Stir-fried Chicken with Cashews – Cooking with Kids

This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.

September is National Chicken Month so I wanted to share Manitoba Chicken’s Stir-fried Chicken with Cashews recipe. It is flexible, quick and easy to prepare and that your kids can even help prepare it.

a bowl of rice topped with stir-fried chicken, cashews and vegetables.

Prepping this stir-fry

There are so many meal prep strategies that you can apply to this meal, to get it on the table in 15 minutes or less. A great tip for when you bring chicken home from the grocery store is to slice it up before you freeze it. This saves you a step on a busy weeknight and you can simply take the bag of sliced chicken out of the freezer the night before, thaw in the fridge and start cooking! Sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be used in stir-fries like this one, sheet pan meals or fajitas.

Recipe tip: Did you know that you can find recipes for any cut of chicken you have, at Click the link and select the cut you’d like under the CUT menu.

This stir-fry recipe calls for carrots, snap peas, peppers and onions. You can swap them for other vegetables that you prefer. Snap peas are what I like to call a no-prep veggie, so they don’t require chopping. Other no-prep vegetables you can use to serve this stir-fry up quickly are frozen vegetables or pre-cut carrots, broccoli, mushrooms and cauliflower from the grocery store.

Did you know that you can cook and freeze rice? You can! This is one of my favorite meal prep tips for reducing the cooking time of my weeknight meals. I always make a double batch and freeze half for a future meal. You can reheat frozen rice in the microwave in two minutes. You can also serve this stir-fry over noodles.

a child pouring cooked rice from a bag into a dish
Cooking with kids can be a bit messy but it’s all in the name of connection and skill development!

Preparing the stir-fry sauce

I love this sauce because it contains ingredients that I usually have on hand, like chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar and red chili flakes. Other ingredients like oyster sauce and Chinese hot sauce can be used in many other recipes like these Ginger Chicken Wonton Cups and this Sesame Chicken with Black Bean and Ginger Stir-Fry. Once you have the sauce ingredients, you can use them in a variety of recipes for weeks to come.

a child mixing ingredients in a bowl

Cooking with kids

Depending on how old your kids are, they can help prepare this recipe! Some kids might be reluctant to try a stir-fry because it is saucy and different ingredients are touching. Getting the kids to help prepare the stir-fry with you provides exposure to new foods and teaches them valuable cooking skills. Here are a few things they can do to help:

  • Measure out rice
  • Fill a pot with water
  • Pour cashews in a bowl for garnish
  • Wash vegetables
  • Slice chicken and vegetables (older kids)
  • Combine the sauce ingredients
  • Set the table

There is a complete list of ways that kids can help out in the kitchen on page 32 of the Ultimate Guide.

a child's hand picking up a snap pea from a plate of vegetables.
Setting aside some of the vegetables raw or serving the chicken without sauce is an easy way to ease kids into eventually enjoying a stir-fry.

Deconstructing this stir-fry

Some of my kids are reluctant to try stir-fry for a few reasons: different ingredients are touching, vegetables are cooked and there is a sauce! Here’s how I handle it without making them a separate meal. Serve the same vegetables on the side, raw, if they’re not into cooked vegetables. Before adding the sauce, you can set some stir-fry aside so they can enjoy the chicken and vegetables plain. Serve the cashews on the side as a garnish. My kids love adding toppings to their meals and self-serving helps them eat intuitively and develop their independence. We always serve meals family style so kids can practice good manners and interact as they pass and share dishes around the table.

a bowl of rice topped with chicken, cashews and vegetables

Try this stir-fry and let us know how you (and your kids) enjoyed it on our Instagram pages @manitobachicken @toobusylivin204.

Baked Chicken Parmigiana

This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.

Chicken parmesan beside noodles, zucchini and salad on a round plate.

Did you know that March is nutrition month? This Baked Chicken Parmigiana from Manitoba Chicken Producers More Cooking with Manitoba Chicken cookbook checks all the boxes for me in the nutrition department:

  • It covers all four food groups
  • It`s a lean source of protein
  • It`s baked instead of fried

This recipe is also amazing for meal prep:

  • It`s a virtually hands-free recipe
  • You can use store-bought shortcuts to save time
  • Your kids can help prepare this recipe
  • You can serve it with a variety of sides
  • You can serve it in a few different ways
  • It’s also a take-out fake-out recipe so you can save some money on dining out
A recipe book beside a board of ingredients in small bowls.

Baked Chicken Parmigiana Components

The main components of this recipe are breaded chicken, marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Traditionally it is fried, but you can achieve the same result by baking it.  A few tips to ensure that the breaded chicken stays crispy are to bread it just before cooking and to ensure that your chicken breasts are well-spaced out on the baking sheet. This allows the breading to crisp up instead of steaming, which results in a soggy breading.

Food waste/Money-saving tip: Make your own breadcrumbs! Save bread ends and leftover buns in a freezer bag.  Once the bag is full, dry them out in the oven at 300°F. Drying time will depend on the size of the pieces. Let cool completely, then grind in a food processor. Store extra breadcrumbs in the freezer.

