Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice, is a a seriously easy, and seriously flavorful meal option, where the chicken is cooked in the same pot as the rice for a quick, low mess Chinese inspired dinner!
Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice
©Eazy Peazy Mealz by EazyPeazyMealz.com
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This sweet and sour chicken tastes like what you would get in a Chinese restaurant, but is so easy to make at home there is no reason to go out. I love using my instant pot, and even more so now that I have figured out that Pot In Pot method of cooking two things at once.
I was able to cook my rice and the sweet and sour chicken at the same time. Fluffy, delicious rice, and the sweet and sour chicken to serve over it. And all of it came together in under 30 minutes. With only 4 minutes of pressurized cooking time.
Honestly, the longest and hardest part of making this instant pot recipe is trimming and cutting the chicken up. Then you just saute it in the bottom of the pot, add the sauce, and cook! Then saute again to thicken the sauce and warm the pineapple!
Instant Pot Rice
Let’s chat about the rice for a minute. It is light, fluffy, and delicious. I especially love that it cooks in the same pot as the chicken. You just put the trivet into the pan, over the sweet and sour chicken, and the rice pot over the top. Then it cooks while the chicken cooks.
What do you cook the rice in? I bought a little 6 inch cake pan that is metal to cook the rice in, it is the perfect size for enough rice for my family. I found it at my local store, and it is working for now.
For the pot in pot method, the biggest thing is you need to have an oven safe dish. It could be a glass dish, just remember that it will be under pressure, so no nicks in it, or it could break. I prefer metal, but use what you have, it just needs to fit inside the instant pot liner.
You could also get these stainless steel stackable pots. They are made for the Instant Pot, and make it easy to cook veggies, eggs, rice, etc. in your pot. They are great for the pot in pot method, especially since they stack, making it easier to cook multiple things at the same time. But while I was waiting for mine to come, I found the little cake pan worked great.
We absolutely love sweet and sour chicken at our house, and I wanted to try it in the Instant Pot because I love having such a low mess dinner option. This meal is really easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken Tips
- I would definitely recommend using the chicken thighs over breasts, as they are going to cook perfectly while the sauce thickens. Breasts might dry out. But if you are in a pinch, you can use breasts.
- The added veggies are also important to note. I like to put my peppers in at the beginning because they get super soft and my kids eat them better. But if you do not want them too soft, you could add them at the end when you add the pineapple. Then just let them simmer on the saute function for a few minutes until they are softened.
- You could add the pineapple sooner, but I feel like it loses texture, so best to add it near the end.
- Be sure to “deglaze” the pan, and scrape anything off the bottom of the liner after sautéing the chicken, otherwise the pot might read “burn” and not come to pressure.
- Fluff the rice right after cooking, and cover while you finish the sauce.
Recommended Instant Pot Accessories:
- Egg Steamer Rack: Quickly make more hard boiled eggs (or soft boiled) than ever before, and without cracking.
- Additional Inner Pots: This one is a stainless steel one made for the 6 QT Instant Pot. I highly recommend this, especially if you want to make yogurt, or other foods that may need another liner for.
- Silicone Egg Bite Molds: Great for making those Starbucks coycat Sous Vide egg bites, or for making brownies, cakes, etc.
- Stackable steamer pots: Great for cooking pot in pot, cooking veggies, rice, etc.
- Tempered Glass lid: Great for making yogurt, or anything you don’t need the pot to actually come to pressure to cook.
- Colored Sealing Rings: One for sweet, one for savory so you don’t accidentally flavor your cheesecake like your Mexican Shredded Chicken.
- Steamer Basket: Great for cooking veggies, potatoes, etc. and has a silicone handle to make it easier to get out.
- Fat Diddio’s 7” Cheesecake Pan: Make your cheesecakes in a pan that actually fits into your Instant Pot.
Other instant pot recipes you might like:
- Instant Pot French Dip
- Mississippi Roast
- Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
- Beef Stroganoff cooked in Instant Pot
- Shredded Mexican Chicken
Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice
- 2 lbs. chicken thighs cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 ½ cups bell peppers red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, and orange bell peppers
- ½ cup red onions sliced
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
- 1/3 cup distilled apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbs soy sauce
- 1/2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 Tbs hot sauce
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 16 ounces basmati rice white
- 2 cups water
- 3 Tbs butter
- ¼ tsp salt
- Cut your chicken into pieces, and trim all the fat.
- Set the Instant Pot to Sauté function
- Add the olive oil and sesame oil to the inner pot to heat up.
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and ground ginger.
- Add the chicken to the inner pot once hot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, browning on all sides. Turn the Instant Pot to the off position.
- Meanwhile whisk all of the sauce ingredients together except the corn starch.
- Pour half the sauce over the chicken and stir to coat. Add peppers and onions.
- Place a trivet over the chicken in the instant pot.
- Rinse your rice well, until water runs clear. Then combine the rinsed rice, water, butter, and salt in an oven safe dish (metal, glass, or pot in pot) making sure it is only half way filled so the rice has room to expand.
- Place the rice filled dish on top of the trivet and close the Instant Pot lid, making sure the vent on top is in the sealed position.
- Press MANUAL and HIGH PRESSURE for 4 minutes.
- Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then use the quick release to finish releasing pressure.
- Carefully remove the rice and fluff with a fork, then cover with foil and set aside while you finish the chicken.
- Take the remaining half of the sauce, and add the cornstarch to it, and whisk it together really well.
- Turn Instant Pot to Sauté mode again, pour in the remaining sauce into a pot, the pineapple chunks, and stir until sauce thickens to the desired amount (about 3 to 4 minutes).
- Serve chicken over the rice and garnish with sliced green onions if desired. Enjoy!
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