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Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

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Looking for an easy and delicious Instant Pot recipe? Look no further than Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken. This dish is so quick and simple to make but tastes amazing with it’s savory sweet flavors from the tangy sweet and sour sauce.

This sweet and sour chicken Instant Pot recipe will surely be a big hit in your home. It’s better than take-out and goes a lot further too!

sweet n sour

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Bursting with Flavor: The sweet and sour sauce provides a delightful balance of tastes.
  • Efficient Cooking: The Instant Pot reduces cook time, perfect for a quick dinner.
  • Restaurant Quality: This recipe rivals your favorite takeout, but it’s homemade and healthier.

Recipe Ingredients

Sweet and Sour Chicken Ingredients

  • Skinless Chicken Breasts: Absorb flavors well and are the protein base of the dish.
  • Corn Starch: Coats the chicken, giving it a crispy texture when cooked.
  • Eggs: Helps the corn starch adhere to the chicken for a uniform coating.
  • Flour: Adds an additional layer to the chicken, ensuring a nice, crisp texture.
  • Sunflower Oil: Used for sautéing, it enhances the flavors and creates a nice sear on the chicken.
  • Red and Green Bell Peppers: Add a sweet, slightly bitter flavor and a pop of color to the dish.
  • Sweet And Sour Sauce: Provides the main flavor profile – a delightful mix of tangy, sweet, and savory.

Rice Ingredients

  • Basmati Rice: A perfect base for the flavorful chicken.
  • Water: Essential for cooking the rice to the right consistency.
  • Green Onions: Add a fresh, slightly sharp flavor and serve as a garnish, enhancing the dish’s visual appeal.

How to Make Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken?

Here are step-by-step instructions for turning Chicken breast into the best Sweet and Sour Instant Pot Chicken.

Step One: Turn Instant Pot to Saute Function

Turn the Instant Pot on to saute and let it come to full heat before adding any food. 

Step Two: Make Chicken Batter Mix

Add cornstarch, flour, and eggs into 3 small bowls. Whisk the eggs thoroughly. 

Dip the chicken into the cornstarch, then into the eggs, and then into the flour. Set to one side.

IP Sweet sour chicken 2 2

Step Three: Cook Chicken in Inner Pot

Add the oil to your Instant Pot once hot. Add the dredged chicken in a single layer into the Instant Pot.

Brown the chicken on each side for around 5 minutes.

Step Four: Deglaze Instant Pot

Once the chicken pieces are cooked and golden brown remove them from the Instant Pot.

Deglaze the pot with a little water and remove any food particles that may be stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Step Five: Add Chicken and Sweet and Sour Sauce

Replace the chicken in the Instant Pot. Add the bell peppers and sweet and sour stir-fry sauce. Toss to combine.

Step Six: Pressure Cook

Close the Instant Pot lid and seal the valve to the closed position. Pressure cook your tender chicken on high pressure for 3 minutes.

Step Seven: Quick Release Pressure

Release the valve once the Instant Pot timer goes off. Remove the sweet and sour chicken and set to the side. 

Step Eight: Cook Instant Pot Rice

Clean and dry the Instant Pot insert. Place the insert back into the Instant Pot. Add rice and 2 cups of water to the Instant Pot.

Close the lid and pressure cook for 5 minutes. Quick pressure release once the rice is cooked.

Step Nine: Serve and Garnish

Serve your rice into bowls and top with your Sweet and Sour Chicken. Garnish with fresh green onions and sesame seeds for a pop of color. Enjoy!

IP Sweet sour chicken 2 3

Cooking Tips

  • Since first sharing this Instant Pot version of sweet and sour chicken, it has come to my attention that there are two types of Sweet and Sour sauce and this was at one point confusing my readers. For this Sweet and Sour Chicken Instant Pot recipe, you need to use Sweet and Sour stir fry sauce not dipping sauce.
  • Dipping sauce is too thick and would need to be diluted with water which would make the recipe blander and less tasty. Using a jar of stir fry sweet and sour sauce will work much better as the consistency is just right for pressure cooking without the need to add extra water. Adding extra water would also result in soggy chicken which is tasteless.

