Instant Pot Orange Chicken

Instant Pot Orange Chicken

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.

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 recipes that incorporate 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.

Instant Pot Orange Chicken Recipe Video

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. 

Instant Pot Orange Chicken

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.

Cornstarch substitute

If you don’t have cornstarch, you can always use flour. You will need to use 2 tbsp of flour instead of 1 tbsp 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 tbsp of liquid for 1 tbsp of flour.

How to add cornstarch?

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.

Other tips

  • 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.   

If you like the sweet sauce, check out this Instant Pot orange meatballs recipe.


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 riceJasmine 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.

The effect will be astonishing! 

How to make orange chicken in Instant Pot?

Gather your ingredients:

Instant Pot Orange Chicken

Add oil into the Instant Pot and press sauté.

Instant Pot Orange Chicken

Add chicken and saute until browned.

Instant Pot Orange Chicken

Add tomato sauce and soy sauce.

Add orange juice, garlic powder, ginger, rice wine, and brown sugar. Stir gently.

Instant Pot Orange Chicken

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.

Instant Pot Orange Chicken

Mix 1 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of cornstarch and pour the mixture over the chicken.

Saute for 2 minutes, until the sauce has reached the desired texture with no lumps.

Instant Pot Orange Chicken

Add some extra orange juice if the chicken is dry.

That's all 🙂

You can serve it with rice and sprinkle fresh parsley on top.

Instant Pot Orange Chicken

Similar Instant Pot recipes

Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken

Instant Pot Sesame Chicken

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken

Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken

Instant Pot Orange Chicken
Instant Pot Orange Chicken
4.6 from 138 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: brown sugar, chicken, orange, Orange Chicken, rice wine
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut into cubes
  • cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 orange zested
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp 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 tbsp of cornstarch with 1 tbsp of water, add it to the Instant Pot and stir.
  • Saute for 2 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy 🙂
Calories: 276kcal Carbohydrates: 14g Protein: 34g Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 97mg Sodium: 584mg Potassium: 756mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 10g Vitamin A: 236IU Vitamin C: 35mg Calcium: 28mg Iron: 1mg


Most Popular Instant Pot Orange Chicken


    Reader Interactions

  1. TJ

    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?

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      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 🙂

      • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

        Rice wine and rice wine vinegar can't be used interchangeably.

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      I used rice wine which is also called mirin (a Japanese rice wine). Rice wine vinegar is a completely different ingredient.

      • Meg

        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!!

        • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

          That sounds great! I love when a recipe is flexible to use substitutions 🙂

  2. Laura mcdaniel

    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?

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      Use orange zest strips in this recipe instead of grated orange zest.

      • Mark

        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!

        • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

          Thanks for your comment, that's good to know! I like to serve this alongside steamed broccoli. Broccoli works so well with this recipe!

      • Mark

        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.

        • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

          Great tips! Thanks!

        • Vicki

          Am I able to use a whole chicken in this recipe. I would just shred the chicken and add it later

          • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

            Sure, you can do that.

  3. Kristi

    What does “2 Tbsp brown sugar, minced” mean?

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      Hi Kristi,

      It was a error, I made the correction 🙂

    • Vicki

      Am I able to substitute coconut sugar in place of brown sugar

      • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

        Yes, that would work!

  4. Kayla

    Can frozen chicken be cooked in the sauce and then cut up afterwards?

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      Hi Kayla

      Yes it Can, but change the cooking time for 14 minutes instead

  5. Krissy

    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.

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      Hi Krissy.

      That’s a good idea, thank you for sharing 🙂

  6. Nicole Thiele

    Absolutely Delicious!!!!
    Thank you

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      Glad to know ^_^

  7. Susan

    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.

  8. Susan

    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.

  9. Sharon Juarez

    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.

  10. Rebecca Elliott

    Oh Corrie! That looks yummers.

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      One of my favorite recipes :]

  11. Olivia

    One of your best recipes Corrie. Thank you very much

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      Happy to know ^_^

  12. Deborah P.

    just so you know The orange chicken is a keeper and the whole family loved it. I served it over brown rice.

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      Thank you very much Deborah :]

  13. Suzy

    What is garlic powder minced? Is it minced garlic?

  14. Barbara Hahn

    My family really enjoyed the refreshing orange taste for something different.
    Easy to make and delicious. A++++

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      So glad you loved it! Thank you for the glowing endorsement 🙂

  15. Flannery J Salkeld

    Hi! How long does rice wine last? If I invest in some and use a tablespoon a week, will it go bad?? 🙂

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      Rice wine lasts quite a while. It will last at least 6 months in your pantry, or up to a year if refrigerated.

  16. Debi

    Hey Corrie,
    This looks delicious, is there something you can use instead of rice wine vinegar, or can you leave it out completely. Thanks for sharing.

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      Yes! I love the flavor of rice wine, but you could use rice wine vinegar, or white wine vinegar. I would not leave it out completely, because the acidity balances the dish.

  17. Kathie Wilkinson

    I have had to omit all citrus from my diet. You mentioned using orange extract. How much would I use of that with this recipe?

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      If you are able to have orange extract, you can add just 1-2 tsp. for orange flavor. You may need to add more water or stock to make up for the liquid that is lost by not using the orange juice too.

  18. Keith

    Came out fine with rice wine vinegar. Served it over white rice and broccoli florets.

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      Perfect, love it with rice and broccoli! Thank you for your comment.

  19. Betty

    I have a new 3 qt instant pot. I just cook for myself, but I do like some leftovers. I want to try this but should I cut the recipe in half for my smaller instant pot? I know the liquids need to be less in the 3 qt. I'm just still learning how to use this wonderful appliance. I have made a meatloaf and a pork loin with veggies, but got the recipe3s from a mini cook book. Thanks for any help.

    • Corrie CooksCorrie Cooks

      I think you should be able to make this full recipe in the small instant pot. You will have leftovers, but it's great leftover! Or, you can absolutely cut the recipe in half.

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