Gluten Free Cashew Chicken Meal Prep

Looking for a quick, delicious, and gluten-free meal prep that you can enjoy all week? This Gluten Free Cashew Chicken recipe is your answer! It’s packed with tender chicken, crunchy cashews, and colorful bell peppers. It’s the perfect meal for your eyes and taste buds. You can have it for lunch or dinner. Plus, it’s all done in just 30 minutes. Perfect for those who want to eat healthy without spending hours in the kitchen. 

What is Cashew Chicken?

Cashew Chicken is a popular Chinese-American dish. It’s known for its tasty mix of tender chicken, crunchy cashews, and vegetables, all tossed in a savory sauce. This dish typically features a mix of sweet, salty, and slightly spicy flavors, making it a favorite for many. The cashews add a unique texture and nutty taste. They perfectly complement the succulent chicken and crisp bell peppers. 

This Cashew Chicken meal prep is inspired by our favorite Chinese restaurant cashew chicken dinner with a gluten free twist. You can eat this recipe over rice, noodles, or on its own. It’s perfect for meal prep. It reheats well, keeping its delicious taste and texture all week. You can even keep this on your dinner rotation for the week as a go-to recipe that will rival your favorite Chinese food takeout.

A plate with a serving of gluten free cashew chicken stir-fry with vegetables and sesame seeds alongside a mound of white rice, a fork, a yellow cloth napkin, and two shakers on a marble surface.

Ingredient Notes

Let’s take a closer look at the simple ingredients that make this Gluten-Free Cashew Chicken so delicious. Here’s a breakdown to help you understand what you’re working with and why it’s important. All of these ingredients should be found easily at your local grocery store in the International and Produce sections.

For the Chicken:

  • Salt, white pepper, and garlic powder: These are basic seasonings. They give the chicken a good flavor base. They don’t overpower the dish.
  • Chicken Breasts or Tenders: Cut into bite-sized pieces for quick cooking and even flavor distribution.
  • Avocado Oil: We like using the Avocado Oil Cooking Spray. This is ideal for high-heat cooking and gives a light, even coating to prevent sticking.

For the Sauce:

  • Coconut Aminos: A gluten-free alternative to soy sauce with a slightly sweeter flavor. We like this variation in our recipe. You you substitute gluten-free tamari.
  • Oyster Sauce: Adds a deep, savory umami flavor to the sauce. Look for gluten free brands like Grandmaster Gluten-Free Oyster Sauce or Kikkoman® Gluten-Free Oyster Sauce. It is made from the natural liquor extracted from fresh oysters.
  • Rice Vinegar: Provides a tangy balance to the sweetness and richness of the sauce. Make sure you are using certified gluten-free sauces.
  • Honey: Sweetens the sauce naturally, balancing the salty and spicy elements.
  • Sesame Oil: A little goes a long way, adding a nutty, aromatic quality.
  • White Pepper, Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder: All of these spices combined will enhance the depth of the sauce and add a warmth
  • Red Pepper Chili Flakes: For a touch of heat. Adjust to taste.
  • Arrowroot Powder: This powder will be combined with water to make a slurry thickens the sauce without adding gluten. Make sure you use arrowroot powder to keep the dish gluten-free.
Ingredients for a gluten free cashew chicken meal prep arranged on a marble countertop, including diced chicken, bell peppers, cashews, green onions, various spices, and sauces in bowls.

For the Stir-Fry:

  • Green Bell Pepper & Red Bell Pepper: Cut into bite-sized pieces for a colorful and nutritious addition. Get those veggies in!
  • Raw Cashews: We like the raw roasted cashews for extra crunch and nutty flavor.
  • Green Onions: Sliced, with the white parts for cooking and green tops for garnish.
  • Sesame Seeds: Optional garnish for added texture and visual appeal.

To Serve:

  • Cooked Rice: We like serving this meal prep with cooked white rice. Use your preferred method or opt for frozen/microwaveable rice for convenience. Each meal prep container or plate gets about 1 cup of rice to balance the meal.