Variations

  • Sweet And Sour Meatballs: If you’re in the mood for something different, just switch out the chicken with frozen meatballs for a delightful twist.
  • Sweet And Sour Fish: To make Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Fish, start by coating the fish pieces the same way you would the chicken. Pressure cook for only 3 minutes.

Storage Instructions

Storage: To store Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken leftovers, let the meat cool to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezing: To freeze Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken, allow the meat to cool to room temperature before freezing in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Thawing: To thaw, simply let sit in the refrigerator overnight until completely thawed.

Reheat: To reheat, heat on the stove over medium-high heat until warmed through, stirring gently as needed to prevent burning.

What to Serve With This Recipe

FAQ’S

Is Sweet and Sour Chicken Healthy?

This Instant Pot sweet and sour chicken does contain sugar so is not free from carbs. However, this delicious option is packed with protein and other key nutrients from the chicken, veggies, and sauce ingredients. It’s much better than takeout.

Is Sweet and Sour Chicken the Same as Orange Chicken?

Although both dishes are made with a sweet and sour sauce, they are not the same.

Instant Pot sweet and sour chicken is made with classic Chinese flavors, while orange chicken typically contains a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, ginger and orange juice or zest.

Additionally, Instant Pot sweet and sour chicken usually includes vegetables like bell pepper or pineapple.

Can I Use Skinless Chicken Thighs Instead of Chicken Breast?

Yes, you can certainly use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast in this Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe.

To ensure that the meat is cooked through saute for a minute longer than you would Chicken breast. Then follow the instructions for the rest of the recipe.

Can I Add Pineapple Chunks to Sweet and Sour Chicken?

Yes, some people love the added texture of pineapple chunks in their Sweet and Sour Chicken.
You can cut fresh pineapple chunks or use canned pineapple.

Be sure to drain any pineapple juice first and add the Pineapple pieces at the end after the Sweet and Sour Chicken has finished pressure cooking.

My Sauce Is Too Watery. How Do I Thicken Sweeten My Sauce?

If your Instant Pot Sweet And Sour Chicken sauce turns out too watery, there are a few different ways to thicken the sauce.

One option is to add corn starch slurry, which consists of equal parts cornstarch and cold water. To make the slurry, gently stir 1-2 tablespoons of corn starch into the sauce until it is well incorporated.

You can let the Instant Pot cook for a few more minutes on saute mode until the sauce thickens.

Another option is to mix one tablespoon of cold water with one tablespoon of flour, then add this mixture to your Instant Pot just

Can I Cook Sweet and Sour Chicken in the Crock Pot?

Yes, you can certainly cook Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken in the crock pot. Simply cook the chicken first and place into the slow cooker with the sweet and sour sauce, slow cooking for 2-3 hours.

instant pot Sweet and Sour chicken

Instant Pot Sweet & Sour Chicken

Yield: 1-2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Looking for an easy and delicious Instant Pot recipe? Look no further than Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken. This dish is so quick and simple to make but tastes amazing

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Small Strips
  • 1 Cup Corn Starch
  • 2 Eggs, Large Room Temp
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1 Green Pepper, Diced
  • 8 oz Jar Sweet And Sour Sauce (Stir Fry Sauce)
  • 1 Cup Basmati Rice
  • 2 Cups Water, For Rice
  • Green Onions To Garnish

