Taste of China at Home: Instant Pot General Tso’s Chicken

General Tso’s Chicken, with its intriguing combination of sweet, savory, and slightly spicy flavors, has captured the hearts and taste buds of many. This iconic dish, which has become a staple of Chinese-American cuisine, is known for its bold, rich flavors and crispy texture. While it’s a favorite choice at many Chinese takeout restaurants, you can recreate the magic right in your own kitchen with the help of your trusty Instant Pot.

What Is General Tso’s Chicken?

General Tso’s Chicken is a popular and iconic dish in Chinese-American cuisine, known for its irresistible blend of sweet, savory, and slightly spicy flavors. While it’s become a staple in many Chinese takeout menus across the United States, you might be surprised to learn that this dish has an interesting history and its roots in traditional Chinese cuisine.

The dish typically features bite-sized pieces of chicken that are first coated in a light batter, fried until crispy, and then tossed in a flavorful and glossy sauce. The sauce is the star of the show, providing a harmonious combination of sweet and tangy notes, often with a subtle kick of spiciness. General Tso’s Chicken is famous for its luscious, glossy appearance and mouthwatering taste.

How To Make an Instant Pot General Tso’s Chicken

Instant Pot General Tso's Chicken Recipe

Instant Pot General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

Course: Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Chicken:
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Frying:
  • Vegetable oil for frying (about 2-3 cups)

  • General Tso’s Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste for spiciness)


  • Prepare the Chicken.
    In a large bowl, combine the chicken pieces with 1/4 cup of cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly.
    If you haven’t already, season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sauté the Chicken.
    Turn on your Instant Pot and set it to the “Sauté” mode.
    Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the Instant Pot.
    When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and sauté until they are browned on all sides. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Make sure not to overcrowd the Instant Pot; you may need to sauté the chicken in batches.
  • Prepare the General Tso’s Sauce.
    While the chicken is sautéing, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, water, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.
  • Pressure Cook the Chicken.
    Once the chicken is browned, return all the sautéed chicken to the Instant Pot.
    Pour the prepared General Tso’s sauce over the chicken.
    Stir well to ensure that the chicken is coated evenly with the sauce.
  • Pressure Cooking.
    Close the Instant Pot and set it to “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode for 3 minutes. Make sure the valve is set to “Sealing.”
  • Release Pressure.
    When the cooking time is complete, perform a quick pressure release by turning the valve to “Venting.” Be cautious, as hot steam will release.
  • Serve.
    Serve your Instant Pot General Tso Chicken over steamed rice, garnished with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Way To Serve General Tso’s Chicken

Classic Over Rice: The traditional way to serve General Tso’s Chicken is over steamed white rice. The tender chicken and flavorful sauce complement the rice beautifully.

Brown Rice or Quinoa: Opt for a healthier twist by serving General Tso’s Chicken over brown rice or quinoa, adding nutty flavors and additional nutrition.

Cauliflower Rice: For a low-carb option, cauliflower rice is a great substitute that soaks up the sauce and adds a vegetable twist.

Noodles: Serve the chicken over cooked and drained egg noodles or lo mein for a delightful stir-fry experience.

Lettuce Wraps: Make Asian-inspired lettuce wraps by using large lettuce leaves as “wraps” for the chicken. Spoon the General Tso’s Chicken into the lettuce cups and garnish with chopped green onions and crushed peanuts.

Bao Buns: Fill soft, fluffy bao buns with General Tso’s Chicken and add some shredded cabbage or pickled vegetables for an Asian-style sandwich.

Mixed Vegetables: Create a colorful and nutritious meal by serving General Tso’s Chicken with a medley of steamed or stir-fried vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, and snap peas.

Pineapple Bowl: Hollow out half of a pineapple and fill it with General Tso’s Chicken. The sweetness of the pineapple complements the savory sauce.

General Tso’s Tacos: Pile the chicken onto soft taco shells or tortillas, and top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Stuffed Bell Peppers: Hollow out bell peppers and stuff them with General Tso’s Chicken and cooked rice. Bake until the peppers are tender.

General Tso’s Sliders: Create mini sandwiches using slider buns and a portion of General Tso’s Chicken, and add coleslaw or pickles for extra flavor.

Sushi Roll: For a fusion twist, use General Tso’s Chicken as a filling in sushi rolls, along with cucumber, avocado, and a drizzle of spicy mayo.

General Tso’s Pizza: Turn General Tso’s Chicken into a unique pizza topping, spreading it over a pizza crust with mozzarella cheese and sliced scallions.

General Tso’s Salad: Create a salad with mixed greens, General Tso’s Chicken, and a ginger sesame dressing. Add crunchy toppings like chow mein noodles or crispy wonton strips.

General Tso’s Sushi Burrito: Roll General Tso’s Chicken, rice, and your favorite sushi ingredients into a large sheet of nori seaweed for a handheld sushi burrito.

Stuffed Potatoes: Hollow out baked potatoes and fill them with General Tso’s Chicken. Top with a dollop of sour cream and fresh herbs

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