Are you skeptical about the Air Fryer? Are you worried it will sit in the box and never see the light of day on your kitchen counter? Cue-cashew crusted chicken! This recipe will get you using your Air Fryer every week. So go ahead and dust off those cobwebs and take it out of it’s box today.
Air Fryer Worth It?
Around Christmas time, no matter where I looked I was being bombarded with Air Fryer recipe suggestions. It started feeling like everyone I knew was asking for one for Christmas, or asking me why I hadn’t tried using mine yet. Enough peer pressure led me to get to work.
I threw in some Brussels sprouts for abut 5 minutes and out came a crunchy flavorful transformed Brussels sprouts that tasted somewhat magical. Even my toddler, who casually tosses them on the floor, asked for more….REAL magic. It was so easy to use and so delicious. Why hadn’t I used this gadget sooner?
Ok……. but this recipe said cashew crusted chicken. Sorry, I totally digresses. My point was, after I saw how I could magically turn Brussels sprouts into an edible vegetable my toddler would eat, I was determined to see what else my Air fryer could turn into magic.
Cashew Crusted Chicken Makeover
A few months ago ,a recipe of mine went viral-ish on Pinterest. You can check out the baked version of Air fryer cashew crusted chicken right here. I was inspired to create this recipe when I was in the middle of doing a Whole 30 and really wanted fried/breaded chicken, but couldn’t have it (against Whole 30’s rules). So I used cashews in place of the “breading” and the rest is history.
The coating is a mixture of finely ground whole cashew pieces and spices. Personally, I like some larger chunks of the cashews as well as some finely ground pieces. You can process the cashews to your liking. The paprika gives the perfect amount of smokiness and pop of flavor.
Cashew Crusted Chicken was ready for a makeover in the air fryer. It’s the same delicious recipe, with similar steps. At the end you just add a little spray olive oil. on top, cook for less time, and this time you get super crunchy and moist “fried” cashew chicken.
Our family is mostly dairy free, and because of that we use unsweetened almond milk. I am sure that regular milk would work just fine. It’s important to make sure that you dunk the chicken into the almond milk first, and then press down firmly into the cashew mixture. This ensures the cashew’s will stick right to the chicken.
Cook the chicken in batches for about 18 minutes, flipping the chicken about half way through. The crust should be golden brown and crunchy.
Air Fryer Tips
One thing to know about the Air Fryer is that you can only cook as much as it can hold, and you don’t want to layer things. It’s important to make sure that the food has space, so the air fryer can perfectly “fry” your food.
This is a perfect recipe for a picky toddler. It is close enough to chicken nuggets but doesn’t have the saturated breading like most store bough chicken nuggets have. Except unlike store bought chicken nuggets, this air fryer cashew chicken is packed with nutrients and flavor.
- 1 lb chicken breast tenderloins
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 8 oz bag of unsweetened cashews
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Spray Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees
- In a food processor pulse/chop cashews. Add paprika, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, and salt. You want a combination of chunky and finely ground pieces of cashews. Spread mixture onto a large plate and set aside
- Add the unsweetened milk into a large bowl
- Lightly season chicken breasts with desired amount of salt and pepper
- Dunk the chicken breasts first into the bowl of almond milk and then transfer to plate with cashew mixture and firmly press down to ensure the mixture completely covers and sticks to chicken. Repeat until all chicken breasts have been coated.
- Lightly spray each piece of chicken with an olive oil spray and place in Air fryer.
- Cook for 10 minutes, then flip and spray with olive oil. Cook for a remaining 8 minutes.
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