Learn to make Instant Pot Stir Fry! This is an Instant Pot Chicken Stir Fry, but you can also use beef, pork, shrimp, or even tofu! Stir fries are a great option for a one pot dinner on busy weeknights. Get tips on making stir fry low carb, keto, gluten free, and vegan. You’ll love how easy it is to make this chicken stir fry Instant Pot recipe!
Stir fry in Instant Pot is a dish for nearly everyone. It’s fast, fits most special diets, and you can make healthy stir fry for weight loss (if you’d like).
One of the reasons people give for not eating healthier is that it takes too long. So here are a few tips for making cooking stir fry easier:
- Use quick-cooking grains instead of slow-cooking grains. Instead of making Instant Pot stir fry chicken and rice with brown rice or wild rice (cooking time 45 minutes), choose quinoa (cook time 15 minutes).
- Or use pre-cooked grains and frozen veggies. You can get cooked brown rice in some stores and cleaned and chopped vegetables in both the fresh and frozen sections. The stir fried frozen vegetables from Costco (Kirkland brand) are a low-cost way to make stir fry. Some Bird’s Eye frozen veg even come with teriyaki sauce.
- Use fruit canned in juice. Canned pineapple chunks are super in stir fry, and the juice is great in stir fry sauce.
- Grab a premade sauce. Though premade stir fry sauces may be high in sugar and sodium, they can help you save time. Go light with them, and enjoy this tasty way to eat more fruits and veggies.
Depending on the shortcuts you take, you can create a stir fry without having to cook grains or chop veggies at all!
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of this Instant Pot Stir Fry has 492 calories, 51.5 grams net carbs, and 39.3 grams protein. This nutrition information includes rice.
Why make stir fry in the Instant Pot? Here are a few nutritional benefits of stir fry, along with some other advantages:
- Healthy: With stir fry vegetables, you usually get a lot of different types of vegetables. The variety of colorful veggies provides an assortment of phytochemicals that cannot be found in one color of produce alone.
- Protein: This stir fry with chicken provides high-quality protein as well as B-complex vitamins and essential minerals.
- Easy: This nourishing meal is simple enough for novice cooks. Aside from the grains, everything gets cooked in the Instant Pot, making for easy clean up.
- Whole grains: You can serve stir fry with your favorite whole grain. Whole grain brown rice (and other whole grain options) adds more fiber to your meal.
- Delicious: Stir fry is easy to customize, ensuring that everyone at the table is happy with dinner. Don’t miss my tips for making stir fry for a variety of special diets in the FAQ section!
What do you need to make stir fry in the Instant Pot? Here’s your shopping list:
- Dry rice
- Cooked leftover chicken (or pork, turkey, steak, or another meat)
- Olive oil
- Red bell pepper
- Orange bell pepper
- Snow peas
- Minced garlic cloves
- Fresh cubed pineapple
- Toasted sesame oil
- Pineapple Juice
- Rice vinegar
- Reduced-sodium soy sauce
- Xanthan gum
- Chopped cilantro (for garnish)
The pineapple and pineapple juice provide a little natural sweetness to this recipe without added sugar. Xanthan gum is the thickener for the stir fry sauce. If you use a cornstarch slurry instead, you will need more starch to make it thick.
If you don’t like one (or more) of the ingredients above, don’t miss the “Substitutions” section below. I have lots of ideas for swaps.
Here’s the kitchen equipment you need to make stir fry in an Instant Pot:
- Instant Pot
- Wooden spoon
I like to use a wooden spoon for stirring stir fry. It doesn’t scratch the bottom of the Instant Pot like a metal spoon or spatula would. One more this you need is a small pot with a lid for cooking the stir fry rice.
You may use whatever multipurpose cooker you own for this stir fry recipe, such as the Ninja Foodi. I use a Crock-Pot Express 6-Quart Easy Release Pressure Cooker. If you have a small multi-purpose cooker, you may need to make this recipe in batches.
