Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Chicken [VIDEO]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Chicken is one of the easiest dump and cook meals, that is very tasty and flavorful, yet ready in just 30 minutes.

Making meals in the Instant Pot is fun and easy. We like a good and easy meal like our popular IP Orange Chicken, IP Mongolian Beef and Pressure Cooker Mongolian Chicken.

Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Chicken

Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Chicken

Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Chicken is quickly becoming my go-to weeknight meal! I love using my Pressure Cooker to make easy weeknight meals, and this dish is so flavorful and easy to make that it will quickly become a staple in your house too. Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Chicken is way better than takeout. If you are looking for an easy, yet super flavorful Chinese dish, then this recipe is the one to go. Give it a try, and you will be making it over and over again!

All you have to do is dump all the ingredients in the pressure cooker and sip on wine, while a great meal cooks in 25 minutes or less, that is considering the pressure and natural release time! Winner, winner – tasty, easy and with just one pot to clean!

WHY YOU’LL ENJOY THIS INSTANT POT SESAME CHICKEN:

  • It is easy to make and it takes only around 30 minutes!
  • Only one pot to clean and that is the Pressure Cooker.
  • Also, the dish is packed with amazing flavors and lean protein.
  • It is perfect for busy weeknights and also for entertaining guests.
  • You will have delicious leftovers that can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Best Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Chicken

Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Chicken Recipe Tips:

  • I used organic chicken thighs, but this recipe also works with chicken breast. You don’t have to adjust the cooking time.
  • I would rather use brown sugar as it works great in this recipe, but if you really want to substitute, a healthier alternative would be 1/3 cup of honey.
  • If you don’t have sesame oil on hand, you can make the recipe with canola or vegetable oil, but keep in mind that you will be missing the sesame flavor, it will still taste delicious.
  • Using fresh ginger will add amazing flavor to the dish, but if you don’t have any on hand, use 1 teaspoon of ground ginger powder.
  • You can add more or less garlic, based on your taste preference.
  • You can make this meal spicier by adding 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or more.
  • Cornstarch is a key ingredient in here, do not try to replace it with flour, the results will not be the same.
  • Also, when it comes to adding the cornstarch, you have to mix it with water until dissolved and add the slurry to the Instant Pot at the end to thicken the sauce. Do NOT add the cornstarch by itself to the Pressure Cooker, it will make the sauce full of lumps.
  • If the sauce is too runny after adding the slurry, mix another 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch with the same amount of water and add it to the Instant Pot. Please note, that the sauce will get thicker with time, so definitely wait a bit before adding more cornstarch.
  • Use a 10 Minute Natural Release, otherwise, the chicken will be tougher due to the quick change in pressure.

How to make Sticky Garlic Sesame Chicken on the Stovetop?

If you want to try this Asian inspired recipe the traditional stovetop way, then follow the steps below:

  • Prepare and Brown the Chicken: Start by heating a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Then, cut the poultry breasts into about 1-inch pieces.  Next, coat the meat by adding the flour, pepper, and red pepper flakes to a large ziplock bag. Give it a nice shake to evenly and properly coat the meat. Then, add it to the skillet and allow it to brown for about 4-5 minutes on each side.
  • Make the Sauce: In a separate bowl, add soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. Mix everything well. Once properly mixed, add the sauce to the browned chicken. Turn heat to low, and stir the meat to evenly coat it. The sauce will become thicker as it cooks more. Therefore, ensure to stir it, and once the desired thickness is reached, turn off the heat. 
  • Serve: I like serving it over white coconut rice, and to add some sesame seeds and chopped green onions. 

Can Sesame Chicken be made in your Crockpot?

This dish can also be made in your Crockpot or in the Instant Pot using the Slow Cooker function. Add browned chicken to the Slow Cooker, add the mixture except for the cornstarch slurry. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. The full Crockpot recipe can be found by clicking on this link

Make the cornstarch slurry, gently stir it in and cook on high for 20 more minutes. Serve and enjoy! The recipe for it can be found here Slow Cooker Garlic Sesame Chicken.

