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Instant Pot Orange Chicken (Panda Express Copycat)

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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!

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 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp oil

For the Sauce

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, dark brown
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tbsp ginger root
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • orange zest
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp 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 tbsp 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 tsp 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 tbsp of cornstarch and the 1 tbsp 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

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