🔪 How to Make Instant Pot Stir Fry
The first thing I like to do when making stir fry is cook the grains. Cook the rice (or other grains) in water on the stovetop according to package directions. The jasmine white rice I used takes 15 minutes to cook.
Next up, prep your veggies, poultry, and fruit. The cooked chicken gets chopped into 1-inch cubes (2.54 cm). Cut the veggies thin for a short cook time.
I sliced the orange and red pepper into ¼-inch thick slices (0.6 cm). The onion is sliced into ¼-½-inch thick slices (0.6-1.2 cm). The pineapple is cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) cubes.
Mince the garlic cloves and finely chop the jalapeno. If you wish, you can discard the jalapeno seeds for less heat.
Now that you’ve got your mise en place going on, you can make stir fry sauce. Combine the sesame oil, juice, vinegar, soy sauce, and xanthan gum in a small bowl. Whisk it well, as the xanthan gum likes to get clumpy.
Now that everything is ready, it’s time to fire up the Instant Pot. Put the Instant Pot on “high sauté” and add the olive oil. Heat the oil for 1-2 minutes.
Add the onions, bell peppers, snow peas, garlic, and jalapeno to the pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the veggies are tender-crisp, stirring and flipping constantly. You are not looking to brown the veggies.
Add the chicken, pineapple, and stir fry sauce to the Instant Pot. Continue cooking for 3-5 minutes, stirring and flipping often. You should not see much liquid left at the bottom of the pot when it’s done.
Serve your cooked stir fry over rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro, and enjoy.
️⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
How long do you cook stir fry in Instant Pot? As outlined above, it takes 9-14 minutes to stir fry veggies in the Instant Pot.
We use the high sauté function of the Instant Pot to make this chicken breast stir fry. This will ensure our veggies will get tender-crisp, as they would in a wok. With pressure cooker stir fry, we risk overcooking our veggies, and we don’t want that.
Leftover stir fry lasts 3-4 days in the refrigerator in a covered food-safe container. To reheat, microwave on high in a microwave-safe bowl for two minutes. You can also reheat the stir fry on the stovetop with a little oil.
Depending on the ingredients, stir fries freeze well. Keep the veggies and protein in a separate container from the rice to keep the rice from getting mushy. Reheat them separately before serving.
Feel free to change up the fruits and vegetables in stir fry to fit your needs best! However you modify this one, though, aim to keep lots of different colors on your plate. Here are a few suggestions for substitutions:
- If you don’t like snow peas, try broccoli, sugar snap peas, spinach, zucchini, green cabbage, or celery.
- Not a fan of pineapple? How about mandarin oranges for a different fruity flavor? If you are on a low-carb diet, yellow bell peppers or summer squash are some yellow low-carb alternatives. Baby corn is another yellow veggie that is popular in stir fries.
- Instead of red and orange peppers, don’t forget about carrots, winter squashes, or tomatoes.
- You can also add more white veggies like cauliflower and water chestnuts. Mushrooms are technically fungus, but count as part of the vegetable group on the MyPlate.
This is more than Instant Pot stir fry vegetables and rice, however. You can also swap out the cooked protein.
Make Instant Pot stir fry beef and vegetables. Alternatively, use strips of pork tenderloin, shrimp, turkey, salmon, or your favorite plant-based protein.
You could also use rice noodles instead of rice, or skip the rice altogether and use quinoa. Whatever floats your boat!
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). This stir fry recipe is packed with veggies and chicken, low-calorie and filling sources protein, fiber, and water. Filling your plate with colorful produce is a great way to provide more volume to a meal while keeping the calories low. Adding more fruits and veggies to a meal is one of my top tips to help keep you full during weight loss.
Another great thing about this recipe is that it is high protein. The RDA for protein is fairly low, and I think of it as a minimum rather than a maximum target for general health. Make including sufficient protein a priority when you plan your meals; there is no need to fear this important macronutrient!
