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Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice

$9.64 Recipe/$2.41 Serving

Chicken fried rice in the instant pot will quickly become a family favorite for weeknight dinner!

Easy to make, this one pot meal is packed with flavor but only 10 ingredients! Ready in 30 minutes, this instant pot chicken fried rice is faster than takeout and much more budget friendly!

Chicken fried rice in a white bowl in front of instant pot.

Why you will love this recipe

  • One pot meal! Weeknight meals should be quick and easy and require little clean up! This instant pot chicken fried rice checks all these boxes!
  • Naturally gluten free and kid friendly! Do you have a gluten free kiddo that always wants “fun foods”? Make this instant pot chicken fried rice and watch them gobble it up!
  • Great for leftovers! If you need meals later in the week, you can make a large batch and enjoy this anytime. Because we use jasmine rice, the rice never gets hard as it sits in the fridge. You can eat this chicken fried rice from the instant pot cold right out of the fridge!
  • Freezer friendly! Freeze extra portions for a homemade frozen meal that is so much better than anything you can buy in the stores!
Ingredients to make instant pot chicken fried rice.
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Ingredients

  • Jasmine rice – Jasmine rice cooks up so perfectly in the instant pot and unlike regular white rice, it doesn’t get hard and dry in the fridge. This makes it perfect for meal prep or make ahead meals! I recommend white jasmine rice for this but you can check the tips below for brown jasmine rice!
  • Water – this is used to cook the rice. You could also use chicken stock or vegetable stock in place of the water but that adds to the cost and we try to keep these recipes budget friendly!
  • Coconut aminos – coconut aminos are a soy free and gluten free alternative to soy sauce. You could use gluten free tamari if you can tolerate soy or even soy sauce. However coconut aminos tend to be a bit sweeter than soy or tamari, so you may need to add a touch of sweetness at the end depending on your preference.
  • Rice wine vinegar – this helps to bring acidity and brightness to the dish. Vinegar can help elevate the other flavors and bring balance to a dish. Rice wine vinegar is traditionally used in Chinese cooking.
  • Spices and salt – Ground ginger, garlic powder and salt. These help to add flavor and balance out the dish.
  • Chicken thighs (boneless, skinless) – chicken thighs are more forgiving to work with and are more budget friendly too! You could use boneless, skinless chicken breast as well, but you may notice the chicken is a bit drier than chicken thighs when cooked.
  • Carrots – Shredded carrots are great because they don’t need any time at all to heat through when added to the cooked dish. You could also use the frozen peas and carrot blend sold at most grocery stores for a similar dish without using fresh shredded carrots.
  • Frozen Peas – frozen peas are easy to keep on hand and add a pop of color and flavor to the dish.
  • Green onions (optional) – Green onions are a way to add a pop of freshness and color to the meal right before serving. Green onions provide a fresh onion flavor that is not overpowering.

How to make chicken fried rice in the instant pot

Start by rinsing the rice in a mesh strainer. Wash the rice until the liquid from the rice runs clear. This will help ensure that the rice isn’t overly sticky and mushy at the end.

Once the rice has been washed, strain off all extra water and add the rice to the instant pot.

Pull the peas out of the freezer and allow them to defrost on the counter.

Add the water, coconut aminos, spices and salt to the instant pot and stir well to fully incorporate into the rice. Be sure all the rice is submerged in liquid.

Cut the chicken thighs up into ½ inch cubes. I typically use my kitchen shears for this, but you could also use a sharp knife and a plastic cutting board (don’t cut raw chicken on a wood cutting board).

Add the chicken thighs directly to the instant pot on top of the rice, don’t stir. Try to flatten the chicken out but don’t mix it in with the rice. The rice needs to be submerged in liquid and if you stir it all together, the rice will likely not all be submerged.

Add the lid and turn on the instant pot for high pressure for 3 minutes (be sure the vent is sealed).

After coming up to pressure and cooking for 3 minutes, allow the instant pot to naturally release pressure for at least 10 minutes (I typically let it fully release). If you are choosing to release pressure after 10 minutes, carefully flip the valve and release the pressure.

Open the instant pot lid (once all pressure is released) and stir the chicken and rice mixture. To this add the partially defrosted peas and shredded carrots. Stir well.

