Cheesecake Factory’s Spicy Cashew Chicken (Copycat)

Cheesecake Factory’s Spicy Cashew Chicken is spicy, sweet, crispy & crunchy, this dish is everything you could hope for and more in a copycat Chinese food recipe!

Cheesecake Factory's Spicy Cashew Chicken is spicy, sweet, crispy & crunchy, this dish is everything you could hope for and more in a copycat Chinese food recipe!

Cheesecake Factory’s Spicy Cashew Chicken is straight from the restaurant’s menu, this is a really spicy Mandarin-Style chicken dish with scallions and roasted cashews. It is crispy while being coated in this amazing sauce thanks to the light texture of the tempura style batter and the rice flour.

One of the most popular items on their menu, this recipe is authentically from the Cheesecake Factory, shared with a local news channel.

The perfect Cheesecake Factory's Spicy Cashew Chicken copycat recipe you can make at home!

Ok, I know what you are thinking…wow this recipe is full of a ton of ingredients and looks like it takes forever. It is true, there are more steps than normal, definitely more ingredients than I normally use and the set-up does require a number of bowls.

Yes, this dish is officially high maintenance. But then you see this… at the end of all that work and you forget about all the steps and all the ingredients and all the dirty dished.

OR, you’ve actually been to the Cheesecake Factory and enjoyed this dish, so you know that while it may take a while to make, you would make it even if it took twice as long. It is just. THAT. GOOD.

The best copycat of Cheesecake Factory's Spicy Cashew Chicken is perfectly sweet, spicy and crispy!

The chicken in this Cheesecake Factory’s Spicy Cashew Chicken recipe has a few steps but it reads harder than it actually is to cook it! Cheesecake Factory's Spicy Cashew Chicken steps in coating and cooking the chicken.

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Tools Used in the making of this Cheesecake Factory’s Spicy Cashew Chicken recipe:
Rice Flour: To make this dish authentically I use rice flour. I have also made it using cornstarch and flour in a 1:1 ratio in the past and the flavor is a bit different but in a pinch go for it!
Hoisin Sauce: This is like Asian BBQ Sauce, a ton of flavor and easy to use.
Sherry Wine: A sweet wine, if you can’t source this or don’t have time to order online you can swap white wine since the sauce already has sugar in it.
Low Sodium Soy Sauce – I find regular soy sauce much too salty, remember you can always add salt but you can’t subtract it. Starting with low sodium allows you to alter to your tastes if necessary.

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Cheesecake Factory's Spicy Cashew Chicken

Cheesecake Factory’s Spicy Cashew Chicken is spicy, sweet, crispy & crunchy, this dish is everything you could hope for and more in a chicken dish. Plus this recipe is straight from the Cheesecake Factory!
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American Fusion
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast , cut into bite size chunks
  • Seasoned Rice Flour (ingredients below)
  • Rice Flour Batter (ingredients below)
  • Spicy Soy-Sherry Sauce (ingredients below)
  • 8 ounces Cashews
  • 6 green onions , cut into 1/4" pieces

SEASONED RICE FLOUR

  • 3/4 cup Rice Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon Baking Powder

RICE FLOUR BATTER

  • 1 1/2 cups Rice Flour
  • 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Ice Water

SPICY SOY-SHERRY SAUCE

  • 1 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Sherry Wine
  • 2 tablespoons  red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces fresh garlic , minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Chili Flakes

Instructions

TO MAKE SEASONED RICE FLOUR:

  • Mix the ingredients into a bowl together.

TO MAKE THE BATTER:

  • Combine all the ingredients together, in a bowl over ice. Keep COLD.

TO MAKE THE SAUCE:

  • Combine the sauce ingredients together and mix well.

TO COOK THE DISH:

  • Toss the chicken with the seasoned flour.
  • Put the batter into a large bowl with the chicken.
  • Carefully combine the two until well coated.
  • Heat the canola oil in a large pan or wok on medium high.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the pan, and cook 3 minutes on each side until browned and crispy.
  • Break apart any pieces that stay stuck together.
  • Add the sauce and cashews into the pan. Add in the green onions.
  • Toss all the ingredients together until well coated.
  • Let cook for 30 seconds to a minute for the sauce to thicken.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds, parsley and crushed cashews.

