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Instant Pot General Tso Chicken

Skip the takeout tonight and make this Instant Pot General Tso Chicken right at home. The flavor is immaculate and you’ll never want to order out again. 

It’s so nice to go out to eat, but sometimes you want to stay in. A lot of times what keeps us from making our favorite takeout food is that we are intimidated by it.

Making this Instant Pot General Tso’s Chicken is actually easier than I ever thought possible. You’ll be impressing your friends and family in no time by making this dish. 

Instant Pot General Tso Chicken: Your New Weeknight Favorite!

Hey, Instant Pot lovers and chicken enthusiasts! If you’ve got a thing for that classic Chinese-American dish, General Tso’s Chicken, then you’re in for a treat. Imagine tender chunks of chicken enveloped in a rich, spicy-sweet sauce, all cooked to perfection in your Instant Pot. It’s so good, you won’t believe it didn’t come from a takeout box.


Do I have to use chicken breast?

Nope! You can use chicken thighs for a juicier texture if you prefer.

Is the dish spicy?

The red pepper flakes add a kick, but you can adjust the amount to your liking.

What if I don’t have hoisin sauce?

You can substitute with an equal amount of oyster sauce or even barbecue sauce for a different flavor profile.

Instant Pot General Tso Chicken Tips

If you’ve never used your Instant Pot before for cooking, this recipe is going to be perfect for you. I want to share some tips for making this recipe in the Instant Pot, so hopefully, it makes your life a little easier. 

Don’t add the cornstarch and water in the beginning. This will come later in the recipe to make everything nice and thick and delicious. 

Cut Uniform Pieces: Make sure the chicken is cut into uniform bite-sized pieces for even cooking.

Quick Release: Use the quick-release method on your Instant Pot to avoid overcooking the chicken.

Sauce Thickness: If you want a thicker sauce, you can double the cornstarch-water mixture.


Vegetarian: Use tofu cubes instead of chicken.

Low-Sugar: Replace honey and brown sugar with a sugar substitute like stevia.

Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free soy sauce and check your hoisin sauce for gluten content.

Where to Serve

Serve it over steamed rice for a comforting dinner, or with steamed veggies for a healthier option. It’s also a hit at potlucks and parties!

Make sure the valve on the Instant Pot is set to sealing. This is an important step to making sure your Instant Pot cooks right.


Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop.

Common Problems and How to Avoid Them

Overcooked Chicken: Make sure to quick release the pressure to prevent overcooking.

Watery Sauce: If the sauce is too thin, remove the chicken after cooking and simmer the sauce until it thickens.

Lack of Flavor: Double-check your soy sauce and hoisin sauce measurements. These are key for a flavorful dish.

Tips for Making This Recipe with Kids

Safety First: Let adults handle the Instant Pot and the hot ingredients like red pepper flakes.

Measuring Fun: Kids can help measure out the soy sauce, honey, and other ingredients.

Stirring: Once the Instant Pot is safe to open, kids can help stir in the cornstarch mixture to thicken the sauce.

Ingredients For Instant Pot General Tso Chicken

  • boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed into bite-sized pieces
  • soy sauce
  • honey
  • brown sugar
  • garlic powder
  • ground ginger
  • rice vinegar
  • red pepper flakes
  • tomato paste
  • hoisin sauce
  • cornstarch
  • water

Why Each Ingredient is Needed

Chicken Breast: The star of the dish, providing protein and substance.

Soy Sauce: Adds the umami, salty depth to the sauce.

Honey & Brown Sugar: These provide the signature sweetness in General Tso’s Chicken.

Garlic Powder & Ground Ginger: Adds aromatic flavors without needing fresh ingredients.

Rice Vinegar: Balances out the sweetness and adds a tangy zing.

Red Pepper Flakes: For that hint of spiciness.

Tomato Paste: Adds a rich, tangy undertone to the sauce.

Hoisin Sauce: Offers complexity and sweetness, making the sauce multidimensional.

Cornstarch & Water: These create a slurry to thicken the sauce, making it cling to the chicken.

Do not forget that you have a keep warm setting on your Instant Pot. You can keep your food warm after you’re done! One of my favorite features, to be honest.

After you have made this Instant Pot General Tso’s Chicken, you can serve it with your favorite side dish. I love enjoying it with egg rolls and white rice. You may find that you enjoy it with other side dishes and that is okay.

If you decide to make this Instant Pot General Tso’s Chicken, let me know what you think in the comment section. Once you start making this dish at home, your family is going to start asking for it a lot. I don’t mind because it’s one of my favorite dishes too! 

The blend of these ingredients creates an amazing balance of flavors and textures, making this Instant Pot General Tso Chicken a must-try dish. You get the sweetness, the spice, the umami—all enveloping tender pieces of chicken that absorb the sauce like a sponge. And the best part? It’s quick and easy, perfect for weeknight dinners or last-minute gatherings. Happy cooking!

What are some other amazing Instant Pot recipes to try?

Instant Pot General Tso Chicken
Yield: 6-8 servings

Instant Pot General Tso Chicken

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

This Instant Pot General Tso Chicken is perfect for nights when you want a familiar taste without the takeout bill!


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed into bite-sized pieces
  • 1⁄4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Place all of the ingredients into the electric pressure cooker EXCEPT the cornstarch and water. Stir well to mix.
  2. Close the lid and set the valve to sealing. Program the electric pressure cooker with the “manual” or “pressure cook” setting for 6 minutes.
  3. After the cooking cycle has completed, wait for the pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes before doing a quick release of the remaining pressure.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the electric pressure cooker but keep warm. Press to cancel the “keep warm” setting and program to “saute.”
  5. Combine the cornstarch and water. Then, pour the mixture over the sauce and stir. Cook for about 2 minutes or until thickened.Return the chicken to the electric pressure cooker and toss in the sauce.
  6. Garnish with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds if desired.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 234Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 97mgSodium 589mgCarbohydrates 11gFiber 0gSugar 8gProtein 36g

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If you liked this Instant Pot General Tso Chicken be sure to check out these fun Instant Pot Recipes!

Instant Pot Beef Tomato Pasta Soup

Instant Pot Taco Stuffed Baked Potatoes

20 Easy Instant Pot Recipes For Thanksgiving

Easy Instant Pot Fettuccini Bolognese Recipe

The Best Instant Pot Appetizers For Your Next Party

Charles Molock

Saturday 18th of March 2023

Can thse recipes be done ok in a crock pot

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