Chili Lime Cashews
Recipes > Dinner > Side Dishes > Chili Lime Cashews

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Recipe Checklist:
  • 4 cups of Raw Cashews
  • 4 Chiles de Árbol (Minced)
  • 1 ½ t Ancho Chiles (Ground)
  • 4 Kaffir Lime Leaves (Chiffonade) (Optional)
  • 1 Lime (Zested)
  • 2 T Unsalted, Whole Butter (Melted)
  • 2 T Chili Oil
  • 1 T Kosher Salt
Tools & Equipment
  • Cutting Board
  • Chefs Knife
  • Baking Sheet
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Zester
Estimated Time
30 Minutes
4 cups of Chili Lime Cashews
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Begin your Preparation, the second of Smart Kitchen’s 4 Levers of Cooking, by preheating your oven to 325° F (163° C). Next, Melt the unsalted Whole Butter using a Sauce Pan on Low Heat or by placing the Butter into a Ramekin and heating it to its Melting Point in the oven, toaster oven, or microwave.

If you don’t have any Chili Oil on hand it is easy to make in advance.  

Zesting the Limes should take just a few minutes. Set the Lime Zest aside until needed.

You should be able to find dried Chiles de Arbol and Ancho Chiles at a good Specialty Grocery Store, and even some main stream super markets. If all else fails, you will find them at a Latin Market, if you have one in your area or you can order them over the internet from companies such as or even from Amazon vendors such as Olive Nation for the Chiles de Arbol or Zamouri Spices for the ground Ancho Chili Powder. These two last links go to the Amazon pages for the products.

If you have not purchased ground Ancho Chiles, you will also want to grind the dried Ancho Chiles before moving on to the next step.

If you plan to use the optional Kaffir Lime leaves in your mixture, for their flavor and texture, they are most often found frozen or at an Asian Market. If you find them, they should be cut into ¼ inch (6.35 mm) slices for use. If you can’t find them or want to omit them, you can substitute an additional 2 T of Lime Zest, essentially doubling up on the Lime Zest to achieve the acidy flavor.

While the oven heats and the butter melts, you will have time to prepare the Cashew Nut mixture by combining in a Mixing Bowl, the Raw Cashews, 15 dried Chiles de Árbol, the melted unsalted Butter, the Vegetable Oil, Kosher Salt, and ground Ancho Chiles. Toss all of these ingredients together until they are well mixed.


With the ingredients prepared and the mixture Tossed together in the Mixing Bowl, you can move on to the active portion of the dish by spreading the Cashew Nut Mixture out onto a large, rimmed, Baking Sheet in a single layer. The Baking Sheet won’t need any extra greasing since the Nuts are covered in melted butter and Oil.

Place the Baking Sheet into the 325° F (163° C) oven and Roast, stirring occasionally, the Cashew Nut Mixture until the Cashews are fragrant and evenly Roasted.  The total roasting time should be roughly 20 minutes, depending on your oven.

When the Cashew Nut Mixture is properly roasted, use Oven Mitts to remove the Baking Sheet from the oven. Place the Baking Sheet on a heat-proof surface or a wire Cooling Rack. Let the Cashew Nut Mixture cool until it is cool to the touch.

Transfer the Cashew Nut Mixture to a clean, dry Mixing Bowl. Add in the Lime Zest and Toss the Cashew Nut Mixture again, until the Lime Zest is incorporated and evenly distributed. 

Place the completed Chile Lime Cashews into a decorative bowl or Serving Dish for service. They should retain their crunch for at least 4 to 6 hours.

The whole recipe for Chile Lime Cashews can be done up to 4 days ahead of time and then stored refrigerated in an airtight container.

There are a number of people who are allergic to Cashews who can experience symptoms ranging from a rash to deadly anaphylaxis. Always be careful to alert your diners to the presence of Cashews in your cooking.