Equipment Needed

Before we talk about cooking, let’s make sure we have all the right tools on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cutting Board: For chopping chicken, bell peppers, and green onions.
  • Sharp Knife: Essential for cutting ingredients into bite-sized pieces.
  • Large Skillet: For cooking the chicken, vegetables, and sauce. A non-stick skillet works best.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons or Food Scale: To ensure accurate measurements for the sauce ingredients.
  • Mason Jar or Medium Bowl: For mixing the sauce.
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon: For stirring and combining ingredients in the skillet.
  • Rice Cooker/Instant Pot/Stovetop Pot: For cooking rice. Alternatively, use a microwave for pre-cooked rice that comes in the bag. This is a great short cut if you are short on time!
  • Meal Prep Containers: Round ones are recommended for easy storage and portioning of the prepared meals. But you can use what you have on hand!

Tools You’ll Need

Pyrex Storage Plus 7-Cup Round Glass Food Storage Dish, Blue Cover, Pack of 2 - Original Genuine Pyrex - Made in the USA

Pyrex Storage 4 Cup Round Dish, Clear with Blue Lid - Original Genuine Pyrex - Pack of 4 Containers

GiPP Nonstick Frying Pan Skillet - 9.5" White Granite Non Stick Pans, Omelette Pan with Heat-Resistant Handle, Compatible with All Stovetops, PFOA Free

As an Amazon Affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchase from our affiliate links, at no additional cost to our readers

Step-by-Step Instructions

This visual guide will show you step by step how to make our Gluten Free Cashew Chicken Meal Prep recipe.

Step 1: Cook the Rice

  • Start by cooking your rice in a rice cooker, instant pot, or on the stovetop. Prep time for this meal should take about 10 minutes.
  • Tip: Start by cooking your rice in a rice cooker, instant pot, or on the stovetop. Prep time for this meal should take about 10 minutes.
A black pot with a red handle containing cooked white rice is placed on a marble surface next to a yellow cloth, perfect for complementing your gluten-free cashew chicken meal prep.

Step 2: Prep the Vegetables

  • On a cutting board, cut up your red and green bell peppers into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  • Slice the green onions, separating the white and green parts. Set aside.
A cutting board on a marble countertop displays diced green and red bell peppers next to a large knife, ready for your gluten-free cashew chicken meal prep. A yellow cloth is placed nearby.

Step 3: Prep the Chicken

  • On a cutting board, cut the chicken breasts or tenders into bite-sized pieces.
Diced raw chicken pieces on a cutting board next to a kitchen knife, ready for your gluten-free cashew chicken meal prep, with a yellow cloth in the background.

Step 4: Heat the Skillet

  • Preheat a large skillet to medium-high heat and spray with avocado cooking oil spray.

Step 5: Cook the Chicken

  • Add the chicken pieces into the hot pan and season with salt, white pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Cook the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side until fully cooked.
  • Remove the chicken from the heat and set aside on a plate.
A frying pan with chunks of gluten-free cashew chicken on a marble countertop. A yellow cloth is placed next to the pan, ready for meal prep.

Step 6: Make the Sauce

  • Mix the following ingredients in a mason jar or small bowl: coconut aminos, oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, sesame oil, white pepper, garlic powder, ginger powder, and red pepper flakes.
  • Add the arrowroot powder and water to the mixture to create a thickening slurry. Shake the jar or mix in the bowl until well combined.
A glass jar containing a mixture with a brown substance topped with white powder, a spoon and lid resting nearby on a white marble surface with a yellow cloth in the background—perfect for your gluten free cashew chicken meal prep.

Step 7: Stir-Fry the Vegetables

  • Spray the skillet with cooking oil spray again.
  • Add the whites of the green onions, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper to the skillet. Stir-fry until the vegetables are soft.
A white frying pan contains chopped green and red bell peppers and sliced scallions, perfect for a gluten free cashew chicken meal prep, placed on a white marble countertop with a wooden spoon and yellow cloth nearby.