Thinly slice the green onion and sprinkle it over the top right before serving.

Steps to make instant pot chicken fried rice.
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Top tips

  • Take the frozen peas out of the freezer before you start prepping the chicken so they are mostly defrosted by the time the chicken and rice is cooked.
  • Cut the chicken about the same size to ensure it all cooks through. You want about ½ inch cubes so they can cook in the time that it takes to make the rice.
  • Be sure to rinse the jasmine rice until the liquid runs clear. Jasmine rice (especially white jasmine rice) has a lot of extra starch on the rice right out of the bag. This can create a gummy dish, so don’t skip this step! Even if you are using brown jasmine rice I recommend you take time to rinse the rice first.
  • Be sure the rice is fully submerged in liquid  to ensure that it cooks through and isn’t crunchy. Add the chicken on top of the rice but don’t mix it in.
  • If you want to use brown jasmine rice, you will need to increase the cooking time and amount of water in this recipe. See the exact tips below.
  • If you have an 8qt instant pot you will likely need to double this recipe so that you don’t get a burn notice. This is because the 8 qt pots recommend at least 2 cups of liquid in the pot and this recipe only has 1.25 cups of liquid.
  • You can freeze leftovers for later! Freeze in individual servings to make your own frozen meals (that are much tastier and budget friendly than anything you can buy at the store).
Instant pot filled with chicken fried rice.

Other veggies to add

  • Shredded cabbage
  • Bell pepper (thinly sliced)
  • Chopped broccoli florets
  • Thinly sliced water chestnuts
  • Cooked mushrooms
  • Cooked onions
  • Cooked asparagus
  • Sugar snap peas, chopped

Other flavors to add

  • Spice: Red pepper flake, sriracha or garlic chili paste
  • Deeper flavor: 1/2 tsp. Toasted Sesame oil at the end or 1 tbsp. fish sauce.
  • Sweeter sauce: 1/2- 1 tbsp. honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar

Common questions

Will the chicken really cook in 3 minutes of pressure?

Yes! The key is to make sure the chicken is cut up into small cubes (about ½ inch). The instant pot will take about 7 minutes to come up to pressure and will also have at least 10 minutes to naturally release pressure. This gives the chicken time to cook through all the way.

How to add scrambled eggs

This recipe does not have scrambled eggs in it (which a main ingredient in traditional fried rice recipes). Because this recipe cooks in the instant pot, it’s tough to scramble eggs without either creating a burn notice or taking all the ingredients out of the instant pot after cooking and scrambling the eggs using the saute function. Both of these options did not seem appealing to me.

Because of this, I recommend if you want scrambled eggs in your instant pot chicken fried rice, scramble the eggs separately on the stove while you are waiting for the instant pot to finish cooking and stir them in when you open the lid.

Chopsticks getting a serving of chicken fried rice in front of instant pot.

Is this really fried rice when you aren’t frying the rice?

Technically no this is not “fried rice”. This recipe is great when you want the flavors of fried rice but you don’t have any leftover rice in the fridge to fry up! And it’s even easier than stove top fried rice because you can walk away while it’s cooking!

What if you want to use brown jasmine rice (or brown basmati rice)

Brown jasmine rice needs more time to cook in the instant pot and also needs more water. This recipe uses a ratio of 1 cup of rice and 1.25 cups of liquid for the white jasmine rice and cooks in 3 minutes. Brown jasmine rice will require 1.50 cups of liquid and 7 minutes of high pressure to cook the rice.

To make this with brown jasmine (or basmati) rice, add ¼ cup of water (for every 1 cup of rice) and increase the cooking time from 3 minutes to 7 minutes. Everything else will stay the same.

Storage

  • Fridge: Store leftover instant pot chicken fried rice in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Freezer: I recommend freezing in individual portions to make reheating easier! Divide the leftovers out into 1 or 2 cup portions (based on how much you typically eat). I like to use Soupercubes for this. Freeze solid in the 1 or 2 cup portions. Once frozen, transfer to a bag and be sure to date the bag and write down what is inside.
  • To defrost: Allow to defrost in the fridge overnight or defrost in the microwave.
  • To reheat: Add the defrosted chicken fried rice to a small skillet over medium heat to reheat. You may need to add 1-2 tbsp of water to ensure nothing sticks to the pan. You can also reheat in the microwave 1:30 minutes stirring halfway.

