Instant Pot Firecracker Chicken—sweet and spicy tender pieces of saucy chicken made quickly in your electric pressure cooker.
Get the SLOW COOKER Firecracker Chicken recipe here
Instant Pot Firecracker Chicken
The Fourth of July is in just two days and what would be better to celebrate than firecracker chicken? This chicken is a little spicy thanks to the Sriracha sauce. But it’s not anything too crazy. I could totally handle it fine and I’m kind of a wimp. If you want it more spicy you can always add more Sriracha. If you’re scared of any spiciness then you can cut the Sriracha down to 3 tablespoons. It also has the perfect hint of sweetness.
This chicken and sauce would be perfect served over rice. And if you’re interested you can totally make pot-in-pot white rice the same time you make the chicken. Just add the chicken and sauce into the Instant Pot and then place a trivet/sling* on top of the chicken. Then lower a pan on top of the trivet that contains the rice and water. I use one of these pans* for pot in pot rice.
For this particular recipe I really love the boneless chicken thighs. They come out so tender that you can easily cut them with a fork. I also think that bone-in chicken thighs or legs would be fantastic. I haven’t tried chicken breasts for this recipe but I think they would be just okay. Not as tender. If you end up trying it with chicken breasts let me know what you think.
- Serve with rice and roasted broccoli.
- I used my 6 quart Instant Pot*. You can also make this in a 3 or 8 quart pot.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container* in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- This recipe can be gluten free if you use a gluten free soy sauce or tamari.
26 Fantastic Instant Pot Recipes for your Fourth of July Bash
In case you need more 4th of July recipe ideas I got you covered. Here are 26 more Instant Pot recipes for you to consider this week!
Instant Pot Roseanne’s Loose Meat Sandwich
Instant Pot Summer Solstice Salad
Flag Day Casserole (Instant Pot)
Instant Pot 3-Ingredient Root Beer BBQ Pulled Pork
Instant Pot Dr. Pepper Chicken
Instant Pot Sober Potato Salad
Instant Pot Boston Baked Beans
Instant Pot Smoked Sausage Country Boil
Cherry Oat Bars with homemade Instant Pot cherry pie filling
Instant Pot Skyline Chili Cheese Coneys
Instant Pot Cafe Rio Sweet Pork
Instant Pot Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwiches
Instant Pot Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
Instant Pot Garlic Butter Corn on the Cob
Instant Pot BBQ Beef Sandwiches
Instant Pot/Slow Cooker Chicken Salad
Instant Pot Colorful Wheat Berry Salad
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Instant Pot Firecracker Chicken
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes (plus 10 minute NPR)
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4–5 servings 1x
Sweet and spicy tender pieces of saucy chicken made quickly in your electric pressure cooker.
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- 1/4 cup sriracha
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch + 1 Tbsp cold water
- Pour broth into Instant Pot. Place chicken in the bottom of the pot.
- In a bowl stir together the sriracha, brown sugar, soy sauce and garlic. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
- Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 15 minutes for thawed chicken or 18 minutes for frozen chicken. When the time is up let the pot sit for 10 minutes and then move the valve to venting and remove the lid.
- Turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting. Move the chicken to a platter. Let the pot heat up and reduce the sauce for 5 minutes. I didn’t stir I just let it boil for 5 minutes. In a small bowl stir together the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Stir the mixture into the Instant Pot. The sauce will thicken up quickly. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.
If you like it spicy you can always add more sriracha. I chose to keep it less spicy so my whole family could enjoy it.
I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*.
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Instant Pot
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*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
This recipe was a great fit for my craving for tasty, quick and easy chicken. Thanks, Karen! My only change was using a breast to make up my small shortage of thighs. No texture problem at all. Ok, I did also add a tiny bit of minced ginger root, but I think your recipe as written would be just as flavourful. It’s a repeat recipe for sure 😀
I’m west coast, so also want to send you a “just under the wire” HAPPY Birthday wish too 🥳
Thank you thank you Jennie!
