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Gluten-free Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry is creamy and satisfying. Ready in 20 minutes!

Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry | iowagirleats.com

I’ve got a really fun recipe + giveaway for you today – Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry from my friend Dana the Minimalist Baker’s latest project, 31 Meals Cookbook

If you read my Friday Favorites posts, chances are you recognize the name as I’m always including Dana’s luscious recipes in them. From Chai Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches to 5 Ingredient Ginger-Beer Margaritas, and the GF Banana Bread I’m currently drooling over, she’s got a knack for posting recipes that make you want to immediately drop what you’re doing and run to the grocery store posthaste.

That is to say, quickly, yo!


Her newest offering, 31 Meals Cookbook, is a digital cookbook filled with 31 healthy, simple, affordable recipes, like Goat Cheese Chicken Salad, Freddy’s Style Thin & Crispy Veggie Burgers, and Egg Biscuit Sammies with Aged Cheddar and Greens – all recipes I considered sharing with you today before finally settling on Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry. More on that in a sec.

I feel the need to tell you a little more about this cookbook as it’s been extremely well thought out. Included in the book is weekly grocery lists, modifications to make every dish vegan and/or gluten-free, 5 bonus desserts, AND each recipe has 10 ingredients or less and can be made in 30 minutes or less. Bazinga.

Bonus, I’m giving a copy away at the end of this post, but in case you don’t win it, each copy of 31 Meals Cookbook (<–affiliate link) is just $9.99. Simply put, it’s a steal.


Anywho, like I said, after scrolling through the cookbook at least 10 times (I could NOT make up my mind,) I settled on this creamy, dare I say perfect, Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry. Mostly because I’ll take any excuse to crack open a can of coconut milk, but also because I think curry can be intimidating and I wanted to show you just how easy a curry-based dish can be to make. Really it’s just a stir fry, which means it’s fresh and ready in no time at all. This dish took 20 minutes from fridge to table!

Plus I already had almost all the ingredients on hand, save for fresh curry powder (I’ll show you an easy trick for getting just the amount you need for the recipe below!) and I don’t know, maybe the cilantro? I always have chicken in the freezer, of course, and coconut milk believe it or not. Ben loathes coconut milk (what a coconut,) but I always keep a can on hand just in case he’s working late or out of town and I have a chance to make things like this curry or Thai Fried Quinoa (<– omg that recipe!)

Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry | iowagirleats.com

If you’ve skipped over curries in the past, I challenge you to give this simple yet flavor-packed dish a try. The warm curry, creamy coconut milk, crunchy cashews, and zingy, hint of lime was mouthwatering. I just loved the whole thing!

Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry | iowagirleats.com

Start by sauteing 2 chicken breasts that have been cut into bite-sized pieces in 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Whew! Saute until no longer pink, 3-4 minutes, then remove to a plate and set aside.


Next heat an additional 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil then add 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger, 1/2 chopped red onion, 2 cups broccoli florets, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and then saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the broccoli is crisp-tender. The broccoli will continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes in the sauce later, so make sure you don’t overcook it now.

Oh, the recipe in the cookbook calls for red bell pepper instead of broccoli, but it’s very flexible. Use whatever veggies you like/have got on hand!


Time for zee main event – curry powder! If you’re like me and don’t cook with curry often then I suggest scoping out your grocery store’s bulk bins. I was able to buy just the amount of curry I needed for this recipe vs an entire jar that would inevitably sit in my cupboard going stale. (Well, I guess not after tasting this recipe which I WILL be making it again.)

Regardless, bulk bins, FTW!


Add 1-1/2 Tablespoons curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet then stir to coat, and then add 1/2 – 3/4 can light or full-fat coconut milk. Make sure to shake your can of coconut milk vigorously before opening to incorporate the fat back into the milk, which can separate inside the can.


I am allll about full fat coconut milk, by the way. It is a gift from nature that adds a luscious creaminess to this curry and should be celebrated! 


Anyway, also add 1 cup chicken broth then turn the heat up and bring the mixture to a bubble.


Turn the heat back down to a simmer then let the sauce thicken and reduce for 4-5 minutes, adding a dollop or 7 of additional coconut milk if it pleases you (it pleased me.)


Finally, stir in 1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashews for a creamy crunch.


And the juice of 1/2 lime. I always hesitate when adding lime to Thai or Indian dishes – I just don’t like things too limey – but half of one was just perfect. 


Scoop the creamy Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry over cooked rice and serve!

Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry | iowagirleats.com

Gluten-free Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry


Gluten-free Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry is creamy and satisfying. Plus it'll be on the table in 20 minutes!


serves 2 generously

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 3/4lb,) cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup light or full fat coconut milk, depending on preferred thickness
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 lime
  • For garnish: lime wedges, fresh basil and fresh cilantro


  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat then add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Saute until no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes, then remove to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add remaining olive oil, garlic, ginger, onion, broccoli and a pinch of salt to the skillet then cook until slightly softened, stirring frequently, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add curry powder and stir to coat, then add coconut milk and broth and stir. Season with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper for heat (optional).
  4. Bring to a low boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the liquid is reduced and slightly thickened. Add chicken back in then taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding a little agave nectar or sweetener of choice to sweeten and offset heat if desired.
  5. Just before removing from heat, add cashews and stir to coat. Then remove from heat, add the juice of half a lime and stir.
  6. Serve over rice or with naan. For a lighter option, serve over cauliflower rice. Garnish with fresh basil and cilantro and remaining lime wedges.


Adapted from 31 Meals Cookbook.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry | iowagirleats.com

This recipe generously serves two, and I will tell you that I easily gobbled my portion up. The ratio of curry powder to coconut milk to lime juice was just excellent – I totally loved this dish and can’t wait to try out more recipes from the 31 Meals Cookbook!

Cashew Chicken Coconut Curry | iowagirleats.com

Enter to win the 31 Meals Cookbook giveaway by using the voting widget below (may not work in Internet Explorer.) To enter, click the “+1″ button then click “Enter” by 11:59pm central time on Friday, March 28. Good luck!

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