Notes

Recipe adapted from ABC News courtesy of the Cheesecake Factory.

Nutrition

Calories: 854kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 1677mg | Potassium: 876mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 8.6mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 4.4mg
Keyword: Cheesecake Factory recipes, Cheesecake Factory spicy cashew chicken, spicy cashew chicken

Dinner then Dessert TIPS

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are easy enough to find. If you have trouble finding rice flour, use cake or pastry flour. In a pinch you can even substitute half all purpose flour and half cornstarch.

Here are the pictures from when this was originally posted on June 17, 2015:

Spicy Cashew Chicken - Spicy, sweet, crispy & crunchy, this dish is everything you could hope for and more in a chicken dish. Straight from the restaurant's menu, this is a really spicy Mandarin-Style chicken dish with scallions and roasted cashews.Spicy Cashew Chicken - Spicy, sweet, crispy & crunchy, this dish is everything you could hope for and more in a chicken dish. Straight from the restaurant's menu, this is a really spicy Mandarin-Style chicken dish with scallions and roasted cashews.

Spicy Cashew Chicken - Spicy, sweet, crispy & crunchy, this dish is everything you could hope for and more in a chicken dish. Straight from the restaurant's menu, this is a really spicy Mandarin-Style chicken dish with scallions and roasted cashews.Spicy Cashew Chicken - Spicy, sweet, crispy & crunchy, this dish is everything you could hope for and more in a chicken dish. Straight from the restaurant's menu, this is a really spicy Mandarin-Style chicken dish with scallions and roasted cashews.

Cheesecake Factory's Spicy Cashew Chicken is spicy, sweet, crispy & crunchy, this dish is everything you could hope for and more in a copycat Chinese food recipe!
The perfect Cheesecake Factory's Spicy Cashew Chicken copycat recipe you can make at home!
The best copycat of Cheesecake Factory's Spicy Cashew Chicken is perfectly sweet, spicy and crispy!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. Sabrina, I love your blog! However, a bit disappointed, have to say. This cashew chicken, for eg – when people write a negative review or even a bit of criticism, you don’t respond?? Why not? You only respond to glowing, positive reviews….. You should be able to accept both good and bad feedback ( pun intended, ha ha) No?

    1. Hi. I do respond to comments whether good or bad, but I get 100’s of comments a day and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get to everyone! Wish I could!

  2. OK, perhaps a stupid question…..but….do you add the Rice flower batter to the chicken and the seasoned flour? Or do you coat the chicken with the seasoned flower and then put the chicken in the rice flower batter? I just don’t want to screw up my first time making this.

  3. This recipe is a bit tedious, but the dish ends up phenomenal! Just like the Cheesecake Factory cashew chicken. The batter will be very liquid at first. It will thicken up. We used low sodium soy sauce. Regular would have made it too salty. Take the time to make this and you won’t regret it! Thanks for a terrific recipe!

  4. Am I the only person to worry about 1720 calories per serving! I did so much modification that it was not the same recipe. I did use the rice flour and coated the chicken and used coconut oil. I hope I got a reasonable approximation of the flavors. It was delicious.

  5. Boy you weren’t kidding when you said this one was a lot of work & a lot of utensils & bowls! But you also weren’t kidding when you said how fantastic it is! Definitely a keeper, but a special occasion/serious craving kind of thing. Everyone said it was definitely “restaurant quality.” I’d cut the sugar down just a bit but otherwise absolutely fabulous!

  6. Omg! Yuuummmy! This is the dish I always order whe I visit the Cheescake Factory. Unfortunately, the closest restaurant is an hour and a half away. So I don’t get there often. So needless to say, I was very excited to find your recipe and try it out. I made it today and it didn’t disappoint. I will be making it again and again and again. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  7. Great flavor! Thanks for the hit! Next time I’ll cut the sugar, and up the sriracha for a bit more kick! I didn’t batter my chicken just grilled it in order to have a lower calorie dish.

  8. Good sauce but could be cut in half and easily have plenty. The batter was much too thick. I added about 1/2 cup more water and still found it a bit heavy. It all had great flavor. Will make it again!

