Instant Pot Orange Chicken is a flavor-packed chicken dinner made in less than 30 minutes! Made with tender chunks of chicken and a sweet and savory citrus sauce, this healthier spin on a popular Chinese take-out dish is sure to be a family favorite!
This Instant Pot Orange Chicken is an effortless meal that happens to be kid-friendly and picky eater approved--that sweet sauce gets them every time! Serve over cauliflower rice, Instant Pot Brown Rice, or Instant Pot Jasmine Rice for a hearty, healthy 30-minute meal.
One of my family's favorite meals is Orange Chicken. It is a simple dish made with tender chicken and a sweet and salty citrus sauce. And while it doesn't take much effort to prepare this copycat take-out favorite on the stove, using the Instant Pot makes the recipe even easier!
Using the Instant Pot to make Orange Chicken results in the same delicious citrusy sauce with less hands-on prep work or the need to babysit the sauce as it simmers.
But the real magic of this recipe for Instant Pot Orange Chicken? You can cook rice for serving along with the chicken, using the pot-in-pot cooking method, making this an all-in-one simple dinner recipe that is perfect for busy weeknights.
- Chicken--You can use either boneless, skinless chicken breasts or boneless, skinless thighs for this recipe. You can even use frozen chicken with a few modifications.
- Oranges--Because this recipe uses orange zest and orange juice, it makes sense to use freshly squeezed orange juice. Use a Microplane to zest your orange first and then slice it in half and juice the orange. Of course, you can use prepared orange juice in place of fresh orange juice!
- Soy Sauce--Low sodium soy sauce is best to control the sodium content. Use Tamari for a Gluten-Free Instant Pot Orange Chicken.
- Brown Sugar--Brown Sugar is my sweetener of choice for this recipe, as I love the way it plays off the orange notes. However, honey is more traditional, so feel free to substitute honey for brown sugar in equal amounts. Note: You can also increase honey or brown sugar if you prefer a sweeter Orange Chicken, but I would not increase it to more than ¼ cup.
- Rice Wine Vinegar--Rice wine vinegar is a mild vinegar used often used in Asian dishes. If you don't have rice wine vinegar, white distilled vinegar will work.
- Fresh Ginger--Be sure to use freshly grated ginger root--NOT ground ginger, the flavor can not be compared. A money-saving tip is to peel your ginger root and place it in a freezer-safe bag--it will keep for a month and can be grated fresh right from the freezer.
- Garlic--Freshly minced or jarred garlic works great for this recipe.
- Cornstarch Slurry--Cornstarch Slurry is just cornstarch dissolved in a liquid that helps thicken up a sauce. This is added after pressure cooking.
How to Make Instant Pot Orange Chicken
While this recipe is incredibly simple to make, if you are unfamiliar with cooking in an instant pot or the functions of your instant pot, be sure to start with How to Use an Instant Pot for the best results on this and future recipes.
- Prepare the Orange Sauce by mixing the orange zest, orange juice, garlic, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar together.
- Turn your Instant Pot to saute, add in oil, and allow to heat.
- To the heated oil, add in the cubed chicken and saute until JUST golden. We are just looking to sear the chicken to add texture to the dish. This should only take about 2-3 minutes.
- Once your chicken is evenly seared, hit cancel to turn the Instant Pot OFF.
- Pour the prepared orange sauce over the chicken and use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the inner pot.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the vent knob to the sealed position.
- Hit manual or pressure cooker and then adjust the cooking time by using the plus or minus buttons to 5 minutes on High Pressure.
- After cook time has elapsed, let rest for at least 10 minutes, this will help to keep your chicken super tender.
- Once the pressure has been released, remove the lid and turn the Instant Pot back to saute, so that you can thicken the sauce.
- In a small bowl, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water until fully combined.
- Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the inner pot and allow to boil for 2-3 minutes, or until thickened, whisking often.
- Serve over steamed rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. I love to top it with sesame seeds and green onions, but those are totally optional.
Yes, you can absolutely make this recipe with frozen chicken. However, you will need to keep a few things in mind. Instead of searing the chicken, place frozen chicken breasts or thighs in the inner pot. Pour the orange sauce over the chicken and then set the cooking time to 11 minutes. Once the cooking time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Do a quick release and remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and cut them into large chunks or shred the chicken and thicken the sauce with the cornstarch slurry as directed.
