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Instant Pot Orange Chicken {Whole30, Paleo, GF, Keto}

You’re going to love this tender, juicy, and incredibly flavorful Instant Pot Orange Chicken! This easy and healthy orange chicken recipe involves no frying, nothing sketchy – just real food ingredients that beats takeout every time. This real food orange chicken sauce recipe is family-friendly and picky-kid approved!

A bowl of healthy orange chicken and cauliflower rice with green onion

You’re going to loooove this Healthy Orange Chicken recipe! Why? Cause I said so.

Can you tell I have little kids? Don’t make me turn this blog around.

Did you know you can tenderize chicken without standing there and pounding it with a mallet just by using a secret ingredient that is already in your pantry?

And did you guess that the secret ingredient is baking soda? You did? Smarty pants.

Um, Sarah, What’s the Deal With You And Baking Soda?

It seems like any time I talk about having a “secret ingredient” for a recipe, it always ends up being baking soda. Remember my Healthy Sweet Tea Recipe, Homemade Pizza Sauce, and Whole30 Tomato Soup? Baking soda all up in their business.

When it comes to velvety smooth chicken for stir fry you can’t beat the texture of chicken thighs. Tossing your chicken in a few teaspoons of baking soda and letting it rest for 10-15 minutes prior to cooking will give you the most tender chicken you’ve ever had. 

What Ingredients Are In Instant Pot Orange Chicken?

This recipe is rocking:

  • Chicken breast
  • Orange zest and juice
  • Liquids – olive oil, coconut aminos, sesame oil, rice vinegar
  • Flavor town squad – fresh garlic and ginger
  • Baking soda & arrowroot powder
chicken, a dish of ginger, orange zest, garlic, and liquid seasonings or making skinny orange chicken

Sorry about showing you raw chicken. Blech.

Want a vegetarian/vegan version of this recipe? Check out Air Fryer Tofu!

How to Make Instant Pot Orange Chicken – Step by Step

*You’ll find a printable version of this recipe at the bottom of the post.

If you are new to pressure cooking and the Instant Pot, check out this post on recipes for Instant Pot beginners.

Cut chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Toss with baking soda, stirring to distribute. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Rinse the chicken thoroughly. I place it in a small strainer and rinse until it runs clear. Pat dry with paper towels.

Set your Instant Pot to Saute and allow it to heat up for two minutes. Add olive and sesame oil. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Push the chicken to the sides of the Instant Pot, add another tiny drizzle of olive oil, then add ginger and garlic. Stir for 1 minute. Turn Instant Pot to off.

Add a splash of the orange juice to the pot and use a wooden spoon to deglaze (fancy way of saying “scrape”) any stuck on residue off the bottom of the Instant Pot.

Add the rest of the ingredients through the arrowroot. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, press Manual>High Pressure>5 minutes.  Mix the arrowroot and water until smooth and set aside.

When the Instant Pot has finished cooking, use a clean kitchen towel to flip the vent to “venting” for a quick release.

Open the lid and press saute. Add the arrowroot slurry to the chicken and mix. Allow it to come to a boil, stirring often until the sauce begins to thicken – about 5 minutes. Top with sliced green onion and sesame seeds.

Four process shots of making homemade Whole30 Orange chicken

More uncooked chicken. Yay!

Recipe Notes on Paleo Orange Chicken

  • You do not need to use the baking soda trick for this dish to turn out great. It will still be absolutely delicious if you skip this step. That being said, I highly encourage you to give it a try at some point because it is pure magic. Magic chicken. Chicken magic. You’ll be a poultry sorcerer.
  • Don’t skip the deglazing step. Any stuck on residue on the bottom of the pot could impact the ability for it to properly come to pressure. Deglazing only adds about 30 seconds of work to the overall recipe. Do it.
  • No Instant Pot? Use a large frying pan or wok and cook the chicken throughout until no pink remains. Follow the instructions in the recipe card below for more details.
  • Need help getting started with the Whole30? You’ll love my free printable Trader Joe’s Whole30 shopping list and my Whole30 Costco shopping list.

What Goes Well With Whole30 Orange Chicken?

We often serve ours with cauliflower fried rice, but you could use plain rice, homemade fried rice, stir-fried veggies, salad, roasted vegetables. For a time and money-saving hack check out this post on how to roast frozen vegetables.

an overhead photo of a bowl of whole30 orange chicken and cauliflower rice

More Fast Dinner RECIPES LIKE THIS

Click here to pin this healthy orange chicken recipe

Instant Pot Orange Chicken WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS

One serving of Instant Pot Orange Chicken has 2 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.

Making this recipe or others?

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Print
5 from 16 votes
Instant Pot Orange Chicken {Whole30, Paleo, GF, Keto}
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Pressuring/depressurizing time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

You're going to love this tender, juicy, and incredibly flavorful healthy Instant Pot Orange Chicken! This is the best recipe for family-friendly Whole30 orange chicken or paleo orange chicken.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: asian chicken dinner, instant pot chicken, instant pot orange chicken
Servings: 6
Calories: 231 kcal
Ingredients
Slurry
Instructions
Instant Pot Instructions
  1. Cut chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Toss with baking soda, stirring to distribute. Set aside.

