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Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken
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Kung Pao Chicken

Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken is the perfect way to curb that Chinese takeout craving. The Instant Pot will have this veggie-packed, flavorful dish on your dinner table in just minutes. No pressure cooker? Use our slow cooker instructions instead!

Kung Pao Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • Roasted peanuts, sesame seeds and sliced green onions for garnish, optional

For the sauce:

  • ⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. ginger, grated
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

For serving:

  • 4 cups cooked brown rice

Instant Pot Directions:

  1. Place cornstarch, black pepper, salt and chicken in a large zip-top bag. Shake until well-coated. Set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients until well combined; set aside. 
  3. Set the Instant Pot to the "Saute" setting. Add olive oil and allow to heat up. Working in batches, cook chicken until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Place chicken on a paper towel-lined plate. Once all chicken is browned, add back to Instant Pot. Pour sauce over top of chicken. 
  4. Close lid, turn vent to "Sealing", select the "Manual" setting and set time to 3 minutes. 
  5. Once cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, use the quick release method to release the remaining pressure. Open lid and transfer chicken to a large serving bowl. 
  6. Set the Instant Pot to the "Saute" setting and add additional oil, if needed. Add in the bell pepper, zucchini and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. 
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Stir into Instant Pot and allow sauce to cook until it thickens slightly. Return chicken back to pot; cook until everything is heated through, about 1-2 minutes. 
  8. Serve over cooked brown rice. Garnish with peanuts, sesame seeds and green onions, if desired. 

Slow Cooker Directions:

  1. Place cornstarch, black pepper, salt and chicken in a large zip-top bag. Shake until well-coated. Set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients until well combined; set aside. 
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to slow cooker. Pour sauce over top. 
  4. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2 ½-3 hours. 
  5. About 30 minutes before serving, add in bell pepper, zucchini and red pepper flakes.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Stir into slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for another 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and sauce has thickened. 
  7. Serve over cooked brown rice. Garnish with peanuts, sesame seeds and green onions, if desired. 

Yield: 6 servings

*Per Serving: Calories 370, Total Fat 10g (Saturated 1.5g, Trans 0g), Cholesterol 35mg, Sodium 860mg, Total Carbohydrate 52g (Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 10g, Includes 6g Added Sugar), Protein 22g, Vitamin D 0%, Calcium 2%, Iron 10%, Potassium 8%

*Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.   

Kung Pao Chicken

Have a question about nutrition? Our Mealtime Mentors would love to help! Reach out at AskFestivalDietitians.com or find them on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is intended for general information only. It is not intended as medical advice. Health information changes frequently as research constantly evolves. You should not rely on any information gathered here as a substitute for consultation with medical professionals. Information may not be reproduced without permission from Festival Foods. We strongly encourage guests to review the ingredient lists of suggested products before purchasing to ensure they meet individual dietary needs. All products not available at all Festival locations.

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