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Sweet and Sour Chicken in the Instant Pot Paleo, Whole30

This Paleo and Whole30 Sweet and Sour Chicken is made in the Instant Pot so it’s fast, easy, and a great meal for weeknights!  Family (and kid!) approved, made with real-food ingredients and ready in 30 minutes.

This Paleo and Whole30 Sweet and Sour Chicken is made in the Instant Pot so it's fast, easy, and a great meal for weeknights!  Family (and kid!) approved, made with real-food ingredients and ready in 30 minutes.

If you haven’t fallen in love with the Instant Pot yet, now is most certainly the time!

It took me awhile – as it does with anything and everything new – but after doing some experimenting and creating a few new recipes, I have to say I’m totally hooked!

So hooked, that maybe at some point I’ll branch out from chicken recipes.  Perhaps, but for now, the chicken is working for us, so let’s just go with it.  Exhibit A – Paleo + Whole30 Sweet and Sour Chicken made in the Instant Pot.

The Instant Pot is my first experience with a pressure cooker, so naturally there’s a bit of a learning curve when trying out a totally new cooking method.

Timing is everything – as with most cooking – but this is especially so with pressure cooking, since you can’t peek into the pot to see how things are going – that is cooking commitment on a level I’m just not used to.

Ahh!  The pressure! Pun not originally intended, but, I think I have to go with it now that it’s there 🙂

So, yes, the Instant Pot has a million uses and I’m still taking baby steps at the beginning, but I’m noticing that it’s really fun to use it for “saucy” recipes.

Because it can saute AND pressure cook, it’s a breeze to make a deliciously thick sauce with everything else you’re cooking, all in one pot.  Enter takeout-fakeout galore!  At least, that’s what came to mind for me – saucy Chinese takeout.

I’ll probably have at least 2 more coming after this Sweet and Sour Chicken – that’s what happens when I become obsessed with an idea – just a warning 🙂

The recipe itself is very, very simple.  The ingredients are all easy to find in your local store EXCEPT for the Whole30 compliant ketchup.  If you want to make this Whole30, you have 3 options for the ketchup:

  1. Use Tessemae’s Whole30 compliant ketchup
  2. Make your own homemade ketchup with my recipe here
  3. Use tomato paste with the addition of more garlic and ginger to make up for flavor

If you wind up going with the tomato paste, you won’t be missing out since there are lots of other ingredients making up for flavor!

To sum up the recipe – chop ingredients, sear chicken, add sauce, pressure cook, thicken sauce.  That’s it!  The entire meal will be ready in 30 minutes or less, and your family will be amazed that it’s actually healthy!

On second thought, don’t even bother to tell them it’s healthy, sometimes those kinds of secrets are better kept, well, secret – just between you and me.

I think we’re ready to cook (no pressure, haha!) get your Instant Pot out and let’s go!

Sweet and Sour Chicken in the Instant Pot Paleo, Whole30

Sweet and Sour Chicken in the Instant Pot Paleo, Whole30

This Paleo and Whole30 Sweet and Sour Chicken is made in the Instant Pot so it’s fast, easy, and a great meal for weeknights!  Family (and kid!) approved, made with real-food ingredients and ready in 30 minutes. 

Ingredients

  • 1.5
    lbs
    boneless skinless chicken thighs
    or breasts, cut into 2″ pieces
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 2
    Tbsp
    coconut oil
  • 1 20
    oz can
    pineapple chunks in 100% juice
    fruit and juice separated (see below)
  • 1 1/2
    cups
    pineapple chunks from the can
  • 3/4
    pineapple juice from can
    divided 1/2 + 1/4 cup
  • 1/3
    cup
    raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3
    cup
    Whole30 ketchup
    homemade or purchased*
  • 4
    cloves
    garlic
    minced
  • 1
    inch
    fresh ginger
    minced
  • 1
    large red bell pepper
    cut into 1-2” pieces
  • 1/8
    tsp
    red pepper flakes (or more for a spicier sauce
  • 1 1/2
    Tbsp
    arrowroot starch
    or tapioca starch
  • Sliced green onions for garnish
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

  1. Have your ingredients cut/chopped and ready to use. Turn your instant pot to “saute” and once it reads “HOT” add the coconut oil. Sprinkle your chicken with a bit of salt and pepper while waiting for pot to heat.

  2. Add chicken (in 2 batches) and cook about 1-2 minutes on each side (approximate), turning with tongs. Do not cook the chicken through or wait for it to turn brown – searing it on both sides is the goal.

  3. While chicken sautés, whisk together the 1/2 cup pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup (or tomato paste) garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes.

  4. After chicken sautés, and add the sauce mixture, pineapple chunks and red bell pepper, and bring to a simmer. Cancel saute function. Secure the lid, place the steam release on “sealing” and set to high pressure for 5 minutes (you can also use the “poultry” button if you have it.)

  5. After 5 minutes, quick release the pressure by turning steam release to “venting”. Once pressure is released, carefully remove the lid.

  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot starch with remaining 1/4 cup pineapple juice until dissolved, then add to the pot and carefully stir. Turn pot to “sauté” again and cook 3-5 minutes or until sauce thickens to preference.

  7. Press “cancel” and allow pot to cool down a bit before serving. Serve hot, garnished with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds, alongside cauliflower rice and/or roasted broccoli. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*Here is my recipe for homemade Whole30 ketchup.  You can also purchase it here. In a pinch, tomato paste can be subbed in (for Whole30 if you don’t have compliant ketchup), you can add a bit more minced garlic and ginger if desired to make up for the flavor.  

 

Nutrition Facts

Sweet and Sour Chicken in the Instant Pot Paleo, Whole30

Amount Per Serving

Calories 290
Calories from Fat 81

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 9g
14%

Saturated Fat 5g
25%

Cholesterol 107mg
36%

Sodium 219mg
9%

Potassium 660mg
19%

Total Carbohydrates 28g
9%

Dietary Fiber 2g
8%

Sugars 22g

Protein 23g
46%

Vitamin A
18.8%

Vitamin C
51.4%

Calcium
4.2%

Iron
10.3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

What I Used To Make My Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken:

Want More Takeout Inspired Whole30 and Paleo Recipes?  Try One of These!

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry 

Chicken Stir Fry with Veggies and Garlic Sauce

Pork Lo Mein with Sweet Potato Noodles

Chicken and Bacon Fried Rice

Breakfast Egg Roll in a Bowl

One-Skillet Teriyaki Meatballs

Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Paleo Running Momma!

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