This Instant Pot Orange Chicken is the most popular chicken recipe on Corrie Cooks!
It is so easy to make and even if you are new to the pressure cooking, you can get a delicious meal in only 10 minutes!
This Instant Pot recipe is much better than takeout and budget-friendly.
Table of Contents
- Can I Use Frozen Chicken?
- Can I use chicken thighs?
- Recipe Video
- How to Zest an Orange?
- What can I do if I don't have oranges?
- Do I have do use cornstarch?
- Cornstarch substitute
- Can I use store-bought orange juice?
- Can I use store-bought orange chicken sauce?
- Can I add vegetables?
- Can I store the leftovers?
- Other tips
- How to make
- Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
- Instant Pot Orange Chicken
Can I Use Frozen Chicken?
Yes, you can use frozen chicken for this recipe of chicken in orange sauce.
I have received this question for other Instant Pot recipes with chicken, so I thought it’s best to cover it here as well.
However, the recipe asks for small cubes of chicken breast, so there are two options here. You either chop the chicken beforehand and freeze it like this to be used at a later date, or you use the Instant Pot to cook the frozen chicken first and only then cut it into bite-size pieces.
Can I use chicken thighs?
Yes, you can use chicken thighs for this Instant Pot orange chicken recipe.
Keep in mind that it’s best to use chicken breast, but you can replace it with chicken thighs if you’re in a pinch.
You can use chicken tenders as well.
How to Zest an Orange?
In my book, zesting an orange is rather easy. But, if you’ve never done it, I should start by saying that the zest is the colored part of an orange’s peel.
It’s important to understand that you don’t need to take the yellow or white part of the peel when you’re zesting - just the orange part!
Now, you can use a grater, a paring knife, or a potato peeler, but if you want the zest to integrate nicely into the food (which is the case now) I recommend using a fine grater. If you want longer strips (like for decoration purposes), a knife or a potato peeler are better choices.
What can I do if I don't have oranges?
In the case you don’t have fresh oranges laying around, you can always use some substitutes such as dried zest (from a store or home-made), orange extract, or grated candied peel.
Do I have do use cornstarch?
As you can see in the recipe, that the sauce should have a nice, smooth, thick texture. To get there, you need to add a thickening agent. This is where the cornstarch comes in.
But if you don't have cornstarch or don't want to use it, it's fine.
If you don’t have cornstarch, you can always use flour. You will need to use 2 tablespoon of flour instead of 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, as cornstarch is pure starch which has twice the thickening power of flour.
To make sure there won’t be any lumps, it’s best to mix the flour with a bit of cool liquid and only then add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce.
In our case, you can use water or orange juice. 1:1 ratio is enough. So 1 tablespoon of liquid for 1 tablespoon of flour.
Can I use store-bought orange juice?
It’s best to use fresh oranges to make the juice, but this pressure cooker recipe also works with store-bought orange juice.
Can I use store-bought orange chicken sauce?
You can buy orange chicken sauce at the store, but I wouldn’t recommend that. The sauce you make at home is ten times more delicious and healthier!
Can I add vegetables?
Sure! Feel free to add bell peppers, mushrooms or green beans. Cooking time stays the same.
Can I store the leftovers?
Sure! Keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- You also have the option to mix the boiled chicken breast with the sauce (skip the frying step). The result will be less crispy and maybe some of the flavors will be lost, but it’s a way to avoid the frying (for health purposes).
- A few minutes before the chicken is fully cooked, it’s best to add all the sauce ingredients (without the thickening agent) in a separate bowl and stir everything together. Then, you should add the mixture to the fried chicken.
This is a colorful dish and the sauce is a wonderful combination of sweet and spicy, so it works great with white rice.
Check out the Basmati rice, Jasmine rice or the brown rice if you are feeling healthy.
If you want to add more color and make it a bit more interesting, I recommend adding a few steamed vegetables on the plate. It works extremely well with broccoli, green beans, or cauliflower.
Also, don’t forget to sprinkle some fresh parsley or chives and some orange zest.
You can also top with sesame seeds or chopped green onion.
For even more ideas, check out What To Serve With Orange Chicken.
How to make
Gather your ingredients:
Add oil into the Instant Pot and press sauté.
Add chicken and saute until browned.
Add tomato sauce and soy sauce.
Add orange juice, garlic powder, ginger, rice wine, and brown sugar. Stir gently.