Substitutions

  • White jasmine rice: You can also use white basmati rice or white rice without changing the ingredients/instructions. To use brown jasmine or brown basmati rice, increase the water by ¼ cup for every 1 cup of rice use and cook for 7 minutes at high pressure.
  • Coconut aminos: This is an alternative to soy sauce. You could use gluten free tamari or low sodium soy sauce in place of the coconut aminos. Note that the coconut aminos are sweeter than soy sauce so you may want to add ½ tbsp. maple syrup or honey to help balance out the flavor.
  • Ground ginger:  Ground ginger is easily stored in the pantry so that is what I like to use. If you wanted to use fresh ginger, you certainly could! Be sure to grate it finely on a microplane before adding it to the sauce.
  • Garlic powder: garlic powder is great in recipes like this where I don’t plan on cooking the garlic ahead of time. If you want to use fresh garlic in this recipe, I recommend you grate it on a microplane to make it almost melt into the sauce so you aren’t getting chunks of garlic in the dish.
  • Chicken thighs: You could also use chicken breast (cut into ½ inch cubes) or omit the chicken altogether. You could add tofu or shrimp you cooked on the stove while the rice was cooking.
  • Shredded carrots and frozen peas: You can also find frozen peas and carrots in most grocery stores. You will want about 1 cup of that mixture if you choose to use that instead. You could also use any of the veggies listed above.
  • Green onion: Green onion is optional and if you don’t have any on hand, just omit without any substitution.
Chicken fried rice being spooned out of the instant pot.

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Instant pot chicken fried rice in a white bowl.

Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice

$9.64 Recipe/$2.41 Serving
Chicken fried rice in the instant pot is the perfect one pot meal, great for busy weeknights! Ready in 30 minutes (with only a few minutes of prep time) and 10 ingredients, this will quickly become a family favorite!
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chicken fried rice instant pot, instant pot chicken fried rice
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 3 mins
Natural Release: 10 mins
Total Time: 23 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Start by rinsing the rice in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Add rinsed rice to the instant pot.
  • Remove the peas from the freezer to allow them to start to defrost.
  • Add the water, coconut aminos, salt, garlic powder and ground ginger to the instant pot. Stir.
  • Cut the chicken up into 1/2 inch cubes into the instant pot (I like to use kitchen shears). Flatten out the chicken in the pot but do not stir in with the rice.
  • Place the lid on the instant pot and close the valve to seal it. Cook on high pressure 3 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to naturally release at least 10 minutes (typically I allow it to fully release naturally). Release pressure if needed.
  • Remove the lid, add the shredded carrots and defrosted frozen peas. Stir well.
  • Add the chopped green onion to the top right before serving.

Notes

Other veggies to add
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Bell pepper (thinly sliced)
  • Chopped broccoli florets
  • Thinly sliced water chestnuts
  • Cooked mushrooms
  • Cooked onions
  • Cooked asparagus
  • Sugar snap peas, chopped
Other flavors to add:
  • Spice: Red pepper flake, sriracha or garlic chili paste
  • Deeper flavor: 1/2 tsp. Toasted Sesame oil at the end or 1 tbsp. fish sauce.
  • Sweeter sauce: 1/2- 1 tbsp. honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar
Storage
  • Fridge: Store leftover instant pot chicken fried rice in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Freezer: I recommend freezing in individual portions to make reheating easier! Divide the leftovers out into 1 or 2 cup portions (based on how much you typically eat). I like to use Soupercubes for this. Freeze solid in the 1 or 2 cup portions. Once frozen, transfer to a bag and be sure to date the bag and write down what is inside.
  • To defrost: Allow to defrost in the fridge overnight or defrost in the microwave.
  • To reheat: Add the defrosted chicken fried rice to a small skillet over medium heat to reheat. You may need to add 1-2 tbsp of water to ensure nothing sticks to the pan. You can also reheat in the microwave 1:30 minutes stirring halfway.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
395
Fat
 
6
g
Carbohydrates
 
48
g
Fiber
 
2
g
Sugar
 
2
g
Protein
 
32
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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