Cashew Chicken Salad

Friday 29 May 2020

I have this small book by Donna Hay. It is entitled Small Essentials, Chicken.  Yep, it is filled with chicken recipes. 60 of them to be exact.  
I love Donna Hay cookbooks and recipes. Plus her presentation is impeccable.

Not that I have many of them. I don't.  She is like the Martha Stewart of Australia, except a lot younger.  
She has a wonderful  eye for flavours, and presentations, decorating, etc.

We are having a sunny hot day here in Chester as I write this. I didn't really feel like heating up the kitchen overly much, but I had taken out some chicken to cook. 

One thing I love about chicken is that there are so many different ways of cooking it. There is literally something to please everyone!

Today I wanted something light and quick and fresh.  I have a lot of work on today for that other site I write for, but still wanted something new for here. 

Sometimes it can be a difficult writing for two different pages and making each one fresh and exciting.

This was a recipe I had flagged for a long time now.  Tender chicken breast slices, coated with cashew nuts and fried in olive oil until golden brown on both sides  . . .

Served hot atop crisp baby gem leaves.  Baby Gem are like tiny romaine lettuces, but a bit more bitter in flavour. You could use baby romaine or romaine hearts. 

Just use something green and crisp. Green and crisp and salad-like.

Her dressing was a Honey Mustard Dressing, but I can't tolerate much honey these days so I created a Maple Mustard Dressing instead. 

Maple and Mustard are perfect flavour partners!

It turned out beautiful, with crisp coated, yet tender moist pieces of chicken breast meat  . . .  oh, I love adore cashew nuts . . .  don't you?
Did you know that they are not acually a nut but a legume?  Tis true.

I am also very fond of baby gem lettuce. I love its slight bitter flavour, which went very well with the chicken and the richness of that coating  . . . 

Very well indeed  . . .

Maple & Mustard?  Come on now!  A Marriage made in heaven!

This couldn't get any better or simpler if you tried. Its fabulously flippin' delicious!

This is going into my tried and true's folder.  I was a bit worried the nuts wouldn't stick to the chicken because there is no egg or liquid to grab them, but it was all in vain . . .

The coating adhered perfectly.  This was just the perfect salad all round. 
If you love cashews and you love chicken, and if you are fond of  the flavours of maple and mustard together, then prepare yourself to absolutely adore this simple salad!

Cashew Chicken Salad

Cashew Chicken Salad

Yield: 4
This is a delicious salad. Its very simple to make and boasts a lush fat-free Maple & Mustard Vinaigrette!


For the chicken:
  • 2 X 200g (7 ounce) chicken breast fillets, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 112g raw cashew nuts
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 TBS olive oil
For the Dressing:
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 1 TBS white wine vinegar
  • 2 TBS pure Maple Syrup
You will also need:
  • 2 baby gem lettuces


  1. Wash your lettuces, dry and then separate into leaves. Set aside.
  2. Put the ingredients for the dressing into a small jar, cover tightly and give the jar a good shake to combine them all. Set aside.
  3. Using a nut chopper or food processor, chop the cashew nuts.  Season your chicken slices with salt and black pepper and then coat in the chopped cashew nuts.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the cashew coated chicken and cook the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through.  It should not be pink inside and the juices should not run clear.
  5. Divide the salad leaves between four plates. Top each with several slices of chicken.  Give the dressing another shake.  Drizzle the salad with some of the dressing and serve immediately.
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  1. This looks delicious, Marie. I love the flavours of maple syrup and mustard. I often mix the two together, add a dollop of butter and use it to glaze carrots. It certainly perks up everyday carrots 🥕. It'snice on green beans, too. Hugs, Elaine

    1. Thanks Elaine! It was excellent. I love your idea of using this mixture to glazed carrots and on green beans! Thanks! Love you! xoxo

  2. This was such a delicious dish. I've used cashews before with chicken in Chinese style stir dishes, but had never thought to use it as a coating for the chicken before - what a clever idea and it really adds a lovely nutty texture to the chicken. The dressing was perfect - such great classic flavours together and it coated the meal nicely. We really enjoyed this a lot.

    1. I am so pleased you were inspired to try this Marie and that you enjoyed it. Its a real favorite with me also. I am sure other nuts would also work, like walnuts or pecans. But Cashews are a real favourite with me! Thanks so much! xoxo


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