3/14/23 – Tried this for a family dinner . Used a package of semi frozen Costco boneless skinless chicken thighs. About 1.2 lbs. Came out Excellent! Big hit with the family. This is an easy recipe to prep and prepare. Pressure cooked for 18 minutes since my chicken was semi-frozen. Used my 3 quart IP. Will be adding this to favorites. This had just the right ‘kick’ on the mild side.
Thanks so much for the nice review and the 5 stars!
I needed something quick & easy. This was perfect. Cooked the rice right along with the chicken. A great, tasty weeknight dinner. Thanks for a great recipe.
You’re welcome Kathie! So glad to hear it. Thanks for the 5 stars!
Can you use bbq sauce instead of siracha and chicken breasts instead of thighs?
Yes you could do that!
Janet T says
Another great bbq sauce is from
TRADER JOE’S. It’s Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce.
It’s got a nice kick to it.
Rick Pool says
Karen , I have a 3qt instant pot,do you have a conversation for the smaller pot . It seems everything takes a lot less time to cook . Like for boiled eggs it only takes 3mins with a quick release or they over cook . In your cookbook for rice it says 3mins.,but that is also too long it over cooks .
Interesting. I haven’t heard this. I would just keep experimenting and keeping notes on how long foods take to cook.
So good!!!! I followed the recipe exactly and turned out perfect! Usually I have trouble thickening sauce with cornstarch but this time there were no lumps and consistency was perfect. The only trouble I had was the webpage keeps refreshing back to the top about every 30 seconds.
Oh that is annoying. I will have to see if I can figure out why it’s doing that! Thanks for the 5 stars.
Ashley Fischer says
I am fairly new to the instant pot scene having only had one for about 4 months. This is by far my favorite recipe I have done thus far. It is so packed with flavor for such a simple and easy recipe. This recipe puts out some of the most tender chicken I have ever had. I love recipes like this because you always add something here and there not have it affect the outcome. Some honey, maybe some sesame oil once and a while. Delicious recipe!
Yes those are the best kinds of recipes!
I think the sriracha sauce I used (Badia) was exceptionally hot. I really liked the flavor but it was VERY hot and my husband couldn’t eat it. We aren’t wimps – we usually eat medium salsas. I added 1 tsp ground ginger and some honey for depth, good additions. I probably would give it 5 stars if less hot. Which brand of Sriracha have others used, and what brand did you use Karen?
Oh shoot! That’s too bad. I used the store brand and it wasn’t too hot.
Aimee Bentley-Henson says
This was such a tasty recipe!! My daughter and I loved it. It will be in our regular rotation.
Thanks so much Aimee for the 5 star review!
My staple is frozen huge split chicken breasts. Two of them come out fine and Ive been thawing them first. Do you think I can somehow omit that step? I have other recipes for frozen breasts but I didn’t know about the sauce with this one. Not much liquid and I have a Max, so I already increased the water to 1 c.
Sorry. I just realized you already answered this in the directions!!! Yup. It’s why I love your stuff! You anticipate so many things. I love your work.
Haha! Glad I was helpful.
Question: has anyone tried frozen vegetables with this recipe? If so, can I add them to the instant pot? When?
Overall, I love this recipe. I double the liquid for an amazing sauce that I eat with just rice the next day.
Veggies won’t hold up if you pressure cook along with chicken. But you could add them in after pressure cooking time is up do a quick release. Add them in then pressure cook 1 minute. Then do the 10 minute natural pressure release.
Absolutely delicious and spicy. This sauce is amazing. I made it with pork and added a little extra sriracha. Definitely will be making this one again
Awesome! Glad to know it was good with pork as well.
Making this tonight. Should I cook on low or high in the manual setting?
Lauri S in PA says
I made this last night for my husband and myself. I had 5 lbs of bl/sl chicken thighs so I tripled the recipe.
Since we like spicy things I upped the sriracha to 1 cup (instead of 3/4 c) and even then it could have used just a dash more. 🙂
The sauce was thinner than I like but since I tripled the recipe I wasn’t surprised. We just couldn’t wait for it to reduce more – we were too hungry!
I like the idea of using stir fry veggies with it, too – might try that next time I make this.
