Instant Pot General Tso Chicken

Make this Better than Takeout Instant Pot General Tso Chicken! Tender juicy pressure cooker chicken soaked in sweet and sour General Tso Sauce with a tad spicy kick. Super easy to make & so deliciously addictive to eat! 😀

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4.91 from 10 votes

Is General Tso Chicken one of your favorite Chinese takeout dishes? 🙂

What is General Tso Chicken?

The lightly battered, sweet-sour and spicy bite-size deep-fried chicken has become an iconic favorite American-Chinese dish.

We created this General Tso Chicken inspired shredded chicken in memory of Chef Peng Chang-kuei 彭長貴 (September 26, 1918 – November 30, 2016), credited as the creator of the legendary General Tso’s Chicken.

Chef Peng Chang-Kuei - creator of General Tso's Chicken
Photo Credits: taiwannews.com.tw

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Chef Peng began his culinary training under a famous Hunan chef at the age of 13. He later became the head chef, running the Chinese Nationalist government’s banquets.

In 1952, during a banquet for a visiting US Admiral, the admiral was so impressed with this chicken dish that he asked for the name.

On the spur of the moment, Chef Peng named it after “General Tso” Zuo Zongtang 左宗棠 – an acclaimed Hunanese military general.

Yes, General Tso was is known for war, not the chicken… 😉

Chef Peng continued his culinary journey in America when he migrated to New York in the 1970s.

That’s when his Hunanese food received rave reviews from American Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who helped popularize his food.

Chef Peng, thank you for all your creations and contributions to the culinary world!

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Since we couldn’t deep-fry in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, we gave the original dish a creative twist by using shredded chicken cooked in yummy General Tso Sauce, plus the added crunch by serving it as a lettuce wrap! 🙂

You can pair the shredded chicken with lettuce to make low carb chicken wrap; or you can pair it with rice, noodles, or your favorite side dishes. It’s perfect for dinner parties, entertaining guests, potlucks, picnics…

Time to make Instant Pot General Tso Chicken!

Instant Pot General Tso Chicken

Easy Better than Takeout Instant Pot General Tso Chicken Recipe: Tender, juicy pressure cooker chicken soaked in sweet and sour General Tso Sauce with a tad spicy kick. Super easy to make & so deliciously addictive to eat!
4.91 from 10 votes
Print Rate This Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 -6
Calories: 302kcal
Author: Amy + Jacky

Ingredients

  • 8 - 10 (~2 pounds) chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) peanut oil
  • 10 dried Chinese red chili
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 - 2 stalks green onion , green part finely chopped for garnish; white part cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1 (10g) slice ginger , roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) honey (optional)

General Tso Sauce:

Thickener:

Serve:

Instructions

  • Sauté Garlic and Ginger: Heat up your pressure cooker (Instant Pot: press Sauté button). While the pressure cooker is heating, pour in 1 tbsp (15ml) peanut oil.

    Add 10 dried Chinese red chili, minced garlic, white part of green onions, and chopped ginger in the pressure cooker, then allow them to slowly release their fragrance. Sauté for roughly 3 minutes.
  • Pressure Cook Chicken: Add General Tso Sauce mixture and chicken in Instant Pot. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 12 minutes + 12 minutes Natural Release. Release the remaining pressure, then open the lid carefully.
  • Shred Chicken: Place chicken in a large mixing bowl. Remove chicken skin if desired. Shred chicken with a fork. Remove the bones.
  • Thicken General Tso Sauce: Remove the Chinese red chili. Heat up your pressure cooker (Instant Pot: press Sauté button), and bring the sauce back to a boil. Taste the sauce and add in roughly 1 tbsp (15ml) of honey to sweeten the sauce if desired.

    Mix 2 tbsp of cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water and stir the mixture into the sauce one third at a time until desired thickness.

    Place the shredded chicken back in the sauce and mix well.
  • Serve: Place shredded chicken on lettuce. Garnish with finely chopped green onions. You may also serve this Instant Pot General Tso Chicken Lettuce Wrap with Hoisin Sauce on the side. Enjoy~ 🙂
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Recipe Notes:

*Rate the Recipe: If you've tried the recipe, don't forget to Rate the Recipe in the Comments Section. Thank you! ?

Nutrition:

Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 302mg | Potassium: 453mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 880IU | Vitamin C: 5.1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main
Cuisine: American-Chinese
Keyword: general tao chicken, general tso sauce, instant pot chicken recipes, instant pot chinese recipes, instant pot general tso chicken, pressure cooker chicken, pressure cooker general tso chicken
Tried this recipe?Mention @pressurecookrecipes or tag #AmyJacky!

Cooking Tips for Instant Pot General Tso Chicken

1. Chinese Black Vinegar vs. Distilled White Vinegar

Chinese Black Vinegar will add more complexity to the General Tso Sauce Mixture’s flavor compare to using Distilled White Vinegar.

2. Butter Lettuce vs. Romaine Lettuce

We used both butter lettuce & romaine lettuce to serve this Pressure Cooker General Tso Chicken. They each bring a different texture & dimension to the dish.

  • Butter Lettuce – extremely tender, smooth, sweet
  • Romaine Lettuce – refreshing, firm, adds a crunch

3. Can I Substitute with Chicken Breast?

Yes! Please note that the Pressure Cooker General Tso Chicken will come out slightly drier when compared to using dark meat. You can pressure cook chicken breasts at High Pressure at 6 – 8 minutes + Natural Release.


