Learn how to make a delicious Instant Pot Stir Fry! This recipe features chicken, but you can easily use beef, pork, shrimp, or tofu. Stir fry is the perfect choice for a quick and convenient one-pot dinner on busy weeknights. Plus, I’ll share tips on how to make this stir fry suitable for low carb, keto, gluten-free, and vegan diets. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is to whip up this flavorful Instant Pot stir fry!
A Dish for Everyone: Stir Fry in the Instant Pot
Stir fry in the Instant Pot is a versatile dish that suits almost everyone. It’s a speedy meal option, accommodates various dietary needs, and can even be a healthy choice for weight loss.
Many people cite time constraints as a reason for not eating healthier. However, I have several tips to make cooking stir fry a breeze:
Use Quick-Cooking Grains
Instead of choosing slow-cooking grains like brown rice or wild rice (which take around 45 minutes to cook), opt for quick-cooking grains such as quinoa (which only takes 15 minutes).
Utilize Pre-Cooked Grains and Frozen Veggies
Save time by using pre-cooked grains and pre-chopped vegetables, which are readily available in some stores. You can find cooked brown rice and cleaned, chopped veggies in the fresh or frozen sections. Consider using frozen stir-fried vegetables from Costco (Kirkland brand) or Bird’s Eye, which often come with teriyaki sauce.
Incorporate Fruit Canned in Juice
Canned pineapple chunks are a fantastic addition to stir fry, and the juice makes an excellent base for the stir fry sauce.
Opt for Premade Sauces
While premade stir fry sauces may contain higher amounts of sugar and sodium, they can be a convenient time-saver. Just remember to use them sparingly to keep your meal balanced and enjoy the burst of flavor they provide.
By employing these shortcuts, you can create a delicious stir fry without having to cook grains or spend time chopping veggies!
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of this Instant Pot Stir Fry contains approximately 492 calories, 51.5 grams of net carbs, and 39.3 grams of protein. Please note that this nutrition information includes rice.
Why should you choose the Instant Pot for your stir fry? Let’s explore the nutritional benefits of stir fry and some other advantages:
Healthy: Stir fry incorporates a variety of colorful vegetables, providing an array of phytochemicals that cannot be found in a single type of produce.
Protein: This stir fry recipe with chicken offers high-quality protein along with essential B-complex vitamins and minerals.
Easy: This nourishing meal is simple to prepare, especially since everything (except the grains) gets cooked in the Instant Pot, making cleanup a breeze.
Whole Grains: You can pair your stir fry with your favorite whole grain. Whole grain options like brown rice add extra fiber to your meal.
Delicious: Stir fry is highly customizable, allowing you to cater to everyone’s preferences at the dinner table. I’ll provide tips for adapting the recipe to various dietary needs in the FAQ section.
Here’s your shopping list for making stir fry in the Instant Pot:
- 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 natural sweetness of pineapple and pineapple juice adds flavor to this recipe without the need for additional sugar. Xanthan gum is used to thicken the stir fry sauce. If you prefer, you can substitute it with a cornstarch slurry, but you’ll need a larger amount of starch to achieve the desired thickness.
If you’re not a fan of any of the ingredients listed above, don’t worry—I’ll provide substitution ideas in the next section.
To make stir fry in an Instant Pot, you’ll need the following kitchen equipment:
- Instant Pot
- Wooden spoon
I recommend using a wooden spoon for stirring the stir fry to avoid scratching the bottom of the Instant Pot. Additionally, you’ll need a small pot with a lid to cook the stir fry rice separately.
Feel free to use any multipurpose cooker you have on hand, such as the Ninja Foodi. In this recipe, I use a Crock-Pot Express 6-Quart Easy Release Pressure Cooker. If you have a smaller multi-purpose cooker, you may need to cook this recipe in batches.
🔪 How to Make Instant Pot Stir Fry
First and foremost, let’s start by cooking the grains. If you don’t have package directions, follow these instructions: The jasmine white rice I used takes 15 minutes to cook on the stovetop.
Next, prepare your veggies, poultry, and fruit. Cut the cooked chicken into 1-inch cubes (2.54 cm), and slice the peppers into ¼-inch thick slices (0.6 cm). Slice the onion into ¼-½-inch thick slices (0.6-1.2 cm), and cube the pineapple into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces.
