Honey Sesame Chicken {Instant Pot}

Honey Sesame Chicken is an easy weeknight meal the entire family will love! This easy chicken recipe only takes 25 minutes to make because it is made in the Instant Pot. It is a chicken dinner winner!

Honey Sesame Chicken

I thought we should take a break from cookies and share an easy weeknight meal. The holiday season is busy and I am sure you are all in need of a quick and easy dinner recipe.

This Honey Sesame Chicken recipe is guaranteed to be a family favorite. And the best part? It only takes 25 minutes to make because it is made in the Instant Pot. I hope you all bought an Instant Pot on Black Friday. If not, don’t worry, there is still time. Treat yourself to an early Christmas present. We LOVE our Instant Pot, it is a lifesaver for making easy and delicious recipes.

Sesame Chicken

This recipe is from our friend Barbara’s new cookbook, The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook. I featured this cookbook in our cookbook gift guide this year, it is a good one! If you have an Instant Pot, you need this book because it is filled with over 200 pressure cooker recipes! Barbara is the pressure cooker queen. We can always trust her recipes.

When Josh saw the Honey Sesame Chicken recipe he got out our Instant Pot and said he was making dinner. I was ok with that. Josh is actually the Instant Pot pro in our house. He loves using the Instant Pot. He makes hard boiled eggs every week and his cilantro lime rice and 4-ingredient chicken chile verde are favorites at our house. And now this Honey Sesame Chicken recipe is a favorite.

The sticky sweet sesame sauce is easy to make and gives the chicken a ton of flavor. The Instant Pot cooks the chicken in no time and the chicken is perfectly tender. Josh served the chicken with rice and roasted broccoli. This easy chicken dinner is a winner and SO much better than take out. Get out your Instant Pot and make it for dinner tonight!

Looking for more easy weeknight dinners? Check out our top 25 easy weeknight dinners!

If you like this easy chicken recipe, you might also like:

Sesame Chicken Recipe

Honey Sesame Chicken {Instant Pot}

This easy Honey Sesame Chicken recipe only takes 25 minutes to make because it is made in the Instant Pot. It is a family favorite and SO much better than takeout!
4.75 from 31 votes


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce use Tamari for gluten-free
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 scallions white and green parts, chopped
  • Cooked rice and roasted broccoli for serving, optional
  • Chopped scallions and sesame seeds for garnish, optional


  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Select Browning/Sauté to preheat the Instant Pot. When hot, add the oil, onion, garlic, and chicken to the pot. Sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens.
  • Stir in the soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes. 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. Add the sesame oil and honey to the pot and stir to combine.
  • 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 thickens. Stir in the scallions. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds, if desired. Serve roasted broccoli on the side, if desired.


Calories: 244kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 890mg, Potassium: 393mg, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 140IU, Vitamin C: 3.5mg, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 0.9mg
Keywords honey sesame chicken

Have you tried this recipe?

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Honey Sesame Chicken made in the Instant Pot is a family favorite chicken dinner! It only takes 25 minutes to make and is MUCH better than takeout! #chicken #chickenrecipe #dinner #chickendinner #instantpot #easyrecipes
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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. This sounds perfect for this time of year! I need to use my Instant pot more often. I can’t wait to try it. I’d love to Pin it, but the link to pin just this is gone. It just goes to your profile and I don’t see this recipe there. 

    1. You will love this one! It’s so easy! Weird, I just pinned it. Maybe it is your browser? Try again! Sorry for the hassle and thanks for pinning:)

    1. You should be able to do this in any pressure cooker, but you’ll just need a bit more guess work in terms of timing, if you’re using a stove-top pressure cooker.

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious!  A little spicy for the kids (6 and 3) but you could probably leave out the chilli flakes.  Def making again.  Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    made this tonight and it was delicious and enjoyed by everyone! we don’t own an instant pot – so for those who are interested, here’s what we did:
    mixed up the sauce- onions through honey. cut up the chicken and seared it quickly in the oil on med high heat. added the sauce and when the sauce boiled, lowered the heat to low and simmered, covered for 5 min. mixed up the water and cornstarch and added to the sauce and continued to simmer until thickened.
    thanks for a great recipe!

  4. Do you experience a lot of sticking with the chicken on the saute setting? New to instant pot cooking and I’m struggling with everything sticking! Any tips? Thanks!

  5. Ive heard of people cooking their rice at the same time in the Instapot? Im novice here, but is that a thing? Tonight I will be doing the rice first and then this dish – can’t wait!

    1. I have done the Pot in Pot cooking with Rice. We have a tall trivet I put in after the main course (I usually do it with the Mongolian Beef) and think I will attempt this with the Rice PIP tonight. As long as the trivet and bowl you use fit inside the pot it’s good to go. I do however suggest you use Natural release as that is what is needed for the rice.

  6. YUM. I just got an Instant Pot for xmas and have been on the lookout for some good recipes. I love the sticky sweet and savory sauce here. Sesame chicken is def a favorite 🙂 This sounds delicious!

  7. 1 star
    We tried this last night – while it was easy to make and we enjoyed the flavor generally, it was just much too salty (and I did use low sodium tamari as the recipe called for).

  8. 4 stars
    I’m eating this right now:) . My second -ever IP meal! A little ambitious but tasty. Is it “better than takeout?” Well, no, because takeout involves tasty bites of deep-fried chicken. But the sauce is velvety and delicious, and it’s a satisfying meal to cook and to eat.

  9. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe! I made this and served it over yellow rice with the roasted broccoli. Definitely a new favorite for our motorhome travels. Thank you!

