Cashew Chicken Chili: Unique Winter Warm Up

Steph S. | ::steph chows::

Cashew Chicken chili is spicy, nutty, and one delicious dinner. Don't skip the cashews, they make it special!

Chicken Cashew Chili Photo

Do you say fall or autumn? I like to call it autumn, it sounds happier, more vibrant. Autumn, with its crisp cool nights. Not depressing dark fall. Whether the leaves are still bright and on trees by you or if you’re smelling the changes in the air indicating your first snow, this chili will warm you straight through.

An easily adaptable recipe, I like eating this Cashew Chicken Chili with and without the chicken. The best part is the chicken is cooked separately and put in last, so this truly is a pick your own adventure kind of recipe. You can make the meat eaters and the vegans happy. Best kind of meal if you asked me, and perfect for varying palettes.

Full of plenty of spice, garlic, and packed with protein from two kinds of beans, plus cashews, even if you're normally a carnivore, I'm willing to bet you wouldn't miss the meat here.

Not so sure about nuts in your chili? They add a wonderful texture and nutty flavor, so please don’t leave them out, even if you’re a little worried. Did I mention half a bottle of beer goes into the mix? The cook gets to down the other half a bottle when no one is looking. Bonus, right?

Serve it up with your favorite beer and a hunk of crusty warm rosemary bread (also vegan!). You might also like Stephie's Red Lobster Biscuit Recipe, since it's super garlick-y too, and will pair well with the flavors in this chili.

If you're not terribly concerned about your chili being vegan or vegetarian, feel free to load it up with sour cream, cheese and chives. The world is your chili oyster! And if you've got leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, swap it in for the chicken here. It's a great way to use up the leftovers with a whole new flavor profile.

Cashew Chicken Chili

    6 Servings


  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, diced
  • 1 Yam, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces Great Northern Beans
  • 16 ounces Red Kidney Beans
  • 28 ounces Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
  • 3/4 cup Guinness Draught, 1/2 12 oz bottle
  • 3/4 cup Cashew Nuts, dry roasted unsalted
  • 1 pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Tender, cubed, optional


  1. Heat a 5 quart stock pot over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom lightly.
  2. Sauté onions for 3 minutes until they are lightly browning. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
  3. Add yam pieces, chili power, salt and pepper and toss to coat.
  4. Drain and rinse the great Northern and red kidney beans. Add them and two cans of tomatoes to the pot.
  5. Pour in half a bottle of beer. (Enjoy the rest for yourself.)
  6. Stir in the cashews, then turn the heat down to a simmer.
  7. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

If you are vegan stop here. If you eat meat, continue on.

  1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Cook cubed chicken until done. (time will vary depending on how thick you cube your chicken).
  3. Remove chili from heat and stir in chicken. I do this so the chicken doesn't get tough and overcooked.
  4. Serve with your favorite hearty bread and enjoy!


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Steph S.

About Steph

Stephanie loves to eat, and eat healthy. Both on Steph Chows and here, you'll find healthy recipes full of flavor and good-for-you goodies.