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 and easy with lots of veggies to boot. One of our favorite chicken Instant Pot recipes here on The Typical Mom. (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.
We also love recipes with pineapple like this one. A few other Instant Pot chicken recipes have it 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.
This is what you’ll need to make this easy 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 that copycat Panda Express sweet and sour chicken we love.
- 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.
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!!
The best pressure cooker sweet and sour chicken you’ll ever make in no time at all.
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.