Use Tamari to keep this recipe gluten-free.
Yes. I have used the pot-in-pot cooking method to cook the rice above the chicken. To do this, place rinsed long-rain white rice in a stainless steel bowl with an equal amount of water. Place a trivet above the chicken and set the bowl on the trivet. The rice needs a bit longer to account for the stainless steel bowl, so the cooking time of 5 minutes with at least 10 minutes of natural pressure release.
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff
- Instant Pot Hamburger Helper
I would love for you to leave a comment and review below if you enjoyed this recipe for Instant Pot Orange Chicken.
Instant Pot Orange Chicken
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch chunks
- ¾ cup orange juice
- zest of 1 orange
- ¼ 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. Allow to heat up for 1 to 2 minutes add in ½ -1 tablespoon oil and let heat for 1 minute.
- Add in chicken and saute until JUST browned--about 2-3 minutes and then turn Instant Pot OFF.
- Add in orange juice and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the inner pot.
- Add in 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 5 minutes.
- Let naturally release for 10 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 the pressure cooker and stir and boil for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve with steamed rice, cauliflower rice and scallions if desired.
This recipe was originally published in 2017 but updated in 2021 with new pictures and tips.
I made this tonight for supper- it was a great way to make use of a few super ripe oranges! So easy and so flavourful. I served it with brown rice in romaine salad leaves topped with shoe string style veggies. My kids loved it! “Salad spoons” made it fun, the orange chicken made it delicious!
I am so glad you enjoyed Shani! I love how you used produce that could have been wasted to make this and how you made the meal "fun" for your kids. I think I want to enjoy this recipe with "salad spoons" the next time I make it!
OUTSTANDING! I can't tell you how many of your recipes we have enjoyed since Christmas! I got my instant pot as a gift and fortunately discovered you right away. I love all of the recipes that we have tried so far. The orange chicken was simply amazing. We had NO leftovers, it was a huge hit with my family and certainly one we will be making on a regular basis. Thank you so much for your website, you are an outstanding cook and I am so thankful for you sharing them with us.
Oh thank you so much Marsha! You just made my week with your kind words! I strive to provide easy, delicious, fool-proof recipes and hearing you are enjoying them makes my heart so happy! So glad you especially loved this recipe for Orange Chicken!
Oh my goodness! This Orange Chicken was amazing and so easy!!!
My boyfriend is an East coast guy and has been struggling to find good Chinese food in Oregon. Now we don't need to look any further than our IP. So good!
WAHOO!!! When you can replace your favorite take out with homemade that is a huge win!!!
So easy, tasty and healthy. I've really been enjoying your recipes (going on ~3 Months with Instant Pot and you are my go-to). Thanks!
Oh Ellen, that makes my heart so happy. I hope you keep finding recipes to enjoy in your instant pot from me.
Hi, if I wanted to make 2 pounds of chicken what I double the ingredients and keep the same time only in the pressure cooker?
Exactly right! Enjoy!
I’m anxious to try the Orange Chicken recipe. Please tell me why it says to use 3/4 C orange juice DIVIDED. I don’t see any instructions about dividing into parts.
Hi! I am updating this now, it should NOT say, divided. Sorry about that!
My wife just bought the Instant pot and I was asked to check it out first. I had fun checking the instant pot out, that I decided to look for some recipes. As I was surfing the web, I came across you website and saw the Orange Chicken and I love Orange Chicken. So I surprised her with her first meal from the Instant pot and it was a huge success. This recipe is amazing and easy to follow. The absolute best Orange Chicken that I have ever eaten. (And not just because I made it, LOL). My wife was tremendously impressed and I plan on using more of your recipes. Thank you!!
Thank you so much for sharing Tommy! I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe! And I love that you cooked for your wife--SO sweet. Can't wait to hear what else you enjoy!
I love this orange chicken recipe! It is a much healthier and more economic way to satisfy my take-out craving than actually ordering take-out!
YESSS!!! This is exactly why I created this recipe Taryn--for health and affordability! So glad you enjoyed
This turned out so well! The leftovers were almost as good as the firsts.
YAY! So glad you enjoyed Sarah. I love it when we have leftovers too--but in this house, that rarely happens!