My first Instant Pot recipe is a Kung Pao Chicken that tastes even better than takeout

Why is everyone going crazy for the Instant Pot?

I honestly think it’s just because it cooks food fast. Yes, it’s cool that it’s basically seven appliances in one, but with everyone in a hurry nowadays, we appreciate something that can get the job done in half the time.

I bought an Instant Pot so I can experiment with some recipes for you guys. Because I love takeout, I decided my first recipe should be homemade Kung Pao Chicken. If you use the Instant Pot, this recipe cooks in only 15 minutes, which is faster than it takes the delivery guy to get to my house!

You will need:


  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1½ pounds chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ⅔ cup cashews
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot (chef’s choice!)
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or olive oil (chef’s choice!)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Green onions, sliced, for garnish


  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you love spicy food!)

The Instant Pot is, first and foremost, a pressure cooker. I used that function to fully cook my chicken in just three minutes. And it really did cook in those three minutes!

But be very careful when releasing steam from your Instant Pot! I learned that the hard way! Don’t get too close!

Serve your finished Kung Pao Chicken over rice, and don’t forget to garnish it with green onions and sesame seeds.

You guys — this dish is so delicious. It tastes just like takeout (without a ton of MSG), and it was quick enough to make on a weeknight. Seriously, make it in your own Instant Pot!

More quick dinners

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Elissa Benzie About the author:
Elissa is a millennial wife and mom with two toddlers. She's neurotic and disorganized, she's over it and exhausted. But it's OK, that's life! Follow her on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest or Instagram
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