Easy Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Chicken

What to Serve with Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Chicken?

Can you freeze Garlic Sesame Chicken?

Yes, this dish can easily be frozen. Let the sauce from Instant Pot cool completely before freezing. Transfer into freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags and add the chicken. Label with the date, and freeze for up to 3-4 months, or longer if you use a deep freezer.

How do you thaw Garlic Sesame Chicken?

Transfer the frozen meal to your refrigerator the night before you wish to use it to allow it to thaw. Add the sauce to a saucepan and reheat it to at least 165 F before you consume it. Microwave the chicken or heat it up in the sauce, you can also put it in a hot oven until it warms up.

What is a 10 Minutes Natural Pressure Release?

A Natural Pressure Release means that the pressure is released gradually. For a Natural Pressure Release, you click on Keep Warm, and wait 10 minutes, after which you open the valve and let any leftover pressure to release. Another option is to Turn Off/Unplug the pressure cooker, wait 10 minutes and after that open the valve.

A natural release is usually used when cooking soups, meat in a large amount of sauce, pasta or steel cut oats. This method prevents any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.

Tools used to make this recipe:

  • Instant Pot – I use it all the time, I have the 6 quarts one. It makes weeknight meals so much easier.
  • Cornstarch – I prefer using cornstarch instead of flour to thicken sauces, and this organic brand is my favorite.

Save Recipe
4.95 from 20 reviews
Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Chicken
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Total time: 35 mins

Ingredients

Dump & Cook:

  • 2 lbs  boneless and skinless chicken thighs  (cut into 1-2 inch pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons  sesame oil 
  • 1/4 cup  low sodium soy sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon  minced garlic 
  • 1 tablespoon  ginger  (grated)
  • 1/3 cup  brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup  low sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 tablespoon  rice vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup  water 
  • 1/4 teaspoon  red pepper flakes 

Cornstarch Slurry:

  • 2 tablespoons  water 
  • 2 tablespoons  cornstarch 

Garnish:

  • 2  green onions  (sliced)
  •  Sesame seeds 

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients from the "Dump & Cook" section to the Instant Pot: chicken, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and chicken broth and water.
  2. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  3. Close lid, make sure the pressure cooker is sealed. Set up the pressure Cooker to cook on High Pressure for 5 minutes.

  4. Use a 10 minute Natural Release. Turn off the heat. Release the remaining pressure. Open the lid.
  5. Select the Sauté function, on LOW.
  6. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water, whisk until well combined with no lumps.
  7. Add the mixture to the Instant Pot and gently stir to combine. Cook on Sauté function for a few more minutes, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  8. If you want the sauce even thicker, mix one more tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of juice and add it to the pressure cooker.
  9. Let the chicken stand for 5-7 minutes, the sauce will thicken more.
  10. Serve over rice and garnish with fresh chopped green onions and sesame seeds.
0 Calories: 291 Carbohydrates: 16 Protein: 30 Fat: 11 Saturated Fat: 2 Cholesterol: 143 Sodium: 501 Potassium: 433 Fiber: 0 Sugar: 12 Vitamin A: 100 Vitamin C: 1.2 Calcium: 31 Iron: 1.6
Save Recipe

Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Chicken is one of the easiest dump and cook meals, that is very tasty and flavorful and ready in just 30 minutes.

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Comments

Leave a reply

Amanda

I've finally started using my IP, and I can't wait to try this one!

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Melanie | Melanie Makes

Love that you've made a favorite take out staple so easy to make at home!

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Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

Looks so incredible! Gotta try this menu!

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Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

That looks so good, I want this for lunch!

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Katerina @ diethood .com

Wow!! This looks terrific!! My family would really enjoy it!!

