This Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken is Asian takeout made in 30 minutes, and it’s got a sticky sweet sauce made from pantry staples!
Ingredients in Instant Pot honey garlic chicken
To make the sauce for the chicken, you will need:
- Baking soda
- Chicken broth
- Soy sauce
You will basically saute the chicken in the Instant Pot with the sauce ingredients, cook on high pressure for 2 minutes, then serve it on a bed of rice topped with green onions and sesame seeds. This recipe is easy peasy!
Why use cornstarch?
The cornstarch in this recipe serves two purposes.
First, it helps in the cooking process. The cornstarch provides a light coating that protects the meat from the intense heat of the inner pot. As a result, it allows the chicken pieces to brown easily on the outside and stay juicy inside. It will make the chicken so tender you’ll be surprised it was cooked in a pressure cooker!
Secondly, cornstarch will also thicken the honey garlic sauce as it cooks so you get a sauce reminiscent of Chinese takeout.
How to make honey garlic chicken in an Instant Pot
Thanks to the versatility of the Instant Pot, you can make the sauce and cook the meat completely through in one pot.
- Toss the chicken with cornstarch and baking soda.
- Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add olive oil to the pot.
- Brown the chicken for three to four minutes.
- Add the sauce ingredients.
- Set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for two minutes.
- Serve it over rice and add green onions and sesame seeds.
How do you tenderize chicken?
For this recipe, your chicken will need to be tender and in small pieces so that it does not take long to cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. If you are starting this recipe with a large chicken breast, you can use any of these methods to help it cook well.
- Marinate the chicken prior to cooking
- Use baking soda and cornstarch
You will notice that this recipe uses a mix of cornstarch and baking soda on the chicken before sauteeing. You can put this combo on the chicken hours before cooking it to tenderize it even further! If you don’t have extra time to marinate, no worries! The baking soda will still work its magic without time to sit.
Obviously, I love this recipe just the way it is. However, not all of the ingredients are friendly for all diets.
Honey is not keto or low-carb. While it will change the taste, you can still add sweetness to the dish with monk fruit sweetener or stevia. You can also just leave the honey out if you desire.
You can use other meats with this dish. Just be sure to slice them thin and cook them all the way through. The honey garlic sauce makes a great addition to pork chops, stir fry beef, shrimp and salmon as well. You could even do tofu!
Adding veggies to Instant Pot honey garlic chicken
It’s a great idea to add some veggies to this dish. However, keep in mind that they don’t take as long to cook as meat does. For heartier veggies, you can add them before you seal the Instant Pot for two minutes. For other veggies, you may want to steam them separately and add them to the final dish.
Some vegetables that taste great with honey garlic chicken breast are:
- Green beans
- Red bell peppers
- Snow peas
You can always steam your vegetables in a steamer or by microwaving in a large bowl of water for 5 minutes then draining. From there, you can mix the veggies in with the chicken and the rice.
How do you make the best rice?
For making the rice while the chicken cooks, you can use a rice cooker, the stove top or another Instant Pot.
Follow these steps to get perfectly fluffy rice every time:
- For every cup of rice, use 1 to 1 3/4 cup of water. The back of the package will usually give specific instructions depending on the rice you’re using. For white rice, you’re usually looking at 1 3/4 cups, but for jasmine and basmati rice you’re looking at 1 1/4 cups.
- Salt the water. You can add a little butter at this time too to prevent sticking.
- After you add the rice to the boiling water, let it return to simmering. Then turn the heat down and let it simmer until done.
- Don’t over stir. Once the rice is simmering, leave the lid on.
- Let it sit for a few minutes after cooking.
- Fluff it with a fork before serving.
Storing and reheating honey garlic chicken
After cooking the entire meal, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to five days. That means you can prepare this meal in advance or use it as meal prep.
To reheat, sprinkle a little bit of water overtop and then microwave for 2-3 minutes. Add some fresh green onions overtop to freshen things up a bit.
Freezing this recipe
You can also freeze this recipe, but you will need to store the chicken and rice separately. The chicken can be frozen for up to two months. Thaw it in the refrigerator and then simmer it over medium heat until warm.
Rice can be frozen in airtight containers for up to six months. To reheat cooked rice, add a little bit more water and heat on the stove or in the microwave.
More Instant Pot stir fry recipes
If you love stir fry recipes, make some of these other options in your Instant Pot:
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this recipe into your weekly lunches.
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
- 1 lb chicken breasts, diced
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 green onions, sliced
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 pinch salt
- In a large bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch and baking soda. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in Instant Pot and turn to saute mode.
- Add chicken to Instant Pot, sauteeing for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Add soy sauce, chicken broth, honey and garlic, bringing to a boil. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal.
- Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 2 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook for 2 minutes.
- Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily.
- Serve everything over rice, then garnish with green onions and sesame seeds and enjoy! Leftovers will keep up to 5 days.