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sweet and sour chicken over a bed of white rice in a bowl on a dark background

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

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  • Author: Kara Lydon
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8 1x


This Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken is a set it and forget it meal! Packed with sweet pineapple, bell peppers, and a tangy sweet sauce, this meal is drool-worthy and the perfect weeknight dish to have for quick dinners or easy ready-to-go lunches.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, cut into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces (from can or jar, reserve juice – see below)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
  • Rice, for serving
  • Optional: sesame seeds and green onion for garnish


  1. In the Instant Pot, add olive oil and set to Sauté. Let oil heat for two minutes. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Add chicken and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until chicken is slightly browned and onion is softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and let sauté until fragrant, about one minute.
  3. Add bell pepper, pineapple chunks, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and brown sugar.
  4. Secure lid onto Instant Pot. Close the steam vent (should be on sealing). Set to high pressure for 5 minutes. Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes, use quick release valve to release steam.
  6. Once pressure is released, open lid and stir.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and pineapple juice until slurry is formed. Stir cornstarch slurry into chicken mixture.
  8. Set Instant Pot to sauté, stirring occasionally, until mixture is bubbling and thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
  9. Let stand for 5-7 minutes for sauce to continue thickening.
  10. Serve warm, with rice.
  11. Optional: Garnish with sesame seeds and/or green onion.


How to make sweet and sour chicken in the slow cooker:

  1. Add all ingredients (except olive oil, corn starch and pineapple juice) to slow cooker and set to low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. After chicken is done cooking, add cornstarch slurry to slow cooker to thicken mixture.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Chinese