With a perfect spicy, sweet and sour hint, make this easy Instant Pot General Tso Chicken in less than 20 minutes. A quick, healthy and gluten free dinner you will be hooked to. You have to try it out! Serve with hot steamed rice and this delicious Chinese meal will be your forever favorite. It's so addictive!
What is General Tso's Chicken?
Okay! So, seeing the name of this dish, I am sure you must be wondering about the name and it's origin. Well, let me tell you a bit about the dish.
It is a popular American Chinese dish which was named after a well known war figure Zuo Zongtang - ''General Tso''. He was a military leader from Qing's dynasty from Hunan province.
However, this General Tso chicken is the invention of Hunan cuisine chef Peng Chang-Kuei. He migrated to New York in 1970s and created this sticky spicy sweet chicken to adapt to the U.S palate.
Henry Kissinger, the American State Secretary brought fame to this dish. Thus, Chef Peng's creation is now popular not only in US but also across the sphere.
So, General Tso's chicken recipe is basically deep fried sweet and sour chicken dish tossed in General Tso Sauce and served over rice.
Why you will love this recipe?
We all try to find out various ways to cook healthy meals that is fast, easy and delicious. This is one such recipe which will definitely win your hearts.
Instant Pot General Tso Chicken Recipe is the healthier version, it's light and less on calories. In fact, there's no need of deep frying the meat pieces here.
Tender melt in mouth chicken cubes in garlicky spicy and sweet sauce when eaten with rice, will be a huge hit in your home. It is so easy and quick, you just need to dump things and instant pot does all the work in less than 20 minutes.
The thick sauce coated melt in mouth chicken chunks is full of flavors, it's so fascinating! Without a doubt, it is one of the best better than take out Instant pot chicken recipe. The sauce has all the flavors in it - it's spicy, salty, sweet, tangy and loaded with umami flavor.
Creating restaurant style Chinese dishes in Instant Pot pressure cooker is a boon. As it is healthy, easy, saves money, and takes so much less for your time.
And you know very well what all things are going into that dish. Now, isn't that the best part?
And, who wouldn't want to imitate such better than take out Chinese recipe at home? That too, the healthier, tastier and the easiest version! 🙂
This Instant Pot General Tso Chicken is:
- Economical, easy and takes only 20 minutes.
- One pot dump and cook. No more many dishes in line to clean!
- is versatile as you can even whip it up using frozen chicken. You just don't need to thaw it if you are in hurry. If so, increase the time and pressure cook it for 10-11 minutes.
- Gluten free.
- A great quick meal option for weeknights or weekend dinners for family and guests.
- A delicious lean protein dish with awesome flavors.
So, let's move ahead and get into the cooking!
Chicken: I have used chicken breast cubes. You can use chicken thighs, if you like. Just that increase 1 minute of pressure cooking time if using thighs.
Soy Sauce / Tamari: I have used gluten free Tamari here, you can use low sodium soy sauce instead. Try adding a bit of dark soy sauce along with low sodium soy sauce for intense umami flavor.
For sweetness : Either honey or brown sugar, any of them works great.
Spices and aromatics: As there should be nice spicy kick to the dish, I have added dried red chilies, red pepper flakes as well as a bit of chilli powder. You are free to skip red chilli powder.
Lots of grated ginger and grated garlic is a thing for me! I love gingery and garlicky kick in Chinese dishes.
Rice Vinegar: It adds tangy element in this Instant Pot General Tso Chicken Recipe.
You don't have one? No worries! substitute it with apple cider vinegar. Yeah, at times, I do the same when I am short off rice vinegar.
Hoisin Sauce: A must in this recipe! I have used my homemade gluten free version of hoisin sauce here.
Cornstarch : We will be needing it to make slurry out of it using water.
The other ingredients: Salt and pepper, low sodium chicken stock. You can surely skip on chicken stock, if you wish. But, it adds tonnes of flavor to this recipe.