Step 8: Add the Cashews

Add the roasted cashews to the skillet and cook with the vegetables for about 2-3 minutes.

A sauté pan holds a mix of chopped bell peppers and cashews on a white marble surface, ready for your gluten free cashew chicken meal prep, with a yellow cloth and a wooden spoon nearby.

Step 9: Combine Everything

  • Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet and pour the prepared sauce over the chicken, vegetables, and cashews.
  • Cook until the sauce is bubbly and everything is well coated.
A glass bowl containing a serving of white rice, surrounded by a ladle, a yellow fabric, a pot with white rice, a pan with gluten-free cashew chicken, a bowl of green onions, and a bowl of spices on a marble surface.

Step 10: Plate and Garnish

  • Divide the cooked rice into three meal prep containers (about 1 cup per container) – use an airtight container.
  • Evenly distribute the cashew chicken among the containers.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and the green tops of the green onions.
  • Enjoy your delicious, gluten-free Cashew Chicken meal prep throughout the week! This also doubles as an easy dinner recipe.
A glass bowl - meal prep container of rice topped with gluten-free cashew chicken, stir-fried red bell peppers, and green onions, garnished with sesame seeds, viewed from above.

Find the measurements and full recipe below in the recipe card!

Reheating Instructions

When you’re ready to eat this meal prep at work for lunch (or working remotely), follow these steps to keep your meal tasting fresh and flavorful:

Microwave Method:

  1. Remove Lid: Take the lid off your meal prep container.
  2. Microwave: Place the container in the microwave.
  3. Heat: Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. If needed, heat for an additional 30-second increments until the food is heated through.
  4. Stir: Stir the chicken and rice halfway through heating to ensure even warmth.
  5. Cool: Let it sit for a minute before eating to avoid burns and to let the flavors meld back together.
A glass bowl with a stir-fry of gluten-free cashew chicken, vibrant vegetables, and cashews atop a bed of rice, sprinkled with sesame seeds and green onions. A yellow cloth is partially visible in the background.

Stovetop Method:

  1. Transfer to Pan: Transfer the cashew chicken and rice from the container to a small skillet or saucepan.
  2. Heat Gently: Heat on medium-low, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.
  3. Add Water: If the sauce seems too thick, add a tablespoon of water to loosen it up and keep the dish moist.
  4. Serve: Once heated thoroughly, transfer back to your container or plate and enjoy.

Tips:


  • Avoid Overheating: Reheating for too long can make the chicken tough and the cashews soft. Aim for just enough time to heat through.
  • Check Temperature: Ensure the food is piping hot all the way through to enjoy the best flavor and texture.
  • Enjoy your meal prep with minimal fuss and maximum flavor!

Storage Tips

  • Refrigeration: Store your meal prep containers in the refrigerator. These meals will stay fresh for up to 3-5 days. This recipe will make about 3 different meal preps that you can space out throughout the week.
  • Freezing: If you want to keep the meals for longer, you can freeze them. They’ll last up to 2 months in the freezer and still keep their original flavor. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the reheating instructions.
A round serving of white rice is plated next to gluten-free cashew chicken with vegetables and sesame seeds. A fork is placed on the plate's edge. The background includes condiments and a yellow cloth.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, you can substitute soy sauce or tamari for coconut aminos. Just be mindful that soy sauce is saltier, so you may want to adjust the amount to taste. Adding soy sauce also will add gluten back to this meal and it will no longer be gluten free. 

Your meal prep containers will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.

Absolutely! These meals can be frozen and can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and follow the reheating instructions.

Cornstarch is a great alternative to arrowroot powder for thickening the sauce. Use the same amount (1 tablespoon) mixed with water to create a slurry. Keep in mind that this swap will no longer make the dish gluten-free.

