Instant Pot Sweet Sesame Chicken
Instant Pot Sweet Sesame Chicken is healthy, gluten free, dairy free, and totally delicious! This easy chicken recipe is a great way to start using your Instant Pot. The finished chicken is saucy so serve it over cauliflower rice, traditional rice, or roasted veggies.
Update: This recipe was originally published in 2019 and has been republished with all new photos.
Everything goes right into the Instant Pot so when I say this dish is easy I really mean it, friend.
Also this chicken is one my sister makes often which I consider a glowing endorsement for how simple it is! She, like many of us, is a busy woman who has a lot going on and a lot she’d rather be doing than cooking. I know I can certainly relate to that thinking. This recipe is one of her favorites because it tastes amazing but doesn’t require much thought or time.
After cooking just shred the chicken right in the Instant Pot with two forks.
Then ladle your chicken and sauce over cauliflower rice, traditional rice, or roasted veggies. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. You’re ready to eat!
For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):
- Chicken thighs or breasts (boneless and skinless)
- White or yellow onion
- Red bell pepper
- Coconut aminos
- Tomato paste
- Date syrup or honey
- Minced garlic
This chicken is so very easy. Just add all ingredients to the Instant Pot. Seal the Instant Pot. Set it to Pressure Cook (or Manual, depending on the model Instant Pot you have) on high pressure for 20 minutes if chicken is thawed or 25 minutes if chicken is frozen.
Carefully release the steam once done or do a natural release.
Remove chicken from Instant Pot and use a fork to shred it. Place shredded chicken back in the Instant Pot.
Frozen or thawed chicken?
It’s up to you! If you use frozen chicken you’ll set your Instant Pot timer for 25 minutes. If your chicken is already thawed you’ll go for 20 minutes.
What is date syrup?
Date syrup is a sweetener and the one I use is made from 100% medjool dates. The brand I prefer and find at Whole Foods is called Just Date Syrup.
Don’t have any date syrup? Just use honey!
Is this chicken Whole30 compliant?
It is if you use a compliant date syrup and not honey.
Natural release or quick release?
A quick release is best for foods that cook fast like vegetables. You don’t want them to continue cooking any longer than absolutely necessary or they’ll be mush.
A natural release allows the cooking to stop gradually. This is ideal for large cuts of meat (think of it like letting your meat rest) because it will give you more tender meat. This is also a good idea for large pots of soup so you don’t end up with foam shooting out of the valve.
For shredded chicken you can use either method. You may find that some of the chicken breasts are harder to shred than others but once shredded (or chopped) you won’t noticed a difference. Thighs are most likely to be tender and shred easiest.
Slow Cooker Instructions (if Instant Pot isn’t your thing)
- Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Add all other ingredients on top.
- Cook on high with lid on for 3 – 4 hours or low for 6 – 8 hours.
- Remove chicken from slow cooker and use a fork to shred it. Place shredded chicken back in the slow cooker. Stir.
How to serve this
I love to serve this chicken and sauce over cauliflower rice or traditional rice. It’s also delicious over roasted veggies or diced potatoes.
More recipes like this:
Instant Pot Sweet Sesame Chicken
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs or breasts, skinless and boneless, frozen or fresh (cooking time varies depending on which)
- 1/2 cup white or yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1/4 cup date syrup or honey (if not Whole30)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- sesame seeds, can omit if you like
- Add all ingredients except the sesame seeds to Instant Pot.
- Seal the Instant Pot. Set it to Pressure Cook (or Manual, depending on the model Instant Pot you have) on high pressure for 20 minutes if chicken is thawed or 25 minutes if chicken is frozen.
- Carefully release the steam once done or do a natural release.
- Remove chicken from Instant Pot and use a fork to shred it. Place shredded chicken back in the Instant Pot. Stir.
- Taste and add more salt if desired. Serve over cauliflower rice, traditional rice, or roasted veggies. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.