Best Instant Pot Orange Chicken (Panda Express Copycat)

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Make this better-than-takeout instant pot orange chicken recipe for dinner tonight! You are going to love the flavor-filled sauce we use on this tasty Chinese chicken recipe.

A full bowl of orange chicken on top of a red checkered tablecloth.

I love Chinese take-out. They offer so much flavor in all of their dishes and one of my favorite family-friendly dishes in orange chicken. It’s lightly breaded chicken cooked in an amazing orange sauce that has kids and adults satisfied.

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Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken

This recipe is inspired by the famous Orange Chicken at Panda Express. Why not try both and let us know what you think!

Ordering Chinese isn’t always in the budget and sometimes I like trying my hand at remaking Chinese food dishes at home. Which brings me to this recipe for instant pot orange chicken. 

It’s easy enough to make in your pressure cooker and won’t leave you missing your favorite take-out place, at all!

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Close up of orange chicken in a blue bowl.

More asian-inspired recipes

What to serve with instant pot orange chicken?

We love serving orange chicken over a bed of steamed brown rice. You can also serve it with a simple steamed vegetable like green beans. 

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A full bowl of orange chicken on top of a red checkered tablecloth.

Instant Pot Orange Chicken Recipe

Aileen Clark
Make this better-than-takeout instant pot orange chicken recipe for dinner tonight! You are going to love the flavor-filled sauce we use on this tasty Chinese chicken recipe.
4.49 from 109 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Dish Recipes
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 6 servings
Calories 680 kcal



  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Cornstarch Slurry

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice


  • 4 green onions sliced
  • Orange Zest


  • In a small bowl add your 2 eggs and whisk.
  • In a separate bowl add your flour and cornstarch. Mix to combine.
  • Pat chicken dry with a paper towel.
  • Dip the chicken chunks into the whisked eggs and then into the flour mixture.Shake off to the excess and set to the side.
    Ingredients on a tray for orange chicken.
  • Repeat until all chicken is coated.
  • Press Sauté on the Instant Pot.
  • Wait for the Instant Pot indicator to read HOT. Pour in the oil.
  • Add the chicken and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
    Coated chicken in instant pot.
  • Flip and cook an additonal 2-3 minutes, until golden brown on both sides.
  • Remove the chicken and set aside.
  • Deglaze the bottom of the pot with 1 cup orange juice and scrape off any food stuck of the pot with a wooden spoon.
  • Mix in the ginger, garlic, vinegar, granulated sugar, brown sugar, soy sauce, sriracha, and red pepper.
  • Add the chicken and toss until it is coated in the sauce.
  • Close the lid and set the pressure release valve to sealing.
  • Press the manual or pressure cook button and set to 5 minutes on high pressure.
  • Natural pressure release for 10 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure.
  • Remove the lid.
  • Press the sauté button again.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Whisk well, until no longer lumpy.
  • Pour the mixture into the instant pot and gently stir to combine.
  • Let the sauce simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Turn the instant pot off.
  • Allow the chicken to thicken for 5 minutes.
  • Serve over rice and garnish with fresh chopped green onions and orange zest.


Serving: 1cup chickenCalories: 680kcalCarbohydrates: 85gProtein: 55gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 191mgSodium: 1379mgFiber: 2gSugar: 46g
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A photo of orange chicken in a blue bowl with words "instant pot orange chicken Panda Express copycat".

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  1. Very good, but very spicy! Next time I would 1/2 the spices that added heat! Way to spicy for children for sure.

  2. Hi so after you’re done sauté the chicken when you switch to pressure cook it takes 10 minutes to build up the pressure to allow pressure cooking to take place so the chicken is sitting in there longer than 10 minutes and getting mushy what is your suggestion to fixing that

    1. Hi Joyce! Cooking in the instant pot does add additional moisture. This recipe was written to include the time it takes to come to pressure.

  3. Made this last night. So goood! I patted my chicken dry, so no issue of debreading. No burning either. But I have a big family and doubled the recipe. Umm. It took forever to fry all the batches in the instant pot. Fast forward three hours and it came out perfect. Next time I’ll have to fry some on the stove and some in the pot to quicken it up. The flavor was perfect and it creates lot of sauce!!!

    1. Hi Beth! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Yes, the frying always takes the longest but it SO good, so it feels worth it to me. 🙂

  4. I had a lot of trouble, maybe it’s me! All of the breading came off.. thinking chicken should’ve been fried in batches? And then I tried twice with pressurizing, the sauce kept burning. 😣 The sauce tastes great at least!

  5. Your photography makes the dish so delicious looking. Not all dishes that are photographed look so perfect. Thank you for taking the time to do that.

  6. Can I use rice vinegar or does it have to be rice wine vinegar? Also, did you have to use minced ginger or can will it change the taste a ton of you don’t use it.

  7. Hi Aileen! I’m currently having issues with the Instant Pot thinking the food is burning and subsequently shutting off mid-cooking. Any advice for this for the next attempt? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Kylie. I hate when that happens. It is SO frustrating. I have found that some instant pots are just more finicky than others. I would recommend cooking the orange chicken in a bowl on a trivet inside the instant pot and putting 1 1/2 cups of water in the bottom of the cooking pot. That way, it will come to pressure without any chance of burning. Also, when you sauté anything in your instant pot, make sure you deglaze it really well by pouring liquid into the pot and scraping up all of the food stuck to the bottom of the pot. Good luck!

  8. This recipe is very tasty and for someone who just started cooking, fairly simple! Will be adding to my list of meals to keep making! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Tried this today and had great hopes, but the breading all fell off my chicken and into the pot/sauce. Did some research and realized that I should have patted dry the chicken before breading it, and also making sure all the excess flour was shaken off. Might be good to add those steps to the recipe instructions if that’s how you do it, too! I’m going to try again and make sure to do those steps first 🙂

    1. Hi Ann,

      I’m sorry your breading fell off. That must have been very disappointing. Yes, I do usually pat my chicken dry and will update the instructions to include the step. Take care. 🙂

      – Aileen

    1. Hi Tricia. Thank you for catching my mistake! It should be 1 cup orange juice added to the pot plus an additional 2 tablespoons whisked into the cornstarch at the end. I have update the recipe to reflect this as well. Please let me know if you have any more questions.