So glad to hear it was such a hit!!!
Made this, just as recipe states, for my family of 5 and everyone loved it.
Glad to hear it Sue!
I was wondering several things. 1 Can I use chicken BREASTS?
2. Can I use the similar pot-in-pot method like u use in your IP Honey Garlic Chicken &Rice recipe?
3. And if above is possible can I use Whole Grain Brown Rice. I never use white rice.
I haven’t tried chicken breasts for this recipe but I think they would be just okay. Not as tender. Yes you can use pot in pot rice. Brown rice takes 22 minutes to cook when it is directly in the IP. I don’t think it will be done if you could it pot in pot with the chicken. However you could flip flop the two items. Put the chicken and sauce in the pot in pot and the rice would go directly into the bottom of IP.
Mine didn’t come out completly perfect. The bottom of the instant pot was slightly charred even though I did add in 1/2 cup of chicken stock. I think next time I’ll add a little more chicken stock. Still, everyone did love the taste. They finished it up and asked for more. Thanks for this recipe!
Thanks for sharing your experience. Sorry that the bottom was a bit burned! I bet more chicken broth will help.
C Baird says
This was a huge hit with the family. Just enough of a kick, as the recipe is written. I used coconut aminos instead of soy, due to sensitivities, and half thighs, half tenders. Everything stayed incredibly moist. Will put this in regular rotation, for sure.
Nice! Glad you liked it!
Karen, love getting your recipes every day! I got my instant pot at the beginning of the year and have pretty much tried one of your recipes every week. Last week I made the sausage boil..one of my favs. Today I tried the firecracker chicken and needed something to go with it. So I tried 4 ears of corn on the cob cut in half on a trivet on top of the chicken. And it worked! Keep the recipes coming!
I love that corn on the cob is so easy in the IP!
Eric B. says
why would you bother with the IP for corn on the cob when you can just microwave it for a few minutes? I cant imagine it comes out any different.
Yes, it did.
This was very good. I used 4 bone-in thighs and 1 bone-in breast. Cooked it for 19 minutes and NPR for 13 minutes. I served it with oriental rice. It wasn’t overly hot.
Awesome! Did the bone-in breast cook at the same rate as the thighs?
This was delicious!!!! Followed the directions and it came out perfectly… I used the 1/4 cup of sriracha and it was mildly spicy. I think I’ll try it with 1/8 cup next time to see if I like it better, but it was so easy and delicious. Did Asian spiced stir fry veggies and long grain basmati rice. DELICIOUS!
Geri, I love the idea of the asian veggies with it. That would be perfect.
I have an 8 quart pot. What should I do differently?
Read this article it will give you general guidelines on the 8 quart: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/how-to-halve-instant-pot-recipes/
Also this one: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/how-to-double-instant-pot-recipes/
This sounds delicious! How would you prepare this as a make ahead freezer meal?
Do you want to cook it and then freeze it?
Jim allen says
Good sauce maid mine with leftover pork tenderloin just reducied time to 10 min
desire crittenden says
Oh, it came out awesome!! I did not use as much sriracha enjoyable and oh so easy Thank You!!
Ardythe Crawford says
Love it! I am not so much for Spicy, but was able to adjust to my taste. Thanks also for the little video on making rice along with the chicken. My first time layering that way. I had a time finding things I could use instead of all the fancy trivets and pots, etc. LOL – I managed with the trivet that came with the Instant Pot PLUS a metal trivet I used to use in an outside plant pot, PLUS (LOL) a round silicone cake pan for the rice. Everything came out beautifully. I increased the time by five minutes as my chicken thighs had the bones still in them. DELICIOUS!
Happy July Fourth to you and yours, we had a very nice Canada Day up here on Vancouver Island.
Thanks for your help, and good luck to your husband, they can do marvellous things now. Take care,
Thanks so much for sharing and thanks for your kind words. Vancouver Island sounds very nice!
Nancy Fairchild says
Thanks for a recipe that is milk free. I am lactose intolerant and milk and all it’s products are a no no for me. (I miss cream cheese and cheese in general)!
I’m glad you can eat this one!