Low Carb Cashew Beef

by KetoFocus.com

This 20-minute Ginger Cashew Beef is my favorite homemade take-out style dinner. Inspired by one of my favorite recipes from Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest, this low-carb version features thinly sliced steak and cashews cooked in the same golden buttery, sweet and spicy sauce but with a few substitutions to keep the carbs and sugar low.

It’s not that hard to turn your favorite recipes keto. Like turning fried rice into cauliflower fried rice or teriyaki sauce into a sugar-free version, you just use ingredient swaps that are lower in carbs but give a similar taste or texture without too much compromise on flavor.

I found a way to do that with this dish and was able to cut in the carbs by 2/3’s!

A bowl of low carb cashew beef with broccoli over coconut rice.

How this recipe differs from Half Baked Harvest


  • Mine is low carbs & lower caloriesTieghan’s recipe comes to 47.9 total carbs per serving and almost 800 calories and that’s not including the mango jalapeno salsa. By substituting some of the ingredients, I got the carbs down to less than 15 carbs per serving and only 641 calories. There are ways to lower the carbs even more and I’ll explain later.
  • Used a low-sugar sweet chili sauce – In original recipe, she uses a brand of sweet chili sauce that has 7 grams of carbs per tablespoon and is made with cane sugar and fructose. The brand I use only has 1 gram of carb per tablespoon and is sweetened with real fruit juices.
  • Onion for shallot – Shallot can offer a dish a garlicky onion flavor; however, shallot is higher in carbs than onion. There are 16.8 g of carbs per 100 grams of shallot but only 9.3 g of carbs for the same amount of onion. Instead of adding shallot to the recipe, I use a combination of yellow onion and garlic to add similar flavor.
  • Coconut cauliflower rice – Half Baked Harvest uses Jasmine rice to make her coconut rice. Jasmine rice is a white rice that is loaded with carbs. One cup of jasmine rice has about 45 carbs in it. Instead, I use cauliflower rice to make coconut rice. One cup of cooked cauliflower rice has 8 grams of carbohydrates and 4 net carbs. 

Keto Cashew Beef Recipe Video

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Low Carb Cashew Beef Ingredients

  • 2 pounds flank or skirt steak
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1½ cups broccoli florets
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion. diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce, tamari or liquid aminos
  • 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Coconut Cauliflower Rice Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (enough to yield 4 cups of riced cauliflower)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk

Low Carb Cashew Beef Directions

  • Low Carb Cashew Beef
  • A wooden spoon holding a serving of saucy cashew beef with broccoli.

    Lower the carbs even more

    Even though I was able to cut the carbs in the original dish by about two-thirds, you may find 14 grams carbs per serving too high – especially if on a keto lifestyle. Here is how you can lower the carbs even further:

    • Decrease the onion – I have played with this recipe using 1 full onion and 1/2 onion (between the cashew beef and coconut rice). I do feel that onion provides a necessary flavor; however, you could get away with not adding it to the coconut rice. This would save you 0.3 grams net carbs per serving. 
    • Decrease the garlic – This recipes uses a lot of garlic! I love garlic flavor and do agree that it is a necessary ingredient in the cashew beef, but you could probably omit it from the coconut cauliflower rice. This would save you 0.4 grams net carbs per serving.
    • Decrease the arrowroot powder – Usually when I use arrowroot powder as a thickener, I use around 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of it since it has 7x the thickening power as all-purpose flour, so you don’t need that much. I kept the amount the same that Tieghan used in her recipe; however, I do think we could decrease the arrowroot powder to 1 teaspoon. This would save you 0.7 grams net carbs per serving.
    • Omit or decrease the coconut rice – I love the flavor of this dish over the coconut cauliflower rice; however, it does add an additional 1.9 carbs to each serving.

    Making all of these adjustments could lower your net carbs to 11.7 net carbs per serving. Of course, there are way to lower it even more by lowering the onion and garlic some more or even decreasing the cashews to 1/2 cup.

    A low carb version of the half baked harvest recipe for cashew beef in a bowl topped with cilantro and jalapeno over coconut cauliflower rice.

    Storage information

    Store the cashew beef in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze it in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 2-3 months.

    Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

    Low Carb Cashew Beef: FAQS

    Can I make this dairy free?

    Yes! The only dairy added to this recipe is the butter. You can use ghee instead for a similar flavor. Or add a similar amount of coconut oil. Or just completely omit the additional fat.

    Tieghan tops her cashew beef with a mango jalapeno salsa. Can I make that low carb?

    Yes, you can still make the mango salsa, but mango is high in sugar and carbs. One mango has over 30 grams of carbohydrates. To lower the carbs in the salsa, try using less mango or use strawberries instead of mango.

    What is the arrowroot powder used for?

    Arrowroot powder is the thickener for the sauce. I use it as a replacement for flour and cornstarch in keto cooking. It has 7x the thickening power as flour so you don't have to use as much of it.

    Nutritional information & Macros

    Nutrition Information

    Low Carb Cashew Beef

    Servings: 6

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 641
    Fat 47.7g
    Protein 38.9g
    Total Carbs 16.9g
    Net Carbs 14.3g

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