Instant Pot Orange Chicken is a flavor packed chicken dinner made in less than 30 minutes! This recipe for Pressure Cooker Orange Chicken is an easy, healthier take on the popular Chinese take-out dish and is sure to be a family favorite!
If you love take-out Orange Chicken, you will LOVE this recipe for Instant Pot Orange Chicken.
Made with chunks of tender chicken that is swimming in a sweet, slightly spicy orange sauce, this easy Instant Pot Recipe makes an incredibly simple meal. And it happens to be one of those recipes that is kid-friendly and picky eater approved–that sweet sauce gets them every time!
- 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 in half and juice the orange. Of course you can use prepared orange juice in place of the 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 the 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 to more than 1/4 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 in a freezer safe bag–it will keep for 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 that has been dissolved in liquid that helps thicken up a sauce. This is added after pressure cooking.
How to Make Instant Pot Orange Chicken
Step One: Prepare Chicken
- Prepare your chicken by slicing into 1 inch chunks.
- 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.
- Turn the Instant Pot OFF.
Step Two: Make the Orange Sauce
- Mix together the orange zest, orange juice, garlic, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar together.
- Pour over the chicken.
Step Three: Pressure Cook Orange Chicken
- Put lid on Instant Pot and turn vent knob to the sealed position.
- Hit manual (for more information check out Instant Pot functions) 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 Four: Thicken the 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.
- 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.
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Spaghetti--one pot, no draining, and the pasta is so much more flavorful!
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese–creamy, dreamy, and easy!
- Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff–Comfort food made in one pan! The noodles cook in the sauce absorbing all the flavor.
- Instant Pot Hamburger Helper–a true family favorite!
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.