Best healthy Instant Pot orange chicken recipe ever! Just 4 ingredients needed to make this pressure cooker chicken recipe in just 4 minutes. Grab your pressure cooker and try it tonight!
We love this 4 ingredient dinner! Get your orange zest tastebuds ready for our easy Instant Pot orange chicken recipe. It’s listed on our page with other under 30 minute Instant Pot recipes. (originally published 2/17, affiliate links present)
Frozen Orange Chicken Instant Pot
I have used small breasts for frozen chicken Instant Pot this way first, and then this mixture of sauces later. You could add them at the beginning but the cook time would change to 12 minutes with a 3 minute natural release. Thawed meat is better cut into bite size pieces as directed because the flavor is more intense.
You don’t have to have an IP brand either. It’s one of our favorite Crockpot Express recipes too and we recently bought a Ninja Foodi too. As long as you have an electric pressure cooker then you are set. Served over a bed of rice it is so good, and in our regular rotation.
FIRST – You should sign up for my free newsletter so you get new posts emailed to you twice a week and never miss out on anything! Now let’s start with a few basic tips:
- Make sure to Bookmark our InstaPot recipes page. We add new ones each week!
- Then PRINT this —–> Instant Pot cooking times cheat sheet that will help you understand how long meat, vegetables and beans take to cook in your pressure cooker.
- This is a great InstaPot cookbook and a set of wooden utensils are great to grab too.
- I HIGHLY recommend you buy this non stick pot.
- You should still deglaze pressure cooker after sautéing but it won’t have as many issues with this better liner.
For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.
I have to say that this may be our favorite quick and easy meal! I’ve made this in the crockpot for years but now with this favorite 7 in 1 appliance I can make it much faster. You only need 3 ingredients for the main ones with another that is optional. Add heat with some spicy seasonings if you like or just leave sweet.
Ninja Foodi Orange Chicken
Next time you go to the store, pick up these few items and give it a whirl this week! For the heat you can use red pepper flakes or chili powder which you likely have in your cupboard already. NO changes are made for a Foodi recipe, you’ll just use the lid that isn’t attached.
I have owned several different Instant Pots including a mini and some with pretty wraps on the outside. I like the 6 quart size as it is plenty large enough to feed the 5 of us in the house. It has made my life so much easier, and has allowed us to sit and eat a great meal as a family more often because it cooks quickly!
- You could use either chicken breasts or thighs, either one turns out excellent.
- This is a healthy orange chicken recipe because there is no breading involved at all. You won’t miss out on the Panda Express flavors you love though.
Add a bit of chives or green onion to the top and serve it over rice! We call this “sweet chicken” in our house and my kids all love it!
3 Ingredient Orange Chicken Instant Pot
If you have ever had this jam on toasts you know it is wonderful. Using it as a sauce for chicken is even better. Similar to our pressure cooker apricot chicken but that one has an apricot twist to it of course. Same idea, fruit spread with tender meat and WOW. Here are a few questions you might have before you make this one:
Typically chicken is chopped, battered, and fried. Then they’re coated in a sweet orange flavored slightly spicy sauce which thickens and looks like a sort of glaze.
Our version is batter free without any breading on the outside. Orange marmalade is perfect for the flavors you love.
Well everything should be eaten in moderation of course. Our version is much healthier than others since it is just meat and sauce. To lower the caloric intake you could choose a bbq sauce with less sugar.
It is easy to adjust the heat levels for sure if you make it yourself at home. Chili sauce, or a spicier barbecue sauce can be added to make it spicy.
This entire thing is easy to adjust to your liking. Want intense fruit flavors, add a decent amount of marmelade. Use less if you want a hint. The soy sauce counteracts the sweetness to add more of a savory element. If you want some heat red pepper flakes are a good choice. I have used dry Sriracha too.
Orange chicken Instant Pot
These are the main items you will need. Soy sauce and onions are optional but I would include them if I were you. Side dishes are up to you but if you want it like at the restaurant rice is a given. As for the bbq sauce you will want one that is on the thinner side so it doesn’t trigger the burn notice.
- Chicken breasts or thighs – boneless, skinless, diced into bite size pieces
- Barbecue sauce of your choice
- I love sweet Rays original style – honey style is not best in pressure cookers as there is a lot of sugar content and can cause browning
- Soy sauce is optional but I would highly suggest using it to counteract the sweetness, you could use the low sodium variety
- Orange marmelade
- Onions diced are a great add in we think
- Cornstarch (if you want to thicken sauce)
- Rice – this is how to make the perfect Instant Pot white rice
Of course you need an Instant Pot, Crockpot Express or Ninja Foodi pressure cooker to get this done too. I have never had or used an old fashioned type so I don’t have instructions for those. It needs to be electric with the high pressure function to work.