Trust me, once you make this dish at home, you will stop ordering or picking it up from your favorite Chinese joint.
Step by step instructions
To begin with, place the steel insert in the Instant pot and switch on the sauté function.
Once the Ip displays 'Hot', heat oil. Add dried red chili and fry for 30 seconds.
Then, add chicken cubes and just mix it once so that chicken mixes with flavored oil.
Add the rest of the ingredients except cornstarch and water. Give it a mix.
Now, close and seal the IP lid, pressure cook on 'High' for 5 minutes.
Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the IP to naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes.
Then, do the quick release, carefully unlock the Instant Pot and remove the lid. Keep the lid aside.
Switch on the sauté function again. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water to make the slurry.
Add the slurry in the chicken, stir and cook for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Turn off the IP, dish out and serve with rice.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, indeed! So, to make it in slow cooker, add all the ingredients in the pot and give it a mix.
Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Then, make slurry of cornflour , add, mx and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
The answer is yes! In fact, it will turn out great on stove top in pan.
All you need to do is sauté chicken pieces well in oil for 3-4 minutes. Then, add sauce, mix and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Finally add in the slurry and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Dish out and serve.
Place the leftovers in clean airtight box and keep it in the fridge. It stays well up to 4 days.
Yes, it freezes very well in clean airtight freezer safe box for upto 2 months.
Before serving, thaw it well in the fridge, reheat and serve.
In fact, what you can do is, combine all the ingredients in a bowl except cornstarch. You can skip the dried chilies here, but do add the sesame oil to the marinade.
Put the marinated chicken in box or ziplock and freeze. It stays well upto 4 months.
Whenever you wish make it, dump the frozen marinated chicken in the IP and pressure cook for 10 minutes. Add cornstarch slurry, stir, cook to thicken the sauce, dish out and serve.
How to serve it?
This General Tso Chicken is best served over a bed of steamed rice. Or serve it along with fried rice or noodles.
If you made my recipe for General Tso's Chicken in the instant pot pressure cooker, please be sure to rate and review it below! You can also get all of my newest content delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for my email newsletter. If you'd like more deliciously easy recipe inspiration, follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or YouTube.
Instant Pot General Tso Chicken Recipe
- 1½ lbs Chicken Breast or Thighs ( cut in 1.5 inches cubes)
- 1½ tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 3 - 4 Dried Red Chillies
- 2 teaspoons Garlic
- 2 teaspoons Ginger
- 2 tablespoons Honey
- ½ teaspoon Chilli Flakes
- ¼ teaspoon Red Chili Powder
- 2 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
- ¼ cup Tamari or Soy Sauce (low sodium)
- 2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- ¼ cup Chicken Stock
- Salt and Pepper
- 1½ tablespoons Cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons Water
- Sesame Seeds
- Green Onions (chopped)
- Place the steel insert in the Instant pot and switch on the sauté function. Once the Ip displays 'Hot', heat oil.
- Add dried red chili and fry for 30 seconds.
- Then, add chicken cubes and just mix it once so that chicken mixes with flavored oil.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except cornstarch and water. Give it a mix.
- Now, close and seal the instant pot, pressure cook on 'High' for 5 minutes.
- Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the IP to naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes.
- Then, do the quick release, carefully unlock the instant pot and remove the lid. Keep the lid aside.
- Switch on the sauté function again. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water to make the slurry.
- Add the slurry in the chicken, stir and cook for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Turn off the IP, dish out and serve with rice.
is the red chili powder, the cayenne pepper or actual chili powder used in tacos?
It's the actual chili powder which i have used here. You can use any of these (chili powder or cayenne) or you can also skip it if you wish to.
“6. Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the IP to naturally release the pressure for minutes.“
As per point 6 of your recipe(see above) can you please clarify how many minutes to naturally release the pressure?
Thanks for bringing this to notice, it is 5 minutes Natural pressure release. Have done the corrections. 🙂