This Instant Pot General Tso's Chicken is a delicious alternative to takeout – you still get all the flavours of Chinese food that you crave but it's made in one pot with ingredients found in your pantry for a healthier twist!
How to make this recipe
In a large bowl, mix chicken and cornstarch together. Meanwhile, preheat Instant Pot on saute mode and cook rice according to package directions in a rice cooker.
Mix hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil and garlic together in a small bowl.
Add vegetable oil to Instant Pot and saute chicken until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add sauce and red peppers, then cook another 3-4 minutes until peppers are tender and chicken is heated through.
Top rice with chicken and peppers, then garnish with green onions, sesame seeds and chili flakes. Serve and enjoy!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Cornstarch – Cornstarch is used to thicken the sauce. If cornstarch isn't available to you can always use potato starch or rice flour.
- Chicken breasts – Chicken breasts are the leaner option but diced chicken thighs would be a great alternative.
- Hoisin sauce – Sweet soy sauce, known as kecap manis, matches hoisin sauce closely in taste and texture but garlic teriyaki, oyster sauce or bean paste are other substitution options. Note: Oyster sauce will change the flavour palette slightly.
- Soy sauce – Tamari, fish sauce or coconut aminos can be used in place of soy sauce.
- Brown sugar – If you only have white sugar, add 2 tsps of molasses to every cup to create the same effect.
- Rice vinegar – Apple cider vinegar or champagne vinegar are good alternatives.
- Sesame oil – Sesame oil will add a nutty taste to your dish, so any nut oil will work in replacement, but try to use sesame oil!
- Garlic – Fresh garlic or jarred minced garlic.
- Vegetable oil – Sunflower oil, olive oil, avocado oil are other options if you don't have vegetable oil on hand.
- Red pepper – If you don't like red bell peppers, use whichever colour you like!
- Green onion – If you aren't a fan of green onion you can leave this out.
- Sesame seeds (to garnish) – This is used as a garnish, feel free to leave this out based on your preferences.
- Chili flakes (to garnish) – This is used as a garnish, feel free to leave this out based on your preferences. If you would prefer to add heat a different way, Sriracha would pair nicely.
- Jasmine Rice – Jasmine rice has a specific taste and aroma but any long grain rice like basmati rice can be used instead.
Is General Tso's chicken spicy?
General Tso's is the perfect trifecta of sour, sweet and spicy. The main point of difference from General Tso versus a sweeter dish like Orange Chicken is that General Tso's offers a spicier finish thanks to the chili flakes. To make the dish spicier it is sometimes cooked with with red chili peppers to engulf that heat into every bite, so if you're a fan of heat this is something you can try!
Why make this in the Instant Pot?
Now, you may be wondering why make this in an Instant Pot instead of on the stove? Well, it's a great alternative to the traditional stovetop method. Cooking in an instant pot also is typically quicker and because it's made in one pot there is less clean up involved – talk about a win-win situation!
Storing and reheating
If you want to turn this delicious dinner into the next day's lunch then keep reading! Store each individual serving into an airtight container after it has fully cooled down. Once you've refrigerated your servings, if they are stored correctly, they will last 3-4 days in the fridge, which turns these yummy leftovers to a delicious meal prep dish.
When you're ready to eat your General Tso's chicken, take your individual serving out of the fridge and microwave for 1-2 minutes until warm. Once warmed up, you're ready to enjoy your meal!
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on packing this Instant Pot General Tso's Chicken up for lunch!
- The Instant Pot DUO Plus 60 is the version I use in this recipe.
- Restock your freezer with free-range chicken from Butcher Box!
More Asian-Inspired Dishes
Instant Pot General Tso's Chicken
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 4 medium-sized chicken breasts, diced (about 1 lb)
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- chili flakes, for garnish
- 2 cups cooked jasmine rice (about 1 cup dry, cooked according to package directions)
- In a large bowl, mix chicken and cornstarch together. Meanwhile, preheat Instant Pot on saute mode and cook rice according to package directions in a rice cooker.
- Mix hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil and garlic together in a small bowl.
- Add vegetable oil to Instant Pot and saute chicken until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add sauce and red peppers, then cook another 3-4 minutes until peppers are tender and chicken is heated through.
- Top rice with chicken and peppers, then garnish with green onions, sesame seeds and chili flakes. Serve and enjoy!