Mince the garlic cloves and finely chop the jalapeno. If desired, remove the jalapeno seeds for a milder spice level.
Now it’s time to create the stir fry sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, pineapple juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and xanthan gum. Ensure that the xanthan gum is well blended, as it tends to clump.
With all the preparations done, it’s time to cook. Set the Instant Pot to “high sauté” mode and add 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 vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring and flipping constantly. Be careful not to brown the veggies.
Next, add the chicken, pineapple, and stir fry sauce to the Instant Pot. Continue cooking for 3-5 minutes, stirring and flipping regularly. By the end, there should be minimal liquid remaining at the bottom of the pot.
Serve your delicious stir fry over rice, garnish with fresh cilantro, and enjoy!
️⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
You may be wondering, “How long do you cook stir fry in the Instant Pot?” As mentioned earlier, it takes approximately 9-14 minutes to stir fry the vegetables in the Instant Pot.
For this chicken breast stir fry, we use the high sauté function to ensure that the vegetables retain their tender-crisp texture, just like in a traditional wok. Pressure cooking stir fry may result in overcooked veggies, which we want to avoid.
Leftover stir fry can be refrigerated in a covered food-safe container for 3-4 days. To reheat, simply microwave on high in a microwave-safe bowl for two minutes or warm it up on the stovetop with a little oil.
Stir fry can also be frozen, but keep the vegetables and protein separate from the rice to prevent the rice from becoming mushy. Reheat them separately before serving.
Feel free to customize your stir fry by swapping out or adding different fruits and vegetables. The key is to aim for a vibrant plate with a variety of colors. Here are a few substitution suggestions:
- If you’re not a fan of snow peas, try broccoli, sugar snap peas, spinach, zucchini, green cabbage, or celery.
- If pineapple isn’t your favorite, consider using mandarin oranges for a different fruity flavor. For a low-carb option, yellow bell peppers or summer squash are great alternatives. Another option is baby corn, which is popular in stir fries.
- Instead of red and orange peppers, try carrots, winter squashes, or tomatoes for a change.
- Don’t forget to add more white veggies like cauliflower and water chestnuts. Mushrooms, although technically fungi, count as part of the vegetable group on the MyPlate.
Furthermore, you can experiment with different cooked proteins. Try making an Instant Pot stir fry with beef and vegetables or use strips of pork tenderloin, shrimp, turkey, salmon, or your favorite plant-based protein. You can even substitute rice with rice noodles or quinoa if desired.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This stir fry recipe falls under level 1 (may support fat loss). It provides a filling, low-calorie, and high-protein meal option packed with veggies and chicken. Adding colorful produce to your plate increases the overall volume of your meal while keeping the calorie count low. Incorporating more fruits and veggies is one of my top tips for promoting satiety during weight loss.
Protein is essential for overall health, and I recommend prioritizing sufficient protein intake in your meals. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is just a minimum guideline, so don’t be afraid to include more protein in your diet.
To reduce the calorie content of this dish, consider going low-carb and omitting the grains. Rice typically contains 150-200 calories per serving (¼-cup dry). Opting for cauliflower rice instead will cut down on carbs and calories, as well as reduce cooking time.
For those seeking convenience, I’ve provided several time-saving tips throughout the article. Instant Pot stir fry is a fantastic option for quick weeknight meals, proving that healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated.
Have more questions? Check out these frequently asked questions:
👩🏻🍳 Other Instant Pot Recipes
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Your Instant Pot is incredibly versatile and useful for a wide range of dishes. Here are a few more recipes to try:
- Instant Pot Italian Sausage Soup
- Instant Pot Grape Leaves
- Fries in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot London Broil
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Please remember that all recipes on this website may or may not be suitable for your particular needs and preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician for personalized advice regarding your dietary patterns.
The provided nutrition information is an estimate offered as a courtesy. Actual values may vary depending on the specific brands and ingredients used. Calorie information on food labels can sometimes be inaccurate, so try not to focus too much on the numbers.
For more information on how these recipe levels may support your weight management goals, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let’s get cooking!