I love learning new tips and tricks for the Instant Pot, and steaming this Sweet and Sour Chicken will knock your socks off! You can cook your rice and sweet and sour chicken at the same time in your pressure cooker all in under 30 minutes!
This is an easy and amazing dish to make; it will quickly become a weeknight favorite for you and your family. Chicken cooked to perfection, smothered in gooey sweet n sour sauce, and served over steamed rice – happiness in a bowl.
Skip the pricey takeout and make your favorite Chinese sweet and sour chicken at home. This is one dinner that is kid-friendly and the Instant Pot takes all the work out of it.
🍴 Why This Recipe Works
Dinner all in one – What I love about the pressure cooker is you can cook your chicken and rice all in your Instant Pot with the steamer pans. It simplifies cleanup.
Affordable – Cooking this dish at home instead of ordering takeout saves money. Plus, you will have a lot more than what you would if you ordered out.
Leftovers – Save leftover rice and chicken and reheat it for lunch the next day. It is just as good.
Kid-Friendly – This dish is kid-friendly. So serve this up with a side of steamed or roasted broccoli or any other vegetable for your child to get a wholesome dinner.
🍚 Equipment Needed
Stackable Steamer Insert Pans – This is my favorite Instant Pot accessory, hands-down! The two layers of steamer trays work perfect for this recipe as you can cook the rice and the sweet and sour chicken at the same time. This simple tool is such a time-saver!
In many cases, I will tell you that you don’t need to have this or that, but this steamer pan is AWESOME! Being able to cook various foods in the same pressure cooker at the same time is truly a game-changer.
Not only can you make foods like sweet and sour chicken and rice, but you can even use this pan for making desserts too. It’s super versatile, and you can use it for all sorts of recipes.
You’ll be smacking your lips when you catch a whiff of this amazing Instant Pot Chicken Recipe! Let’s talk about the main ingredients you will be needing:
Chicken: I recommend using boneless skinless chicken breast. If you don’t have any, you could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs, but the texture and flavor will be different.
Sweet and Sour Sauce: You can use any of your favorite brands and varieties of sweet and sour sauce. There aren’t any wrong answers here.
Cornstarch: When you combine the cornstarch and the other breading ingredients together, you will have the most delicious results every single time.
I love being able to make food like this in my Instant Pot. Not only are the flavors incredible, but it truly couldn’t be any easier.
Step One: Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes and add them to a Ziploc bag. Add in the salt and pepper.
Step Two: Crack the egg in a bowl and whisk it. Add milk and set aside for later.
Step Three: Add cornstarch to a separate bowl.
Step Four: Take a piece of chicken and dip it into the egg mixture, and then into the cornstarch. Make sure the chicken is well coated and place the coated pieces on a plate. Continue this process until all of the chicken is dipped.
Step Five: Turn on the sauté function on the Instant Pot and add one tablespoon of butter. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until the edges become crunchy.
Step Six: Remove the chicken and place it into the steamer pan. Drizzle with sweet and sour sauce and put the lid on.
Step Seven: Add rice, water and butter to the second steamer pan. Place the rice pan on top of the chicken and put both of the pans inside the sling.
Step Eight: Use a paper towel to wipe out the bottom of the Instant Pot pan, then add the trivet. Pour in ¼ cup of water and put the steamer pans into the Instant Pot.
Step Nine: Add the lid to the Instant Pot and make sure it is sealed. Turn it on manual for 20 minutes. Allow it to do a natural release of pressure.
Serving: Once the Instant Pot has completed the natural release, take the pans out carefully, fluff the rice, and add the chicken to a bed of rice and serve. Enjoy with some chopped onions on top.
💡 Expert Tips
Not only is this dish amazing for an easy weeknight dinner, but it is also delightful for meal prepping too.
- Make up as many batches as you want and then divide it into containers, so it’s ready to go for lunches throughout the week.
- We use microwavable plastic or glass containers with lids. Simply warm them up in the microwave for a few minutes until it’s hot.
- This recipe will last up to four days in the refrigerator.
There is always a way to meal prep a recipe! This one is no different!
- Cut up the chicken on a Sunday so you can quickly dip and sauté.
- Gather all ingredients, measure them out and put them on a tray so you can grab it and start cooking. I do this for almost every meal. This speeds up my weeknights to get dinner on the table at lightning speed.
Place the chicken and rice into individual serving containers and freeze. Then, take out what you need and let it thaw in the fridge. Warm it up in the microwave and serve.
This recipe will last 4-6 months in the freezer. It’s fantastic for making ahead and enjoying it whenever you need a fast meal. The Freezer Tips and Storage Chart will assist in how long each food item should be kept in the freezer.
Swap out the chicken for pork. It will require the same amount of cooking time and will have a fun and different flavor.
Substitute the sweet and sour sauce for another sauce, like Teriyaki. Another favorite of ours right now is Sweet Chili Sauce! That is amazing!
When cooking rice in the Instant Pot you will find that different varieties of rice will vary in how you cook them. So make sure you cook your rice long enough and the proper way.
You are more than welcome to add your pineapple in with the chicken if you want added sweetness. I have used drained canned pineapple that adds a fun sweetness.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 2 Chicken Breasts large, cubed
- 1 Egg
- 1 cup Milk
- 2 cups Cornstarch
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Pepper
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 bottle Sweet and Sour Sauce your favorite
- 1 cup Uncooked Rice
- Cube chicken and place in a plastic bag, sprinkle salt and pepper over chicken.
- Crack an egg in a bowl and whisk, place milk in bowl with egg and set aside.
- Add cornstarch in another bowl.
- Dip chicken in egg mixture and then dip in cornstarch, coating evenly over chicken. Place chicken on plate and set aside. Repeat until you have coated all of your cubed chicken.
- Tap the SAUTÉ setting on your instant pot and melt one tablespoon of butter, add chicken and sauté until the edges are crunchy.
- Remove chicken from instant pot and place it in the steamer pan
- Pour sweet n sour sauce over chicken and put the lid on top
- In the second steamer pan and the rice, two tablespoons of water, and one tablespoon of butter in pan and close lid. Place the rice pan on top of the chicken pan, put both pans in sling and set aside. Wipe out the bottom of the instant pot and add trivet, ¼ cup of water, and place pans in the instant pot.
- Seal the lid, and set the seal, then turn on manual for 20 minutes and let the instant pot release the steam naturally. Do not do a quick release.
- After your IP is finished cooking, remove the pans, fluff rice, and serve chicken and sauce over rice. Chopped green onions are optional.