Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken

Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken

Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken is the perfect dinner solution and it's easier and better than take out!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword instant pot recipes, kung pao chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 605kcal
Author Leigh Anne Wilkes


  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 chicken breasts boneless, skinless (approx 1.5 lbs), cut into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces.
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ginger minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 tsp cornstarch crockpot version only


  • Option 1: Mix together cornstarch, salt and pepper and place in bag or bowl.  Add in chicken and toss to coat.   Add oil to Instant Pot on saute and brown chicken.  Cook on manual, high pressure for 3 minutes.  Natural release for 15 minutes.  Open pot and Stir to loosen the bits of cornstarch stuck on bottom of pan from sauteing and turn pot onto saute to thicken up the sauce.  If it needs more thickening, add in  an additional 2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed into 1/4 cup water.  Add to mixture and stir on saute until thickened.
  • Option 2:  Add chicken directly to Instant Pot without coating in cornstarch or browning.  Mix together sauce, cover chicken with sauce. Cook on manual, high pressure for 3 minutes.  Natural release for 15 minutes.
  • To thicken sauce, combine 2 Tbsp cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and add into Instant Pot.  Turn onto saute and stir until sauce thickens.
  • Option 1 & 2:  Saute red pepper and zucchini in a frying pan with 1 Tbsp oil until desired tenderness.  Stir into finished chicken mixture and serve over rice.

Crock Pot Instructions

  • Place chicken in crockpot.
  • Mix together sauce ingredients and pour over chicken.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove chicken and strain remaining liquid.  Place in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  • Combine 4 tsp cornstarch and 4 tsp water, stir until smooth and combined  Add into hot sauce.  Stir to combine and stir until sauce thickens.
  • Pour sauce over chicken and then serve over rice.    Add sauteed veggies.


Calories: 605kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 2374mg | Potassium: 1142mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1120IU | Vitamin C: 49.4mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2.6mg