Making the decision to skip takeout and make a fake out is even easier with the Instant Pot. You won’t believe how easy it is to make Instant Pot Orange Chicken.
I love good Chinese takeout as much as the next person, but sometimes I just want my favorite Chinese dishes to taste like a home cooked meal. With the Instant Pot (we recommend this one), making a takeout fake out is easier than ever. Our favorite meals, like Chicken Parmesan or Honey Bourbon Chicken, that previously took forever to cook, are now quick and easy to make.
This Instant Pot Orange Chicken recipe is no exception. It’s flavorful, delicious and easy. Unlike most orange chicken you find in Chinese restaurants, I didn’t bread the chicken because it would be too mushy after cooking in a pressure cooker. This recipe starts by browning the chicken breast pieces on sauté mode, then you whisk together and add in the sauce. After cooking, I found that allowing a natural release of pressure helps keep the chicken tender and juicy.
As for the sauce, it works best to thicken it after cooking to prevent it from clumping under the high pressure. Sautéing the sauce with a mixture of orange juice and cornstarch, then letting it set for a few minutes before serving does the job nicely and adds in some extra flavor as well.
You can adjust the spiciness of the recipe by adding in more or less red pepper flakes, or even adding in a dash of sriracha sauce or cayenne pepper if you’re really feeling spicy. I kept this recipe on the mild side but feel free to turn up the heat if you want. Whether your taste preferences are spicy or mild, one bite and you’ll agree this homemade Instant Pot Orange Chicken recipe is just as good (or better!) than takeout.Print
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed into 1 and 1/2” pieces
- 1 cup + 3 Tbsp. orange juice, divided
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh orange zest
- 1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 whole green onions, diced
- 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- Turn the Instant Pot on the sauté function and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken and cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Turn off sauté mode.
- In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup of the orange juice, the brown sugar, soy sauce, tomato sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, orange zest, ginger and red pepper flakes (if using). Add the sauce mixture to the Instant Pot and stir together with the chicken.
- Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and set it to manual high for 5 minutes. When the timer is done, allow a natural release for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of orange juice and the cornstarch until there are no lumps.
- When the 10 minutes is up, turn the steam valve to open to release any extra pressure. Remove the lid and turn the pressure cooker back to sauté mode.
- Add the orange juice/cornstarch mixture and stir until the sauce is thickened. When sauce reaches desired thickness, turn off the Instant Pot and allow to sit for 5-6 minutes before serving.
- Add garnish of diced green onions and sesame seeds.