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Chicken Breast Instant Pot Orange Chicken Recipe

Best healthy 3 ingredient chicken breast Instant Pot orange chicken recipe ever! Make this easy pressure cooker chicken orange recipe in just 4 minutes with breasts or thighs this week. Grab your Ninja Foodi or Cosori and try it tonight!

instant pot orange chicken recipe

We love this 3 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. (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.

If you are new to pressure cooking we have a lot of easy one pot meal recipes for you here. To begin with let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

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!

orange marmelade

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:

What is orange chicken made of?

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.

Is orange chicken healthy?

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.

Is orange chicken spicy?

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.

instant pot orange chicken r

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.

  1. Chicken breasts or thighs – boneless, skinless, diced into bite size pieces
  2. Barbecue sauce of your choice
    1. 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
  3. Orange marmelade 
    1. Onions diced are a great add in we think
    2. Cornstarch (if you want to thicken sauce)
    3. Rice – this is how to make the perfect Instant Pot white rice

Soy sauce is optional but I would highly suggest using it to counteract the sweetness, you could use the low sodium variety

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.

ninja foodi

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!

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.

pressure cooker orange chicken

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

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
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4.67 from 12 votes

Instant Pot Orange Chicken Recipe

Easy 3 ingredient Instant Pot orange chicken recipe! Use fresh or frozen chicken breasts or thighs to make this healthy one pot meal.
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American, Japanese
Keyword chicken, easy, healthy, instant pot, orange, pressure cooker
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 442kcal
Author The Typical Mom



  • 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
  • 1/4 c orange marmelade
  • 1/4 c water or chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce optional but will make flavors more intense
  • 1/2 onion cut into large pieces – optional
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch at end to thicken sauce when chicken is done, optional


  • 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. 
  • Put lid on and close steam valve. Turn your Instant Pot on pressure, high, for 4 minutes.
  • 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.


Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Orange Chicken Recipe
Amount Per Serving (4 oz)
Calories 442 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Cholesterol 72mg24%
Sodium 2366mg103%
Potassium 788mg23%
Carbohydrates 74g25%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 60g67%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 355IU7%
Vitamin C 3.7mg4%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
instant pot orange chicken recipe
Recipe Rating

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Shaunda Hall

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?

patricia hole

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!

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