier to make than you might think. Add a bit more hoisin sauce to make it even sweeter, or more soy sauce for a saltier base. As always, I say you should adjust it to your taste buds.

  • I would say the first time, start with my measurements and then go from there. 😉
  • If you love Panda Express cashew chicken this is the dinner for you!

There may be a few ingredients that you might need to buy such as hoisin sauce. If you haven’t heard of this, it is super versatile and what makes a lot of Asian dishes sweet with a thick dark sauce. I’m sure you have soy sauce.

soy sauce

When I am coming up with something new I kinda’ stick to my to go sauce choices and adjust until they are just right.

I would never share an easy Instapot recipe that wasn’t absolutely 1000% perfect of course. 😉

  • Just get everything out so you’re ready.
  • I’m not kidding you when I say this is a dump and go throw it together dish.
  • You don’t even need to precook the meat beforehand.
  • Sauce + diced chicken for 4 minutes on high pressure and it is done to perfection. So moist too.
  • At the end I suggest you take that last step to thicken the sauce with cornstarch. If you don’t want to of course you can skip that.

This is basically what we added to our pot. Use any brand of pressure cooker you might have. We used our Foodi this time. No matter which brand you have, I highly suggest having a non stick pot as you see here.

easy cashew chicken recipe

Oh yeah, and you can add a bit of heat too if you’d like. We don’t. A squeeze of Sriracha or a pinch of chili powder would do the trick though.

That’s what’s great about making homemade cashew chicken, you can make it JUST like you want it.

  • Using chicken broth instead of water also gives this one pot meal more flavor. It definitely isn’t lacking of that!

If you’re familiar with our Instant Pot honey chicken or Hawaiian chicken recipe this is somewhat like those with a few different ingredients.

Many of these Asian dishes have a lot of the same items with a tweak here and there. Of course you can personalize it from there but you’ll need these basic items to make most of them.

ninja foodi recipes

Cashew chicken Instant Pot recipe

  1. Pressure cooker
    1. I highly suggest getting this non stick pot too
  2. Chicken breasts
    1. you could use chicken thighs if you wanted
    2. cut into bite size pieces
  3. Hoisin sauce
  4. Minced garlic
  5. Cashews
  6. Soy sauce
  7. Rice vinegar
  8. Green onions
  9. Salt and pepper
  10. Chicken broth 
  11. Cornstarch – to thicken sauce at the end
  12. White rice to serve it over
  13. Sesame oil or olive oil

Sesame seeds and diced bell peppers would be optional add ins as well.

ninja foodi chicken

Do you have to brown meat before putting in a pressure cooker?

  • NO
  • You do NOT need to precook or saute this chicken before you pressure cook.
    • It cooks all at the same time and in just 4 minutes flat which makes for a short cook time!! Seriously. 
  • Some recipes like our Instant Pot crack chicken casserole you do.
    • So it depends on what you’re cooking.

Things you need to make pressure cooker cashew chicken

  • Pressure cooker
    • If you have an Instant Pot I HIGHLY suggest you get a non stick pot too!
    • A Crock Pot Express, Mealthy or Ninja works too.
Pressure Cooker Cashew Chicken 2

Easy cashew chicken recipe

Time needed: 30 minutes.

Cashew chicken in Instant Pot

  1. Prepare chicken

    Dice your chicken into bite size pieces. This will make it easier to eat, allow the meat to absorb lots of sauce and cook faster.

  2. Add into pressure cooker

    Add your meat and all other ingredients (minus your cornstarch) into the pot and stir so everything is coated.

  3. Cook

    You’re going to close your lid, close valve to sealing, and start cooking on high pressure for 4 minutes. Quick release the steam when your pot beeps and remove the lid. Set that aside and turn your pot off and then press saute.

  4. Thicken sauce

    Once sauce bubbles, add cold water with cornstarch. Whisk together until smooth, then add into the pot.

How do you thicken a sauce in a pressure cooker?

In a small bowl whisk together some of the hot liquid out of your pot with your cornstarch.

Make sure it is nice and smooth, now dump that into your pot. Stir and allow to thicken. Turn pot off and serve immediately over rice or quinoa!

Looking for more pressure cooker chicken recipes? We have a LOT but our spicy teriyaki Instant Pot chicken is always a winner.

instant pot spicy teriyaki chicken thighs

Here are a few more family favorite one pot meals everyone enjoys. Try a few others after this one, especially if you’re new to this way of cooking. Believe me, after a few recipes you’ll be a “pro” at this too!

How many carbs are in cashew chicken?

That depends on what recipe you’re following but for ours the nutritional information is all listed below in the recipe card. Each serving is calculated for 3 ounces of the chicken and sauce itself. We always serve it with a side.

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Sesame chicken with cashews

Pressure Cooker Cashew Chicken

Pressure cooker cashew chicken is to die for! You just need a few ingredients to make this sweet sauce with crunchy nuts and tender pieces of chicken.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American, Chinese, Japanese
Keyword chicken, instant pot, ninja foodi, pressure cooker
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 19 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 383kcal
Author The Typical Mom



  • Put your diced chicken, sesame or olive oil, salt, minced garlic, pepper, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and chicken broth into your pressure cooker. Stir.
  • Close pressure cooker lid and steam valve and set to high pressure for 4 minutes.
  • Do a quick release when done. Open lid and set aside.
  • In a small bowl whisk together your cornstarch and 5 tbsp of hot liquid from your pot until smooth.
  • Set your pressure cooker to saute and when sauce inside begins to bubble pour your cornstarch mixture in and stir for 1 minute. Then turn pot off. 
  • Dice green onions and put into pot, add as many roasted cashews as you’d like. Stir so everything is combined well.
  • Serve alone or on top of rice!


Nutrition Facts
Pressure Cooker Cashew Chicken
Amount Per Serving (3 oz)
Calories 383 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 85mg28%
Sodium 651mg28%
Potassium 328mg9%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 220IU4%
Vitamin C 3.6mg4%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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