Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken is a simple chicken recipe made with a naturally sweetened sweet and sour sauce, fresh veggies, and tender chicken. You can permanently put down the take-out menu, and enjoy a more wholesome version of Sweet and Sour Chicken thanks to the Instant Pot!
For a complete meal, serve this Sweet and Sour Chicken over Instant Pot Brown Rice or Cauliflower Rice.
My kids' favorite Chinese meal is Sweet and Sour Chicken. The sweet sauce and the tender chicken win them every time.
While absolutely delicious, the restaurant version is super high in sodium and often fat, since the chicken is deep-fried.
Most people assume making Sweet and Sour Chicken at home is difficult or time-consuming. BUT NOT SO!!
This recipe could not be easier and blows any take-out Sweet and Sour Chicken out of the water. With a few simple ingredients, this recipe comes together without much effort of much time. There is no wok, no stir-frying--just the Instant Pot and an easy meal that your family will love is ready to go! Not to mention, my version is lower in fat, calories, sodium, and sugar. YAY!!
Sweet and Sour Sauce
My recipe for sweet and sour sauce has a surprising ingredient that keeps this sauce sweet without adding refined sugars.
The apricot jam is sweetened only with fruit juice. And the flavor of the apricot replicates a Chinese Duck Sauce--just without tons of sugar, sodium, and preservatives. It is a great substitute and gives this sweet and sour sauce a perfect flavor.
When paired with low sodium soy sauce and rice wine vinegar, this easy Sweet and Sour Sauce is a perfect flavor combination and creates just the right base for Sweet and Sour Chicken.
Tips For Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- If your children don't like peppers/onions in their sauce--omit them. And serve with steamed veggies on the side.
- Feel free to use all green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers, or a mix.
- This sauce is on the sweeter side, which is GREAT for my kids. Personally, I like to add Sriracha to my serving. If you want your whole dish to be spicier, add ½ tablespoon Sriracha or hot sauce during the cooking process.
More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
- Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- Instant Pot Butter Chicken
Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
- ½ tbsp canola oil
- 1 onion, diced into 1 inch chunks
- 1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 yellow pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- ½ cup chicken stock see note
- ½ cup apricot all fruit jam
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- Turn Instant Pot function to saute and heat the oil.
- Add chicken and saute just until lightly browned on all sides--about 2 minutes. Turn the Instant Pot off.
- Add stock to inner pot and scrape up any browned bits on bottom of inner pot.
- Add the peppers, onions, pineapple, apricot jam, soy sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and garlic to Instant Pot and thoroughly stir.
- Close Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Hit manual or pressure cook and use the +/- buttons to adjust until it reads 5.
- Once cook time has elapsed, do a quick release of pressure after 10 minutes of natural pressure release.
- Turn Instant Pot back to saute and add the cornstarch that has been mixed with 1 tablespoon water back into the Instant Pot. Bring to a boil and let sauce thicken. Serve over rice or as desired.
- The peppers, onions, and pineapple release a lot of liquid, therefore along with the soy sauce, vinegar, jam, and stock, you will have more than enough liquid for a 6 quart Instant Pot. For an 8 quart Instant Pot, add in an additional ¼ cup chicken stock or double the recipe.
- If you have a corn allergy, you can substitute the cornstarch for tapioca starch (be sure to fully dissolve the tapioca starch before adding to the sweet and sour sauce first.)
- If you can't find Apricot All Fruit, feel free to use apricot preserves.
- I used reduced sodium soy-sauce for my sweet and sour chicken sauce, regular soy sauce/tamari can be used as well--it just may be saltier.
- If you do not have fresh ginger, do NOT use powdered ginger, just skip the ginger.
- If you need this to be Gluten-Free, be sure to use gluten-free soy sauce.