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

You're going to love this tender, juicy, and incredibly flavorful homemade Orange Chicken!
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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. 

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

This Healthy Orange Chicken recipe is about to be your new favorite dinner! It’s so easy, absolutely delicious, and will make the most tender chicken you’ve ever had!

If you’re looking for a crispy and breaded version of this recipe, check out our Air Fryer Orange Chicken.

What Ingredients Are In Instant Pot Orange Chicken?

This recipe is rocking:

  • Chicken breast
  • Orange zest and juice
  • Liquids – olive oil, coconut aminos (or soy sauce if you eat it), sesame oil, rice vinegar
  • Flavor town squad – fresh garlic and ginger (meal prep hacks: How to Freeze Garlic and How to Freeze 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.

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

Want a vegetarian/vegan version of this recipe? Check out Air Fryer Tofu! And if you are new to pressure cooking and the Instant Pot, check out this post on recipes for Instant Pot beginners.

Four process shots of making homemade Whole30 Orange chicken

More uncooked chicken. Yay!

Recipe Notes/Pro Tips

  • 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 This Dish?

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



One serving has 2 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.

Print Recipe
5 from 32 ratings

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

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Pressuring/depressurizing time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
You're going to love this tender, juicy, and incredibly flavorful homemade Orange Chicken!




Instant Pot Instructions

  • Cut chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Toss with baking soda, stirring to distribute. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
    2 lbs chicken breast, 2 tsp baking soda
  • Chop the ginger, garlic, zest and juice the oranges. 
    3 tbsp fresh ginger, minced, 4 cloves garlic, 4 tbsp orange zest, 1/2 cup orange juice
  • Rinse the chicken thoroughly. I place it in a small strainer and rinse until it runs clear. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • 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.
    1 tsp olive oil, divided, 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 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.
    3 tbsp fresh ginger, minced, 4 cloves garlic
  • 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.
    1/3 cup coconut aminos, 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 1/2 cup orange juice, 2 tsp sriracha
  • Lock the lid into place and set the steam release handle (valve on top) to “Sealing”. Press Manual>High Pressure>5 minutes. 
  • Mix the arrowroot and water until smooth and set aside.
    2 tbsp arrowroot powder, 1 tbsp cool water
  • When the Instant Pot has finished cooking, carefully 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.

Frying Pan/Wok Instructions

  • Follow steps 1-3 above. Make the arrowroot slurry and set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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.


If you're not Whole30/Paleo, you can use cornstarch instead of arrowroot and soy sauce instead of coconut aminos.
You MUST rinse all the baking soda from the chicken prior to cooking.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Orange Chicken {Whole30, Paleo, GF, Keto}
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
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.

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

  1. Great recipe, but if you use soy sauce, use just a splash. I did a straight substitution, and it’s inedible. My first instant pot fail that went right in the trash. I think I’ll do it again, and not use any soy sauce at all. It smelled so delicious while it was cooking!! Tasted like a salt lick. Heartbroken.5 stars

  2. We had to throw it all away beware of the baking soda taste is horrible

    • Hi Sarah (great name), the baking soda cannot stay on the chicken when it is cooked. In the recipe card step 3 notes you must remove it: “Rinse the chicken thoroughly. I place it in a small strainer and rinse until it runs clear. Pat dry with paper towels.”

  3. If you haven’t made this orange chicken you are missing out! I ended up using some chicken broth to cut the salt in my soy sauce and the flavor didn’t suffer. My kids ate the leftovers before I could get to them, that’s how good this is!5 stars

  4. Just found your site and love love it, thank you so much for sharing

    I will be ordering a rimmed baking sheet from your site.

  5. I’m curious… my kiddo cannot have sesame oil. Does sesame contribute a lot to the flavor? This recipe looks so amazing.

  6. Made this tonight, I have been trying to make more healthy options for dinners. Definitely will be adding this to the rotation! so amazing. I added an orange bell pepper after the ginger and garlic but before all the other stuff! ( I made it in a frying pan)

    • My husband would LOVE your addition of the peppers! He loves them and the rest of us don’t. 🙂

      So happy to hear you enjoyed this!

  7. This was delicious! The baking soda trick is genius. We usually do a bag of Trader Joe’s orange chicken but this was way healthier and super easy in the instant pot. Thank you for your wonderful recipes. 5 stars

    • Baking soda is magic! Who knew such a cheap little ingredient can do so much?

      I’m thrilled that you liked it so much. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  8. This is a delicious recipe that comes together so quickly! Our whole family loves it. So many orange chicken recipes don’t have that much orange in them. Orange is front & center here, it’s so good!5 stars

    • I’m so glad you all enjoyed it, Ann! It’s one of our favorites, and I agree, it’s very “orangey”. 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

  9. The chicken magic really works! Amazing!

    That said, I used the zest of two pretty big navel oranges, and the juice from them was about one cup, but I still don’t get much orange flavor.  I think oj concentrate  would yield more flavor. 

    I enjoyed giving it a whirl, and am thrilled about the baking soda trick, so thank you for that!5 stars

    • Pretty freaking rad, right?? Baking soda is magic!

      Hmmm, how much zest did get from those oranges? Ours is usually very orangey (is that a word?)!

  10. The most awesome instant pot recipe for me… my family loves chicken and especially with Asian inspired ingredients… (ginger, sesame,etc.) so when I made this three times now.. win-win for me all the way.. so easy to especially since I used two different types of instant pot and enjoyed similar results.. thank you Sarah .. you da Bess as we say in Hawaii Ne.5 stars