Healthy Instant Pot Orange Chicken

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

I have recently fallen back in love with Asian food. For years I was convinced all there was to Asian food was entirely fried Chinese takeout, smothered in sauce and served in little white boxes that landed me on the couch with a stomach ache. I've now learned I was so wrong!

I was missing out on all the authentic Asian dishes that are actually delicious and healthy and can be made with basic ingredients. The orange chicken I remember was thickly breaded and was basically 4 parts sauce and 1 part chicken. Well I have reworked that memory into an instant pot version using fresh basic ingredients.


Instant Pot Orange Chicken

6-8 servings | 30 minutes


Ingredients:

Chicken:

  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 1/2-2lbs chicken breast

  • 2 fresh oranges or 1 cup orange juice

  • 1/2 tbsp orange zest

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch

  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

Sides:

  • 1 1/2-2 cups dry jasmine rice or 6-8 servings cauliflower rice (see below for side suggestions)

  • Optional: 1/2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 600g broccoli florets


Directions:

  1. Dice the chicken into 1" chunks.

  2. Whisk together orange juice, orange zest, pepper, garlic powder, ginger, soy sauce and honey in a medium bowl.

  3. Heat instant pot on sauté setting. Add coconut oil to the instant pot.

  4. Once the oil melts and the pan is hot add diced chicken.

  5. Sear the chicken for about 5 minutes, tossing every minute or so until pieces have all been seared. This step may need to be completed in 2 batches.

  6. Turn off the sauté feature and pour the sauce mixture over the chicken.

  7. Close the lid and cook the chicken and sauce for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes turn it off and allow it to release naturally for another 5 minutes.

  8. Open the steam release valve and let any additional pressure release from the pot.

  9. Remove the chicken from the sauce using a slotted spoon and set aside.

  10. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and arrowroot starch.

  11. Turn the instant pot onto sauté and stir in the chicken broth and arrow root starch. Allow the mixture to boil for 8-10 minutes or until it thickens and reduces.

  12. Return the chicken to the instant pot and toss it in the sauce.



Side Tips & Tricks

  1. Serve the chicken alongside steamed broccoli or green beans and rice or quinoa.

  2. For a heartier meal: add 2 cups dry jasmine rice, 4 cups water or broth and 1/2 tbsp coconut oil to a pot. Bring it to a boil and lower to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove form heat and fluff with a fork.

  3. For a low carb option: Cook 6 servings of frozen cauliflower rice (1 1/2-2 bags) according to package, I usually just microwave mine. Cook 1/2 cup dry jasmine rice with 1 cup water and 1/2 tsp coconut oil as directed in step 2.

  4. For a SUPER low carb option: Cook 8 servings of frozen cauliflower rice (2- 2 1/2 bags) according to package, I usually just microwave mine.

I went with the heartier option for my boyfriend as he would be eating this for dinner. For me, I went with the low carb 3 parts cauliflower rice and 1 part jasmine rice because I made it for lunch and wanted a lighter side!

Nutrition facts provided for a serving of chicken and the 3 rice variations- hearty, low carb and super low carb!


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