Instant Pot Orange Chicken

This healthier version of a famous Chinese take-out dish will be a big hit among your family and friends when made with succulent chicken pieces in a sweet, aromatic and tangy sauce. This Orange Chicken is really easy to make in the Instant Pot and you can make a delightful meal in only 30 minutes even if you are a beginner.

Why Use the Instant Pot?

My husband just loves Chinese cuisine, so I used to make it often on the stove. After making so many dishes in the Instant Pot, I wanted to give this orange chicken a try in the Instant Pot.

Can I Use Frozen Chicken?

Yes, you can use the frozen chicken breasts or thighs absolutely for this Instant Pot Orange Chicken recipe. But, as the recipe suggests to use small chopped pieces of chicken breast or thighs, so you would have two choices. You can either chop the chicken into small pieces and freeze them, or you cook the frozen chicken first in the Instant Pot and then, chop it down.

What You Need?

The taste of the Orange Chicken comes with its sauce. My sauce is a bit altered but very delicious. Usually, salt, white pepper, and oregano are not added to the sauce, but I add these for a twist in the taste. Believe me, you will love this addition.

  • Orange juice and zest
  • Tomato sauce
  • Brown and white sugar
  • Salt, white pepper, and oregano
  • Sriracha
  • Rice wine
  • Soy sauce
  • Cornstarch

What Should I Serve with Orange Chicken?

You can serve orange chicken with white, brown, jasmine, or basmati rice. I personally love to eat orange chicken with egg fried rice. When the delicious orange sauce is soaked up in the rice, it is a delicacy to eat. You can also serve this yummy orange chicken with cauliflower rice, stir fried vegetables, lo mein noodles, vegetable chow mein, and steamed broccoli.

How to avoid the “burn notice”?

You can get the “burn notice” while sautéing the chicken in the Instant Pot. If the chicken bits stick to the bottom of the pot while frying, you can deglaze the pot with a little orange juice and then scrape the pot with a wooden spoon. If you do not remove the stuck chicken bits, they would not let the pot come to the pressure and might burn.

Best Tips while making this Orange Chicken

  • The recipe calls for white and brown sugars, so I used sugar free orange juice. You can also use sweetened orange juice, but then you have to adjust the added sugar.
  • I personally opine that you should use organic chicken meat for a meat centered meal like orange chicken, as the taste gets better with the quality meat.
  • Don’t consider adding orange zest as an option. It is a must addition that will add an incredible flavor.
  • Dissolve the cornstarch completely in the orange juice to prevent lump formation.
  • You can always add more cornstarch whisked with some orange juice in order to get a thicker sauce. But, wait a bit before stirring in additional cornstarch slurry, as the sauce takes some time to thicken.
  • Do not replace the cornstarch with flour, otherwise the results will be altered and the sauce won’t get thick.
  • You can also chop and add some ginger in the sauce for an extra fast flavor.
  • I love the Sriracha sauce due to the addition of the delicious boost of heat. You can alter the quantity of Sriracha sauce as you desire.

This Instant Pot orange chicken is really delicious and overflowing with an aromatic citrus flavor! Fresh orange juice along with other sauce ingredients make this orange chicken really exciting and better than the restaurant version. This Orange Chicken when made in the Instant Pot comes out delightfully in just 30 minutes.

instant pot orange chicken

Servings: 6

Calories: 440 kcal

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: Poultry, Chicken, Instant Pot, Lunch, Dinner, Easy

Cuisine: Asian, Chinese

Course: Main

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs or breast, chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 cup orange juice, without sugar
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 pinch oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • ¼ cup sugar, granulated
  • ¼ cup soy sauce, lite
  • Zest from 1 orange
Cornstarch Slurry:
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Extra orange zest
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • tablespoon sesame seeds


  1. Put the canola oil in your Instant Pot and hit the “Sauté” button. Then press the “Adjust” button, so it is on the “More” setting. This means that it will now be sautéed over medium-high heat.
  2. When the Instant Pot indicator reads HOT, add the grated ginger and garlic. Sauté for about 1 minute and add the chicken inside it. Sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently in order to avoid chicken sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Pour in all the ingredients for the Sauce and mix thoroughly.
  4. Now, fasten the lid, press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button. Hit the “Manual” or “Pressure” button and cook for about 5 minutes at high pressure. Rest assured that the vent is closed.
  5. After 5 minutes, do the natural pressure release for 10 minutes. Unlock the vent to release the remaining pressure.
  6. Open the lid and hit the “Sauté” button again. Press “Adjust” and “Low”.
  7. Make the cornstarch slurry by whisking cornstarch with orange juice in a bowl. Whisk well to avoid the formation of lumps.
  8. Stir in this cornstarch mixture to the Instant Pot and allow to simmer on “Sauté” mode for about 5 minutes, constantly stirring until the desired thickness of the sauce is attained.
  9. The sauce will further thicken if you let the orange chicken stand for about 5 minutes.
  10. Garnish with green onions, orange zest, and sesame seeds. Serve over your favorite rice.


% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16.1g21%
Saturated Fat 3.5g17%
Cholesterol 135mg45%
Sodium 880mg38%
Total Carbohydrate 26.9g10%
Dietary Fiber 0.9g3%
Total Sugars 19.7g 
Protein 45.4g 
Vitamin D 0mcg0%
Calcium 47mg4%
Iron 3mg17%
Potassium 601mg13%



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