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    The Cheesecake Factory has a large and diverse menu. Every time I go, I tell myself that I will order something other than the Spicy Cashew Chicken. 8-10 visits later, I haven’t been able to follow through.

    I just found your recipe this morning. I’m making it for the family tonight.

  10. This is so salty, I think my BP rose. There’s tons of salt in the hoisin sauce, the soy sauce (even though I used reduced sodium), then you add kosher salt, then cashews. Holy smokes! There’s too much sauce. That could be cut by a third. There’s way too much garlic, and I happen to like garlic. I would suggest cashews without salt and don’t put extra salt in the seasoned rice flour nor in the batter mix. You also need more oil for frying than 1/3 cup.

  11. This recipe is awesome, but the batter sucks. It’s really thick but it didn’t stick to the chicken. I definitely plan to make this again but I’m going to skip the batter and just coat the chicken with the seasoned rice flour mix.

  12. Wow, this was delicious! A little time consuming but not difficult. My batter was very thick and sticky, did not look like it does in the picture here, but it still came out very crispy and delicious. I made mine gluten free by using gluten free all purpose flour and gluten free soy sauce and hoisin and it turned out great. I will definitely make this again, one of my favorite meals!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! Yes, this recipe has…a lot of steps, hahaha. It is my favorite dish on their menu though so it was always a project I enjoyed taking on when I made it.

  13. Wonderful recipe – Thank you.

    Super crispy coating that actually sticks to the meat. I used pork loin as that is what was thawed. I used about 1 cup of oil in a wok and loved the results. Deep fried chunks without hauling out the deep fryer. I had no problem with pieces sticking together since I was using so much oil. Meat was not greasy. Emptied out the oil and made the very flavorful sauce in the same wok.

    Misread the recipe and decided I didn’t have sherry vinegar so I added 2 TBSP of raspberry vinegar in addition to the red wine vinegar. Probably made the sauce a little tangier but it sure didn’t ruin the recipe. I will try with sherry next time.

    Don’t be put off by the length of the recipe. It goes together very quickly and easily. Will definitely use this recipe for other types of meat/seafood.

  14. I have tried many of your recipes and loved them all. This one as the others is amazing. The rice flour is where it’s at! I didn’t have low sodium soy sauce so mine was just a tiny bit salty but still remarkably delicious.

  15. The ice water part is confusing me. Do I leave the ice in the water and combine everything else with it? Then take the ice pieces out when I mix the chicken in it?

    1. Sorry for any confusion. I recommend putting the water and ice in a container and letting it get cold. Then once you’re ready to use it, pour the water (without the cubes) into the bowl to make the batter. You just need the water to be ice cold. I hope that makes sense.

  16. This is a good recipe. I found it too salty, but it could be because I used salted cashews. I would use unsalted in the future. It’s an odd recipe in that you need to keep the batter cold. Working with rice flour is definitely different than regular flour. You need to figure out what utensils to use, as the chicken pieces stick together quickly when you put them in the hot pan. I used a wooden spatula to try and cut them apart and then used a small tong to turn them. There is absolutely too much garlic. Two ounces of garlic is A LOT! I was wondering if it meant two cloves. I minced an ounce, but didn’t even use that much of it. Two ounces is more than a whole bulb! Is that a typo? My husband and son really liked this, so I’ll make it again.

    1. When testing, I found I needed a lot of garlic to get the exact taste, but I definitely recommend cutting back if that much is not for you 🙂 Happy to hear you and your family enjoyed it overall!

  17. Hi! Do you leave in the 1/3 cup of oil in the pan after cooking the chicken? It seems it would make the sauce oily??

  18. Just found your site and loving everything about it! Made this and literally will never ever go to a Chinese restaurant every again- drop dead, eyes rolled in the back of my head delicious. Insanely amazing to think that this is achievable at home and with no special cooking equipment. You’re amazing! A total keeper!!! Xoxo

  19. I am going to grocery store now to get two 5 pound chicken packages to make 3 of your Cheesecake Factiry recipes for my 30 year old twins and husbands birthdays coming up this week. Can’t wait to make them, just have to decide which birthday gets which fabulous recipe. Thank you a million

  20. I made this last night and it is so DELICIOUS!!!! Yes, it takes a lot of time, however, most Asian recipes that I’ve made have more prep time than actual cooking time.  It is absolutely worth the time and effort!  One thing that I did was make the sauce first, put in a quart Mason jar, and set aside.  That way I just had to shake it again to remix and pour it in.  I also didn’t use as many cashews but it didn’t affect the flavor! So good! The recipe is a keeper, I’ll be making it again!