  10. 5 stars
    I made this earlier! It was amazing! I wanted it spicier, so I added some sriracha sauce with the ketchup. I wonder if it could work well with shrimp!

  11. 5 stars
    I made this tonight!! it was my first dish in my instant pot. The recipe is very easy to make, and the dish turned out great. Chicken was very nice and tender and the sauce was amazing!! I will be saving this recipe to make again! 

  12. 5 stars
    I made this as the inaugural recipe in my Instant Pot and my whole family loved it! It has great flavour and paired nicely with rice noodles (some people in my family don’t like rice). Highly recommend trying it.

  13. 5 stars
    I love sesame chicken and I love that this recipe doesn’t involve frying the chicken. Sounds delish! I think I will try it tomorrow and see if the hubby approves!

  14. I would like to make this recipe tonight but for one person and I believe the recipes serves six. I will cut down the ingredients but what about the cooking times?

  15. 5 stars
    So glad I made this, it was so good! We loved it! Also made roasted broccoli, so good. Awesome dinner! Thank you!

  16. It says only cook three minutes, is that core ? I know you sautéed first but making sure of cook time before I make. sounds delicious!!

  17. I’m a little confused about function. After I sauté meat and onions then do I push “steam”? And close the pressure valve?   It goes to preheat before it cooks for three minutes ?

  18. Made this a few weeks ago and it was extremely easy and delicious! Can you make this with chicken thighs? Does it change the cook time? Thank you!

  19. 4 stars
    I have made this twice now and will definitely be making it again! My daughter (11 yrs) loves it. I accidentally added the honey and sesame oil in with soy sauce and ketchup but I don’t think anything untoward happened! Delicious.

  20. This was a great dinner…the Grand children loved the entire meal! I have been following you for maybe 7+ years and continue referring back to my favorites! Good luck with the book. Keep the recipes coming as I try a lot of them.
    Marti Walski

  21. I made a change to this recipe just slightly.. I added a cup of water before the initial pressure cooking of it. Just the ketchup and soy sauce as measured wasn’t enough liquid and it wasn’t quite the consistency i liked.

  22. 5 stars
    I made this last night and it was AMAZING!!!
    Very first recipe I ever made, got an instant pot for Christmas.

    My pot didn’t have a clear “high/Med/Low Pressure” setting, so I used the meat/stew setting on mine and it still came out amazing. Definitely adding it to our regular rotation.

  23. 5 stars
    My family loves this recipe. It’s such a hit my soon to be 13 year old requested it for her birthday dinner! Thanks for sharing.

  24. I made this on top of the stove using low sodium soy sauce, some hoisin sauce and topped with chow mien noodles…very tasty. Thank you.

  25. Hello – unfortunately I can’t eat tomatoes or ketchup – any suggestions on a replacement in this recipe? It looks like enough that I shouldn’t just leave it out. Is it for sweetness – would some sort of brown sugar combo with something work? Thank you.

    1. My daughter is intolerant of the acid in tomatoes…..I often substitute with pureed roasted red peppers.

    1. Someone above shared they made it on the stove top! I am sure you can adapt for the slow cooker too!

  26. Did not care for this at all. The sauce flavor was way too strong and tasted like a bad version of a good Chinese takeout recipe. Won’t be making this again. 🙁

  27. 5 stars
    My family loved this! So easy to make! And all ingredients are “pantry” so I had everything I needed to make this without running to the store.

  28. 5 stars
    So good! I used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and used less chicken because I like it super saucy. It turned out great and was so easy

  29. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight for my daughter, and she loved it! Will make it again for her. Thank you for sharing.

  30. 5 stars
    Hi Maria. This looks great! Do you have a suggestion for what to do if I do not have the “sautè” button on my InstaPot? Thanks!

  31. 5 stars
    Really enjoyed this! Easy and taste matched our preferences. We are seniors, and many online recipes today are over-spicey, but not this one. I followed the recipe exactly and it is a winner! Kudos for keeping it simple with ordinary ingredients. The sesame oil is available in any grocery store. The only change I would make next time is minor; I would cut back on the honey a bit to make it a little less sweet, but that’s it. I used my pressure cooker, and next time I will be smart enough to saute’ the chicken chunks in 2 batches, and then saute’ the onions & garlic. I threw in all the chicken at once, and in order to saute’ each chunk, I think some pieces got “steamed” in the pile and then were a little over-cooked. I love your recipes and appreciate your ingenuity!

  32. This looks yummy! How big of chicken breasts would you recommend using? They can be anywhere from about 6 ounces to a whole pound each!

  33. 5 stars
    Everything is so nicely described that really helped. I truly appreciate the way you made this delicious recipe. Looking forward for more such recipes in future too.

  34. 5 stars
    The meal was delicious, every bite had me grinning from ear to ear on how tasty it was. Served over rice, I could not stop eating it. Highly recommend it.

  35. 5 stars
    Love just about every recipe I make from this site. And this one is Definitely a keeper. You know it’s good when I’m excited to eat leftovers tomorrow. One thing I didn’t realize until I was in the middle of making the recipe- I use my instant pot as my rice cooker. I used cooktop instead, which turned out fine. And I cooked the broccoli in a stir fry pan. Lots of dinners but restaurant quality meal!

  36. 5 stars
    My husband loved this, said it was the best ever Asian dish that I make. My 7 year old loved it too. I decreased the honey a decent amount and it was still delicious. It was so easy to make, I put it together after soccer and worried about how long it would take, but it was quick!