Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken [VIDEO]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken is a flavorful, restaurant quality meal made simple and easy in your pressure cooker in just 30 minutes! Made with sweet pineapple and bell pepper, is the perfect weeknight dish to have.

Instant Pot recipes are a staple around here. We love making easy chicken meals in the Instant Pot like our most popular Orange Chicken Instant PotInstant Pot Chicken Wings and Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore.

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken is made with sweet pineapple and bell pepper and it tastes a hundred times better than takeout!

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

This Sweet and Sour Chicken is an amazing, restaurant quality dinner that you can easily make at home using your Instant Pot in just 30 minutes. The chicken is tender and juicy cooked with sweet pineapple and bell peppers.

It is coated in the most luxurious sweet and sour sauce. This Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken dinner is the perfect weeknight got-to meal. I also like the sweet and savory flavors that are combined here. With an Instant Pot in your kitchen and this recipe under your belt, forget about ordering takeout anymore. The homemade version tastes so much better!

WHY YOU WILL ENJOY THIS INSTANT POT SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN:

  • It is easy to make and it takes only around 30 minutes!
  • Only one pot to clean and that is the Instant Pot.
  • 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.

Easy Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken is made with sweet pineapple and bell pepper and it tastes a hundred times better than takeout!

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe Tips:

  • Use quality meat. I recommend organic chicken breasts or for more flavor, use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
  • Cornstarch is a key ingredient in here, do not try to replace it with flour. The results will not be the same.
  • When it comes to adding the cornstarch, I recommend to mix the cornstarch with pineapple juice until dissolved and add the slurry to the Instant Pot.
  • You can also taste and adjust the sugar in this recipe. However, I like it on the sweeter side, but you can use less.
  • If the sauce is too runny, mix another 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 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.
  • This recipe works well with canned pineapple chucks or fresh pineapple. Do not use frozen, as it will add extra water to the sauce.

Can Sweet and Sour Chicken be made in the Crock Pot?

This dish can also be made in the Crock Pot or in the Instant Pot using the Slow Cooker function. Add browned chicken to the Slow Cooker, add the rest of the ingredients except the cornstarch slurry. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Make the slurry, gently stir it in and cook on high for 20 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Follow Sweet and Savory Meals on Pinterest for more great recipes!

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

What is best to serve with Sweet and Sour Chicken?

  • White or Brown Rice
  • Vegetable such as broccoli, asparagus or bok choy
  • Noodles

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 for any foam from the dish to shoot out through the valve, which can happen during a Quick Pressure Release.

Tools/Ingredients I used to make the Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe:

  • Instant Pot – I use it all the time, either the Pressure Cooker function or the Slow Cooker function, I also like that I can just sauté / brown the meat and veggies directly in the pot using the Sauté function
  • Cornstarch – I prefer using cornstarch instead of flour to thicken sauces, and this organic brand is my favorite.

Watch Recipe Video:

Save Recipe
4.86 from 7 reviews
Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Total time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds  boneless/skinless chicken thighs  (cut into 1” chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons  canola oil 
  • 1 tablespoon  ginger  (minced)
  • 6  garlic cloves  (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon  red chili flakes 
  • 1/4 cup  ketchup 
  • 1/4 cup  apple cider vinegar 
  • 4 teaspoons  reduced sodium soy sauce 
  • 1/3 cup  white granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup  pineapple juice  (from the canned pineapple)
  • 1 10 ounces  can pineapple chunks  (reserve juice)
  • 1  red bell pepper  (cut into 1.5” chunks)

Cornstarch Slurry:

  • 2 tablespoons  cornstarch 
  • 4 tablespoons  pineapple juice 

Garnish:

  •  Red pepper flakes 
  •  Sesame Seeds 
  •  Green onions chopped 

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken into 2-3 inch chunks. I prefer to leave them a bit larger as the pressure cooker tends to make the chicken very moist and this helps to avoid breaking the chicken pieces.
  2. Heat up your pressure cooker: press Sauté -> click on the Adjust button -> select More to get the Sauté More function, which means that the food will be sautéed over medium-high heat. Wait for the Instant Pot indicator to read HOT.
  3. Add the oil to the hot Instant Pot, wait one minute for the oil to heat up and add the chicken. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring a few times. Cook until it just starts to get golden. This step can also be done on the stove if you want a more browned chicken, as the instant pot doesn't really brown the chicken too well.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot: ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and pineapple juice. Stir to combine.
  5. Add pineapple chucks and chopped bell pepper.
  6. Close lid, select the Poultry function and adjust the time to 5 minutes. If your IP is missing the poultry function, cook on Manual, select High Pressure and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Use a 10 minute Natural Release. Turn off the heat. Release the remaining pressure. Open the lid. Gently stir not to crush the chicken.

Cornstarch Slurry:

  1. Select again the Sauté function. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch with the juice, whisk until all combined with no lumps. Add the mixture to the Instant Pot and gently stir to combine. Cook on Sauté function for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. This way you can make the sauce thicker. You can add more if you want to make the sauce even thicker, please note that it thickens as it cools too.

