Dairy-Free Indian Cashew Chicken

NEWS FLASH: my husband can’t drink milk. And he doesn’t like cheese, but that’s a therapy session for another day.

Dairy-Free Indian Cashew Chicken / Bev Cooks

Thing is, this no-dairy-thing of his is a fairly recent discovery. As a kid, he always drank milk. That’s what you do as a kid, you drink milk. There’s Barbie doll, Star Wars, and a pint of milk. The end.

But I never knew that one could become lactose intolerant LATER IN LIFE. As an adult! Who knew!

Dude drinks milk, he bloats up. Dude eats yogurt, blippidy bloats. Dude has ice cream or CHOCOLATE – oh, game over.

You would THINK this would explain the cheese situation. Matter of fact, he’s always like, “Ahhh my hatred for cheese makes sense now. My body is telling me it’s disgusting and from the Devil.” BITE YOUR TONGUE, YOU SICK FREAK.

And his no-dairy issue is like, always this thing for me. (see how I made it about myself? right.) But it affects my cooking, man! He’s got to load up on dairy pills or whatever, so that he doesn’t blimp out like Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka.

Theeeeen I get this email from Elmhurst™, and it immediately opens my eyeballs to the world of NUT MILKS.

Also, I just like saying nut milks.

Dairy-Free Indian Cashew Chicken / Bev Cooks

And then I saw that clean, sexy white packaging and was like, “AARON, I’M SAVING YOUR TUM.”

I didn’t say it like that.

Truthfully, I’d never had cashew milk before! Of course I’ve tried almond and soy milk off and on through the years, but CASHEW? How do I make the rest of my life about these words? Not to mention that this cashew milk is made with zero stabilizers, gum or any other weird junk. Just a few simple ingredients, yo.

So of course I made something creamy with it. And Indian-inspired. With chicken and rice. And more cashews. And it is ludicrously simple and delightful.

Dairy-Free Indian Cashew Chicken / Bev Cooks

First up! You gon’ cut the chicken breast into chunks, and dust it with about a Tbs. of garam masala, and a good pinch of salt. Get it seared in a pan with a little olive oil, and inhale the scents and weep like a toddler.

Dairy-Free Indian Cashew Chicken / Bev Cooks

Next up, and this is SO EASY – pour two cups of the Elmhurst Milked Cashews right into the skillet.

But this is important!


Be sure sure SURE to add the cashew milk at exactly 2:39 in the afternoon, or else your kitchen will be haunted with cave crickets for the next 12 weeks.

(jay kay jay kay jay kay.)

(13 weeks.)

Dairy-Free Indian Cashew Chicken / Bev Cooks

After that, you add a cup each of (bagged!) shredded carrots and frozen peas. Stir it all around and add another pinch of salt. Let it simmer on a medium heat for abouuuut 10 minutes, long enough for the sauce to thicken and reduce a tad, and the veggies to marry with the chicken flavors and have babies.

And I am telling you what, the nuttiness of this sauce is SO DIFFERENT from a regular cream sauce. I completely love how it offers an unexpected, fresh flavor to the whole dish. And then you garnish with more cashews, lime wedges and cilantro sprigs? UH HUH, GIRL.

Dairy-Free Indian Cashew Chicken / Bev Cooks

And this is seriously it. Cook some basmati rice and ladle the cashew chicken right over it. Just drape it. Sauce it up. Go all in. Bonkers town. Call the cops.

Dairy-Free Indian Cashew Chicken / Bev Cooks

Oh my word, look at that.^^

I kept it super simple with traditional Indian-food throw-ins, like peas and carrots. And the fresh lime juice riiiight at the end wakes it UP, naturally. So don’t skip that part.

I’m not becoming a full-on plant milk drinker, but a) I’ve been putting cashew milk in my coffee and hi, delicious. B) I DIG having this around so that Aaron can enjoy the creaminess of THIS SAUCE, and doesn’t have to worry so much about his stomach cramping and cursing him slash me for days.

Dairy-Free Indian Cashew Chicken / Bev Cooks

And, if cashews don’t make you giddy, you should absolutely peep the rest of the plant milks they make. All in that clean, sexy white packaging, whaaaat. And if you can’t find them at your local store, you can always order and have ’em shipped! Boom.

