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Try This Instant Pot Orange Chicken Recipe

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Skip takeout and make this Instant Pot Orange Chicken tonight! An orange chicken recipe with orange marmalade to bring out the incredible flavor. This is one of the best Instant Pot recipes.

This Chinese Instant Pot recipe quickly became a family favorite in our home. Pair with Instant Pot rice, rice noodles, etc. You will love how fast you can throw this dinner together for a family approved meal.

If you enjoy simple Instant Pot chicken recipes, you will love how quickly this recipe (and our Panda Express Fried Rice) comes together and how easy it is to learn how to make orange chicken Instant Pot recipes. Chick fil A nuggets is another easy chicken recipe my family loves.

orange chicken instant pot recipe in white bowl

Instant Pot Orange Chicken

Reach for a boneless chicken for this recipe, as you can dice or shred the meat. Any boneless chicken from chicken thighs in the Instant Pot to white chicken meat will work. You can also cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot.

This is a healthy orange chicken recipe because it doesn't involve frying the meat first. You could make it even healthier by using reduced sugar or sugar-free ingredients for the orange sauce.

If you're looking for a comfort food weeknight dinner that comes together quickly, this is one of the best low-calorie Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or power quick pot recipes to try. You could whip this up in any electric pressure cooker.

instant pot orange chicken ingredients

Ingredients Needed For Orange Chicken

This is one of our favorite cheap Instant Pot recipes. Look for boneless chicken and other ingredients when they are on sale, and you have an inexpensive orange chicken marinade dinner.

  • Boneless chicken
  • Orange Marmalade
  • Soy Sauce
  • Chili Oil
  • BBQ Sauce

How to Make Instant Pot Orange Chicken

Start by placing a trivet in the Instant Pot. And pour in the water.

On top of the trivet, add chicken that is seasoned with salt and pepper.

Cook on high pressure for 13 minutes. Once done, remove the pressure cooker chicken, making sure it is fully cooked.

Dice up the chicken or shred on a cutting board. Sometimes I dice it up, and sometimes I use a meat claw to shred the chicken.

Remove the trivet from the pressure cooker, and then add in the remaining ingredients, and add the chicken back to the Instant Pot.

Turn the saute setting on. Cook your sauce and chicken on saute for 3-5 minutes. This will allow the sauce to thicken and coat the chicken really well.

When it is nice and thick, turn the saute feature off and serve up your orange chicken with some Instant Pot white rice, fried rice, brown rice, or even mixed vegetables.

Supplies Used to Make Orange Chicken

  • Meat claw - Use a meat claw to shred the chicken if you prefer shredded chicken to chopped chicken pieces.
  • Steamer basket - We cook chicken in a steamer basket most of the time instead of cooking it on a trivet because it makes it easier to remove the cooked chicken from the Instant Pot.
  • Meat thermometer - Always check cooked meat temperatures to ensure that the meat is fully cooked.

Why Won't My Sauce Thicken

If you find your sauce is not thickening well, you can mix up 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water. This forms a slurry. Stir that into the sauce, and then the orange marmalade sauce will thicken up quickly.

Can I Use A Sugar-Free Sauce

If you want to make this a healthier orange chicken recipe (sometimes called orange marmalade chicken), you can cut some sugar. Reach for a sugar-free marmalade as well as a sugar-free or low sugar bbq sauce.

Even if you make this change, you will still be able to enjoy this tasty recipe that is one of the most popular Instant Pot chicken recipes.

Meal Prep and Storage for Instant Pot Orange Chicken

This Instant Pot chicken recipe is great for storing for later. Use leftovers to meal prep for a grab and go lunch you can reheat while at work.

Or for the last minute dinner to toss in the microwave to reheat. You will love the ease and flavor of this leftover.

With most leftovers, it will last for around 3 days when stored properly in the refrigerator.

Yes, you can freeze orange chicken! Frozen orange chicken is tasty and easy to reheat with this recipe.

Variations To Instant Pot Orange Chicken Recipe

  • Adjust the sweetness to taste. If you want it less sweet, do more bbq sauce and add less marmalade.
  • Add in a little fresh ginger that is grated to help add another element of flavor.
  • Sriracha can help to amp up the spice flavor giving you that sweet and spicy component.
instant pot orange chicken in white bowl

Is Panda Express Orange Chicken Spicy?