Instructions

  1. Turn the Instant Pot on to saute and let it come to full heat before adding any food. 
  2. Add cornstarch, flour, and eggs into 3 small bowls. Whisk the eggs thoroughly. 
  3. Dip the chicken into the cornstarch, then into the eggs, and then into the flour. Set to the side.
  4. Add the oil to your Instant Pot once hot. Add the dredged chicken in a single layer into the Instant Pot.
  5. Brown the chicken on each side for around 5 minutes.
  6. Once the chicken pieces are cooked and golden brown remove them from the Instant Pot.
  7. Deglaze the pot with a little water and remove any food particles that may be stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  8. Replace the chicken in the Instant Pot. Add the bell peppers and sweet and sour stir-fry sauce. Toss to combine.
  9. Close the Instant Pot lid and seal the valve to the closed position. Pressure cook your tender chicken on high pressure for 3 minutes.
  10. Release the valve once the Instant Pot timer goes off. Remove the sweet and sour chicken and set to the side. 
  11. Clean and dry the Instant Pot insert. Place the insert back into the Instant Pot. Add rice and 2 cups of water to the Instant Pot.
  12. Close the lid and pressure cook for 5 minutes. Quick pressure release once the rice is cooked.
  13. Serve your rice into bowls and top with your Sweet and Sour Chicken. Garnish with fresh green onions and sesame seeds for a pop of color. Enjoy!

Notes

Can I Use Skinless Chicken Thighs Instead Of Chicken Breast?

Yes, you can certainly use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast in this Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe.

To ensure that the meat is cooked through saute for a minute longer than you would Chicken breast. Then follow the instructions for the rest of the recipe.

Can I Add Pineapple Chunks To Sweet And Sour Chicken?

Yes, some people love the added texture of pineapple chunks in their Sweet and Sour Chicken.

You can cut fresh pineapple chunks or use canned pineapple.

Be sure to drain any pineapple juice first and add the Pineapple pieces at the end after the Sweet and Sour Chicken has finished pressure cooking.

How To Add A Spicy Kick To Sweet And Sour Chicken?

If you want to add a little spice to this recipe try adding half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the chicken mixture.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1559Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 399mgSodium: 673mgCarbohydrates: 199gFiber: 4gSugar: 24gProtein: 72g

Did you make this recipe?

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13 Comments

  1. This recipe was a disaster and a colossal waste of time! Why bread then fry the chicken to then put it in 2 cups of water that turns it into a wet soggy mess? I triple checked the recipe, had other people look at it, and yes, it does say to put the crispy chicken into the water. So disappointed!

    1. Oh im sorry you had such a bad experience. This is one of our most popular recipes. You only add the water to the rice, not the chicken, the chicken is mixed with sweet and sour sauce.

  2. Can any of your recipes be made in a 3qt Instant Pot? I like your recipes but unsure if I can use my pot with your recipes.
    Thanks

  3. I had high hopes for this sweet and sour chicken recipe, but it was bit of a disaster. After cooking the breaded chicken pieces using the saute function, there were some bits stuck to the bottom. I found it odd that the recipe didn’t instruct you to deglaze the pot, but I did it anyway with some water. Then it said to toss the sweet and sour sauce with the chicken and peppers and then pressure cook. I’m looking at my VH Sweet and Sour sauce in a bottle thinking it’s way too thick to pressure cook without getting the burn notice, so I diluted it with some water and hoped for the best. Still got the burn notice. Chicken was cooked through at that point, so I ate it anyway. So BLAND! That’s when I realized that there is no added salt in this recipe. Eventually I was able to eat it, but it needed a lot of help. Surprising, since the other recipes I’ve made from this website have been very good. Please let me know (politely!) if I messed up somehow.

    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for your comment. I’ve looked up the VH Sweet and Sour Sauce (sold in Canada) and this type of sauce is labelled Sweet and Sour dipping sauce… which I believe is placed in a dish as a condiment. The Sweet and Sour sauce used in this recipe would be a stir fry sauce rather than a dipping sauce and would be less thick, hence it would make sense for you to have needed to add water to the dipping sauce you used. As the sauce would have been diluted it would make sense that it may come out quite bland. When we use a stir fry sauce the flavour is not diluted and so there is generally no need to add extra salt. I hope this is helpful.

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