Chicken Stir Fry with Creamy Cashew Sauce

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This recipe is technically not Paleo since it contains soy in the form of miso paste and gluten-free tamari.

Miso is an ancestral food and I do like using it as a flavor enhancer here and there. That being said, I maybe have it 2-3 times a year. Below I offer substitutions for those who need to modify the meal to fit their particular diet needs.


Miso is a traditional Japanese food most often eaten at breakfast. It’s high in Vitamin E and also contains a bacteria that helps synthesize Vitamin B12 which makes it an ideal choice for vegetarians and vegans who lack animal products in their diet. Additionally, miso is a concentrated protein source which is another bonus for our veggie-friends!

It has a sweet/nutty taste but the sharpness and sweetness can vary depending on what version you purchase (there are white, yellow, and red miso pastes). Stay away from barley versions, look for rice.


If you need to avoid miso for any reason, it can be left out of this recipe.

If you need to avoid all soy, substitute coconut aminos for the soy sauce and add an additional tablespoon if you are omitting the miso paste.

If you cannot have cashews or cannot find cashew butter, you can substitute almond butter or sunflower seed butter. I haven’t tried it with sun butter but I imagine it would be tasty.

If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you can leave out the chicken.

It's so delicious!
It’s so delicious!

Chicken Stir Fry with Creamy Cashew Sauce

1-2 lb. chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch strips
1 c. sugar snap peas
3 carrots, cut into thin strips
1/2 red onion, sliced
5-6 mushrooms (crimini or shiitake), sliced
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. gluten-free tamari
salt and pepper

1 green onion, chopped on a bias
sesame seeds to garnish

1/2 c. cashew butter
2 Tbsp. miso paste (I used white miso)
2 1/2 Tbsp. gluten-free tamari
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
some water (to thin, optional)

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients.
  2. Taste test to see if you would prefer more soy sauce (salty), miso (sweet), red pepper (spicy). This can vary from person to person.
  3. Add water to thin if necessary. Cashew butter can be dense and dry depending on the brand or if it’s homemade. The sauce should be a “hummus-like” consistency.
  4. In a large skillet or wok. Heat coconut oil and sesame oil on high heat.
  5. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs. Add to wok/skillet and cook thoroughly.
  6. Once cooked through, set aside in a bowl.
  7. Add a bit more coconut oil to the same pan and drop in the vegetables.
  8. Add a little soy sauce and toss the veggies while scraping the chicken drippings up from the skillet.
  9. Cook veggies until cooked but still a bit crunchy. The colors will have become more vibrant and the onions will have wilted a bit.
  10. Turn off the heat and add in chicken and sauce. Stir together until all the components are coated in the sauce.
  11. Serve with a green onion and sesame seed garnish.

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