Instant Pot sweet and sour chicken made with frozen popcorn chicken is the easiest meal ever that everyone loves! Panda Express copycat recipe for sure.
I am all about easy, and delicious when it comes to dinner. That is where this Instant Pot sweet and sour chicken comes into play! With NO breading or batter required it is quick with lots of veggies. One of our favorite chicken Instant Pot recipes on The Typical Mom. (originally published 8/19, affiliate links present)
- I love copycat recipes! When it’s way too hot or cold outside to go out to dinner, or we’re trying to save money these come in handy.
Our Instant Pot sesame chicken is a close second to this one. I bet they will become new family favorite one pot meals you’ll love too. Let us know what you think. 😉
Let’s start with a few basic tips:
- Make sure to Bookmark our InstaPot recipes page. We add new ones each week!
- Then LIKE our IP Facebook page for new ideas daily.
- For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.
We also love recipes with pineapple like this one. A few other Instant Pot chicken recipes have it too. Want to use fresh chicken breasts or thighs instead to make something similar?
If you want to use fresh meat then follow our Ninja Foodi pineapple chicken recipe instead and add diced green peppers to that. Both are delicious so I’d suggest you try it both ways and see which you prefer.
Sometimes you really need quick and easy, throw in what’s in the bag kinda’ meal. You know what I mean I am sure.
Here are a few questions you might have right now you want answered before you get going on this:
The taste is slightly different but yes they have similar flavors. You can use our Instant Pot orange chicken recipe for the latter.
We will show you how here! With ketchup, apple cider vinegar, and a variety of seasonings this one tastes fantastic and is homemade. You can make air fryer popcorn chicken and then use this sauce.
All in moderation with all things. Using frozen breaded bites like we did here isn’t as healthy as fresh diced chicken breasts. You can substitute that if you’d rather.
Of course as always you can make this in any sort of pressure cooker you have including as an easy Ninja Foodi recipe too.
What is Chinese sweet and sour chicken made of?
Using bite sized pieces of chicken (or pork) it is stir fried in a homemade sweet and sour sauce typically made of:
- White vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Some include pineapple, green peppers and onion
You’ll want a whisk too to mix the sauce really well before you add that into your pot.
- I like my veggies cut into large chunks. That way they keep some texture and aren’t mushy at all once the cooking is over. The smaller you cut them the softer they will be. Just a tip.
Use any and all colors of bell peppers you like. If you only really like green though, then stick with those. Totally up to you.
Instant Pot sweet and sour chicken recipe
- Instant Pot
- I HIGHLY suggest you get this nonstick pot
- Bag of popcorn chicken
- Pineapple chunks
- could substitute a bit of pineapple juice for broth for a sweeter taste
- maybe 1/2 of a cup at most
- Bell peppers
- Sesame oil
- Soy sauce
- Apple cider vinegar
- Chicken broth
- Cornstarch to thicken sauce a bit
We serve this on top of our Instant Pot white rice.
Is sweet and sour chicken the same as orange chicken?
Well, or Instant Pot orange chicken is not breaded, and this one is.
- Both are covered in a glaze like sauce, typically served over rice though orange chicken is usually lighter colored.
Why are we using frozen popcorn chicken instead of breading it ourselves.
- It makes things REALLY easy and quick.
- Honestly it’s a mess to bread meat and try cooking it in a pressure cooker. It’s really better to fry or air fry it so it sticks well.
- These actually taste great and create just like at a restaurant
Copycat Panda Express sweet and sour chicken
At the end of the day it’s cheaper vs. all the ingredients necessary to make your own breaded chicken.
This has such a short cooking time too! Just 4 minutes on high pressure to heat up the sweet and sour sauce, add the chicken breast pieces, cook and then quick release.
I would say from start to finish including prep time, sauteeing, and pressure cook time it’s under 30 minutes which is great.
Time needed: 9 minutes.
Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
Chop all vegetables and whisk together your sauce mixture EXCEPT the cornstarch in a bowl. Set your pressure cooker to saute for 10 minutes.
Add your sesame oil and once it’s warmed add your vegetables. Cook until they’re beginning to soften, 3-4 minutes. Then pour in your sauce mixture and stir. Allow to heat for 3 min.
Put cornstarch in a small bowl with some of your hot sauce from the pot and whisk together until smooth.
Dump this into the pot to allow the sauce to thicken until time is up on saute function, about 2 min. Turn saute function off.
Pour in your frozen popcorn chicken and stir. Add pineapple chunks and stir.
Put pressure cooker lid on and close steam valve. Set to pressure cook high for 4 minutes. Do a quick release. Stir and serve over rice topped with green onions.
So easy right? You can really boost the amount of veggies to add in to this. There is a suggestion below as to what was added here but that is up to you. Remember they should all have similar cook times though.
Firmer is a bit better that is why onions and bell peppers work so well as you can see here.
What do you serve with sweet and sour chicken?
- You could make a batch of pressure cooker fried rice and serve together
- Quinoa is a good option too. Those are both gluten free if that’s important.
If you have an air fryer you could have both pots going at the same time and make:
A simple batch of air fryer cauliflower is always the perfect side dish.
And there you have it!!
Pressure cooker sweet and sour chicken
Can you make this chicken in a Ninja Foodi too?
- This recipe will work in any brand you have including a Crockpot Express pot.
- Follow directions below to enjoy it tonight.
Other Asian Instant Pot recipes:
- This Instant Pot stir fry is loaded with vegetables too.
- Our Instant Pot pulled pork sauce is quite amazing
- Pressure cooker cashew chicken is simple and delish too
- Instant Pot General Tso’s chicken is always a fave
Nutritional facts including saturated fat and calories are listed below in this printable recipe card.
Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 lb popcorn chicken frozen
- 1 onion cut into 1" pieces
- 1 bell pepper cut into med. chunks
- 1 c pineapple cut into chunks or tidbits, fresh or canned
- sauce mixture
- 1/4 c ketchup
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 c chicken broth
- Chop all vegetables and whisk together your sauce mixture EXCEPT the cornstarch in a bowl. Set your pressure cooker to saute for 10 minutes.
- Add your sesame oil and once it's warmed add your vegetables. Cook until they're beginning to soften, 3-4 minutes. Then pour in your sauce mixture and stir. Allow to heat for 3 min.
- Put cornstarch in a small bowl with some of your hot sauce from the pot and whisk together until smooth. Dump this into the pot to allow the sauce to thicken until time is up on saute function, about 2 min. Turn saute function off.
- Pour in your frozen popcorn chicken and stir. Add pineapple chunks and stir.
- Put pressure cooker lid on and close steam valve. Set to pressure cook high for 4 minutes. Do a quick release.
- Stir and serve over rice topped with green onions.