This Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken is the perfect recipe to make for an easy weeknight meal. As a bonus, it's also a gluten free and Paleo version of one of my favorite takeout meals. If you feel the same way, look no further than this Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe. You can serve it with rice to refuel after a hard workout, or modify it slightly to make it keto.
How to make Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken:
If you haven’t hopped on the instant pot bandwagon yet, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s just as easy as a crockpot but requires even less planning. Throw in the ingredients when you get home from work, and while you shower and fold laundry it will cook itself.
Start with preparing your sauce so it’s ready to go onto your veggies. Then, while you chop your vegetables, put some oil in your Instant Pot and turn it onto “sauté” mode. Quickly sear the chicken, then add your veggies and sauce.
Next, turn your Instant Pot to steam mode and cook for five (just five!) minutes. After you let the steam out, add arrowroot starch and the remaining pineapple juice, and you’re done!
Add garnishes like sesame seeds or cilantro, and serve over cauliflower, white rice, brown rice, or quinoa, depending on your dietary preferences.
How to revise the recipe for Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken:
If you’re still a devoté of your crockpot, this will work for you too! Before you throw your ingredients into the crockpot, brown your chicken on each side in a pan. Don’t cook all the way through. Pour the sauce on top of the chicken, and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
Next, add the bell peppers and onions to your crockpot and stir into the sauce. Add the pineapple chunks on top, close the lid and cook another 30 minutes until the peppers are soft.
Is this Sweet and Sour Chicken healthy?
Yes! Unlike the traditional sugar and oil-filled version, this sweet and sour chicken won’t leave you bloated and lethargic. This is a perfect addition to your rotating menu of paleo, gluten free, and even autoimmune paleo go-to meals.
Can you reheat or freeze this dish?
Yes! I am a big fan of doubling or tripling recipes so that I can either eat leftovers throughout the week, or pop some containers in the freezer so you don’t turn to takeout when groceries start running low.
This paleo sweet and sour chicken is just as fast as ordering takeout, and will save you the tummy ache and bloat. Make it to eat right away, or batch cook and freeze it to have healthy meals on-hand throughout the week. If you’re looking to up the carbohydrates, serve it over rice, and if you’re looking to make it keto, simply make a few simple tweaks to fit it into your plan.
More recipes you'll love:
- Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole (Whole30 and AIP)
- Bacon Chicken Ranch Casserole (Whole30 and AIP)
- Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos (Whole30 and AIP)
Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1.5 inch-2 inch pieces (about 3 large chicken breasts)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 red pepper, seeds and stem removed and then chopped into 1inch-2 inch pieces (omit for AIP)
- 1 can of no sugar added pineapple chunks with the juice drained and reserved, about ¾ cup pineapple and 2/3 cup juice
- 1/3 cup raw, apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup Whole30 compliant ketchup like Primal Kitchen, omit for AIP or use an AIP Ketchup
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 2 Tbsp Whole30 compliant fish sauce, like Red Boat
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp arrowroot flour
- Sliced green onions, optional
- Toasted sesame seeds, optional, omit for AIP
- Cauliflower rice, optional
- Start with preparing the ingredients for the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients except the arrowroot and water.
- Next, chop all the ingredients for the dish so they’re ready to add to the Instant Pot when it gets hot.
- Press the "sauté" function on your instant pot. When the display on your Instant Pot says “hot” add the coconut oil. Let the coconut oil melt and coat the entire bottom of the pot.
- Add chicken and cook about 1 minute on each side. Use tongs to turn the chicken. Your chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked through, or even fully browned on each side. Doing so will cause your chicken to be overcooked. Instead, you’ll just want to sear it on both sides.
- While chicken sautés, whisk together vinegar, ketchup, 1/2 cup pineapple juice, coconut aminos, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, and sea salt.
- After chicken is seared on both sides, and add the sauce, yellow onion, red pepper, and pineapple chunks. Close the lid, place the steam release on “sealing”, and set to manual, high pressure for 5 minutes.
- After your Instant Pot beeps, use the quick release by turning steam release valve to “venting”. Once pressure is released, remove the lid.
- Set the pot to "sauté" mode again. While it's coming to temp, whisk together the arrowroot starch with remaining pineapple juice in a small bowl. Add mixture to pot and stir to combine into the sauce. Cook about 2 minutes or until sauce thickens.
- Press “cancel” on your Instant Pot, and use a ladle to portion out the chicken, vegetables, and sauce into your serving dish. Top with sesame seeds, green onions, cilantro, and a side of cauliflower rice.