Lock lid into place and cook chicken at high pressure for 5 minutes.
Do it by pressing the manual or the pressure cook button.
Once the cooking cycle is done, perform a quick pressure release.
Do it by pressing the steam release button or by moving the valve into the venting position.
Mix 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and pour the mixture over the chicken.
Saute for 2 minutes, until the sauce has reached the desired texture with no lumps.
Add some extra orange juice if the chicken is dry.
Sprinkle fresh parsley on top and serve.
Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
Instant Pot Orange Chicken
- 2 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut into cubes
- ⅓ cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 1 orange zested
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoon chopped parsley for serving
- Pour oil into the Instant Pot and press “Saute”.
- Add chicken cubes and saute for 5 minutes until brown.
- Add orange juice, tomato sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, rice wine, garlic powder, and orange zest and stir well.
- Close the lid and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When cooking time is complete, do a quick pressure release.
- Open the lid and press “Saute” again.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water, add it to the Instant Pot and stir.
- Saute for 2 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy 🙂
Zesty Zingin' Good Instant Pot Orange Chicken
58 thoughts on “Instant Pot Orange Chicken”
Oh Corrie! That looks yummers.
One of my favorite recipes :]
My husband loved it. I didn’t. It wasn’t flavorful enough...maybe add hoisin sauce? It should also have been hot and spicy, since that’s what I’m used to in a Chinese restaurant. I may try it once more, but spicy. Since there are only two of us, I used one pound of chicken but didn’t cut back on the sauce and I’m glad. I also had to add more cornstarch to thicken it more.
We enjoyed this meal. Used 2# chicken thighs instead of breasts. Tips: 10 minutes NPR instead of quick release; stir 1 Tblsp water into corn starch to dissolve before adding to pot.
This was a very good recipe. The only thing I would change is to use some Orange Juice Frozen Concentrate to bump up the orange flavor.
This is a keeper, will make it agian.
Glad to know ^_^
not bad! i followed every ingredient and step except i added 4 to 5 chunky pieces of tangering skin into pot, came out with a perfect orange taste. i also used red wine not vinegar.
That’s a good idea, thank you for sharing 🙂
Can frozen chicken be cooked in the sauce and then cut up afterwards?
Yes it Can, but change the cooking time for 14 minutes instead
What does “2 Tbsp brown sugar, minced” mean?
It was a error, I made the correction 🙂
Am I able to substitute coconut sugar in place of brown sugar
Yes, that would work!
I’m confused about orange zest. I thought zest was when you take a zester and scrape/grate the orange peel. Then I read at the end of the recipe to “remove the zest”. Did you mean we should have put whole orange PEEL in?
Use orange zest strips in this recipe instead of grated orange zest.
Corrie, that looks delicious. I'd like to call attention to the issues of GMO and lectins. First, you can toss the corn starch and wheat flour in the trash. Supermarkets are now carrying organic tapioca starch. I find not only do I feel better, but the tapioca works WAY better. Also, I'd stick with white rice or a non grain substitute. Last, just a preference, how would you integrate broccoli? Adding it would be a healthy version of General Gao's chicken. Cheers!
Thanks for your comment, that's good to know! I like to serve this alongside steamed broccoli. Broccoli works so well with this recipe!
Oh, and if someone wants an even healthier dish, sub coconut aminos for soy sauce, organic OJ and Roma tomatoes, remove seeds and peel if desired.
Great tips! Thanks!
Am I able to use a whole chicken in this recipe. I would just shred the chicken and add it later
Sure, you can do that.
Recipe looks great, look forward to making it. Definitely one of the healthier Orange Chicken recipes I've found on Pinterest. When you say rice wine, do you mean rice wine vinegar or mirin?
I'm using a bottle of "rice wine vinegar". I guess rice vinegar would get you a similar result. Let me know how it was 🙂
Rice wine and rice wine vinegar can't be used interchangeably.
I used rice wine which is also called mirin (a Japanese rice wine). Rice wine vinegar is a completely different ingredient.
I made this stove top and it was fast and rather easy... I coated my chicken chunks in egg then cornstarch to velvet the chicken... And I used ketchup rather than tomato sauce...and finally I used some white wine I had rather than the rice wine.....we LOVED it!!
That sounds great! I love when a recipe is flexible to use substitutions 🙂