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Chrissie

I love everything about this recipe. Simple, yummy, and perfect for the family!

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Sandra | A Dash of Sanity

It looks like a new favorite for weeknights! Adding this to my list!

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julie

what modification on cook time would need yo be made if using full bone in thighs?

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I do 15 minutes for about 1.5 lbs.

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Roberta

This was very good!! Have you cooked from frozen? If so how long?

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Glad that you liked it. If you slice the frozen chicken breast you can do 10 mins on HP with a 10 mins NPR.

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Juliane Wonsul

Has anyone done this in an 8 qt POT? How much extra fluid, if any, was needed?

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Kurt

I made it! Super easy and soooooooo good!!!

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kevin green

Do I have to cook it longer if I double or triple to recipe?

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no

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Does it fit doubles or tripled in the 6 qt. Pot? I'm having a hard time figuring out which recipes I can double

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kin

is it 1/2 pinch pieces or 1 to 2 inch pieces of chicken

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1 - 2 inch, sorry

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Tiffany

I’m new to the instant pot. This was so yummy, even my two picky eaters asked me to make it again. Chicken was really tender and sauce wasn’t overpowering just a nice flavor. I paired it with rice (noodles for one of my kids) and green beans, perfect weeknight meal. Thank you!

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Hi Tiffany, thank you for the feedback, I am happy that your family liked it :)

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Brandi

I’m relatively new to the Instant Pot and have had a few unfortunate fails lately.  Luckily that wasn’t the case with this recipe!!!  Easy, quick and delicious—this dish will be joining my family’s weeknight rotation.  Thank you for the great recipe!

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Kristen

What if you half the recipe? Does that impact cooking time at all?

Reply

cooking time stays the same

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Jessie

Hi there! I just want to let you know that I'm having difficulty "pinning" this recipe on pinterest. No matter how I do it (my browser pin button, searching pinterest, your pin button under the recipe), Pinterest continues to block your link and says it may be spam. Just FYI! It could be my computer, but it seems to be Pinterest that's blocking it.

Reply

I know, and thank you for letting me know, I had Pinterest issues for a few weeks.

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Tresa

Delicious! Smells soooooo good cooking, my husband kept walking through the kitchen to see if it was ready. Thanks for a great and easy recipe!

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Alvin Ist

This is just perfect super easy and delicious can’t complain!!!

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Carol

What would cooking time, on high, be for boneless chicken breasts cut into one inch pieces? Also, Could I use white wine vinegar and peanut oil instead of rice vinegar and sesame oil or would that change the flavour too much? Thanks!

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Carol

If I use boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into one inch cubes, how long should I cook it for on high? Also, can I use white wine vinegar instead of rice vinegar, and peanut oil instead of sesame oil, or will it change the flavour too much? Thanks!

Reply

5 minutes on High, skip the white vinegar, you can use canola oil, but it wont have that sesame flavor.

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Stacy Wilson

This is one of the BEST recipes for IP that I’ve found so far!!  Made it for lunch today, and it was delicious ? My husband says it’s one of his favorites, by far.  

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happy that you loved it, and thank you for the feedback!

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Nicole

I am brand new to instant pot and was eager to cook some protein.  This was fantastic.  I did not use a real packed cup of brown sugar because I’m not a huge fan of sweet things.   But this absolutely delicious.  I did add some onion in the beginning and added broccoli during the sauté part.  So great. 

Reply

Hi Nicole, I am so happy that you liked it! Thank you for the feedback!

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Shanna

Can you cook the rice at the same time, I’m thinking pot in pot on a rack over the meat ???

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Yes! Totally! Please check my recipe for Mongolian Chicken, it has a video that shows how I cook the rice. Same can be applied to this recipe.

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Linda

I probably missed it, but how many servings is this

Reply

about 4-6 servings

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April Kucera

How long if my thighs are frozen? Thanks!

Reply

10 minutes.