This is SO GOOD, you guys. It’s creamy without being a total gut bomb, deep in flavor without being overly exotic, and siiiimple to pull together on a Monday. You have my permission to weep again.

Dairy-Free Indian Cashew Chicken / Bev Cooks

You in?

Dairy-Free Indian Cashew Chicken
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  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sizes
  • 1-2 Tbs. garam masala
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups Elmhurst cashew milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 lime
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • About a cup of cashews
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • Coarse salt


  1. Cook the rice in a rice cooker while you prepare the chicken.
  2. Season the chicken chunks with garam masala and a good pinch of salt. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high, and sear the chicken on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. You want good browning all over!
  3. Then add the cashew milk and another pinch of salt. Bring it to a simmer, then add the peas and carrots. The peas are still pretty frozen, so bring the mix back to a simmer and let it bubble and dance another five minutes, until the sauce thickens just slightly. Off the heat, taste it and give it another pinch of salt. Squeeze in the juice from half the lime to wake it up.
  4. Serve the cashew chicken over cooked rice, and garnish with cilantro leaves, more lime wedges and a sprinkling of cashews.
  5. Serves 4!

Dairy-Free Indian Cashew Chicken / Bev Cooks


(This post is definitely in partnership with Elmhurst plant milks. But all cashew milk slurpings and ramblings are totally my own. You can also find them on the good ol’ Instagrams! We coo?)


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12 Responses to Dairy-Free Indian Cashew Chicken

  1. Ana September 25, 2018 at 9:37 am #
    Totally trying this! Our son has a dairy allergy, so this will be great! Thanks!!!
  2. Ashley September 25, 2018 at 10:16 am #
    My husband also cannot have ANY dairy, which started in our late 20s... so I'm totally here for any dairy-free recipes you create in the future!! :)
  3. CJ | A Well-Read Tart September 25, 2018 at 10:28 am #
    I need to try this. I love cream-based sauces, but my waistline does not! :-) If I can sub in something healthier to make a dish creamy, I'm all for it. I mean, I know that nut milk (ha! that IS fun to say!) is not a fat-free ingredient, but it does seem a heck of a lot better than heavy cream or even half-and-half, which are my go-tos for adding some depth to a sauce.
  4. ilovehhg September 25, 2018 at 10:45 am #
    YUM!! This looks so good!!
  5. jean September 25, 2018 at 12:31 pm #
    Cashew milk to the rescue! Now only if it could get rid of the mammoth cave cricket that has been taking up residence in my garage all summer my day would be made. Seriously, why do they jump at you?! This one is as large as a mouse and has resisted all of my attempts for it to cease and desist. Sorry for the rant but your mention of these beasts set me off. Thanks for the delicious sounding recipe that seems easy to throw together.
    • Bev Weidner September 26, 2018 at 6:35 am #
      Cave crickets can rot in hell.
      • Dee September 26, 2018 at 8:50 am #
        I grew up in Virginia - cave cricket country. My kids grew up in California, and never knew what one was until I showed them pictures on the internet and THAT was enough to freak them out. Seriously, Bev, what you said. Sounds like a great recipe. Be trying this soon!
  6. Trish September 25, 2018 at 3:28 pm #
    I LOVE (and I mean love as in LOVE) the flavour of Elmhurst Cashew milk! It’s soooo creamy and delicious, and so ‘cookie dunkable’ that it’s hard to believe it’s not baby cow milk! Thanks for this recipe!! Gonna have to try it!
  7. Christi September 25, 2018 at 6:51 pm #
    Poor Aaron. Cheese gives me life. This dish sounds sooooo freaking yummy.
  8. Kristi Maier September 26, 2018 at 10:27 pm #
    Y’all! We drink Fair Life. It is lactose free. Does not taste like lactaid. It tastes like amazing, cold, clean milk. It’s perfect when only real milk will do. Pinky swear.
    • Trish September 27, 2018 at 5:10 am #
      I drink Fair Life with my protein shakes because of the low carb, and yes! It really tastes good! Sadly though, not everyone that can’t drink cows milk has a lactose intolerance. Sometimes it’s the protein that’s in it, which is why I’ve bought the Elmhurst nut milks. My daughter still gets a very sad tummy from Fair Life. Mind you, I’ll buy the Cashew milk from the Elmhurst brand just because it’s so creamy and good!

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