  2. Turn off the Instant Pot and let the Sweet and Sour Chicken stand for 5-7 minutes, the sauce will thicken more.

  3. Serve over rice with broccoli and garnish with fresh chopped green onions, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds.
  4. Enjoy!
Calories: 408 Carbohydrates: 34 Protein: 34 Fat: 14 Saturated Fat: 2 Cholesterol: 161 Sodium: 462 Potassium: 622 Fiber: 0 Sugar: 25 Vitamin A: 1125 Vitamin C: 44.5 Calcium: 27 Iron: 1.9 g
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Comments

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Emily aka The Three Bite Rule

This looks so great and ideal for leftovers! I'm thinking it'll have to hit my table soon!

Reply

Mari

What can u replace the sugar with?

Reply

you can reduce it a bit, or replace with coconut sugar, but you need it for this recipe.

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Paula

You make it so simple! Love the colors!

Reply

thanks

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Jen

I'm ditching the take out menus and making this instead! I love all your tips and tricks to help me make it too. I feel like I can't go wrong. :)

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Dorothy Reinhold

This will be a huge hit at my house! Love my Instant Pot!

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Valerie | Valerie's Kitchen

I just used my new Instant Pot for the first time yesterday so this is recipe is coming at the perfect time for me. Looks like a great one to try next!

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Paula - bell'alimento

Absolutely obsessed with my IP! This sounds delish.

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Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

I am obsessed with my IP! I need to try this soon!

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Cathy @ Lemon Tree Dwelling

Total perfection! I can't wait to try this!

Reply

Christy Chennault

Recipe says make slurry with cornstarch and pineapple juice. But tips says orange juice. Which is best for this recipe

Reply

I used pineapple, sorry its a typo, I need to update :) but if you don't have pineapple juice on hand you can use orange juice.

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Dee

Made exactly as listed. Was bit lumpy but turned out great. Cooked for 45 mins at 375 but my oven cooks slower. Add butter and honey was great.

Reply

This is a recipe for Instant Pot, you made it in an oven?

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Laura

Made this tonight. I doubled the sauce ingredients. It’s fantastic! Thanks for the recipe.

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One tribe dallas

What size instant pot are you using ? I have a mini, and need to know be sure if I need to half this recipe

Reply

6 quarts.

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Rachel Diaz

No water you build the pressure??

Reply

you don't need water to build pressure, you need "liquid", in this recipe that comes from soy sauce, vinegar and pineapple juice.

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Tracy

AMAZING!!!! Can it be done in a slow cooker? I have a friend who does not have an IP.

Reply

Yes, about 3-4 hours on Low :)

Reply

Angela

I have pork out for dinner tonight that I am hoping to use for this recipe.. Would you need to adjust the cooking time or just swap the chicken for the pork? Thanks!

Reply

cook for 10 min on hp with 10 min npr

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I added marcino cherries to mine! Yummy!

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Diane McClain

Thank you so much! Hubs said its better than any he has ever eaten, including at restaurants! I will make again! I used boneless chicken breasts. Yummmmmmmm

Reply

Hi Diane, I am so happy that he enjoyed it :) thank you for the feedback!

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Katy

Can this recipe be used in an electric pressure cooker, I don't have an Instant Pot?

Reply

sure, Instant Pot is basically an electric pressure cooker.

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Laura

My fella loves this! I made it for him tonight using my brand new pressure cooker. He went back for 3rds! He said “well looks like we don’t have to get take out ever again!” 

Reply

Carey Chipps

If we double the amount of chicken do you double the entire recipe?

Reply

best to double

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Janice Hank

It's super bowl Sunday & we just finished eating this! My husband gave me an IP for Christmas & we've been making meals together (1st time in 30 years). This turned out delicious! Will definitely make again! Any ideas of optional additions? ie...carrots, edamame, little baby corn cobs?? Just to mix it up a bit

Reply

Yes!! You can add some carrots, baby corn cobs and edamame for sure. If you add snow peas, add them after you pressure cook, so they won't be too mushy, same with broccoli and sweet peas.

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Pam

I made this tonight for my very picky husband who ONLY eats this at Chinese restaurants. We both gave it rave reviews! I decreased the red pepper flakes a bit because I knew he wouldn't like that, then added them back in to my serving. Outstanding! Pinned on my board under "Must Make Again."

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Catalina Castravet

Sorry, I haven't tried it with frozen.

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Dee

This was fantastic. Made exactly as directed. Thank you so much!

Reply

Happy that you liked it!!

Reply

Sakura037

This was absolutely delicious!  I made it for my best friend and his family and everyone loved it!  I made it close to exactly as listed (used chicken breasts instead of thighs).  After reading comments, I may add cherries and use some orange juice for the slurry instead of more pineapple juice and see how that changes the flavor, but I’m hesitant since it was so good the first time!  Thank you for the successful meal!

Reply

Hello! Thank you for your review, glad you and your family loved it!

Reply

Tiffany

Dumb question- I don’t remove the chicken and veggies before I make the sauce right? Just add it on top and stir all together to cook?

Reply

Exactly!

Reply

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