I have only owned my Instant Pot for a short amount of time and this is the first recipe that I am sharing on our blog that is for the Instant Pot (even though my sisters have been sharing tons of Instant Pot recipes!).
Up until this point, I have been the slow cooker queen (that is a self-given title) and have posted over 150 slow cooker recipes on our blog personally. I LOVE my slow cooker.
However, this Instant Pot has earned a spot on my kitchen counter – I am LOVING how quickly it cooks my meals, which means I can have dinner on the table in a matter of minutes!
This recipe for EASY Sesame Chicken is so simple and SO delicious!
The texture from coating it in cornstarch and then sauteing the chicken pieces in sesame oil (which, by the way, you saute the chicken in your Instant Pot and then cook it in your Instant Pot – only one dish to clean! It’s the best) makes it taste like it’s deep fried, but it’s actually pretty healthy for you!
My family loved this recipe and I know that yours will too.
If you love easy and delicious instant pot soup recipes, be sure to try our delicious Instant pot creamy chicken enchilada soup. It’s absolutely amazing!
Chicken Breasts vs. Chicken Thighs
For this recipe, I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces.
You could definitely use boneless chicken thighs (just add 1 minute to cooking time) – just be sure to cut the thighs into bite-sized pieces and then follow the instructions are directed in the recipe.
Both kinds of chicken will be delicious in this recipe!
Why sear the chicken first?
The reason that we sear the chicken before cooking is to lock in amazing flavor and to cut down on cooking time.
To sear the chicken, plug in your Instant pot, remove the lid, and push the “Saute” button on your Instant Pot. It will heat up fairly quickly. Add in your sesame oil and let it get nice and hot.
Once the oil is hot, add in the coated chicken pieces to the Instant Pot and saute for 2-3 minutes. You aren’t cooking the chicken, but instead sealing in all the juices and giving it a nice golden brown crust.
Tips for making Sesame Chicken in the Instant Pot:
- This recipe calls for a quick release. Don’t do a natural release on your Instant Pot because you don’t want to overcook the chicken, which will dry it out.
- If you don’t have sesame oil, you could substitute olive oil – but I promise that savory flavor of the oil adds so much to this dish (hence the name *Sesame* chicken).
- Remember that it is going to take about 10 minutes for your Instant Pot to pressurize, so be sure to take that into consideration as you are preparing this dish.
What Instant Pot do I use?
I have the Instant Pot LUX 6 Quart 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker. It’s basically 6 appliances in 1 – pressure cooker, rice cooker, saute, steamer, cake maker, and warmer.
Check out our other favorite Instant Pot recipes:
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot 7 Can Tortilla Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Chile Verde
- Instant Pot Potato Soup
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Instant Pot EASY Sesame Chicken and Rice Recipe
- 3 Tablespoon cornstarch (divided)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (could also use chicken thighs)
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil (divided)
- 6 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2½ Tablespoons ketchup
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 6 Tablespoons honey
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
- In a gallon-sized resealable bag, mix together 2 Tablespoons cornstarch with salt and pepper.
- Add in chicken pieces to bag, seal, and shake until chicken is completely coated with cornstarch (if you need to add more cornstarch to make sure all chicken is covered, feel free).
- Plug in your Instant Pot and push "saute" button. Add in 1 1/2 Tablespoons of sesame oil to the Instant Pot and let it heat up.
- Once the oil is hot, add in the coated chicken pieces. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until all sides of the chicken start to turn golden-brown.
- In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, ketchup, red pepper flakes. Pour over chicken pieces. Stir gently so that all the chicken pieces are covered in sauce.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and seal. Make sure that your valve is in the "seal" position and not the "vent" position.
- Push the "manual" button and then set for 3 minutes.
- The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to pressurize and then it will start the 3 minute cooking time.
- Once the 3 minutes are up, do a quick release (move the valve from "seal" to "vent") and let all the pressure out. Once the steam has stopped coming out of the vent, remove the lid.
- Add in the remaining sesame oil and honey and mix in with the chicken.
- In another small bowl, mix together water with the remaining cornstarch. Pour in with the chicken, and gently stir to cover chicken. Push the "saute" button again and let the sauce thicken (should only take 2-3 minutes).
- Serve over rice and top with sesame seeds.
- Instant Pot
Recipe adapted from: Julie Harrington, RD
Related Recipe: If you’re looking for a meal that is filling and tasty, try these Instant Pot Spicy Chicken and Rice Bowls. The Instant Pot makes a tender, flavorful chicken that will have people coming back for more.
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