  21. Question on recipe: You say –

    5. Add the chicken pieces to the pan, and cook 3 minutes on each side until browned and crispy.
    6. Break apart any pieces that stay stuck together.
    7. Add the sauce and cashews into the pan. Add in the chicken and green onions.

    Step 7 says “add in the chicken” which was already done in Step 5. Do you remove the chicken at the end of Step 6 then add back in at the end of Step 7?

    Also, in Step 5, do you add the chicken all at once or in batches?

    1. Sorry for the confusion, I updated the recipe card. Not sure how that got in there. Thanks for catching that.

  22. Made for dinner over the weekend and hubby loved it. Normally for a review, I make exactly as instructed as I hate when people change loads and then review their own work instead of the original. However, my one simple change to the recipe I don’t feel would have made a huge impact. I used ice cold carbonated water instead of ice cold water. We have a few Japanese friends who use this when making tempura (another uses vodka from the freezer) and swear by it. So it’s how we make anything as tempura.  That one slight change aside, this recipe is superb!! I had to convince Hubby before I started that he would like it, but as soon as the smells started filling the house, he was constantly coming in to say it smelled great and how long before we ate ? not sure who was drooling more from the smell, him or the dog! Dog didn’t get any but hubby proclaimed it the best meal he had ever had and when we’re we having it again? So it was a success! We had left overs and both had them for lunch on Monday, him with rice and mine was eaten cold, in lettuce leaves with a bit of left over quinoa that needed to be used up. Was delicious hot or cold!! It was more involved than most recipes we cook, but as stated, it really is worth the extra washing up. And it’s not difficult to prepare either. Not something to make if you are in a rush in the middle of the week, but certainly worth doing at the weekend when you want a special treat. 

  23. Tried this recipe last night, I cut back the garlic and cashews a bit. It was a little spicy so next time I’ll probably add a little less red pepper flakes. Over all very good recipe, I will definitely make it again.

    1. I used the Holland house Sherry cooking wine, it came out perfect. You can find it in most baking isles.

  24. I tried making this tonight. I need help with the batter please. My batter was super thick and sticky, I even put water and ice in the fridge before making it to keep it very cold. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. This is my favorite recipe from Cheesecake Factory and I am wanting to nail it at home.

    1. This batter is definitely a little bit harder than the usual so don’t feel bad at all with the first attempt. The trick to it is making sure that your egg whites are beaten until they’re really frothy otherwise it’ll be too heavy. Hope you found this helpful!

        1. Oh wow, looks like I needed more coffee before responding….there are no egg whites in this recipe. I was thinking of my Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti. I”m so sorry. The batter for this recipe will be thick and sticky, completely normal.

  25. WoW! I never tried putting cashew on the chicken, but I think it is so delicious. Cashew has a very distinctive taste so let’s make a try. I’ll pin it on my Pinterest account so I won’t miss the photo. Thanks for sharing.

  26. I just made this dish came out well. I roasted my cashews in the oven. The other key thing I did was reduce the sauce with the cashews before adding the fried chicken parts, so the chicken stayed very crispy. It was a success big with my family. I used a wok too.

  27. I pinned this a couple of weeks ago. Finally made it tonight. Absolutely delicious! I’m hooked. Thank you for sharing this fantastic recipe. So worth the effort, and really not that labor intensive after all.

        1. Can this be made ahead? I’d like to make the chicken on Sunday to be served Monday night. The sauce wouldn’t be added until serving. I know it’s supposed to be crispy, but will it still be delicious this way? Thanks!

          1. The rice flour in the batter would get super soggy unfortunately. I wouldn’t recommend it. The best I could say would be to prep all the parts seperately then do the final cooking the night of. This isn’t the best for make ahead. I do have a sheet pan version of this recipe on the site though, that is not breaded so it will have different texture.

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