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jodie manasco

can I use apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar which I don't have

Reply

just use some white wine or skip it.

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Emily

If i double the recipe, how long do I cook it?

Reply

same time, as long as you cut the chicken into 1-2 inch pieces as required.

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A Hoffman

Hi there! Do I use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar? Thanks in advance! 

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both will work so whatever you have on hand.

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Sharon T

I have to say this was absolutely delish!  Family devoured it!  Had a nice flavor, no one ingredient was too overpowering. I used only 1/4 cup of unpacked brown sugar and diced chicken breast, sautéed them in the pot first with a little salt and garlic powder then threw the sauce in and cooked it for 5 minutes.  It was amazing, chicken came out tender and juicy (which can sometimes be hard with breast meat), paired it with jasmine rice and some garlic green beans.  Definitely a keeper!  Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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Thank you for the feedback Sharon :) I am very happy that you liked it!

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Kim

Looking forward to trying this! Is there anyway to cook rice in the IP at the same time? I love these recipes but the rice takes sooooo long to cook 

Reply

Yes, you can, check my Mongolian Chicken for directions :)

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carol

i Tried your orange chicken and it was amazing! I am going to try the sesame chicken next and wondered why the orange chicken needed to be sauteed and not the sesame chicken? Should I sautee it like I did with the orange chicken?Thanks! Carol

Reply

The Orange Chicken can also be made without sautéing the chicken. I made the Sesame Chicken to be super easy, kind of dump and cook method. You can sauté it if you prefer so. Thank you for trying my recipes and I am very happy that you liked the Orange Chicken.

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Megan McCollom

I made this for my family for dinner tonight and it was awesome!! The chicken was so tender and it had great flavor too! This was also my first time using my Instant Pot, the recipe was easy enough to follow and it turned out great! We also added some crunchy chow mien noodles to give it a little more texture.

Reply

so happy that you loved it

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dbinmpls

OMG This is SO SO SO good. Followed the recipe exactly except for adding the 1/2 teaspoon of pepper flaks which was the perfect amount of heat. Will definitely, DEFINITELY be making again!!! Thank you!!!

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Brandy

Can you combine the chicken(raw) and the sauce in a freezer bag and freeze? Then thaw out and cook it in the IP? If so, any tips?

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yes, just use the recipe for the sauce, combine and freeze. It will be amazing from marinating :)

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Cassidy

Do you know if I can use sesame seed oil instead or is there any difference? 

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no difference :)

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Kelly

Hello if I double this recipe do I double the sauce and cook time.

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you can double as its delicious

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Lisa

Have you ever made this as a freezer meal? Looking for freezer meals and this sounds delicious!

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Yes we did, and it works out pretty well! Thanks for stopping by!

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Billie

This recipe was so good.  I used chicken breasts.  I also used fresh ginger as suggested and it makes a difference.  I will definitely make this again.  Thank you!

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Karrie

I love all the additional notes you provided! As a beginner at cooking, these helped me so much!!!

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Ashley

Can you do veggies in this or will they turn to mush?  Thinking carrots, baby corn, water chestnuts and snap peas.  I want to cook the rice at the same time as well, should I cook the meat and rice and then remove the rice and add the veg?

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the carrots, baby corn and water chestnuts will work well. The Snap peas - I would add them at the end on Sautés for a few minutes.

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Crystalline

Wanted to finally stop by and thank you, Catalina, for your site---especially this recipe. As one of the first recipes we stumbled across when we bought our InstantPot, we lucked out with the delicious combination of flavors, as well as your clear, easy to follow instructions. This remains the favorite IP meal of both myself & my husband, and we make it at least three times a month, often as a double batch. :)We do add a little onion powder to the sauce, since we normally don't have scallions on hand, as well as a dash or two of fish sauce, but the recipe is wonderful 'as is.' Thank you again for sharing!

Reply

Thank you Crystalline for the kind message, it made me very happy :)

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