I first shared this recipe on Centless Meals where I am a contributor. This Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken is a sweet and spicy dish that comes together in just 20 minutes and has the same great taste and texture as your favorite Chinese take-out.
Instant Pot Asian Honey Chicken
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I love Chinese food. As a kid I always wanted to stop by Panda Express at the mall food court. There’s just something about that tender breaded and fried chicken that’s coated in a sweet and savory sauce. Well, did you know you can get that same amazing chicken right at home made in your Instant Pot or slow cooker?! This Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken comes together in just 20 minutes and has the classic texture and taste of your favorite Chinese restaurant but without all the grease.
How to make Honey Garlic Chicken:
Since this comes together so quickly, you’ll want to prep the sauce first. The sauce is made up of honey, soy sauce, minced garlic, and for some heat- sriracha sauce. All you have to do is mix it together.
Next, you’ll season the chicken and toss it in some cornstarch and then brown it on all sides. This can be done two ways– in the Instant Pot on “saute” or in a skillet.
The proper way to brown chicken or really any meat is to place it in an oiled pan and not touch it for 2-3 minutes. You’ll know when it’s nice and browned when it easily releases from the pan. After filling you let it brown on the other side for 2 minutes, without touching it. Browning the chicken this way is what will give you that classic Chinese chicken texture.
If using the Instant Pot, it’s important to deglaze the bottom of the pot after browning or else the little bits will burn and the pressure cooker will shut off. To deglaze the pan, you’ll add 1/4 cup water and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon until all the bits come loose. Add the chicken back to the pot along with the sauce, close the pressure cooker, and set the knob to “seal”. Cook at high pressure to 2 minutes followed by a quick release. I like to cover the knob with a towel so that the steam and water doesn’t get everywhere, especially on me.
Once it’s done, remove the lid, add the green onions and sesame seeds and serve over rice. If you’re not chopstick impaired, enjoy with chopsticks.
Can I make Asian Honey Garlic Chicken if I don’t have an Instant Pot?
YES! You can make this in the slow cooker or on the stovetop too!
Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken: You’ll lightly brown the chicken (it should NOT be cooked all the way through) in a skillet and then transfer it to the bottom of a slow cooker along with the sauce. Then you’ll cook it on low for 2 hours.
Stovetop Honey Garlic Chicken: This requires an extra pot to cook and thicken the sauce. You’ll place all the sauce ingredients in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water and cook until thickened. Brown the chicken in a skillet on all sides, cooking until the chicken is cooked throughout. Add the sauce and mix until coated and you’re ready to serve.
Serve the chicken over rice or with a side of fried rice, maybe some steamed veggies… This is a meal your family will love and beg you to make again.
HERE ARE A FEW MORE CHICKEN RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
- Slow Cooker Thai Sweet Chili Chicken
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Korean Sticky Chicken
- Crispy Sesame Chicken
Tools used to make this Honey Garlic Chicken:
- Instant Pot Pressure Cooker– As much as I love my slow cooker, you can make things way faster (1/8 the time!) in the pressure cooker. It’s truly amazing! You can make anything in it from soup to rice to fall-off-the-bone tender ribs.
- Knife Set– I got this when I got married almost 8 years ago. I use them multiple times a day and they’re still going strong!
- Cast Iron Skillet– A cast iron skillet is a kitchen must have. It heats evenly and gives meats a nice crust.
Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
- 2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 green onions, chopped
- sesame seeds
For the Sauce:
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce
- Mix honey, soy sauce, sriracha, and garlic together. Set aside.
- Place chicken in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the cornstarch and toss until evenly coated.
Instant Pot Method:
- Heat oil in the Instant Pot, selecting the saute function and allow to heat up. Add half the chicken once oil shimmers and let cook 2-3 minutes before flipping. Cook another 2 minutes. No need to cook all the way through. Once browned, remove to a plate and cook remaining chicken.
- If bits have stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot, pour in 1/4 cup water and deglaze the bottom of the pan by scraping it with a wooden spoon. Turn off the saute function. Add the chicken back to the bottom of the Instant Pot and pour the honey sauce on top. Cover with lid, set knob to seal, and cook on high pressure for 2 minutes followed by a quick release. Remove lid when safe to open.
- Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds and serve over rice.
Slow Cooker Method:
- Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and brown the chicken for 2-3 minutes, flip, and cook another 2 minutes. No need to cook all the way through.
- Place the chicken and sauce in in the slow cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hours. If you want to add veggies like peppers you can throw them in halfway through. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds and serve.
- Place all the sauce ingredients in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water and cook until thickened.
- Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and brown the chicken on all sides, cooking the chicken all the way through. Add the thickened sauce and mix until coated.
- Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds and serve.