Instant Pot Orange Chicken–A Chinese take-out is made healthier at home in less than 30 minutes for an easy dinner recipe your whole family will love.
I have been making easy Instant Pot recipes with success for years now, but my first attempt at creating a recipe for my Instant Pot was a complete disaster. COMPLETE disaster.
I tried to make my favorite Orange Chicken out in the Instant Pot. What I neglected to realize what that I could not put cornstarch in my Instant Pot at the start of cook time. Let’s just say I had a mess to clean up and dinner was not edible.
It has taken me a long time to desire to try out orange chicken in the pressure cooker again. But after I mastered Sweet and Sour Chicken and Mongolian Beef, I knew I could once again try to make Instant Pot Orange Chicken.
Instant Pot Orange Chicken
Orange Chicken is a favorite at Chinese restaurants. A little sweet, a little spicy, and full of flavor. Orange chicken is kid-friendly, picky-husband approved and ready in less than 30 minutes–making it a winner in this busy mom’s book.
How to Make Orange Chicken in the Pressure Cooker
Step One: Prepare your chicken by slicing into 1 inch chunks.
Step Two: Sear your chicken in the Instant Pot.
To sear your chicken, turn your Instant Pot to saute. Once it reads “HOT,” add in 1/2 -1 tablespoon oil and let heat for 1 minute. Add in the cubed chicken and saute until JUST browned. About 2 minutes.
Step Three: Make the Orange Sauce.
Most Chinese Orange Sauces contain lots of sodium and sugar. By making orange chicken at home, you can control how much sodium and added sugar you add to your Instant Pot Orange Chicken. I use reduced sodium soy sauce to reduce the sodium content and a mix of orange juice and a bit of honey for the sweetness in this sauce.
Step Four: Cook the Orange Chicken.
Put lid on Instant Pot and turn vent knob to the sealed position. Hit manual (you will have to first turn the Instant Pot OFF from Saute function) and then adjust the cook time by using the plus or minus buttons to 7 minutes. After cook time has elapsed, let rest 5-10 minutes and then do a quick release.
Step Five: Thicken your orange sauce.
Turn Instant Pot back to saute. Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water until fully combined. Add cornstarch slurry to pressure cooker and stir and boil for 2-3 minutes.
Step Six: Serve.
Orange Chicken is great served over steamed rice or with cauliflower rice.
Can you make Orange Chicken with Frozen Chicken?
Yes, you can absolutely make Orange Chicken with frozen chicken. However, you will need to keep a few things in mind.
- You can not sear frozen chicken, so eliminate that step along with the oil from the recipe. Instead, you just add the ingredients for the sauce along with the frozen whole chicken breasts.
- Increase cook time from 7 minutes to 10 minutes.
- Once the cook time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally 5 minutes. Do a quick release and remove chicken breasts to cutting board and cut into large chunks or shred chicken.
- Turn Instant Pot back to saute. Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water until fully combined. Add cornstarch slurry to pressure cooker and stir and boil for 2-3 minutes. Mix the chicken into the sauce and serve.
The chicken will not be the same nice chunks when the chicken is cooked from frozen, but it is still incredibly delicious.
Tips on Easy Instant Pot Orange Chicken
- Feel free to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in place of the chicken breasts for homemade orange chicken.
- If you do not want to use brown sugar, honey can be substituted. You can also increase honey or brown sugar if you sweeter dishes. I would not increase to more than 1/4 cup.
- Use Tamari for a Gluten-Free Instant Pot Orange Chicken.
- Add in up to 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to add spice to your orange chicken recipe.
Okay now that you know ALL the tips, onto the recipe!
Pressure Cooker Orange Chicken Recipe
Easy Instant Pot Orange Chicken
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch chunks
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- zest of 1 orange
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce Tamari for Gluten Free
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 tbs rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbs fresh ginger grated
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 bunch of green onions chopped (optional)
- Turn your Instant Pot to saute. Once it reads "HOT," add in 1/2 -1 tablespoon oil and let heat for 1 minute.
- Add in chicken and saute until JUST browned--about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in orange juice, orange zest, brown sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and garlic to instant pot.
- Close the pot, and set the valve to seal.
- Set the manual button to "high pressure" and set the timer for 7 minutes. Note: you will have to FIRST turn off the instant pot from the saute function.
- Let naturally release for 5 minutes. Then do a quick release.
- Turn Instant Pot back to saute. Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water until fully combined. Add cornstarch slurry to pressure cooker and stir and boil for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve with steamed rice, cauliflower rice and scallions if desired.
To Make Easy Orange Chicken , You May Need
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