Panda Express orange chicken is a lot like this recipe here. They use red pepper flakes, which adds a hint of spice to level out the sweetness in this orange chicken recipe.

If you are super sensitive to heat, try a small bit and see how you do.

You can make your own version of Panda Express gluten-free orange chicken at home. The restaurant version is not gluten-free. Basically, you'd need to coat the chicken in corn starch and then lightly pan fry it before adding in the sauce and seasoning.

You could still cook this in the Instant Pot, but more of the cooking time would be on the saute setting and you'd need to reduce the pressure cooking time.

However, you could also just skip the coating and frying step as we do in this recipe. Either way, Instant Pot one-pot meals come in super handy and make for fewer dishes and money saved on takeout.

Does Dark Meat Have More Flavor In Chicken

You will find that dark meat can offer a more vibrant flavor of the ingredients it is cooked with. So if you use a chicken thigh or a mix of white and dark meat, you might be surprised at the flavor difference.

This is a good time to look for budget-friendly meat because you can easily make this an Instant Pot chicken thighs recipe. Just make sure you opt for boneless skinless chicken thighs!

Calorie count will vary depending on the type of chicken meat that you use. With the ingredients listed, the orange chicken calories are 452 per serving, based on 6 servings. For example, making this a boneless chicken thighs Instant Pot recipe instead of using white meat would increase the calories.

Instant Pot Crave-Worthy Recipes

Next to pot roast and mashed potatoes, this easy orange chicken recipe is one of our family's favorite comfort food meals and easy Instant Pot recipes.

Yield: 6 servings

Instant Pot Orange Chicken

orange chicken in white bowl

This classic Chinese food takeout recipe is made into a healthier orange chicken recipe lower in calories. Make it a gluten-free orange chicken recipe by using gluten-free ingredients. So easy and delicious! Comfort food at its finest.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes


    1. Add your trivet to the inner part of your instant pot. Add one and a half cup water.
    2. Place your chicken breast on top of the trivet—season with salt and pepper on both sides.
    3. Set your instant pot to high pressure for 13 minutes. Close the sealing valve. Once the cooking has completed, open the valve to release the pressure manually.
    4. Open the lid. Use a thermometer to ensure that your chicken has reached the temperature of 165°F at the thickest part of the breast. 
    5. Remove the chicken from the instant pot, and transfer to a cutting board. Cut your chicken breasts into small cubes.
    6. Remove the trivet from the instant pot. Remove the water from your instant pot.
    7. Place your diced chicken back into the instant pot. Add in the remaining ingredients.
    8. Turn your instant pot on to sauté mode (you might need to press cancel on your instant pot before selecting Sauté mode.) and mix all of your ingredients so that the chicken is fully coated.
    9. Sauté your check-in until you start to see the sauce bubbling and thickening. They should take about 3 to 5 minutes.
    10. Remove your orange chicken from the instant pot, and transfer to a bowl. You can serve this on top of white rice, brown rice, and/or mixed vegetables!


Orange Chicken Substitutions

  • Sub or red pepper flakes for chili sauce.
  • Use common low-calorie Instant Pot recipe substitutions and switch out some of the ingredients for sugar-free or low-calorie versions of those ingredients.
  • Make vegan orange chicken by substituting the chicken for a plant-based chicken substitute. Skip the pressure cooking step, and cook the vegan chicken with the sauce.

Gluten-Free Orange Chicken

  • Use gluten-free soy sauce.
  • Make sure that the chili oil, orange marmalade, and bbq sauce are made in gluten-free facilities so there is no cross-contamination.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 452Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 135mgSodium 766mgCarbohydrates 37gFiber 1gSugar 32gProtein 45g

Did you make this recipe?

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  • Jessica McCoy

    Jessica McCoy is a seasoned food blogger with 14+ years of experience in the industry. As a self-taught home cook, she enjoys creating and finetuning easy recipes that are fool proof and simple for anyone to make. Her expertise is in all things kitchen: cooking tips, air fryer recipes, Instant Pot and other pressure cooking recipes, and slow cooker recipes. Jessica was the previous owner of AllSheCooks, where she focused on easy every day recipes including budget friendly dinner recipes and desserts.

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