To make this meal a bit lower in calories, I’d go the low carb route and ditch the grains. Rice contains approximately 150-200 calories per serving (equivalent to ¼-cup dry). Using cauliflower rice instead cuts the carbs and the calories, plus will save you cooking time.
For those who want to make this dish easier, I gave several time-saving tips at the top of the article. Instant Pot stir fry is an excellent weeknight meal, perfect for when you need to get dinner on the table fast. Who says healthy eating needs to be difficult?
To make low carb Instant Pot stir fry, serve with cauliflower rice instead of regular rice. (Using a frozen package of riced cauliflower will also save you time!) For keto Instant Pot stir fry, omit the pineapple and use a different stir fry sauce. This keto teriyaki sauce could be used instead.
To make this a gluten free Instant Pot stir fry recipe, you need to substitute the reduced-sodium soy sauce. Gluten-free tamari or gluten free coconut aminos are two good GF-friendly swaps for soy sauce.
It’s very easy to make vegan Instant Pot stir fry! Instead of using chicken, make Instant Pot stir fry tofu. You can also use other plant-based proteins, such as strips of seitan or marinated tempeh.
For no oil Instant Pot vegetables, you can cook the veggies in a little vegetable broth instead. Please note that with this method you’re making steamed vegetables instead of crisp sauteed veggies.
👩🏻🍳 Other Instant Pot Recipes
Want more recipes for the Instant Pot? Your Instant Pot is good for so much more than Asian recipes! Try one of these next:
- Instant Pot Italian Sausage Soup
- Instant Pot Grape Leaves
- Fries in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot London Broil
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Instant Pot Stir Fry Recipe (Chicken, Beef, or Pork!)
- ¾ cup rice, dry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. cooked chicken, pork, or steak (454 grams; I used leftover rotisserie chicken breast)
- 8 ounces onion, cut into strips (227 grams, about 1 onion)
- 8 ounces red bell pepper, cut into strips (227 grams, about 1 pepper)
- 8 ounces orange bell pepper, cut into strips (227 grams, about 1 pepper)
- 8 ounces snow peas (227 grams)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces fresh pineapple, chopped (227 grams)
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
- Cook the rice in water on the stovetop according to package directions. The jasmine white rice I used takes 15 minutes to cook. Brown rice takes 45 minutes.
- Chopped the cooked chicken (or other poultry or meat) into 1-inch cubes or strips (2.54 cm). Slice the bell peppers into ¼-inch thick slices (0.6 cm). The onion is sliced into ¼-½-inch thick slices (0.6-1.2 cm). The pineapple is cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) cubes.
- Mince the garlic cloves and finely chop the jalapeno. Discard the jalapeno seeds for less heat.
- Next, make the stir fry sauce. Combine the sesame oil, juice, vinegar, soy sauce, and xanthan gum in a small bowl. Whisk it well, as the xanthan gum likes to clump.
- Put the Instant Pot on “high sauté” and add the olive oil. Heat the oil for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the onions, bell peppers, snow peas, garlic, and jalapeno to the pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the veggies are tender-crisp, stirring and flipping constantly.
- Add the chicken, pineapple, and stir fry sauce to the Instant Pot. Continue cooking for 3-5 minutes, stirring and flipping often. There should not be much liquid left at the bottom of the pot when it’s done.
- Serve the cooked stir fry over rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro, and enjoy.
🔥 Wok Directions
- Cook rice and make sauce as directed above.
- Heat the olive oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers, onion, garlic, snow peas, and jalapeno. Cook for approximately 4-5 minutes until they soften, stirring and flipping constantly.
- Add the cooked chicken, pineapple, and stir fry sauce. Cook for 3-5 more minutes, until most of the liquid evaporated and it is heated through.
- Divide the cooked rice between the serving bowls. Top with the stir fry. Garnish with fresh cilantro.