Instant Pot Orange Chicken Thighs
We use 1/4 cup of marmelade but if you like bold flavors then you can increase that to 1/3 or 1/2 of a cup. If you have a larger household just double it too. I will say that it is pretty intense so start with what is listed below and adjust the next go around if you feel like you want to use a heavier hand. What do you serve with Instant Pot chicken?
- We typically serve it over Jasmine rice
- Cauliflower rice would be a low carb and gluten free option as well
- Brown rice is a healthier option
Find many more Instant Pot recipes on our site using the tab at the top of our main page. There are a few more Instant Pot chicken recipes below too!
- Instant Pot chicken parmesan casserole is a great one pot meal with pasta, meat and sauce cooked together at the same time.
- Pressure cooker chicken and rice is one of the most popular recipes on The Typical Mom
- Creamy chicken and rice casserole is a bit different than the one above as it has some heavy cream in it
- Easy Instant Pot butter chicken is an Indian favorite of ours served with some naan on the side.
Here’s the printable recipe for orange chicken in an Instant Pot + a video. Watch that first so you can see how I have made it year after year, then you will be able to throw it together easily yourself. Adjust the heat as you like but be light handed at first as a little goes a long way with that if you ask me.
Can you use pressure cook frozen chicken?
If cooking all together as directed your frozen chicken would need to be previously cut up into small bite size pieces. Then they need to be separated so they don’t start out in one solid thick clump. It won’t cook all the way thru if this is the case. Run under some cool water to separate first.
Using whole pieces you too need to ensure that they aren’t stuck together. Even under high pressure it won’t get to a safe internal temp. if there are a few of them together. Same as before, run under cool water and use your hands to break them apart. You will want to use small to medium sizes if using whole. Timing will need to be adjusted to 12 minutes for these, I would only add 4 max.
- Keep in mind that the sauce thickens as it sits so you don’t need a lot of cornstarch.
- Just add a bit into a small bowl with some of your hot liquid if you really feel like you need it.
If you do I would remove your chicken first and set aside. Leave the sauce in there and set to the saute function. It will begin to bubble. Whisk a bit of that liquid in a small bowl with your arrowroot or corn starch until smooth. Pour it in and let it bubble as you stir. It doesn’t take much or long for the texture of it to change.
Instant Pot Orange Chicken Marmelade
Here are quick directions but there’s a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post too. Cube your chicken and add to your IP along with your bbq sauce, water or chicken broth, onion if you want, and soy sauce. Stir so chicken pieces are coated well.
- Turn your Instant Pot on pressure, high, for 4 minutes cook time.
- Put lid on and close steam valve. When it beeps do a quick release and carefully lift the lid.
- Turn IP to saute. Put cornstarch in small bowl (if you want it a bit thicker) and add some hot bbq sauce from pot in with it and whisk together until smooth.
- Add back into pot and stir.
- Add marmelade to make orange sauce, stir and allow mixture to bubble for about 2 minutes, stir. Turn pot and serve over rice.
If you love orange chicken flavors but want to skip some of the loaded calories from the breading, this is a great choice. We have directions for air fryer orange chicken too here now.
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Instant Pot Orange Chicken Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless, bite size pieces , can double recipe if you want 4 breasts
- 2 c barbecue sauce do not use honey style as there is too much sugar and may display burn message
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cornstarch at end to thicken sauce when chicken is done
- 1/4 c orange marmelade
- 1/2 onion cut into large pieces – optional
- chives or green onion to garnish
- 1/4 c water or chicken broth
- Cube your chicken and add to your IP along with your bbq sauce, water or chicken broth, onion if you want, and soy sauce.
- Stir so chicken pieces are coated well.
- Turn your Instant Pot on pressure, high, for 4 minutes. Put lid on and close steam valve.
- When it beeps do a quick release and carefully lift the lid.
- Turn IP to saute.
- Put cornstarch in small bowl (if you want it a bit thicker) and add some hot bbq sauce from pot in with it and whisk together until smooth. Add back into pot and stir.
- Add marmelade, stir and allow mixture to bubble for about 2 minutes, stir.
- Turn off IP and serve over rice.
Thursday 11th of November 2021
I love every single recipe I've made of yours but this one was bitter tasting ! What did I do wrong?
The Typical Mom
Sunday 14th of November 2021
Hmmmm bitter?? May be the type of marmelade you chose. Use half the amount of that ingredient and maybe choose a different brand.
Sunday 13th of September 2020
It sounds great but With 2366 mg of Sodium per 4oz serving, that’s incredibly high to call it healthy.
The Typical Mom
Sunday 13th of September 2020
You can choose a low sodium bbq sauce and leave out the soy sauce.
Sunday 16th of August 2020
If I double the chicken amount do I need to double the cooking time?
Sunday 19th of July 2020
Because doubled the meat I doubled the rest of the recipe, oppsy a heads up would of been nice for this first time insta pot user, I had way to much liquid....
Wednesday 8th of May 2019
I love Orange Chicken too! Good to know using instant pot recipe :D Thank you!