The whole family is sure to love Instant Pot Orange Chicken! Not only is it better than takeout, but it only takes 25 minutes to make. Perfect for busy weeknights and meal prep!
Why stress over a complicated dinner or spend too much on takeout when easy recipes, like this Instant Pot Orange Chicken, are so simple and delicious? Juicy and tender sauteed chicken is cooked along with a homemade orange sauce in the Instant Pot. Throw in some broccoli after the super quick 25-minute cook time and you have a punchy, zesty dinner the whole family will love!
Traditional orange chicken recipes are made with fried chicken that’s been coated in an orange sauce and served over rice. My version is a little lighter, healthier, and really low maintenance. It all comes together in the Instant Pot to give you a just as refreshing and tangy meal without the extra work. Bonus: it’s way better than takeout!
- An easy one-pot recipe you can turn to on busy nights.
- The bite-sized chicken pieces soak up the zesty homemade orange sauce as they cook together.
- Can you believe it’s ready to eat in just 25 minutes?!
- Chicken - I used boneless skinless chicken thighs because they’re so tender but chicken breasts should work just as well. Just cook them for less time as breasts dry out more easily.
- Orange sauce - The simple citrus sauce comes together in a bowl. It’s made with orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and a handful of aromatics. The finished sauce is zesty, sticky, sweet, and coats the chicken beautifully.
- Cornstarch slurry - Cornstarch and water mixed together create a slurry that will thicken the orange sauce. Feel free to use arrowroot starch instead!
- Broccoli - Steamed broccoli is stirred into the orange chicken when it’s ready. Any kind of steamed vegetables would be delicious here, so feel free to add more (like green beans or cauliflower) or use what you like!
Step 1: Make the orange sauce. Whisk the orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, orange zest, and sriracha together in a bowl. Set aside.
Step 2: Sauté the chicken. Using "Saute" mode on the Instant Pot, sauté the bite-sized chicken pieces in oil until cooked through.
Step 3: Combine the two and cook. Turn the Instant Pot off. Pour the sauce over the chicken, stir, and seal the lid on top. Pressure cook for 5 minutes, then quick release.
Step 4: Add the slurry and broccoli. Remove the lid and pour the cornstarch slurry into the orange chicken. Stir, then turn Saute mode back on for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli when the time is up and place the lid on top so it can steam.
Step 5: Serve! After 2 minutes, remove the lid and scoop the orange chicken and broccoli into bowls. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion, then enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Juice and zest the oranges yourself for the absolute best, most refreshing flavors!
- Save time by whisking the orange sauce together 1 or 2 days ahead of time. Just keep it in a sealed jar in the fridge.
- Want to save even more time? Swap the chicken for the leftover cooked chicken already in your fridge. Skip the sauté and pressure cook everything right away.
- Feel free to replace the broccoli with roasted cauliflower, fried brussels sprouts, steamed green beans, bell peppers, or cooked edamame.
- Serve each portion on its own or over a bed of jasmine rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa, or coconut rice.
Why did my Instant Pot give me a burn notice?
This can happen when small pieces of chicken get stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Do your best to scrape those up as the chicken is being sauteed and feel free to deglaze the pot with water or orange juice to help lift them up.
Can you make it on the stove instead?
Sure! If you don’t own an Instant Pot, simply cook the chicken in a skillet on the stove and whisk the orange sauce together in a saucepan. Heat the sauce over medium heat to dissolve the sugar, then stir in the cornstarch slurry. Pour the thick and sticky sauce over the chicken, toss to coat, and serve with steamed broccoli.
Can it be made vegetarian?
Replace the chicken with crispy baked tofu to make vegetarian orange chicken. Heat up the orange sauce on the stove, then pour the thickened sauce over the tofu and stir to coat. Serve with steamed broccoli and enjoy!
What can you serve with orange chicken?
More takeout-inspired favorites! This Chinese-American recipe would be delicious paired with my Instant Pot Fried Rice, Teriyaki Noodles, and Honey Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry. Your taste buds AND wallet will be happy.
- Refrigerator: Let the leftovers cool, then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- Freezer: Place the fully cooled leftovers into an airtight container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let them thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
- Reheat: Leftover orange chicken is easy to reheat in a skillet on the stove over medium heat or for a few minutes in the microwave.
More Instant Pot recipes
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Instant Pot Orange Chicken
- pressure cooker
- 2 lb. chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 10 oz. broccoli (3 cups); chopped into florets
- sesame seeds for garnish
- green onions for garnish
for the sauce:
- ½ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 teaspoon sriracha more or less to taste
for the slurry:
- 1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 ½ tablespoon water
- Start by making the sauce: whisk the orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, orange zest, and sriracha together in a bowl or glass measuring cup; set aside.
- Next, pour the oil into your Instant Pot, then press "saute" and set it for 8 minutes. While it's heating up, chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Once the Instant Pot reads "hot", add the chicken and cook it for the remaining time (approx. 2 minutes), then turn the Instant Pot off.
- Add the sauce and give everything a good stir. Place the lid on top, ensuring the knob is in the "seal" position. Pressure cook for 5 minutes, then quick release.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the slurry: whisk the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl.
- Once the time is up, remove the lid, pour in the slurry, and again, give everything a good stir. Press "saute" and set it for 2 minutes. The sauce will start boiling -- that's good! It will start to thicken, but make sure you stir it occasionally. Once the time is up, add the broccoli and gently set the lid on top for 2 minutes, which is a quick and easy way to steam the broccoli.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions (optional) and enjoy!