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Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken

Good gravy. This week…wowwwww. I never turn off my phone, but that might be my next move. Wednesday is here and nearly gone. I think I can, I think I can. I somewhat jokingly said to my mom this morning on my way to work, “Mom, I’m trying really hard not to drink during the week, but that is proving very difficult!”.

You see, there’s this whole trend on Instagram and amongst a few friends and podcasts I listen to – sober curiosity. I have been dancing with the concept. As someone who doesn’t identify with a drinking problem, but who, admittedly, enjoys drinking often (though not in excess)…it has me thinking, no doubt.

After today, however….I dunno. A glass of wine or more likely, a cold beer, with our taco dinner sounds both incredible and “earned”. Don’t read too much into that, you know I write tongue in cheek around here. No need to worry about me, promise! PLUS, it’s (virtual) book club night!

How it this week going? I showed up to the gym…late…to walk on the treadmill so that I could finish the last 15% of my book that we’re discussing tonight. I’ve been out like a light at bedtime so my reading has been cut short and as per usual, I finish things JUST in time. Two hours to spare – certainly not my record. It’s my style, what can I say?

However, when it comes to blogging and cooking, I’m usually working ahead. My friend from hockey texted me today a picture of a recipe from a local publication – a recipe I published some time ago with a few quotes. He said it’s wife’s dad’s favorite recipe. I responded that my kitchen skills far exceed my hockey skills. He sent me the laughing emoji back. He knows.

In all seriousness, the kitchen is where my skills shine and yours can, too.

Mark decided this week we should try an Aldi Instant Pot recipe – prepped and ready to go. It was…disgusting. It was Kung Pao Chicken and you guys, there is no way it would hold a candle to this recipe. Honestly, it was disgusting. Stock up on some pantry staples and enjoy this gem. Chicken dinners don’t get much better than this!


Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken

Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Sweet and tangy with just enough spice, this flavorful chicken dinner will not disappoint!



  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp minced ginger root or ginger paste
  • 4 green onions, sliced and separated (greens and whites)
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 8 whole dried Chinese red chilies*

Kung Pao Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch + 2 Tbsp water
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce


  1. Set Instant Pot to HIGH saute mode. Add the toasted sesame oil. Once hot, add garlic, ginger, and whites of the green onions; stir and saute for 1 minute.
  2. Add chicken and saute until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add water and deglaze pan, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Secure lid and seal the pressure valve. Pressure cook on HIGH for 1 minute. Perform a quick release.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch and water, creating a slurry. Add all remaining sauce ingredients and whisk well.
  5. After the chicken has cooked, add the sauce and return to LOW saute mode. Allow sauce to thicken for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Stir in the peanuts and chilies. Serve hot, topped with the sliced green portion of the green onions.


Recipe slightly adapted from Foodies Terminal

*can't find the peppers? No worries. Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 18.4gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 958mgCarbohydrates: 20.0gFiber: 2.0gSugar: 12.0gProtein: 39.0g

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Loving the Instant Pot? Try one of these favorite recipes!

Be well,

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