Instant Pot Orange Chicken has tender chunks of chicken coated in a sticky-sweet citrus sauce that is every bit as good (or better!) than your favorite Chinese food take-out. Ready in under 30 minutes!
Looking for an easy and delicious Instant Pot recipe that the whole family will love? Look no further than this fantastic Orange Chicken dish! This recipe is easy to make, and the orange chicken comes out juicy and full of flavor. Plus, it's a great way to add some Asian flavors to your menu.
This orange chicken recipe is perfect for busy weeknights, and it's packed with amazing flavors. One bite will make you feel like you have just been transported to one of your favorite Chinese restaurants!
If you're looking for an easy and delicious pressure cooker recipe, this Orange Chicken dish is a perfect choice!
What You'll Need
Here's a list of what you'll need to make this Instant Pot orange chicken recipe. See the printable recipe card below for exact amounts and full instructions.
For the Sauce
- Orange juice: Gives the chicken the classic orange flavor. I prefer freshly squeezed juice but you could use bottled as long as it’s 100% juice!
- Soy sauce (or coconut aminos): For a salty umami flavor.
- Light brown sugar: Adds a hint of sweetness that we all love in orange chicken! Feel free to use maple syrup if you prefer.
- Rice vinegar: Helps enhance the acidity of the orange and cuts through the sweetness of the brown sugar.
- Orange zest: Enhances the orange flavor even more.
- Garlic and Ginger: Classic additions to asian inspired sauces– they really help amp up the flavor of the chicken!
- Corn starch Slurry: This optional mixture of cornstarch and water helps thicken the sauce to better coat the chicken if the sauce is too thin for your liking.
For the Chicken
- Olive oil
- Chicken: I’m using boneless skinless chicken breasts but thighs would work too!
- Green onions and sesame seeds: We love the burst of fresh green onion flavor and the mild crunch of the sesame seeds.
How to cook Orange Chicken in an Instant Pot
Be sure to see the recipe card for full ingredients and instructions.
For the Sauce
Mix. Whisk together the orange juice, soy sauce, light brown sugar, rice vinegar, orange zest, garlic, and ginger. Set aside until ready to use.
For the Chicken
Prepare. Heat the Instant Pot using the sauté function. Add the olive oil and all it to heat until fragrant– about 2 minutes.
Saute. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the bottom of the pot and saute until it is crisp and golden brown on all sides– about 8 minutes.
Turn the Instant Pot off of Saute mode and add the sauce to the chicken. Stir to combine.
Cook. Attach the lid and ensure the valve is in the "sealing" position. Set the cook time to High Pressure Cook for 4 minutes.
(Optional) When the Instant Pot has finished, remove the chicken to a small bowl but leave the sauce in the pot. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and turn the Instant Pot to the Saute function again.
Finish. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Add the chicken back to the sauce and stir to combine.
Serve. Garnish with sesame seeds and/or green onion and serve immediately.
Suppose you do not have all of the ingredients needed to make this orange chicken on hand. There's no need to run to the store! There are a few substitutions that you can use for some of the ingredients listed above.
Orange juice: If you do not have any fresh oranges or orange juice on hand to make the orange sauce, you could use orange marmalade instead.
Rice vinegar: If you do not have any rice vinegar to use for this recipe, you could try some rice wine vinegar instead if that is what you have on hand. The flavor will still be very similar.
Chicken breasts: If you do not have any chicken breasts on hand or can not find any at the store, you can try non-breaded chicken tenders. Chicken tenders will cook up a bit faster as they are not as thick, but you'll still have delicious bite-size pieces.
Yes, you can! In fact, orange juice is one of the key ingredients in this recipe. It gives the chicken a delicious citrus flavor that everyone will love.
There are a few different sauce ingredients that you can use, including orange juice, soy sauce, light brown sugar, rice vinegar, and orange zest. All of these flavors come together to create a delicious Asian-inspired orange sauce that's perfect for chicken.
Cook chicken for about 18 minutes in total in the Instant Pot. This will ensure that the chicken is cooked through but still nice and tender.
Yes, you can! Just add an extra 3-5 minutes to the cooking time if you're using frozen chicken. However, I suggest only using fresh chicken for this instant pot orange chicken recipe.
No, you do not! I prefer boneless chicken breasts for this recipe, but you can also use boneless chicken thighs. As long as the recipe turns out with tender chunks of chicken pieces covered in orange flavor, you will have a delicious meal!
Tips for Success
Here's how to make sure your Instant Pot Orange Chicken recipe turns out perfect!
- Instant Pot size: We use a 6-quart Instant Pot Duo, but a larger or smaller model will work just as well with this recipe.
- Use a food thermometer. This is always the best way to check if meat is done cooking. For chicken, you'll want to make sure the internal temperature at the thickest point reaches 165ºF.
- Don't overcook the chicken. Chicken breasts can quickly go from cooked to dry and rubbery. That's why it's important not to overcook them.
- Be careful with the quick pressure release. When you do a quick release to release the remaining pressure after a natural release, all of the steam will come out at once. Use a long-handled spoon to carefully turn the valve so that you don't get burned by the steam.
Easy Sides for Pairing with Instant Pot Orange Chicken
If you want to keep things super simple, pair your Instant Pot Orange Chicken with steamed white rice or fried brown rice. If you're up for putting in a little more effort, here are some easy side dishes that will go well with the flavors in this recipe:
- simple stir fry with vegetables
- Jasmine rice
- instant pot rice
- rolls or buns
- green beans
- cauliflower rice
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. When you're ready to eat it, just reheat it in the microwave or in a pot on the stove until it's warmed through.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
Yes, you can! Just place the leftovers in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months. When you're ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat as directed above.
Instant Pot Orange Chicken is Sure to Impress!
If you're looking for an easy and delicious weeknight meal, this Instant Pot Orange Chicken recipe is sure to impress. The chicken is cooked to perfection, and the orange sauce is packed with flavor. Plus, it's a great way to add some Asian flavors to your menu. So give it a try tonight and see for yourself!
More Chicken Recipes
Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.
Sign up for my email newsletter so you don't miss any recipes.
Instant Pot Orange Chicken
- ½ cup orange juice (from about 1 large orange)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons cold water
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Sliced green onion and sesame seeds, for garnish
For the sauce
- Whisk together the orange juice, soy sauce, light brown sugar, rice vinegar, orange zest, garlic, and ginger. Set aside until ready to use.
For the chicken
- Heat the Instant Pot using the saute function. Add the olive oil and all it to heat until fragrant – about 2 minutes.
- Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the instant pot and saute until it is crisp and golden brown on all sides– about 8 minutes.
- Turn the Instant Pot off of Saute mode and add the sauce to the chicken. Stir to combine.
- Attach the lid and ensure the valve is in the “sealing” position. Set the timer to Manual Pressure Cook for 4 minutes.
- (Optional) When the Instant Pot has finished, remove the chicken to a small bowl but leave the sauce in the pot. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and turn the Instant Pot to the Saute function again. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Add the chicken back to the sauce and stir to combine.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and/or green onion and serve immediately.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.