Instant Pot Orange Chicken

Instant Pot orange chicken with sesame seeds.
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 14 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 9 mins
  • Pressure Release: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

This fast and easy Instant Pot orange chicken is a lifesaver on a busy day. Bright and fresh orange flavors are combined with Asian flavors to make this perennial take-out favorite at home. Thanks to the electric pressure cooker, this chicken dish is ready to eat in less than 30 minutes!

The recipe calls for boneless chicken breasts, but feel free to use boneless chicken thighs instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orange juice (fresh-squeezed)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sambal chili paste (or Sriracha, to taste)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts (cut into 1-inch chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or sesame oil)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Garnish: 2 green onions
  • Garnish: sesame seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Instant Pot orange chicken.
    Diana Rattray
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the orange juice, zest, garlic, soy sauce, granulated and brown sugars, vinegar, ginger, and chili paste. Set aside.

    Sauce for Instant Pot orange chicken.
    Diana Rattray
  3. Pat the chicken breasts with paper towels to dry and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Choose the sauté function on the Instant Pot and add the oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the cubed chicken. Cook for about 4 minutes; stir the chicken frequently. Alternatively, brown the chicken in a large skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add some of the sauce to the pot and continue to cook, scraping up any browned bits.

  4. Combine the chicken and the rest of the sauce mixture in the Instant Pot.

    Instant Pot with orange chicken and sauce.
    Diana Rattray
  5. Secure the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Select the pressure cook or manual function (high pressure), and set the time for 5 minutes. When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Carefully turn the steam release valve to the venting position to release any remaining pressure.

  6. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Choose the sauté function on the Instant Pot to bring the sauce mixture to a boil. Combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir about half of the cornstarch slurry into the sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened. Continue adding the slurry in small amounts until the sauce is thickened as desired. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

    Instant Pot orange chicken in a bowl with rice.
    Diana Rattray
  7. Serve the chicken with rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

    Instant Pot orange chicken with rice.
    Diana Rattray
  8. Enjoy!

Tips

  • To avoid the dreaded "burn" notice on your Instant Pot display, make sure there are no browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan after sautéeing food. This is most easily done by deglazing with some liquid by bringing it to a boil and scraping up the browned bits.