This simple Instant Pot orange chicken recipe is full of bright flavor! Garlic, brown sugar, and ginger build off a base of orange juice, orange zest, and soy sauce for a sweet and tangy sauce that’s simply irresistible. It’s a restaurant-quality dish made quickly and easily right at home, all thanks to the Instant Pot.
🍊 What Makes This Recipe So Good
- The Instant Pot as your only cooking tool means cleanup is a breeze! From start to finish, everything for this orange chicken cooks in the Instant Pot. This recipe really couldn’t get any easier.
- The combination of orange and lemon juice add a fresh citrus kick to this dish. This Instant Pot orange chicken is light and satisfying.
- Sweet and savory ingredients create an award-winning combo. Savory soy sauce is brilliantly balanced by a touch of brown sugar and orange juice.
👩🏼🍳 Chef’s Tips
- Don’t fully cook your chicken breast chunks in Step 1. Sauté in olive oil to lightly cook the outside edges, and then Step 2 will take care of the rest!
- Add in the cornstarch, and then wait for your sauce to thicken and immediately turn off the heat. Be careful not to overcook the sauce, otherwise it will be too thick.
- You can easily double this recipe if you’d like! I used a 6-quart Instant Pot, but some sizes of Instant Pot are large enough to hold up to three times the ingredients below. This recipe is perfect for company because the Instant Pot just makes it so easy!
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- Instant Pot Turkey Breast
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For the Orange Glaze
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice juice from approximately 1 large orange
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce see Notes
- ½ packed cup light brown sugar see Notes
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice juice from approximately 2 large lemons
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger optional
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch see Notes
- 3 tablespoons water
For the Chicken
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil avocado oil, olive oil, etc.
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts approximately 3-4 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ teaspoon salt more or less to taste
Serving Suggestions (All Optional)
- cooked white rice or fried rice
- thinly sliced green onions
- thin orange slices
- 6-quart Instant Pot or similar pressure cooker
- Large wooden spoon
- Medium mixing bowl
- 2 whisks
- Small mixing bowl
- Add ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest, 5 cloves garlic, ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce, ½ packed cup light brown sugar, ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (if using) to medium mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients together until fully incorporated. Set aside.
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté mode. Add 1 tablespoon neutral oil, distributing oil across bottom of Instant Pot insert. Heat oil until shimmering, then add 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt over.
- Stir to incorporate ingredients, then sauté chicken 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is just opaque around edges.
- Add orange glaze mixture to Instant Pot and stir to incorporate.
- Secure lid on Instant Pot with vent in Sealing position. Set Instant Pot to Manual High Pressure for 5 minutes. Instant Pot will pressurize, then 5-minute cook time will begin.
- Meanwhile, add 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water to small bowl. Whisk ingredients together vigorously until fully combined. Set aside.
- When 5-minute cook time ends, carefully Quick Release pressure and remove Instant Pot lid. Use caution – any escaping steam will be very hot.
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté mode. Pour cornstarch slurry into Instant Pot and stir to incorporate. Continue stirring 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
- Once sauce has thickened, portion chicken and sauce into serving bowls with cooked white rice. Garnish each serving with thinly sliced green onions and thin orange slices if desired. Serve immediately.
- Make it Paleo: Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, coconut sugar instead of brown sugar, and arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch.
- Make it Refined-Sugar-Free: Use maple syrup or honey instead of brown sugar.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.