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Instant Pot Orange Chicken (Panda Express Copycat)

This Instant Pot Orange Chicken is a delicious copycat version of Panda Express.

Chinese Food in the Instant Pot

Yes, you can do that and it's really simple to do!  After sauteing the chicken in the Instant Pot, it's as easy as pouring ingredients into the liner and topping it off with orange juice.

After the Instant Pot comes to pressure, it only takes 5 minutes cooking time to get crispy on the outside chicken from the sauteing and tender in the center from using a pressure cooker.

I used my 6 qt Instant Pot to create this recipe, and it may differ if you use a larger pot.  Refer to your user manual to see if you need to increase the liquid.

Instant Pot Orange Chicken Panda Express Copycat with green onions and white rice on black plate.

Instant Pot Orange Chicken Panda Express Copycat

My family loves orange chicken but we don't have a Panda Express local to us.  Whenever we take a road trip or a vacation we always stop to eat at a Panda Express.

Like many recipes that I make, they're inspired by food that I love to eat in restaurants and this is no different.

Making this orange chicken in the Instant Pot just makes it easier and more flavorful!  It's so much easier to pressure cook instead of standing over the stove stirring the wok to make sure that it doesn't stick.

I absolutely love to use my pressure cooker for recipes like these!

Related: Instant Pot Minestrone Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)

Instant Pot Orange Chicken Panda Express Copycat with green onions and white rice on black plate.

Serving Orange Chicken for Dinner

When making this recipe, it's best to serve it immediately.  I have found any reheating will cause the cornstarch to gum up and it will lose its sticky texture.

So, if you're serving it for dinner, wait until dinner time to make it.  It's really quick in the Instant Pot!

📖 Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Orange Chicken (Panda Express Copycat)

Instant Pot Panda Express Orange Chicken Copycat with white rice on black plate with orange napkin and chopsticks

Panda Express Orange Chicken copycat made in the Instant Pot. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Saute Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


For Chicken

  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into bite size
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon oil

For the Sauce

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, dark brown
  • 1 ½ tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon ginger root
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • orange zest
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch



  1. Combine salt, black pepper, flour, and cornstarch together in a bowl.
  2. Crack the egg and pour into a bowl and stir. 
  3. Dip chicken into the egg wash and then toss the chicken into the cornstarch mixture to fully coat.
  4. Set Instant Pot to Saute and wait until the message reads "Hot."
  5. Pour the 2 tablespoon of oil into the Instant Pot and brown chicken on all sides until skin becomes crispy (about 2 minutes).
  6. Pour the sugars, rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh ginger root, garlic cloves, pepper flakes, and orange zest into the Instant Pot.
  7. Pour in the 1 cup of orange juice and 2 teaspoon of cornstarch.
  8. Use a spatula to remove anything sticking to the bottom of the Instant Pot liner.
  9. Close lid and set to Manual for 5 minutes.
  10. Quick release once the 5 minutes is up.
  11. In a small bowl, mix together the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and the 1 tablespoon of orange juice to create a slurry.
  12. Pour into Instant Pot, set the Instant Pot to saute and let the orange chicken cook for about 2-3 minutes.  Stir to ensure it does not stick. 


This recipe is best to make right before you eat it -  if reheated, it loses the stickiness and the cornstarch will gum up. 

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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Instant Pot Orange Chicken Panda Express Copycat with green onions and white rice on black plate.
Instant Pot Copycat Panda Express Orange Chicken 1


Friday 25th of February 2022

Very good! Next time I cook it I think I will lessen the sugar. It’s very sweet and I do love sweets! Mine was very liquidy and not crisp but that’s probably my error!


Monday 28th of February 2022

I'm glad you like the recipe! Pressure cookers retain any liquid so a little cornstarch and water mixed together and added to the pot after it's done pressure cooking will help thicken up the sauce a bit. :)


Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Made this tonight with a side of Spanish yellow rice. I loved it! Mine didn’t say burn. Depends on the instant pot. Those of you that had the burn issue, add extra orange juice. I did not put cornstarch in the “sauce” ingredients. You don’t have to worry that you have too much liquid. You can always thicken it up at the end using the sauté feature. Try it again. It’s worth a second try.


Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Rice wine or rice vinegar? If rice wine what brand I’m having trouble finding.


Wednesday 8th of January 2020

You can use them interchangeably. I have the Nakano brand. Hope that helps!


Sunday 5th of January 2020

This is so delicious. My favorite instant pot recipe yet. I will def be making it again. I wouldn’t change a thing, except I wish I made more :)


Monday 6th of January 2020

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the feedback :)


Sunday 5th of January 2020

Not really a big fan. Followed the directions exactly and came out with a mush product. Taste was right but the texture was AWFUL. Not sure 2 minutes browning in oil is enough time for the batter to adhere in the instantpot. Unfortunately, was not a crowd pleaser and family choose an alternate dinner after first bite. Bummed.

mary sue

Thursday 9th of January 2020

I had to cook the chicken longer to brown it, and in 2 loads. It was great for flavor and consistency but next time I'll brown the chicken on the stove top in my cast iron skillet in 2-3 loads (or split between the 2) then finish in the instant pot. I'm also going to try reducing the sugar, as much as we loved the flavor I think we can cut the sugar and still be happy. Thanks for a great recipe!

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