This healthier Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Chinese Lemon Chicken recipe will keep you at home instead of heading to your favorite Chinese restaurant. We skipped the deep-fried coating in favor of tender pieces of chicken coated in a sweet lemon sauce, spiced with just a hint of ginger, garlic, and red pepper. It’s a perfect pressure cooker chicken recipe to make when you crave Asian carry out!
Jim, a kind Pressure Cooking Today reader, recently contacted me and said he’d tried a couple of my chicken recipes using rabbit instead of chicken and they came out great. (Rabbit—who knew?!) He also asked if I had a recipe for Instant Pot Chinese Lemon Chicken, because it is his wife’s favorite.
Since I’m also crazy about the Lemon Chicken served at Chinese restaurants, I decided I just had to create a pressure cooker version. And I’m so glad I did—it pleased even my pickiest eaters!
Making Pressure Cooker Chinese Lemon Chicken in an Instant Pot
An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use, and your Instant Pot can help you create this yummy Chinese Lemon Chicken!
Usually, restaurants will serve Chinese Lemon Chicken deep fried and in a sticky yellow sauce. Since I wanted a little healthier option to make at home, I skipped the deep frying and made this dish with a bright lemon flavor with just a hint of heat.
I also decided not to add food coloring to my lemon sauce, so it isn’t yellow. Still, the chicken is tender and I didn’t miss the not-so-good for you fried coating.
Update: This Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Lemon Chicken is still on a regular rotation at our house. I’ve updated the post with a video so you can see for yourself just how easy it is to make!
I hope Jim, his wife, and you will like this Pressure Cooker Chinese Lemon Chicken recipe just as much as my family did!
Is there a recipe you’re interested in having me try next? Let me know in the comments section! (I won’t be able to get to everything, but I’m always on the lookout for new foods to try!)
- 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- Zest of one lemon
- 2 green onions, chopped
- Red pepper flakes for garnish, optional
- In the pressure cooking pot, combine the chicken, lemon juice, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, and chili-garlic sauce. Stir to combine.
- Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 3 minutes cook time. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Add the slurry to the pot. Select Simmer/Sauté and simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick and syrupy. Stir in lemon zest. Serve topped with scallions and red pepper flakes (if using).
Note: You can cook rice at the same time you cook the chicken. Here’s how I to do it. Use a 7×3 inch round cake pan or similar dish, and add rice ingredients. Place a rack on top of the chicken in the pressure cooking pot, and place the cake pan on top of the rack. Use this rice recipe https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/pressure-cooker-white-rice/ and be sure and do a 10 minute natural release.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 454mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 26g
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