Step-by-Step Instant Pot General Tso Chicken Cooking Guide

Prepare Ingredients for General Tso Chicken in Instant Pot:

Instant Pot General Tso Chicken | Pressure Cooker General Tso Chicken Recipe Ingredients

Preparation


First, mince the garlic, and roughly chop the ginger.

Chop green onions: green part finely chopped for garnish, white part cut into 1.5-inch pieces (as shown below).

Pressure Cooker General Tso Chicken Recipe preparation

Wash and break the lettuce leaves into individual pieces.

Instant Pot General Tao Chicken Lettuce Wrap

1

Sauté Garlic and Ginger


First, heat up your pressure cooker (Instant Pot: press Sauté button).

Instant Pot Saute

While the pressure cooker is heating, pour in 1 tbsp (15ml) peanut oil.

Add 10 dried Chinese red chili, minced garlic, white part of green onions, and chopped ginger in Instant Pot. Then, allow them to slowly release their fragrance. Sauté for roughly 3 minutes.

2

Pressure Cook Chicken


Add General Tso Sauce mixture and chicken in Instant Pot.

With Venting Knob at Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.

  • Pressure Cooking Method: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 12 minutes + 12 minutes Natural Release

After 12 minutes, release the remaining pressure by turning Venting Knob to Venting Position. When Floating Valve drops, open the lid carefully.

3

Shred General Tso Chicken


Place chicken in a large mixing bowl.

Remove the chicken skin if desired. Remove the meat from the bones, and shred with a fork.

instant pot shredded chicken

4

Thicken General Tso Sauce


Remove the Chinese red chili.

Heat up your pressure cooker (Instant Pot: press Sauté button), and bring the sauce back to a boil.

Taste the General Tso Sauce, then add in roughly 1 tbsp (15ml) of honey to sweeten the sauce if desired.

Mix 2 tbsp of cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water and stir the mixture into the sauce one third at a time until desired thickness.

Place the shredded chicken back in the sauce and mix well.

5

Serve Instant Pot General Tso Chicken


Place shredded General Tso Chicken on lettuce.

Garnish with finely chopped green onions.

*Note: You may serve this Pressure Cooker General Tso Chicken Lettuce Wrap with Hoisin Sauce on the side.

Instant Pot General Tso Chicken | Pressure Cooker General Tso Chicken | Instant Pot General Tao Chicken | General Tso Sauce | Instant Pot Chicken Recipes | Instant Pot Chinese Recipes

Enjoy your delicious Pressure Cooker General Tso Chicken!~ 🙂


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Instant Pot General Tso Chicken | Pressure Cooker General Tso Chicken | Instant Pot General Tao Chicken | General Tso Sauce | Instant Pot Chicken Recipes | Instant Pot Chinese Recipes #instantpot #pressurecooker #recipes #chinese

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Ranya

Hello- Thank you AGAIN for a delicious meal that was quick and full of flavor. I read all the reviews first (I always do this to gain tips and tricks etc) and decided to make it with ground meat. I did 1 pound ground turkey and 1 pound ground pork and sauteed lightly with the ginger, garlic and onions. I have young kids and a husband who don’t tolerate heat well so I omitted the chilies and sprinkled in just a couple red pepper flakes. Manual 5 minutes with 10 min Natural release. It was delicious. I served it over… Read more »

Pressure Cooker
Other Pressure Cooker, Please specify in comment.
Phillip

Having been around for a bit, I know there is always a reason why you do that thing that you do. You must know something about drumsticks that I do not. ? Gourmet cooks and Chefs (capital “C”‘s) are not the same as the run-of-the-mill cooks that treat a recipe as if it were etched in stone for all eternity but rather seek to comprehend the essence of it so as to be able to apply the lessons learned to the rest of their culinary art. Please enlighten us on the zen(?) of the lowly and humble drumstick.

Cindy

Absolutely delicious. The Asian chilis added the perfect amount of heat. Made these for a gathering and everyone raced about them. The dark meat drumsticks were perfectly cooked.5 stars

Nanz

thank you and appreciate what you guys have done. GBU

Carla

Easy and tasty!!5 stars

Isalee

Looking forward to trying this recipe. A couple of questions…Is there a non-alcoholic substitute you can recommend for Shaoxing Wine?
Can I use fresh red chillis instead of dried Chinese red chilli?

Mei

Amy and Jacky

Do you think this dish is freezer friendly?

Cherylle

This tastes delicious! Thank you for the recipe! I was Curious though, I could Only find Árbol dried chili’s at the store. Are those the same as the dried chili’s you mentioned? I was Scared to add 10, so I just Did 2 and there was no spice. Thanks!4 stars

MM

I have an 8 quart Instant Pot, which apparently requires a minimum of 2 cups of liquid for cooking. Since this recipe only needs a little over a 1/4 cup liquid, will it activate the “Burn” feature?

Most Instant Pot recipes are for 6 quart pots, which only require 1 cup liquid. How do I adapt the recipes for the 8 quart pot?

Jackie

I made this recipe a few nights ago and my kids and I loved it! I made a few minor changes: • I used coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce (we don’t do soy). • I didn’t have peanut oil, so I subbed sunflower oil. •I had shaoxing cooking wine but didn’t have Chinese black vinegar, so I used for distilled white vinegar as suggested. • After removing the whole red chilies I added some crushed red pepper (we like a bit of heat). We had it served over rice, and it was better than the general tso’s… Read more »

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