Spicy Orange Beef | Instant Pot Recipe

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This Spicy Orange Beef is made with flank steak, fresh orange juice and zest, and a bit of red pepper flakes for a kick. It’s a fast one-pot dinner for a weeknight that the family loves. 

Overhead picture of Instant Pot spicy orange beef served over rice with green onions and sesame seeds on top, and garnished with an orange slice.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This is a super quick one-pot beef recipe that’s full of flavor from fresh ingredients but comes together in just a few minutes on a weeknight.

This recipe has been on our site for over a decade, and it’s still in our rotation. Over the years, we’ve refined the technique for making this dish as easy and delicious as possible. 

This is one of our favorite one-pot Instant Pot beef recipes for a quick dinner. If you’re looking for more easy beef dishes, be sure to try Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Beef Curry, Bone-In Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs, or Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Beef Stew

Update: We’ve updated this recipe and post with new tips and instructions to make sure the sauce thickens up beautifully. 

Ingredients for Instant Pot spicy orange beef, including strips of beef, sesame seeds, soy sauce, orange juice, green onions, oil, red pepper flakes, cornstarch, and garlic.

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED

Here’s what you need to make this easy Instant Pot spicy beef:

  • Flank steak. Be sure to cut the steak into equal pieces for even cooking.
  • Garlic. This is a must for the classic flavor of orange beef!
  • Orange juice. We always use freshly squeezed orange juice, but store-bought will work in a pinch. 
  • Soy sauce. You can use regular or low-sodium soy sauce. 
  • Sesame oil. This has a strong flavor, so if you’re sensitive to sesame oil, you can use slightly less. 
  • Red pepper flakes. Feel free to omit these if you don’t want your orange beef to have a kick. 
  • Orange zest. This adds to the fresh citrus flavor. 
  • Cornstarch. You’ll need this to thicken up the sauce so it coats the beef. 
  • Green onions. Use these to add a pop of color as garnish on the dish. 
Overhead picture browning strips of beef for orange beef in an Instant Pot.

How to Make Spicy Orange Beef in an Instant Pot

This easy recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

Start by seasoning your beef with plenty of salt and pepper. Next, you’ll brown the beef using the Saute function on the Instant Pot. add the vegetable oil, and once it’s hot, add the beef in batches and sear on both sides until nicely browned. Transfer all of the meat to a plate. 

Leave the drippings in the pressure cooking pot, then add the garlic and give it a good stir for a minute, until it’s fragrant. Next add your orange juice, red pepper flakes, and soy sauce and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Return the beef to the pot, along with any juices on the plate. 

Overhead picture of cooked orange beef in an Instant Pot.

Now you’re ready to pressure cook. Lock the lid on and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. When the cooking time ends, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. 

Remove the lid, and now it’s time to thicken up the sauce. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl into a smooth paste. Push the beef to one side of the pressure cooking pot and add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce, stirring constantly. Select Saute and bring the sauce to a boil until it’s nice and thick. 

Finally, stir in your green onions. Serve the spicy beef over rice or noodles and top it with orange zest, more green onions, and more red pepper flakes if you like. Enjoy!

Instant Pot spicy o range beef served over rice with green onions and sesame seeds on top, and garnished with an orange slice.

Important Tips for Making Spicy Orange Beef

  • Seasoning the steak before you brown it will help season the entire dish, so don’t be shy!
  • Browning the beef is an important first step to building rich, deep flavors in this dish. We don’t recommend skipping it, but if you’re crunched for time, you can simply go straight to the pressure cooking step. 
  • Be sure to use a non-metal spoon, such as a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, to stir your sauce while it thickens. 
  • When you add the cornstarch to the sauce after pressure cooking, make sure to bring the sauce to a full boil so it thickens and to ensure that the cornstarch is fully cooked. If your sauce still looks thin, remember it will continue to thicken as it cools. 
Orange beef served over rice with green onions and sesame seeds on top, and garnished with an orange slice, and placed in front of an Instant Pot.

Frequently Asked Questions about Instant Pot Orange Beef

How should I store leftover spicy orange beef?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. You can reheat servings in the microwave or on the stove to serve. 

Can I make this dish without spice? 

Yes, you can leave out the red pepper flakes if you don’t want this dish to be spicy at all. Or let everyone add spice to their own dish. 

What should I serve with spicy Instant Pot beef?

We serve this saucy beef over Instant Pot white or brown rice. It’s also great over noodles! 

Can I use chicken instead of beef?

Yes, you can make Instant Pot spicy orange chicken using this recipe. Just cut the chicken into equal bite-sized pieces and reduce the cooking time to 3 minutes at high pressure. The rest of the recipe can be kept the same!

Can I use chuck roast?

Yes, you can use chuck roast instead of flank steak. The key is to cut the steak thinly before cooking. Check out my beef and broccoli recipe for instructions. 

Close up picture of Insta Pot orange beef served over rice with green onions and sesame seeds on top.

MORE Quick Instant Pot Beef Recipes

Here are our other favorite fast weeknight recipes made with beef in the Instant Pot:

Pressure Cooker Spicy Orange Beef from Pressure Cooking Today
Original photo from 2014.

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Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Spicy Orange Beef with a side of rice and an orange slice on a white serving dish

Instant Pot Orange Beef

Yield: 6 - 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes

This Instant Pot Spicy Orange Beef Recipe has a thick, orange-based sauce made with fresh citrus, garlic, and red pepper flakes for a quick one-pot dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds flank steak, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more if needed
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish, if desired
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest, plus more for garnish, if desired
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced, with some reserved for garnish
  • Prepared white rice or stir fry noodles

Instructions

  1. Season beef with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Select Saute to preheat the pressure cooking pot. When hot, add the oil and brown the meat in batches until all meat is browned: do not crowd. Transfer meat to a plate when browned.
  2. When all of the meat is browned, add the garlic to the pot and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add orange juice and soy sauce to the cooking pot and scrape the bottom of the pan to ensure no browned bits remain. Add the sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and orange zest, then return the browned beef to the pot, along with any accumulated juices. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 12 minutes cook time.
  4. When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water, whisking until smooth. Use a spoon to nudge the beef to the side and add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce in the pot, stirring constantly. Select Saute and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Stir in green onions.
  6. Serve over rice or noodles, and garnish with additional orange zest, green onion, and red pepper flakes, if desired.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 341Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 577mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 37g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.

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