This Instant Pot Sesame Chicken is a one pot dump dinner that comes together in 30 minutes – just add chicken, rice, broccoli and an easy sauce!
Ingredients in sesame chicken
Here’s what you need to make this dish:
- Sesame oil
- Chicken breasts – cut into bite-sized pieces
- Garlic, minced
- Ginger root, minced
- Soy sauce – I use low-sodium, but traditional soy sauce works as well.
- Hoisin sauce
- Chicken broth – or stock
- White rice
Here’s what you need for serving:
- Broccoli – cut into florets and steam separately
- Green onions, sliced
- Sesame seeds
How to cut broccoli into florets
If you prefer to use frozen broccoli florets, you certainly can. However, if you like to use fresh vegetables, you will need to clean and cut your broccoli into florets.
- Pull off any leaves. Just pull out and down toward the base. They should snap or peel right off.
- Cut through the stem, right below the florets.
- Slice off the florets that are easily separated with your knife.
- Turn the remaining bunch of florets upside down on your cutting board. Then, slice down through the middle of the stalk. Pull the two halves of broccoli apart.
- Continue cutting and pulling off florets until all of them are separated.
- Remove larger stems using the tip of your knife.
- Wash the florets. Place the broccoli into a large strainer. Then, run cold tap water over the florets for a minute or so to remove any dirt or debris.
How to make sesame chicken in the Instant Pot
- Prep and measure out all of your ingredients, because this recipe comes together quickly.
- Add the sesame chicken ingredients to the Instant Pot in this order: oil, chicken, garlic, ginger, soy and hoisin sauces, broth, and rice. Seal the Instant Pot and cook on high for 5 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, steam the broccoli. Microwave the florets in a bowl of water until they are fork-tender.
- Once the timer goes off on the Instant Pot, do a Quick Release of pressure.
- Stir in the steamed broccoli and green onion. You can also add the sesame seeds now or sprinkle on top once served.
- Spoon into bowls and enjoy!
- Chicken – You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into pieces in place of chicken breasts
- Soy sauce – Tamari or coconut aminos can be used in place of the soy sauce. For gluten allergies, you’ll need to make sure the hoisin sauce is also labeled gluten-free.
- Broth – You can substitute vegetable stock for the chicken broth.
- Hoisin sauce – you can use half honey, half soy sauce in place of the hoisin sauce, or use oyster sauce.
- Rice – sub in jasmine or basmati rice in place of the white rice.
Using different kinds of rice
This recipe is specifically for use with traditional, long grain white rice. You can use any variety of white rice you prefer, such as basmati or jasmine.
Using brown rice or short grain rice varieties is not suggested. This is because they require a different ratio of liquid to rice, and that extra liquid is likely to throw off the consistency of the final dish.
That being said, if you really want to use brown rice, you can cook it separately from the rest of the dish. Then, just stir it in with the broccoli and sesame seeds at the end of the cook time.
Note: If you decide to use brown rice and you’ll be cooking it separately, reduce the amount of broth in the Instant Pot by one cup.
Is sesame chicken good for you?
Yes! In comparison to other Asian dishes, this dish is quite healthy.
This is because it isn’t deep fried, the sauce is light and low in sugar, and it includes a serving of green vegetables!
To keep the sodium level reasonable, you may want to use low sodium soy sauce. The only other thing to watch is your portion size of rice. Other than that, it’s a flavourful, guilt-free dinner!
What to serve with sesame chicken
Because the dish already includes protein, vegetables, grains, and fats, it’s perfect for serving as is. However, if you want to serve anything else with it, some tasty options include:
- Steamed vegetables – Use my recipe for Instant Pot steamed vegetables!
- Garden salad
- Sauteed zucchini or zucchini noodles
Storing and reheating
If you have any leftovers that you want to save, store them in a covered container in the refrigerator. They will keep well for up to 5 days. When you’re ready to serve them, you can reheat the leftovers one of three ways:
In the Instant Pot
Reheat the leftovers using the saute function of your Instant Pot. Place everything into the liner and set the unit to saute. Then, stir occasionally until everything is warmed through.
If the dish seems a little dry, you can add 1/4 cup of broth to the pot. This will help to bring some moisture back.
Alternatively, you can reheat the dinner in a pan on the stove top, or on medium power in a microwave.
Freezing this recipe
This meal freezes really well. As a result, sesame chicken is fantastic for meal prep. It will keep well frozen for up to 3 months.
To prevent freezer burn, cool it completely before freezing.
Also, you will need to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before you can reheat and serve.
More Instant Pot Asian recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this dish 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 Sesame Chicken
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 lb chicken breasts, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp gingerroot, minced
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Add all ingredients to Instant Pot in the order in which they are listed, except for broccoli, green onions and sesame seeds.
- 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 5 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add broccoli florets to a large bowl filled with water and microwave for 8 minutes, then drain the water.
- 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.
- Once lid is safe to open, stir in broccoli and green onions, then add to bowls and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!