Cheesecake Factory’s Spicy Cashew Chicken (Copycat)

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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.

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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.

Recipe

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Cheesecake Factory’s Spicy Cashew Chicken

5
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American Fusion
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!

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

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

TO MAKE SEASONED RICE FLOUR

  1. Mix the ingredients into a bowl together.

TO MAKE THE BATTER

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

TO MAKE THE SAUCE

  1. Combine the sauce ingredients together and mix well.

TO COOK THE DISH

  1. Toss the chicken with the seasoned flour.
  2. Put the batter into a large bowl with the chicken.
  3. Carefully combine the two until well coated.
  4. Heat the canola oil in a large pan or wok on medium high.
  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 green onions.

  8. Toss all the ingredients together until well coated.
  9. Let cook for 30 seconds to a minute for the sauce to thicken.
  10. Garnish with sesame seeds, parsley and crushed cashews.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from ABC News courtesy of the Cheesecake Factory.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 servings, Amount per serving: calories

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

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Dinner then Dessert TIPSMost 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!

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Comments

  1. That sounds absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to make this for my husband – he will love it.

  2. That looks really good! I love a dish wit some kick to it. I’ll have to give this one a try. Thanks!

    1. Almonds would be great! Peanuts too! OR, just leave them out. The cashews aren’t part of the sauce, they just provide a bit of crunch 🙂 I know it sounds like they are a huge part of the dish, but the first 30 or so times I ordered this I would say “Spicy Cashew Chicken with no cashews” haha. It took me a while to enjoy nuts on savory meals.

  3. I’ve never eaten at the Cheesecake factory (I don’t think we have one here in Canada, but I could be wrong!) but this really looks so good!

    1. Yeah I wish I could condense the number of ingredients but the authentic taste is so good I didn’t want to alter it!

  4. I swear Cheesecake Factory has the biggest menu on the planet and every single item is beyond delicious. I hope you are planning a few other copycats from this yummy spot.

    1. I know right? And if they did you’d expect them to sort of phone it in. This dish tastes like you’re at your favorite Chinese restaurant.

  5. I’ve never had the cashew chicken at the Cheesecake Factory, so I don’t have a comparison. But this looks absolutely incredible! I would love to mix it up and serve something other than orange chicken when my family wants a yummy Asian inspired dish.

  6. This dish looks fantastic! Being able to make your favorite restaurant’s dishes at home is such a huge cost savings.

  7. That sounds and looks delicious. I just bought some chicken that was on sale and now I know exactly what to make with it!.

    1. Thanks! I can’t rave about it any more highly. It seems like such a basic dish on the menu, no fanfare. But when you try it, you pretty much only ever want that.

  8. This looks so delicious. I will have to try this recipe on the weekend. I am sure my family will love it.

  9. I’ve never eaten at Cheesecake Factory, but that chicken looks amazing! I am going to have to try making it soon!

    1. Oh my goodness, coming from you that means I have fireworks going off in my head. I absolutely 100% love your blog and have for a long time! You’re a bit of a rockstar to me. 🙂

  10. I am all over this. Cashew chicken is my favorite Asian inspired dish. I’ll have to get hubs to make this for me as I don’t cook the Asian dishes around here lol

  11. I haven’t eaten at the Cheesecake Factory for such a long time. It does sound like a great addition for the menu!

    1. You know, since figuring this dish out (and the cornmeal cakes ….ooh now I have to make those!!), I haven’t been back, except for maybe 2 or 3 times with friends who wanted to go. Especially when going out means babysitter!

    1. Thank you! I am really trying to learn more about this camera and how to do more than just use the auto feature on it! Haha.

  12. The reason restaurants won’t go out of business is because of people like me – now that I see how complex it is to make at home…. I won’t scoff at the cost on the menu next time I’m there haha! Maybe I can show this to my husband and see if he will make it for me ; )

    1. You know, I used to hate to make it at home because it was a total chore. I wised up though! I made the sauce x6 and froze it in portions. So now I just dust with rice flour, dip in batter and cook. Then at the end I microwave the sauce and pour it on to combine with the chicken. Now, if it weren’t one of my favorite foods, I may not make it as often. But I swear it is requested at least once a week.

    1. Aww thanks! It is a lot of ingredients, but the steps are all totally easy if you take them one at a time and the result is FANTASTIC 🙂

  13. This is something that my family may enjoy a lot, thanks for another chicken idea. We have so many chicken breasts here that I need to create a dinner idea for!

    1. Sometimes I feel like all we ever eat is chicken. But I can always count on my oldest eating if we make chicken so we go with what works, haha.

    1. I haven’t done the calculation, but a super easy way to cut out most of the fat is to dredge the chicken in seasoned cornstarch instead of the batter. Then pan fry in just a couple of tablespoons of oil. Most of the fat and calories come from frying up the chicken in the batter. I do something similar in my Orange Peel Chicken dish and it is still crispy and delicious. I made it this way for the cashew chicken to stay true to the recipe the restaurant shared.

  14. Made just the sauce today and its great. A couple tips, if you want the sauce to be thick and syrupy like I do then add a couple tablespoons of cornstarch to the mixture. Once it boils it will thicken up tremendously. Also for anyone struggling with what 2oz of minced garlic is I believe its 4 tablespoons or 1/4 cup, but I didnt measure I just minced up 3 large cloves. It was probably 1 1/2-2 tablespoons.

    1. Ooh good tips! I am one of those who keeps a huge jar of minced garlic in my fridge. I put 5-6 heads of garlic in the food processor at once since I go through it so often. Careful on the cornstarch, don’t forget since your chicken is breaded (I used cornstarch here) when it goes back into the sauce to coat, it will also help thicken up the sauce 🙂 So glad you liked the sauce!

      1. Yeah it ended up getting TOO thick lol. Next time I would do 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Im using on non breaded chicken 🙂

    1. Ah! Haha sorry the comment notification came on my phone and I thought we were still talking about that one. This one is a more involved sauce but definitely a favorite 🙂

      1. I actually think that one is more involved because you need to peel a whole orange. This one came together in a couple minutes.

  15. Paleo friendly to replace the rice flour and the reg flour with coconut flour and almond flour. Sounds yummy I will try this

  16. Just made this and it was good. Will not use as much garlic nex time though. I used my vitamix to make the rice flour.

    1. YES! So much garlic! The restaurant version is super garlicky too. Glad you liked it even considering the garlic overload!

  17. I’m super excited to make this today for my husband’s birthday. Spicy cashew chicken at cheesecake factory is his favorite meal. I just have one question; after you fry the chicken, do you drain the oil from the pan or is there so little left that you just leave it? Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I will get back to you after I prepare it but I expect it to be amazing!

    1. There’s little left that I leave it plus I love that it keeps all the flavor in this dish. I look forward to hearing back from you!

  18. The one confusing part…
    Break apart any pieces that stay stuck together. Add the sauce and cashews into the pan. Add in the chicken and green onions.

    It never says to remove the chicken from the pan. Am I supposed to use another pan for the sauce and cashews, and then transfer the chicken to it? Seems like I could just add the sauce and cashews into the pan with the chicken already in it.

  19. I tried this recipe and it was SPOT ON! Loved it. It wasn’t that difficult either. My son told me that this was the best thing I’ve ever made.

    1. Yay! So glad you guys loved it! I know that kids can be picky sometimes so it makes me so happy hearing about them loving the food too!

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

    Rating: 5
  23. 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.

  24. 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.

    Rating: 5
  25. 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. 

    Rating: 5
  26. 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.

  27. 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!

    Rating: 5