Instant Pot Sesame Chicken


The other night, I thought my husband had a meeting that would run til 9:30. This isn’t the norm, so I was slightly excited to feed the kids leftovers, put them in bed early and enjoy a grilled cheese + LaCroix + The Good Wife.

Mason called after I had fed the kids dinner to tell me his meeting wasn’t until the next night and he would be home in 30 minutes. Now, my easy-going husband would’ve been fine with the grilled cheese. But, that night I felt like I could dig deep within and create something a little better for us to eat together when he got home. He was driving and the clock was ticking.

This is the magic of an Instant Pot: I’m sure I could’ve cooked all these ingredients in a crockpot all day, but I didn’t have an entire day. I had 30 minutes. Thankfully, it took me about 7 minutes to get this recipe going. I left it alone for the next 30 minutes and bathed my kids. When I came back I only needed 3 minutes until it was done.


  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil to coat bottom of the pan
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic (I was in a hurry so I just used pre-chopped from a jar in the fridge!)
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon chili garlic sauce (You could use siracha or some other spicy sauce.)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of powdered ginger. (If you’ve got fresh, rock on.)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • additional 1/3 cup of broth
  • Sesame seeds


  1. Use the Sauté setting to heat the pot. When “HOT” add oil. Sauté the chicken on both sides for 1-2 minutes. (You do not put the lid on when sautéing.)
  2. While the chicken is sautéing, whisk together broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, vinegar, and chili garlic sauce.
  3. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Put the lid on, seal, and set to Poulty for 26 minutes.
  4. After the cooking time is finished. depressurize, remove lid, and set back to sautee.
  5. Whisk together your cornstarch and additional broth to make a slurry. Pour over chicken to thicken the sauce. As it is thickening, I used two forks to shred the chicken in the pot.
  6. Add sesame seeds to the top.
  7. Optional, garnish with green onions and additional soy sauce.


And, since we were in a hurry, I served this with a rice packet and some frozen veggies. Those veggies were fine, but the next day I served it to my girls with steamed broccoli, and that was even better. The leftovers were even tastier the next day.



Side note, if you have these staples + soy sauce, you can make all kinds of great Asian inspired dishes in a flash. They stay good for a long time, so they’re definitely worth having on hand!


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