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Instant Pot General Tso's Chicken over rice on a white plate
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4.15 from 7 votes

Instant Pot General Tso's Chicken

Spicy and sweet, Instant Pot General Tso’s Chicken is the Chinese takeout favorite made healthier and faster (!). Nothing fried here, but still plenty of the rich, flavorful sauce that makes General Tso’s Chicken so good. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 mins
Natural Release10 mins
Total Time24 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Chinese, fakeout takeout, instant pot, pot-in-pot
Servings: 4
Calories: 553kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $8.00


  • 6-quart Instant Pot / pressure cooker
  • Pressure cooker-safe metal trivet and bowl


Chicken and Sauce

  • cup Vegetable or Chicken Stock
  • cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Brown Sugar (light or dark)
  • 2 tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (this will provide a medium level of heat; feel free to add more, or adjust by adding more after cooking)
  • 1 ½ lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, chopped into cubes

Pot-in-Pot Rice

  • 1 ½ cups Long Grain Rice (Basmati rice works really well with this method)
  • 1 ½ cups Water

To Finish the Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Water
  • 10 oz Broccoli Florets (preferably steam-in-bag broccoli)
  • 1 tablespoon Chopped Green Onions / Scallions (optional)


  • In the bowl of the Instant Pot, combine all of the ingredients for Chicken and Sauce - stock, soy sauce, brown sugar, Hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, toasted sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and chicken. (Note: If you don't want to add the pot-in-pot rice, skip ahead to Step #5.)
  • Top the chicken and sauce with a 2” rack then with a 7-cup glass bowl. (Be sure that both the rack and bowl are approved for use in the Instant Pot.)
  • Rinse the rice well.
  • Fill the bowl with rice and 1 ½ cups water.
  • Close and lock the lid.
  • Set the steam valve to Sealing.
  • Cook on manual / high pressure for 6 minutes.
  • When done cooking, leave the machine on Warming (most machines automatically revert to this after cooking). Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. (Tip: I like to set a kitchen timer so that I don’t get distracted and forget.)
  • Manually release any remaining pressure.
  • Carefully remove the bowl of rice and rack and set aside, covered, to keep warm.
  • Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Turn on the Instant Pot’s saute function to Normal / Medium.
  • Whisk together 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch.
  • When sauce is simmering, pour water-cornstarch mixture into sauce. Simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Turn off saute function. Taste sauce. If you’d like it to be spicier, stir in some more red pepper flakes or some hot sauce.
  • Return chicken to pot and stir to combine.
  • Steam broccoli in the microwave.
  • Stir broccoli and green onion into chicken.
  • Serve chicken and sauce over rice.


Optional Pot-in-Pot Rice - Feel free to skip the pot-in-pot rice here. Just skip over the steps to add the trivet, bowl, and rice. Follow all other instructions (including cook time) as written.


Calories: 553kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1474mg | Potassium: 1005mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 582IU | Vitamin C: 66mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 2mg