INSTANT POT ORANGE CHICKEN IS HEALTHIER THAN TAKEOUT AND EASY TO MAKE USING YOUR INSTANT POT. MADE WITH FRESH ORANGE JUICE AND ORANGE ZEST FOR GREAT FLAVOR.
Instant Pot Orange Chicken is one of the easiest and most flavorful dishes that you can make in just 30 minutes. Forget about takeout, this easy dinner made with easy to find ingredients is so good that it will become a staple in your house. The Instant Pot Orange Chicken is made entirely in the Instant Pot, so less dishes for you to clean. Made with orange juice and orange zest, gives the dish an amazing fresh aroma. Sweet and hearty, served over brown rice, this dinner is so much healthier than takeout and also budget friendly as you will have leftovers that taste great.
Why You’ll Enjoy This Instant Pot Orange Chicken:
- It is easy to make and it takes only around 30 minutes!
- Only one pot to clean and that is the Instant Pot, so minimum dishes for you
- The dish is packed with amazing flavors and lean protein
- It is perfect for busy weeknights and also for entertaining guests
- You will have delicious leftovers that can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container for 3-4 days
What is a 10 Minutes Natural Pressure Release?
A Natural Pressure Release means that the pressure is released gradually. For a Natural Pressure Release, you click on Keep Warm, and wait 10 minutes, after which you open the valve and let any leftover pressure to release. Another option is to Turn Off/Unplug the pressure cooker, wait 10 minutes and after that open the valve. A natural release is usually used when cooking soups, meat in a large amount of sauce, pasta or steel cut oats. This method prevents for any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.
Looking for more Instant Pot Recipes? Check my collection here:
- Instant Pot Mongolian Chicken – a quick and delicious family meal
- Instant Pot Mongolian Beef – made healthier with less sugar, oil and not deep fried
- Instant Pot Tomato Soup – serve with grilled cheese and you are in for a treat
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork – perfectly done and quickly does for when a craving strikes
- Instant Pot Apple Cider – made using the Slow Cooker function
- Instant Pot Tortellini Soup – made using the Slow Cooker function
- Instant Pot Apple Pudding Cake – made using the Slow Cooker function
- Instant Pot Pork Goulash – made using the Slow Cooker function
Tips & Tricks on how to make the perfect Instant Pot Orange Chicken:
- I always say this, but a good meat centered meal starts with quality meat, so use organic chicken breasts
- Cornstarch is a key ingredient in here, do not try to replace it with flour, the results will not be the same
- I used No Sugar Added Orange juice, since the recipe already asks for sugar, if you want to use sweetened orange juice I would say to reduce the added sugar, taste and adjust.
- Using fresh orange zest is key and please don’t skip this step, it will add amazing flavor
- When is comes to adding the cornstarch, there are two methods, you can add it directly to the Instant Pot, but you will have to whisk it vigorously so it doesn’t create lumps. This can break some of the chicken pieces. The second method, which I prefer and recommend that you use too, is to mix the cornstarch with orange juice until dissolved and add the liquid to the Instant Pot.
- You can also taste and adjust the sugar in this recipe, I like my Orange Chicken on the sweeter side, but you can use less.
- When sautéing the chicken you can sauté it until it gets golden, if that is what you like. If you wan’t the chicken to get that golden color, you will have to mix it in a ziplock bag with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. This will remove all the moisture that covers the chicken and will make sautéing it easier. Otherwise, the chicken will just cook, without much browning on top. It will still taste great.
- If the sauce is too runny, mix another 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch with water and add it to the Instant Pot. Please note, that the sauce will get thicker with time, so definitely wait a bit before adding more cornstarch.
- Sriracha sauce is optional, I like the nice kick of heat that it adds, you can add more or less as you please.
- This dish can also be made in your Crock Pot or in the Instant Pot using the Slow Cooker function. Add browned chicken to the Slow Cooker, add the orange mixture except the slurry. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Make the slurry, gently stir it in and cook on high for 20 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!
- Using fresh garlic will add amazing savory flavor to the overall sweeter dish, you can use more or less. I personally like to use lots of garlic. The recipe asks for an entire garlic head, don’t confuse that with just 1 clove.
- The Instant Pot Orange Chicken is best served over rice or noodles
Tools/Ingredients I used to make the Instant Pot Orange Chicken Recipe:
- Instant Pot – I use it all the time, either the Pressure Cooker function or the Slow Cooker function, I also like that I can just sauté / brown the meat and veggies directly in the pot using the Sauté function
- Cornstarch – I prefer using cornstarch instead of flour to thicken sauces, and this organic brand is my favorite
Instant Pot Orange Chicken is healthier than takeout and easy to make using your Instant Pot. Made with fresh orange juice and orange zest for great flavor.
- 2 lb chicken breast cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- ¼ cup cornstarch + 2 tablespoons*
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup orange juice no sugar added
- 1 head garlic minced (head - not clove!)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha *
- zest from 1 orange
- 4 green onions sliced
- extra orange zest
Start by cutting the chicken into 1-2 inch chunks. If you want the chicken to get golden brown during the sauté process, add it to a ziplock bag with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Mix until well covered.
Heat up your pressure cooker: press Sauté -> click on the Adjust button -> select More to get the Sauté More function, which means that the food will be sautéed over medium-high heat. Wait for the Instant Pot indicator to read HOT.
Add the oil to the hot Instant Pot, add the chicken and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring a few times. Cook until it just starts to get golden.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot: ½ cup of orange juice (save the other half), minced garlic, tomato sauce, soy sauce, white sugar, brown sugar, orange zest and Sriracha sauce. You can skip the Sriracha sauce or add more if you prefer your food on the spicier side.
Stir well until all the ingredients are combined and coated in sauce.
Close lid, select the Poultry function and adjust the time to 7 minutes.
Use a 10 minute Natural Release. Turn off the heat. Release the remaining pressure. Open the lid.
Select again the Sauté function. In a medium bowl combine ¼ cup of cornstarch with the remains ½ cup of orange juice, whisk until all combined with no lumps. Add the mixture to the Instant Pot and gently stir to combine. Cook on Sauté function for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
Let the Orange Chicken stand for 5-7 minutes, the sauce will thicken more.
Serve over rice and garnish with fresh chopped green onions and extra orange zest.
- You need 2 extra tablespoons to coat the chicken
- You can add more or less Sriracha or skip it entirely, based on preference.
Recipe adapted from Dinner Then Dessert.