Ordering fast food is a great option for when you want to dine in or takeout with friends, for busy weeknights, and for when you’re truly just too exhausted to cook. However, nothing beats the satisfaction of knowing exactly what goes into your meal by preparing it yourself. We were determined to find a way that combines the convenience of takeout with good ole’ home cooking. Our favorite kitchen gadget – the Instant Pot -makes that possible!
We’ve created a takeout favorite – Kung Pao Chicken – that is cooked effortlessly in the Instant Pot and in the comfort of your own home. And when we say effortlessly, we mean it! This delicious dinner comes together in just 30 minutes and with only one pot. This means easy prep, a quick cleanup, and a satisfied belly. It doesn’t get any better than that!
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What I love most about this Asian dish is the flavor. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, salty and spicy! All of these lovely flavors come from brown sugar, soy sauce, hot chili paste and a few other enticing and flavorful ingredients. Additionally, I love that this meal is full of color! The more vibrant the meal, the better (in my opinion). A colorful meal often means lots of vegetables which makes this a wholesome meal you can feel good about feeding to your family. The chicken provides an excellent source of protein while the bell peppers and zucchini offer loads of other nutrients. Even those picky eaters won’t be able to say no to tender chicken and mouthwatering sauce. For more delicious Instant Pot chicken recipes read HERE.
Along with the lovely flavor, and the beautiful color, we were impressed with how quick the Instant Pot was able to cook this meal. You’ll need to chop a few veggies and use the Saute function to brown the chicken, but all in all, it comes together pretty effortlessly.
Traditional Kung Pao Chicken has a sauce that is sticky and silky texture and mastering this is key to achieving a true copycat version! When the cooking time is complete and the pressure has been released, if you open the lid and discover a soupy looking meal – don’t worry! All you have to do is create a slurry using the liquid from your pot and cornstarch (or flour). Adding that slurry (with some help from the Saute function!) will thicken the sauce to that sticky texture you know and love.
Kung Pao Chicken packs a ton of flavor and is delicious on its own, but it’s best served over rice. While the dish is cooking in the Instant Pot you can cook rice on the stove top or in the microwave, or if you’re lucky enough to own two Instant Pots, you can prepare white rice in the IP using our quick and easy hack HERE.
This recipe was a serious hit in our office and it’ll surely become a new family favorite in your home for Friday night family dinners! It won’t take long for whoever you share this meal with to beg for the recipe, so you’d best keep this tab open a little while longer.
It took our 6 Quart Instant Pot Duo 12 minutes to come to pressure but this will vary depending on the model and size of your Instant Pot.
The chili paste adds heat to this recipe. If you prefer it less spicy, add only 1/2 tsp of hot chili paste. If you prefer it spicier, add a full tsp or more!
For a low carb option, serve this dish with cauliflower rice instead of white rice.