Dump and start Instant Pot sesame chicken cooked in a rich honey soy sauce. This Chinese classic is made so easy in the Instant Pot, perfect for a busy mid-week dinner and definitely much better than a take out!
Here’s another family favorite, honey sesame chicken made in the Instant Pot! A bit similar to my favorite Instant Pot brown sugar recipe, and my firecracker chicken (this recipe is AMAZING by the way, make sure to check it out!). It’s definitely one of the recipes that go in our monthly rotation, and we usually serve it with plain white rice.
The Instant Pot version is so quick and easy! The chicken is cooked in just 3 minutes on high, and the sauce turns out so thick, rich, and delicious!
What Is Sesame Chicken?
Sesame chicken is a dish that is usually found in Chinese restaurants in America and the UK. To me, it’s a take out that we used to get all the time before I realized how easy is it to make at home.
The sauce is mainly made with honey and soy sauce, so the chicken turns out sweet and just a little bit spicy. The sauce is made thick and rich so it glazes the chicken nicely.
Traditionally, the chicken breast is cubed then battered and deep-fried, and then it’s tossed in the sauce. But this Instant Pot version is a dump and start recipe, no deep frying or sauteing, and it turns out as good as the one that you get from a restaurant.
Instant Pot Sesame Chicken Recipe
Make sure that you’re using boneless chicken breast for this, as chicken thighs won’t really work. Cube the chicken, and prepare the ingredient so it’s easier for you to make this.
For the sauce, you will need soy sauce (check if yours is low sodium or not), ketchup, hot sauce or sriracha, garlic, ginger, honey, and sesame oil. Some of these ingredients go in the pot before pressure cooking, and the rest are added at the end.
TIP: To thicken the sauce, make a corn starch slurry by mixing 2 tbsp of corn starch with 1 or 2 tbsp of water and then add them to the sauce to thicken it while the Instant Pot is on “sauté” setting.
What You’ll Need
- An Instant Pot. I have this Instant Pot, it’s my favorite!
- I love these stainless steel measuring cups and use them every time I cook, as well as those measuring spoons.
- Soy sauce, if you’re using a low sodium soy sauce then you might need to salt the chicken a little but have a taste before adding any salt and decide (do this after pressure cooking and before thickening the sauce). For gluten-free, use tamari sauce instead.
- Chicken breast (about 2 pounds).
- Ketchup and hot sauce (this is the one that I use), or sriracha.
- Garlic, ginger, honey, sesame oil, corn starch, sesame seeds
How to Make Instant Pot Sesame Chicken
- Add the chicken to the Instant Pot, followed by soy sauce, garlic, ginger, ketchup, hot sauce or sriracha, and black pepper. and give the ingredients a quick mix.
- Cover the pot with the lid, and make sure that the valve is in sealing position. press on MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK (this depends on which Instant Pot do you have), and cook on high for 3 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot to come to pressure, and count down to 0. When it beeps, quickly release the steam by turning the vent to the RELEASE position and make sure that it’s not close to your face as the steam will be really hot!
- Carefully open the lid, and press on SAUTE. Add the honey, sesame oil, and make the cornstarch slurry. At this point, you can taste the sauce and see if you need to add salt. The soy sauce is usually salty enough, so I never add any salt but check and decide.
- To make the slurry, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons water. Add it to the sauce, and mix with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens. You might not need to thicken it for 5 minutes on sauté, just switch it off when it’s thick enough and you may even want to remove the pot from the Instant Pot and set it aside.
- Garnish with sesame seeds, and spring onions or scallions. Serve with plain white rice that you can easily make in the Instant Pot.
How Long Shall I Cook the Chicken For?
Since the chicken is cubed in 1-inch pieces, 3 minutes on high pressure is enough.
Thicken the Sauce
I always use corn starch slurry and add it at the end. However, If you have no corn starch available, then just add flour slurry or roux to thicken the sauce.
More Great Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot hibachi steak
- Instant Pot hibachi chicken
- Instant Pot shrimp and broccoli
- Instant Pot beef and broccoli
- Or check out my Instant Pot recipe collection!
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I hope that you love every recipe that you make! – Diana x
Instant Pot sesame chicken
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed into bite-size or 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce or sriracha
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 inch ginger
- ¼ cup honey or brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 1-2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds to garnish
- scallions or spring onions to garnish
- Wash and cube the chicken breasts. Mince garlic, and peel and grate ginger.
- Add the chicken to the Instant Pot, followed by soy sauce, garlic, ginger, ketchup, hot sauce or sriracha, and black pepper. Give the ingredients a quick mix.
- Cover the pot with the lid, and make sure that the valve is in sealing position. Click on MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK (this depends on which Instant Pot do you have), and cook on high for 3 minutes.
- Allow the Instant Pot to come to pressure, and count down to When it beeps, quickly release the steam by turning the vent to RELEASE position and make sure that it's not close to your face as the steam will be really hot!
- Carefully open the lid, and click on SAUTE and set for about 5 minutes. Add the honey, sesame oil and make the slurry.
- To make the slurry, mix 2 tablespoons of corn starch with 1-2 tablespoons water. Add it to the sauce, and mix with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens. You might not need to thicken it for 5 minutes on sauté, just switch it off when it's thick enough and you may even want to remove the pot from the Instant Pot and set it aside.
- Garnish with sesame seeds, and scallions. Serve with plain white rice.