Instant Pot black pepper chicken is a Panda Express copycat dinner packed with flavor and a bit of heat. Pressure cooker chicken is so tender.
This may become one of your favorite meals! Instant Pot black pepper chicken will remind you of one of your favorite fast food meals, but now you can adjust the heat. Just one of many quick Instant Pot recipes on our site. (post may contain affiliate links present)
What does black pepper chicken have in it?
Cubed meat, onions, celery and a sauce that has a decent amount of pepper in it. When making it at home you can adjust as desired though which is nice.
Make in your Ninja Foodi or any brand of pressure cooker you might own at home. You may be surprised to find out that you like it better than ordering it at your favorite take out Asian place!
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For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.
Did Panda Express stop selling black pepper chicken?
They did…so sad. No reason really out there as to why this occurred but you can no longer order it there. BUT now you can make it yourself right in your own kitchen y’all!!
One reason I saw swirling around was that it was high in sodium, not sure that would really be a reason to stop making it. This can be adjusted quite easily when making your sauce. They don’t have firecracker chicken anymore either but we have a copycat version you can try too.
Here’s what we started with……
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Diced chicken thighs or breasts
- Onions and celery
- Chicken broth
- Rice wine vinegar
- A bunch of seasonings listed in recipe card below
If you put all the spices and seasonings into a bag and mix it around it makes for a good chicken marinade of sorts. Leaving it sealed and coated all around will enhance these flavors. Optional of course but suggested step.
As for the veggies you can stick with the “traditional” ones they used when it was available or add more if you wish. You’d want some that cook at the same rate as the 2 we listed below.
Something that gets tender but doesn’t completely fall apart at the 5 minute mark would be best. Suggestions would be large chunks of carrots, bell peppers and/or pea pods.
- I mean when it comes to produce you can really load it up. Use our pressure cooker vegetable cook times chart to help you know which have the same time.
Here’s another question people ask, especially those who are new to this new wave of cooking;
You certainly can. Normally I saute it for a few minutes until the outsides are no longer pink but that is optional as well. Just 5 minutes is typically what you need for most dishes with high pressure.
The same applies to Instant Pot chicken and rice, just like Campbell’s version you ate as a child.
Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken Copycat Recipe
Once you use the saute mode with the chicken breast (or thighs) for a bit the meat will look similar to this here. Add your raw vegetables of choice and you’re about ready to add the most important part, your sauce.
While your chicken is cooking you can throw this together.
From there you’ll use the pressure cook mode once all the chicken and vegetables are set. Prep and cooking time is under 30 minutes so this makes for a really quick one pot meal.
Time needed: 8 minutes.
Instant Pot Black Pepper Chicken
Add the chicken and seasonings into a bag. Seal and shake it to coat the chicken nicely, like marinated chicken of sorts but dry.
Put pot on saute and add oil. When hot pour in chicken, cook until no longer pink. Then turn pot off. Scrape any stuck on pieces off the bottom with a bit of your chicken broth to deglaze.
Add all other ingredients for the sauce and veggies into the pot. Put the lid on and seal the steam valve.
Set to high pressure for 5 minutes, quick release when done.
Lift lid. If you want sauce thicker whisk a bit of your hot liquid with 1 tbsp of cornstarch until smooth.
Set pot to saute again and add this thickener when bubbling. Stir and cook for a few minutes until sauce is thicker. Turn pot off and serve with white rice.
Ninja Foodi Black Pepper Chicken Recipe
Looking for another idea that will blow your taste buds out of the water this week? Look below!! Our Instant Pot honey garlic chicken is out of this world too. We serve this atop a bed of brown rice which is a good side dish choice as well.
How do you rehydrate leftover chicken?
You will need to add some hot liquid to it, that is the key. Use some chicken broth and heat until boiling in a shallow pan on your stovetop. Turn off when bubbling. Then slice the meat and lay it inside. Cover with a lid and leave in there for about 10 minutes.
How do you add flavor to leftover chicken?
I always reach for sauces. Our favorites are probably bbq or teriyaki. If you toss it with your favorite flavor and then warm in the microwave in 30 second intervals stirring in between times it will reheat nicely and become flavorful once again!
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Printable recipe card, nutritional information and ingredient amounts listed below. Let us know if you add anything else that makes it out of this world delicious that we may not have thought about!
Instant Pot Black Pepper Chicken
- 1 lb chicken boneless, skinless, cubed
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 3 stalks celery sliced
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp ginger ground
- 1/2 c chicken broth
- 1/4 c oyster sauce
- 1/4 c rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp ginger ground
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes optional
- Put chicken and ingredients 5-8 (seasonings) into a bag. Seal and shake so all pieces are nicely coated.
- Put pot on saute and add oil. When hot pour in chicken, cook until no longer pink. Then turn pot off. Scrape any stuck on pieces off the bottom with a bit of your chicken broth.
- Add all other ingredients for the sauce and veggies into the pot. Close lid and steam valve.
- Set to high pressure for 5 minutes, quick release when done.
- Lift lid. If you want sauce thicker whisk a bit of your hot liquid with 1 tbsp of cornstarch until smooth. Set pot to saute again and add this thickener when bubbling. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes until sauce is thicker.
- Then turn pot off and serve with rice.