This dish is a riff on chicken parmesan, and checks all the boxes in my book. It’s easy to make, delicious and packed with protein. Plus, once you try this creamy cashew sauce you’ll want to smother just about anything in it.
What makes it Healthyish?
I suggest baking the chicken instead of frying it and skipping the breading all together. This makes the dish feel lighter but still tastes amazing. For a vegan twist on this meal, serve the plant-based cashew sauce over pasta or with crispy tofu.
Let’s get this recipe started!
Baked Chicken with Creamy Cashew Sauce
- saute pan
- baking dish
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter I use earth balance
- 1 medium-large sweet white or yellow onion
- 3-4 small cloves of garlic
- 1 cup veggie broth
- 1 cup raw unsalted soaked / drained cashews
- 1 can of diced tomatoes with the juice
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella I use daiya for vegan recipes
- fresh Italian parsley
- salt and pepper
- pinch of red pepper flakes optional
- 4 chicken breasts swap protein to tofu or pasta for a completely vegan dish.
- NIGHT BEFORE: Soak unsalted cashews in a small bowl with enough water to cover them. If soaking overnight, place in refrigerator and drain off all water in the morning, making sure cashews are soft in texture. If soaking cashews in the daytime, leave them in room temperature water for 5-6 hours and then drain.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan combine olive oil, butter, large onion slices and garlic. Sweat the onions and garlic over medium heat until onions are translucent (not browned).
- Add veggie stock, diced tomatoes and soaked-and-drained cashews to pan. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring gently. Add salt and pepper to taste. (For a little spice, throw in a pinch of red pepper flakes, too.)
- Transfer ingredients into a blender and combine on high until a sauce that’s smooth and creamy (no chunks) in texture is achieved. Pour sauce into saute pan and warm over low heat. Then, let it reduce to a thickness of your liking. If sauce gets too thick, add in a bit more veggie stock.
- Brown chicken breasts in a skillet for 4-5 minutes on each side. Next, pour 2-3 ladles of cashew cream sauce into the bottom of an oven-safe baking dish. Gently place chicken breasts in pan and top with a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella. Wrap dish in foil.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through. (varies with size of breasts) Once the chicken is fully cooked, broil for an additional 2-3 minutes until cheese gets extra crispy on top. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh Italian parsley.
Serve and enjoy!
Author: Sarah Thomas-DrawbaughSarah Thomas-Drawbaugh is a recipe developer and creator of the brand, Healthyish Foods®. Sarah makes plant-based, fish and chicken recipes that are simple and delicious. Her work can be seen in Healthy-ish by Bon Appetit and Bon Appetit Magazine (digital), Women’s Health Magazine (digital) and Mind Body Green. Sarah is a Pittsburgh, PA native but currently lives in Vail, Colorado with her husband, Dan and rescue dog, Graci!