Definitely! Feel free to add or substitute other vegetables like broccoli florets, snap peas, or carrots based on your preference. You might need to adjust the cooking time of other vegetables.

To control the heat, adjust the amount of red pepper chili flakes. Add more for extra spice or leave them out for a milder flavor.

You can reheat the cashew chicken on the stovetop. Move the food to a small skillet or saucepan. Add a tablespoon of water if needed. Heat on medium-low, stirring occasionally, until warm. This meal can also be eaten room temperature if you are bringing it to work but don’t have a microwave handy.

Yes, you can substitute the chicken with tofu or tempeh. Ensure the tofu is pressed and cut into bite-sized pieces before cooking.

Sure! If using pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken, skip the cooking steps for the chicken and add it in when combining everything with the sauce.

To keep the cashews crunchy, you can add some fresh cashews just before serving. This way, they retain their crunch even after reheating.

Have more questions?

Feel free to ask any questions about our take on this cashew chicken stir fry in the comments below! We’re here to help make your cooking experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

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A bowl contains gluten free cashew chicken with green onions, sesame seeds, vegetables, and white rice, placed on a yellow cloth.

Gluten Free Cashew Chicken Meal Prep Recipe

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  • Author: The Solo Spoon
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3
  • Category: Meal Prep
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian Inspired

Description

This delicious and easy Gluten-Free Cashew Chicken is perfect for meal prep! Tender chicken pieces are stir-fried with crunchy cashews and fresh vegetables in a savory gluten-free sauce. Prepare this dish in advance and enjoy flavorful, healthy meals all week long. Ideal for busy weeknights or make-ahead lunches, this recipe will become a staple in your meal prep routine.


Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Chicken Tenders
  • Avocado Oil Spray

For the Sauce:

  • Coconut Aminos
  • Gluten Free Oyster Sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Honey
  • Sesame Oil
  • White Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ginger Powder
  • Red Pepper Chili Flakes
  • Arrowroot Powder

For the Stir-Fry:

  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Raw Cashews
  • Green Onions
  • Sesame Seeds

To Serve:

  • Cooked Rice

Instructions

  • Step 1: Cook the Rice: Start by cooking your rice in a rice cooker, instant pot, or on the stovetop
  • Step 2: Prep the Vegetables: On a cutting board, cut up your red and green bell peppers into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. Slice the green onions, separating the white and green parts. Set aside.
  • Step 3: Prep the Chicken: On a cutting board, cut the chicken breasts or tenders into bite-sized pieces.
  • Step 4: Heat the Skillet: Preheat a large skillet to medium-high heat and spray with avocado cooking oil spray.
  • Step 5: Cook the Chicken: Add the chicken pieces into the hot skillet and season with salt, white pepper, and garlic powder. Cook the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side until fully cooked. Remove the chicken from the heat and set aside on a plate.
  • Step 6: Make the Sauce: Mix ¼ cup coconut aminos, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar in a mason jar or bowl. Add 3 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoon white pepper, 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ginger powder, and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Add 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder and 2 tablespoons of water to the mixture to create a thickening slurry. Shake the jar or mix in the bowl until well combined.
  • Step 7: Stir-Fry the Vegetables: Spray the skillet with cooking oil spray again. Add the whites of the green onions, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper to the skillet. Stir-fry until the vegetables are soft.
  • Step 8: Add the Cashews: Add the roasted cashews to the skillet and cook with the vegetables for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Step 9: Combine Everything: Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet and pour the prepared sauce over the chicken, vegetables, and cashews. Cook until the sauce is bubbly and everything is well coated.
  • Step 10: Plate and Garnish: Divide the cooked rice into three meal prep containers (about 1 cup per container). Evenly distribute the cashew chicken among the containers. Garnish with sesame seeds and the green tops of the green onions.

Notes

Tip: You can skip cooking rice and microwave rice in the bag for a quick shortcut.

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