  2. Chop the ginger, garlic, zest and juice the oranges. 

  3. Rinse the chicken thoroughly. I place it in a small strainer and rinse until it runs clear. Pat dry with paper towels.

  4. Set the Instant Pot to Saute and allow to heat up for two minutes. Add olive and sesame oil. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. Push the chicken to the sides of the Instant Pot, add another tiny drizzle of olive oil, then add ginger and garlic. Stir for 1 minute. Turn Instant Pot to off.

  6. Add a splash of the orange juice to the pot and use a wooden spoon to deglaze (fancy way of saying "scrape") any stuck on residue off the bottom of the Instant Pot.

  7. Add the rest of the ingredients through the arrowroot. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, press Manual>High Pressure>5 minutes.  Mix the arrowroot and water until smooth and set aside.

  8. When the Instant Pot has finished cooking, flip the vent to "venting" for a quick release. 

  9. Open the lid and press Saute. Add the arrowroot slurry to the chicken and mix. Allow it to come to a boil, stirring often until the sauce begins to thicken - about 5 minutes. Top with sliced green onion and sesame seeds.

Frying Pan/Wok Instructions
  1. Follow steps 1-3 above. Make the arrowroot slurry and set aside.

  2. Heat a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp olive oil and sesame oil to the pan. Swirl to coat. Add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

  3. Push the chicken to the sides of the pan and add the rest of the ingredients including the arrowroot slurry to the pan. Cook thoroughly until the chicken is completely white when a test piece is cut.

Recipe Notes

If you're not Whole30/Paleo, you can use cornstarch instead of arrowroot and soy sauce instead of coconut aminos.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Orange Chicken {Whole30, Paleo, GF, Keto}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 231 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 96mg32%
Sodium 468mg20%
Potassium 657mg19%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 105IU2%
Vitamin C 19.6mg24%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

New photos were added to this post in February 2019. for reference an old photo is below:

two bowls of healthy orange chicken with green onions

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44 comments on “Instant Pot Orange Chicken {Whole30, Paleo, GF, Keto}”

  1. I didn’t exactly make your recipe but I used your baking soda on the chicken trick… I soak my beans with a pinch of soda so I thought I’d try your chicken trick on some free range giant (tough) chicken breasts my husband cubed. IT WORKS! It was tender, tasty and browned beautifully! Im totally doing the baking soda trick with my enchilada chicken too! I have made the orange chicken previously (Without the soda trick) and it’s awesome!

  2. The picture does not show cauliflower rice… 

  3. Does this freeze well? I love this recipe and am curious if I can pre-cook a bunch at once for future meals.

    Thanks!

    • I’ve never tried it but it should be totally fine. If you do freeze it, please report back with your results and I’ll update the notes in the post.

  4. What is this chicken voodoo magic and how come I never knew about this trick before? Wow! Thanks for teaching me something new!

  5. We just finished having this for dinner and it was so good! Ours was a little on the salty side as I didn’t realize until AFTER I poured it in that my soy sauce is not low-sodium. Oh well, live and learn.

    • Soooooo glad you liked it Bernie! Yeah, soy sauce gets me every time.

      • I was wondering how far in advance I could do the baking soda/chicken thing. I was lucky to have the day off work when I made this so I ended up starting dinner early. It ended up taking me a lot more time to cut that up than I thought and would definitely be something to prep in advance if I were to do it on a work night.

  6. Fabulous Orange Chicken!
    This recipe was great for a quick dinner on a busy night!

  7. I’m lazy and didn’t measure my orange zest but used the zest and juice from one orange 🙂 did it in the wok and it was amazing! The flavors of orange chicken without all the fat and breading 🙂 thanks for this, Sarah!!

    • I saw the photos on Instagram and it looked awesome! You did such a nice job, and I’m so happy you loved this recipe. It’s definitely one of our favorites.

  8. Holy yum, y’all! I make teriyaki/hibachi style chicken often. My family (especially the kids) love that delicious, umami flavor. But the orange and loads of ginger bring a brightness to the dish that I find other recipes often lack. It’s a great, quick weeknight meal, whether you choose the instant pot or stove top method. Full disclosure, I just did this in a skillet.  I have an instant pot (her name is Stella), but I have limited counter space. This was easy enough to do the old fashioned way. And don’t even think about skipping the baking soda step. It gives a similar texture to the chicken as a brine would, but with far less added sodium. 

    • So glad you and the kiddos enjoyed it, Danielle! Hopefully, Stella can give it a try someday soon too.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

  9. My sister and I tried out this recipe for our family this week. It was a hit with everyone, including a picky 4 year old! Quick and easy to make, subtle orange flavor is so natural and didn’t have that sickly sweet taste that cheap take out  sometimes has. Will definitely become a regular dinner on our rotation!

    • I’m so glad you all enjoyed it Sara (awesome name btw!)! And I feel you on the picky kiddos thing, so I’m thrilled this one worked for your family.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to review it.

  10. I have looked at this recipe longingly, awaiting the day I had an IP…. fast forward to today and the unboxing of my Christmas gift.
     I showed my husband and told him this is what we were having for supper. Holy Cow!! It was delicious! The chicken was tender and the sauce was incredible. This has definitely made it into our dinner rotation.