Meal Prep Strategies

I love this breaded chicken parmesan because I can combine the breadcrumbs, herbs and spices beforehand to save a few minutes. Add the parmesan cheese to the breadcrumb mixture and you can store it in the freezer until you’re ready to use it! 

Baking it in the oven is a hands-free cooking technique that allows me to do other things while it`s cooking, like reading with my kids, emptying the dishwasher or prepping a future meal. Using some store-bought shortcuts like jarred marinara and shredded mozzarella also saves prep time, which is great for busy weeknights.

Two glass rectangular dishes side by side containing ingredients.

Cooking Chicken

Be sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken is fully cooked. Boneless and bone-in pieces, as well as ground chicken patties are fully cooked when a probe inserted in the thickest part of the piece reads 165°F or 74°C. Download this card to keep in your kitchen for quick reference.

Breaded chicken pieces on a parchment covered baking sheet.

Deconstructing this Recipe for Kids

For kids who aren’t foods touching each other (chicken + sauce +cheese) simply deconstruct it and serve all of the components separately. They might also enjoy dipping the chicken in the sauce and sprinkling the cheese on themselves.

A spoonful of marinara sauce over a fried chicken breast.

How to Serve Baked Chicken Parmigiana

My favorite way to serve this is with browned butter noodles and a side Caesar salad. You can really make any side that you like.  Spaghetti with extra marinara, garden salad, roasted broccoli…Anything goes here!

Another fun way to serve this is to make a chicken parmesan sandwich! Toast up some ciabatta buns, butter them with garlic butter and top them with the saucy, cheesy chicken and eat it sandwich-style. I have also tried making this as a burger using ground chicken.  Form some patties and bread them, then bake them! 

Do you want to try this recipe? Download a PDF version of More Cooking with Manitoba Chicken here for 5 easy recipes or email with your mailing address and we will mail you a booklet!

How to Make a Chicken Sheet Pan Meal

This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.

Sheet pan meals are my absolute favorite quick weeknight meal because you can prep them entirely ahead of time. While they’re baking, your hands are free to do other tasks, like empty the dishwasher or prep for the next day’s meal. This Sheet Pan Pomegranate Orange Chicken recipe from looks festive and contains warm spices like cinnamon and cumin as well as fresh orange and pomegranate.

Sheet pans are versatile

The great thing about this cooking method is that you can use any vegetable, and seasoning that you like. For example, this recipe contains squash, which we’re all not crazy about in our house so I’m swapping it for sweet potato. There are a few other substitutions you could make in this recipe if you don’t have the ingredients, for example, you can use carrots instead of parsnips, or cranberry juice instead of pomegranate juice.

This sheet pan builder shows you how to use any cut of fresh Manitoba chicken to make endless sheet pan combinations.

Choosing chicken

Depending on the cut of chicken you decide to use, your cooking time will vary. This is something to consider when you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal and want to keep the cook time within 30 minutes. Bone-in pieces such as breasts, thighs and drumsticks, wings and drumettes will take the longest to cook. Whole chicken breasts and ground chicken meatballs will cook within the 30 minute time-frame and you can even shave that down to 20-25 minutes by thinly slicing boneless skinless chicken breasts, for example for fajitas.

Prepping components

When prepping components for your meal, you can chop all of the veggies, and marinate the chicken. Combine your ingredients, marinate and store in a freezer bag or container overnight to let the marinade work its magic.

For the Sheet Pan Pomegranate Orange Chicken recipe, you will need to chop the vegetables and make the sauce, which is tossed with the vegetables and chicken prior to baking.

Alternatively, you can also use dry seasonings and spices that don’t require marinating. When I use this method, I like to drizzle a sauce on top when the pan comes out of the oven, like balsamic reduction, pesto, or a squeeze of roasted or fresh citrus like lemon, lime, or orange.

Cooking sheet pan meals

I have learned that the perfect temperature for these meals is 425°F for 25 minutes. It’s important to note that oven temperatures can vary and some cuts of chicken take longer to cook than others, depending on the size of the pieces and if they are bone-in pieces. Even if you are following a recipe, always use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. You know that chicken pieces are fully cooked when the thermometer reads 165°F or 74°C.

When cooking at this temperature, I like to cut veggies in approximately 1-inch pieces. This ensures that they don’t overcook and burn or get too mushy.

Space your ingredients out on your tray if you like crispier vegetables. If you crowd them on the pan, as shown in the image above, it will create a lot of steam, giving the vegetables a softer texture. Consider using two sheet pans if you like crispy veggies.

Different combinations

There are many great chicken sheet pan combinations on like this Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken that we shared last week on the Cooking Comfort Facebook Live Event. You can watch it here if you missed it and would like some meal prep tips for making sheet pans.

Here are a few more of my favorite combinations:

Sheet Pan Chicken and Sweet Potatoes with Warm Spice
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Chicken Teriyaki w/pineapple (chicken breasts, mushrooms, pineapple, bell peppers)
Lemon Basil Chicken meatballs w/tomatoes and pesto

Try one of these done-for-you ideas or use this sheet pan builder to create your own!