Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

Chicken cubes in a red sauce topped with chopped scallion in a black bowl

Everyone loves the ease of this Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken! Forget takeout - and make it right at home! Not only is it quick and easy, but it tastes just like what you'd get from a restaurant.

Why spend hours making dinner when you can cook it in just minutes? Now is the time to give yourself a bit of a break in the kitchen without compromising on the quality.

bowl of chopped chicken with sweet and sour sauce

The reason that this recipe is so popular, is because it's the perfect balance between sweet and salty. It's easy to make, giving every bite a flavor sensation that'll easily have you craving more.

You can use this for an easy weeknight meal or have it become a tradition to make this once a week in your house. No matter how often you want it, people will love it!

Why you'll love this recipe

With a handful of simple ingredients, it just doesn't get any better. This simple chicken recipe is a great way to change up your dinner menu with bursts of amazing taste.

  • It's an affordable way to have your own homemade Chinese takeout
  • You can easily double or triple the recipe for leftovers
  • It's a fun way to show off your cooking skills!

Recipe Video

Recipe Ingredients

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken ingredients

Garlic cloves - Minced garlic and garlic cloves work best for this recipe. However, you could use garlic powder in a pinch. 

Chicken breast - Boneless skinless chicken breast is the best choice. 

Apple cider vinegar - Regular vinegar could work as well, but it would lack a bit of flavor. 

Sugar - This is needed for that sweetness factor. 

Ketchup - I've only used regular ketchup before, so anything sugar-free or other options may change the taste. 

Soy sauce - Low sodium soy sauce is a good option as well. 

Sesame oil - A great addition to get that sesame flavor. 

Brown sugar - Like brown sugar or dark brown sugar work just fine. 

Cornstarch - Adds texture and a bit of a crunch to the chicken. 

Water - Helps to thin out the cornstarch. 

Salt & pepper - To taste.

How to make Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken?

I promise - you're going to be blown away by the ease of this recipe. Just gather up the simple ingredients to get started.

Step One: Add the sugar, vinegar, ketchup, sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic into the Instant Pot.

Step Two: Press the saute button for 2 minutes and stir all the ingredients well using a wooden spoon.

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

Step Three: In a mixing bowl, add the cornstarch and water and mix together. 

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

Step Four: Once it's mixed well, pour the cornstarch mixture into the Instant Pot with the rest of the ingredients. Saute for 1 minute. 

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

Step Five: Add the cut up chicken to a bowl and mix with the salt and black pepper. 

Step Six: Add the seasoned chicken to the Instant Pot and mix with the cornstarch mixture. Saute for 5 minutes. 

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

Step Seven: Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon and cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Serve and enjoy!

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

Variations 

Change up the cut of chicken - While boneless and skinless is the best for this recipe, that doesn't mean that you can't use other cuts of chicken. Just be careful not to have any bones added in.

Use flour - If you don't want to use cornstarch, you don't have to. You can opt to use flour instead.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure that the chicken is cooked all the way before serving. For chicken to be safe to eat, the internal temperature needs to be 165 degrees. Using a meat thermometer is the most accurate way to get a good reading.
  • If you have your own sweet and sour mix that you prefer to use, you can use that instead. Just add it in and go along with the rest of the recipe for amazing results.

How to serve

This dish can be served solo in a bowl topped with fresh chives and cilantro or paired with Jasmine rice or brown rice as well.

You can also pair it with healthy stuff like Instant Pot quinoa or Instant Pot zucchini noodles.

Moreover, any orange chicken side dish will work for this recipe as well.

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

Recipe FAQs

Is sweet and sour chicken the same as Orange Chicken?

Sweet and sour chicken and orange chicken are not the same. While they may have the same appearance, the taste is quite different. This is because orange chicken actually has orange juice in it, while sweet and sour relies on sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce mainly for the flavor.

How do I store leftovers?

Any leftovers need to be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Be sure to eat within 2-3 days for the best results.
You can also freeze cooked sweet and sour chicken by storing it in a freezer-safe container. Freeze it for up to 4 months. You can unthaw it by moving it to the fridge.

Can I use leftover chicken to make sweet and sour chicken?

Yes, you can use leftover chicken to make this sweet and sour chicken recipe. Just make sure that the chicken that you're using isn't flavored or seasoned for the best taste.

More Instant Pot Chicken Recipe

Who loves chicken? It's just an easy protein to cook with and is so versatile in flavor and taste. Here are some other great chicken recipes that you're certain to love.

Chicken cubes in a red sauce topped with chopped scallion in a black bowl

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken is better than takeout! All you need are easy ingredients to make a simple weeknight meal!
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Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chicken, Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken, sesame oil, soy sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 5
Author: Corrie

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 ¼ lb chicken breast diced
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoon cornstarch divided
  • 2 tablespoon water

Instructions

  • Add the sugar, vinegar, ketchup, sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic into the Instant Pot. 
  • Press the saute button for 2 minutes and stir all the ingredients well using a wooden spoon. 
  • In a mixing bowl, add the cornstarch and water and mix them together. 
  • Once it's mixed well, pour the cornstarch mixture into the Instant Pot with the rest of the ingredients. Saute for 1 minute. 
  • Add the cut up chicken to a bowl and mix with the salt and pepper.
  • Add the seasoned chicken to the Instant Pot and mix with the cornstarch mixture. Saute for 5 minutes. 
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 329kcal Carbohydrates: 43g Protein: 25g Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 73mg Sodium: 646mg Potassium: 501mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 35g Vitamin A: 96IU Vitamin C: 2mg Calcium: 17mg Iron: 1mg

Video

Notes

  • While boneless and skinless is the best for this recipe, that doesn't mean that you can't use other cuts of chicken. Just be careful not to have any bones added in.
  • You can also use leftover chicken to make this recipe.
  • If you have your own sweet and sour mix that you prefer to use, you can use that instead. Just add it in and go along with the rest of the recipe for amazing results. 
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @corriecooksblog or tag #corriecooks!

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