Cashew Chicken Bake is a simple, low calorie casserole dinner packed with protein and vegetables. A hearty gluten free meal that’s filling and the whole family will love! Gluten Free + Low Calorie
Sometimes I forget what it’s like to be unhealthy and just starting out losing weight. I forget that I once was a pizza and fast food for dinner loving kind of person. I also forget how I didn’t cook and had to teach myself how to when I was losing my 80 pounds so I could eat healthier, low calorie food.
So while I, as a nutrition practitioner who helps women over 35 lose weight, may find it easy to eat protein and veggies on a regular basis, to someone else that may seem really hard because their version of dinner is pizza or fast food and that’s just too far of a leap for someone to take.
Which brings me to this Cashew Chicken Bake. This has been a simple, go-to recipe of mine for years. One of the first, of many EASY dinner recipes that are lightened up. It’s a healthy, low-calorie version of a take-out favorite of mine. It’s also a spin on my easy chicken stir-fry.
Perfect for those who are just beginning their weight loss journey and feeling overwhelmed in the kitchen and with making healthier, low calorie recipes their family will love!
What Makes This Cashew Chicken Casserole Healthy?
This Cashew Chicken Bake is made with just a few simple, healthy swaps to making it better for you than restaurant versions and you won’t believe how simple it is cook too. Less money, less calories and less a lot less fat! Here’s a few more reasons why I love it.
- Low Calorie – Only 307 calories per serving! Calories matter for weight loss, but nutrients matter for hormones. After 35, women are more challenged with weight loss due to hormonal changes. The body needs MORE nutrients in order to release weight and this dinner recipe is packed with veggies and protein to give your body what it needs at this stage of life.
- High Volume – Nutrient dense meals are always high in volume (they fill up your stomach for few calories). You can easily get full enjoying this recipe – it’s so much food!
- Gluten Free – This recipe is naturally gluten free and uses coconut aminos in place of soy sauce to eliminate gluten.
- Dairy Free – This recipe has not dairy in it.
- High Protein – The protein keeps you full and helps you burn a small amount of calories.
- Healthy Fat – Healthy fat promotes healthy hormones and weight loss. This recipe has 12 grams per serving 2 of which comes from saturated fat (less ideal) and the rest from monounsaturated, heart healthy fat.
Ingredients For Cashew Chicken Bake
Here is what you need to make this healthy cashew chicken dinner recipe! You will also need a casserole dish and nonstick cooking spray.
- Chicken Breast (I get mine from ButcherBox because it is pasture raised).
- Instant Brown Rice
- Red Bell Pepper and Green Bell Pepper
- Water Chestnuts
- Coconut Aminos
- Rice Wine Vinegar
- Salt, Pepper
- Green Onions
How To Make Cashew Chicken In The Oven
Here’s how to make cashew chicken in the oven. I also have a stovetop version of Cashew Chicken made in a skillet if you prefer that method.
Step one – Place the rice in the bottom of a casserole dish sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Add the water then layer in the celery and peppers. Place the chicken breast (chopped) over the veggies and rice.
Step two – In a small bowl, mix together the seasonings along with the coconut aminos and rice wine vinegar. Pour over the chicken, veggies and rice, and add the water chestnuts on top.
Step three – Bake the cashew chicken casserole in the oven at 375 F for 45 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven and top with sliced green onions (optional) and serve!
Can You Make Cashew Chicken Bake Ahead Of Time?
The answer is yes. I recommend prepping everything up to the point of baking then storing it in the refrigerator the night before baking. Simply remove from the refrigerator while you preheat the oven, pop it into the oven and bake!
Substitutions For Baked Cashew Chicken
Here are the substitutions you can make with this recipe. It’s a very flexible recipe so I’m sure most additions and substitutions you make will work. As always, substitutions or changes to the recipe will alter the nutritional values you see in the recipe card below.
- Chicken Breast – Any protein can be substituted such as pork tenderloin, shrimp, fish and lean cuts of red meat.
- Bell Peppers – Eggplant, zucchini, summer squash could be substituted.
- Celery – Onion or carrots can be substituted.
- Instant Brown Rice – If you prefer, regular rice I recommend cooking it separate from the casserole.
- Coconut Aminos – If gluten is not a problem for you, then soy sauce can be used or gluten free soy sauce.
- Rice Wine Vinegar – White vinegar can be substituted.
- Cumin – Can be omitted if it does not agree with you.
- Cashews – Can be omitted if you like or replaced with another raw nut you enjoy.
Cashew Chicken Bake
This Cashew Chicken Bake is a simple, low calorie casserole dinner packed with protein and vegetables. A healthy, gluten free and low calorie meal the whole family will love!
- 1/2 cup brown rice instant, I used Minute Brown Rice
- 1 lb chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 cup celery chopped
- 8 ounce water chestnuts rinsed and drained
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 cup cashews raw
- green onions for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 F and spray a large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Place brown rice on the bottom of the casserole dish, add water then layer celery and bell pepper. Rice should be instant rice and does go in the casserole dish uncooked with chicken and veggies. Regular rice will not cook fully. If using regular rice, cook it separately.
Place chicken on top of veggies.
In a separate bowl, mix seasonings with coconut aminos, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger then add mixture to casserole. Layer water chestnuts on top.
Bake 45 minutes at 375 F uncovered.
Remove from oven, add cashews and bake another 10 minutes.
Top with sliced green onions for garnish and serve.
- Brown rice is used in the recipe and the rice goes in the casserole dish per the instructions. Use an instant rice like Minute Instant Brown Rice for the recipe to ensure it cooks in the casserole.
- Recipe makes 6 servings. I recommend you divide the servings evenly among 6 containers.
- My Amazon shop has more products similar to those used for this recipe and that I recommend to my weight loss clients.
- If you love this recipe, check out my low calorie cookbook for more delicious recipes and weight loss tips!
- Like this recipe? See my Skillet Cashew Chicken.
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