Lately I've been trying to make as many things in my Instant Pot as possible. With two small kids, it's an easy way to cook dinner after they're in bed. I love how quick it is. And I love this orange chicken for how flavorful it is!
Now, if you're looking for the typical orange chicken from a Chinese restaurant... this isn't it. That's hard to do in an Instant Pot because it requires a crisp breading, which just isn't something done in your pressure cooker. However, if you're looking for a flavorful orange chicken recipe that tastes delicious, then try this one!
I like to serve it with broccoli and rice. However, there are lots of options! Cauliflower rice or quinoa would be great paired with this Instant Pot orange chicken. Not a broccoli fan? Serve with some green beans or carrots!
Here's what you'll need to make this Instant Pot Orange Chicken:
- Chicken breasts - I like to use organic, but use whatever you prefer!
- Orange juice - I try to get orange juice with no added sugars, as that could make the recipe overly sweet.
- Vegetable oil - This is used for searing the chicken at the start of the recipe. If you don't have vegetable oil on hand, you can also use canola oil.
- Ginger - You'll grate some fresh ginger for this recipe. To get grated ginger, get a knob of ginger and then you'll use a spoon or peeler to peel the outside of the ginger. Then you can use a microplane to zest the ginger and grate some of it for the recipe.
- Garlic cloves - I use three garlic cloves in this recipe, but feel free to use 1-2 more if you REALLY love garlic.
- Rice wine vinegar - This gives the recipe a bit of acidity and a slight tang.
- Brown sugar - This brown sugar gives the recipe its sweetness.
- Soy sauce - Soy sauce provides a great umami flavor.
- Cornstarch - In the final step of the recipe, you'll combine the cornstarch with the water to make a slurry that you add to the dish to help the sauce thicken. If you are looking for another option, you can use arrowroot.
- Water - Combine this with the cornstarch for the slurry.
- Orange Zest - I love the color and additional orange flavor this brings. With a microplane, you shave off the orange rind. Just the orange part though! Once you get to the white part, stop. The white part of the rind is bitter and should not be zested.
Instant Pot Orange Chicken
- Instant Pot
- 2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 Tbsp ginger, freshly grated
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- zest from one orange
- Completely dry the chicken and then cut into 1-2 inch pieces. Grate 1 Tbsp of fresh ginger and set aside. Mince 3 garlic cloves and set aside.
- Turn the Instant Pot on SAUTE mode. Add the vegetable oil and let heat up for 30 seconds. Add the chicken to the pot and cook until all sides are browned, stirring as needed.
- Once chicken is cooked, deglaze with a bit of the orange juice, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any chicken stuck to the pot.
- Turn off the Instant Pot by hitting the CANCEL button.
- Add the rest of the orange juice, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice wine vinegar. Stir everything together.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set on MANUAL mode for 5 minutes.
- Once the Instant Pot has counted down the 5 minutes and beeped, let the chicken sit for 10 minutes with the lid on and complete a NATURAL RELEASE of the steam for the 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, QUICK RELEASE any remaining steam and then remove the lid.
- Combine the cornstarch and water and stir together to create a cornstarch slurry.
- Turn the Instant Pot on SAUTE mode and add the cornstarch slurry to the pot. Stir in to combine. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn off the Instant Pot. Let stand for 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken.
- Top with freshly grated orange zest. Serve with rice and broccoli, if desired.
- I like to serve this Instant Pot Orange Chicken with rice and broccoli.
- If you want a slightly spicy orange chicken, you can also top with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.
- Always remember that an Instant Pot takes a bit of time to come to pressure before it starts counting down the cooking time. This can be 5-10 minutes.