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Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken

Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken with peanuts in a spicy, sweet, sour & savory sauce tastes best with steamed rice. This is the closest to P. F. Chang's Kung Pao Chicken & a perfect recipe for busy weeknights.
5 from 6 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American-Chinese, Asian
Keyword: Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken, Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken with peanuts
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 1008kcal
Author: Meghna
Cost: $4


  • 1 pound chicken **boneless skinless diced into 1/2 inch cubes, 453 g
  • 1 tbsp Garlic. **Finely Chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger **Finely Chopped
  • 1/3 cup peanuts **roasted unsalted & heaped. Read Notes if using store bought
  • 8 Whole Dried Chinese Red Chilies 4 chilies broken into 1/2 & 4 kept whole
  • 3 tbsp Avocado oil **or use any neutral oil like canola, peanut, sunflower etc.
  • 3 scallions **chopped. Green & white part separated

For Flash Marinating Chicken (Optional)

For the Kung Pao Sauce


  • 1/4 cup water


  • 2 tbsp cornstarch **mixed with equal parts water to form a slurry


Flash Marinate the Chicken (Optional)

  • Dice the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes and rub it well with 1 tsp each dark soy sauce & sesame oil. Now, this step is optional. But, I'll highly recommend flash marination because it boosts the flavors a lot & keep the chicken soft & juicy.

Pressure cook the Chicken

  • Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE & keep it at NORMAL. Add oil & when the oil becomes moderately hot gently release the ginger, garlic & the white part of the scallions. Saute for just 1 minute.
  • Add the flash marinated chicken and saute until the chicken turns lightly golden around the edges. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the steel pot of the Instant Pot from time to time.
  • Pour water. CANCEL the SAUTE function. De-glaze the pot very well with the help of your spatula scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot really well so that there are absolutely no bits and crumbs stuck at the bottom of the pot. This will prevent the BURN error.
  • Now, close the lid of the Instant Pot and SEAL the valve. PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 1 minute.
  • Once, the pressure cooking cycle is over the Instant Pot will begin to beep. Do a QUICK PRESSURE RELEASE (QPR) & open the lid carefully. CANCEL the PRESSURE COOK function.

Simmer & Thicken the Sauce

  • Now, add the sauces, brown sugar, vinegars, sesame oil & the cornstarch slurry. Give everything a good mix.
  • Next, simmer the sauce to thicken it on SAUTE function kept at LOW. Stir the sauce while it thickens from time to time so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the steel pot.
  • We love a thicker sauce. However, you may keep the sauce consistency the way you want.
  • When the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency add the roasted unsalted peanuts (**Read NOTES below), the dry red Chinese chilies. Give everything a gentle mix.
  • Garnish with the green part of the chopped scallions and serve with steamed white Jasmine rice or Noodles.



  1. Measuring Units Used, 1 cup = 240 ml & 1 teaspoon = 5 ml.
  2. Store Bought Peanuts: Use unsalted roasted peanuts.
  3. How to skillet roast peanuts? Over medium heat skillet roast the peanuts until they slightly begin to turn golden or light brown. Due this stirring often.
  4. Chinese Sichuan Peppers: An Authentic Kung Pao chicken will always have Sichuan Peppers. These tiny roundish peppers look similar in shape and size as regular black pepper corn and they have a mouth numbing heat. Use them if you can. It'll make the dish very spicy! I didnot use any.
  5. Non-spicy Kung Pao Sauce: Avoid breaking the chilies, use them whole. Or if you really want to break them than do de-seed them & discard the seeds. The heat lies in the seeds.
  6. For a sweeter sauce: Up the amount of brown sugar according to your preference.
Calorific details are provided by a third party application & are to be used as indicative figures only.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1008 Calories from Fat 657
% Daily Value*
Fat 73g112%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 170mg57%
Sodium 2149mg93%
Potassium 696mg20%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 52g104%
Vitamin A 497IU10%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 68mg7%
Iron 4mg22%
* Read our privacy policy - Calorie information is provided as a courtesy only and should be leveraged as an estimate rather than a guarantee.Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 1008kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 73g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 2149mg | Potassium: 696mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 497IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 4mg