Skip to Content

Pressure Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken Thighs

$13.44 Recipe/1.68 Serving

Pressure cooker sweet and sour chicken thighs are going to become your new favorite weeknight dinner! This Whole30 recipe is gluten free, grain free, sugar free and so simple to make! Ready in the less than 30 minutes, this recipe is better than takeout!

Overhead shot of large bowl of pressure cooker sweet and sour chicken thighs in the bowl next to cauliflower rice

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Growing up we lived on a street with a Chinese Takeout Restaurant on the corner and my dad loved that place! He would order sweet and sour chicken and egg rolls every Friday night. Making the sauce for this sweet and sour chicken thighs recipe instantly reminded me of those nights with my dad.

This pressure cooker sweet and sour chicken can be made in about 30 minutes and doesn’t require a ton of ingredients! Everything cooks in the pressure cooker and it’s pretty hands-off for the most part!

I love weeknight meals like this because they are packed full of flavor but don’t require a lot of babysitting, so I can get other things done while dinner is cooking! Thank goodness for the Instant Pot!

Don’t fret though, if you don’t have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, you can make this easily in the slow cooker or on the stove!

Ingredients for pressure cooker sweet and sour chicken in a collage

What is sweet and sour chicken made of:

Collage of steps to make pressure cooker sweet and sour chicken thighs (top left: chicken thighs in sauce after cooking, top right, shredded chicken thighs, bottom left: thickening the sauce, bottom right, adding the chicken back to the thickened sauce)

How to make sweet and sour chicken thighs in the Instant Pot:

Start by making the sauce. Combine pineapple juice, roasted red pepper, coconut aminos, fresh grated ginger, rice wine vinegar and salt in a high speed blender.

Combine the chicken and the sauce in the pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for about 12 minutes.

Take the chicken out and shred it or cut it up into cubes.

Add an arrowroot flour slurry to the sauce (without the chicken) and allow it to thicken on the saute function.

Once thickened, add in the chicken, pineapple chunks and green onion.

Fork holding up the shredded pressure cooker sweet and sour chicken thighs over the pressure cooker.

How to make sweet and sour chicken thighs in the slow cooker:

  • Make the sauce and pour it over the chicken thighs in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • After cooking for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low, take the chicken out and shred it (or cube it).
  • Turn the slow cooker back on high and add the arrowroot slurry and stir well allowing the sauce to thicken.
  • Once thickened, add back the chicken as well as the pineapple and green onion.
Overhead shot of large bowl of pressure cooker sweet and sour chicken thighs in the bowl next to cauliflower rice with chop sticks picking up a piece of chicken from the bowl.

Substitutes and ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs – use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in this recipe. The chicken thighs are really best for this recipe since they are less likely to dry out when cooking. With that being said, you could always use chicken breast, just know that thighs are more forgiving. If the chicken breast is really thick you may want to push the high pressure up to 15 minutes.
  • Pineapple juice – If you don’t have this on hand, you can use the pineapple juice you strain from the can of pineapple chunks and add ¼ cup of water to the mixture to make sure it will come up to pressure.
  • Coconut aminos – coconut aminos are a soy free and gluten free version of soy sauce. You can also use soy sauce or liquid aminos instead of coconut aminos
  • Arrowroot flour or tapioca flour – the arrowroot thickens the sauce allowing it to really stick to the chicken and pineapple chunks. Be sure to combine arrowroot flour with cold or room temperature water before adding it to hot liquids. It will clump up if added directly to hot liquids. You can also use cornstarch to thicken this dish.
  • Pineapple chunks – I always have a few cans of pineapple chunks in juice in the pantry. Add the canned pineapple at the end so they don’t turn into mush during pressure cooking. If you want to use fresh pineapple, you may want to add it to the sauce when you add the arrowroot slurry so it has some time to cook down a bit or it will be very crunchy.

What goes with sweet and sour chicken?

To keep this sweet and sour chicken Whole30 friendly, you can serve it with cooked riced cauliflower, riced broccoli, even broccoli slaw.

If you are not following a Whole30, you could also serve this with regular rice.

Other veggies you could add to this Whole30 Sweet and Sour chicken:

  • Chopped bell pepper
  • Shredded carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet peas
  • Sugar Snap Peas

Add these veggies when you are adding the arrowroot slurry to the sauce so they can heat up but not turn to mush.

Overhead shot of large bowl of pressure cooker sweet and sour chicken thighs in the bowl next to cauliflower rice. Chopsticks are next to the bowl and there is more cauliflower rice in the background

What to do if the sweet and sour sauce is too thick or too thin:

After adding the arrowroot slurry to the sauce, it has to cook over heat for a few minutes to thicken. If you find that after 5-6 minutes of cooking that the sauce isn’t thick enough you could add another ½ tablespoon of arrowroot powder + 1 tablespoon of water mixed together. Allow that mixture to thicken for 3-4 minutes.

If the sauce is too thick, just add a few tablespoons of water at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.

This post contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read my policy and more about affiliate links.

If you love this recipe you should try

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!
Overhead shot of large bowl of pressure cooker sweet and sour chicken thighs in the bowl next to cauliflower rice with chop sticks picking up a piece of chicken from the bowl.

Pressure Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken (Whole30)

$13.44 Recipe/1.68 Serving
Pressure cooker sweet and sour chicken is going to become your new favorite weeknight meal! Made in 30 minutes, this recipe is so easy to make in your Instant Pot! This healthy recipe is sugar free, gluten free, grain free and paleo! Slow cooker instructions included as well! 
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken, sweet and sour chicken, Whole30 Sweet and Sour Chicken
Prep Time: 2 mins
Cook Time: 28 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Guided Recipe Video

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Drain the pineapple juice from the canned pineapple in a separate container.
  • Add the pineapple juice, coconut aminos,, roasted red pepper, fresh grated ginger, rice wine vinegar and salt in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
  • Add the chicken thighs to the insert of the pressure cooker and pour the sauce over them.
  • Put the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure the valve is set to seal. Turn the pressure cooker on high pressure for 12 minutes.
  • After the pressure cooker is done cooking, manually release the pressure (watch your hands and don’t stand directly over the pressure cooker). 
  • Take the chicken thighs out of the pressure cooker and shred or cube the chicken on a plate. 
  • Before adding the chicken back in, combine the arrowroot flour with water and stir to fully dissolve the flour. Pour the flour/water mixture into the pressure cooker and turn on the saute function for 5 minutes.
  • Allow the sauce to come up to a boil and thicken, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce has thickened, add back in the chicken and stir well to coat. 
  • Add in the pineapple chunks and chopped green onion. Stir well. 
  • Serve with your favorite side dish (cauliflower rice, rice, veggies). 

Notes

For slow cooker instructions see the post above
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
194
Fat
 
5
g
Carbohydrates
 
15
g
Fiber
 
1
g
Sugar
 
10
g
Protein
 
22
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?Let others know by rating and leaving a comment below!

Sheet pan full of sweet potato patties
Simple and Easy Sweet Potato Patties Recipe (Vegan, Whole30)
← Read Last Post
Overhead shot of large bowl filled with spicy sweet potato soup topped with sliced jalapeno, pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro. Spoon resting on the left side of the bowl
Spicy Sweet Potato Soup
Read Next Post →
Recipe Rating