Instant Pot Orange Chicken & Rice

This Instant Pot Orange Chicken & Rice recipe reminds me of my favorite Panda Express menu item.

In fact, I like it even better because the chicken isn’t heavily breaded or deep-fried. However, it still packs all of the flavors of classic Orange Chicken.

instant pot orange chicken
Instant Pot Orange Chicken – tastes even better than your favorite takeout!

So last week when I was stuck at home and craving this dish, I decided that I would make it in my own kitchen.

And better yet, I used our 6 quart Instant Pot Duo instead of standing over the stovetop to cook it!

How to Make Instant Pot Orange Chicken

The first thing that you need to do is to cut your chicken into bite size pieces. You can use either skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs.

saute chicken
Cut your chicken into small, bite size pieces and then saute on all sides.

The thighs will come out a little more tender because of their higher fat content over the breasts. However, either will work for this recipe.

Next, turn the Instant Pot on the SAUTE mode.

While you are waiting, mix the remaining ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

orange zest
Using an orange zester makes it easy to get small strands of zest.

Once the displays reads HOT add the oil and diced chicken. Continue to brown the chicken on all sides and press CANCEL.

Add the orange chicken sauce to the Instant Pot and stir. Be sure to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan to prevent the burn notice from occurring.

Now is when you need to decide whether you want to make your rice in the Instant Pot as well.

juice an orange
After you zest your orange, extract the juice and add it to your sauce.

Pot in Pot Option

If you do choose to make the rice in your Instant Pot at the same time as your Orange Chicken, you will need to have a tall trivet.

Then place an oven proof dish that will fit inside the pot on top of the trivet.

Next, rinse the rice in a small mesh colander until the water runs clear. This takes approximately 2-3 minutes.

rinse white rice
Be sure to rinse your white rice before adding it to your Instant Pot.

Now add the rice and water inside the dish and stir.

*I prefer to make my rice as a stand alone recipe rather than using the pot in pot method. See: Instant Pot White Rice Recipe. For me, I seem to get more consistent results than when making it using the pot in pot method. However, I have also had success with this method as well.

Cooking Time

Lock the lid in place and pressure cook/manual on HIGH pressure for 4 minutes.

Just like with all pressure cooker recipes, additional time is required for the pot to come to pressure and before the cook time for your Orange Chicken begins.

Instant Pot Orange Chicken
Once the chicken is browned on all sides, add your sauce.

Once the cook time is up, allow the pot to sit and naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes. Then you can release any remaining pressure.

Slowly open the lid, and if you cooked you rice using the pot in pot method, carefully remove the bowl and the trivet and set aside.

Thicken the Sauce

Now it is time to thicken the Orange Chicken sauce. Press the SAUTE button and slowly mix in the slurry made from cornstarch and water.

Continue to stir and the sauce will begin to thicken. Once it thickens, press CANCEL and immediately serve over the cooked white rice.

instant pot orange chicken over rice
When the sauce thickens, press cancel and serve over white rice and garnish with sliced green onions.

Garnish

Garnish your Instant Pot Orange chicken with sliced green onions and/or sesame seeds.

Check out the printable recipe below and let me know what you think!

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Instant Pot Orange Chicken Recipe

Sweet and tangy Orange Chicken – tastes just like you ordered takeout from your favorite Asian restaurant.
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup orange juice fresh squeezed preferred
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Rice

  • 1 cup long grain white rice rinsed
  • 1 cup water + 2 Tablespoons

Thickening Agent

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

Garnish

  • green onions sliced
  • sesame seeds

Instructions
 

  • Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces, set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes, set aside.
  • Press SAUTE on the Instant Pot. Once the display reads HOT, pour the 1 tablespoon olive oil in and then the chicken. Lightly brown each side. Press CANCEL
  • Pour the orange sauce into the Instant Pot with the chicken and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any bits that may be stuck to the bottom.

Pot in Pot Rice Instructions

  • For pot in pot cooking with rice,
  • Place a 2.5 inch high trivet over the chicken and sauce. Place the rinsed rice and the water in a 7-inch oven-safe bowl and place it on top of the trivet.

Cooking Instructions

  • Lock the lid in place and move the valve to the SEALING position.
  • Pressure Cook/Manual on HIGH pressure for 4 minutes. When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Then quick release any remaining pressure by moving the valve to the venting position. Press CANCEL.
  • When the pin drops down, carefully open the Instant Pot lid. Use oven mitts to carefully remove the bowl with the rice and set aside. Remove the trivet.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Pour the mixture into the Instant Pot and press SAUTE. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens, approximately 2-3 minutes. Press CANCEL.
  • Serve immediately over the rice. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

Notes

*Pot in Pot rice cooking is optional. You can also cook the rice on the stovetop, in another instant pot, or heat up pre-made cooked rice in the microwave.
As with all pressure cooker recipes. additional time is required for the pot to come to pressure before the actual cooking time begins. Plan for an extra 10 minutes to allow this process to happen.
Recipe provided by Make Your Meals
Instant Pot Orange Chicken & Rice
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