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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 1 cup long grain white rice rinsed
- 1 cup water + 2 Tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- green onions sliced
- sesame seeds
- 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.
- 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.