If you're looking for a fast and delicious Asian dish to add to your rotation, look no further than Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken.
You can easily satisfy those takeout cravings with this copycat panda express black pepper chicken recipe!
This quick meal can be made at home in just minutes with some simple ingredients that you may already have on hand. Plus, this delicious dish is keto diet-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, and low carb.
Plus, it tastes just like the real thing! So why not ditch the takeout and make this Panda Express copycat recipe at home?
- Peanut oil
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
- White onion, sliced
- Celery stalks, sliced
- Garlic powder
- Coarse black pepper
- Onion powder
- Ground ginger
- Chicken broth
- Oyster sauce (gluten-free)
- Rice wine vinegar
- Red pepper flakes, optional
- Xanthan gum, for thickening, if desired
See the recipe card for quantities.
Heat your Instant Pot using the "saute" function until "hot."
Meanwhile, place the chicken pieces into a zip-top storage bag. Add the seasonings and seal the bag. Shake and mash to cover the chicken in the seasonings.
Place all the ingredients for the sauce EXCEPT the xanthan gum in a jar with a lid and shake to combine. Pour over the chicken.
Cover the electric pressure cooker and set the valve to “sealing.”
Program the electric pressure cooker using the “pressure cook” or “manual” function for 5 minutes.
When the cook cycle is completed, quickly release the pressure.
If a thicker sauce is desired, stir in the xanthan gum and allow the chicken to “keep warm” as the sauce thickens.
Serve alone or over cauliflower rice.
Hint: If the bottom of the InstantPpot collects frond (baked on bits,) deglaze the bottom of the pot by adding a tiny amount of water or chicken stock and scraping with a wooden spoon. I love this wooden spoon set.
- Chicken - feel free to use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts for this recipe.
- Oyster sauce - if you cannot find gluten-free oyster sauce, you can use gluten-free soy sauce or gluten-free hoisin sauce instead.
- Rice wine vinegar - if you do not have any rice vinegar, you can use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead.
- Xanthan gum - this is used to thicken the sauce but is optional. If you don't have it on hand, you can omit it. The sauce will still be delicious! You could also use gluten-free flour or corn starch.
- Vegetables - add as many vegetables to this dish as you like to bulk it up and add extra nutrition. Some great options are broccoli, bell pepper, green onion, mushrooms, snow peas, bok choy, and baby corn.
- Rice - this dish is delicious and served over white rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice, or your favorite rice alternative.
- Protein - this dish can easily be made vegetarian or vegan by omitting the chicken and using your favorite plant-based protein instead. You could also use shrimp, beef, or pork.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container or freezer bags in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also store your leftovers in the freezer for up to 4 months.
To avoid the "burn notice" on your Instant Pot, make sure you use enough liquid. If you do end up getting the notice, just add a bit of water or chicken broth, stir, and finish cooking.
Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken FAQs
This dish is relatively healthy as it is low in carbs and calories. The sauce is also free of any refined sugars. If you are looking for a healthier option, you can substitute the chicken for shrimp or tofu.
You can certainly make this dish ahead of time! Just cook the chicken according to the recipe instructions. Once everything is cooked, allow it to cool slightly then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
When you're ready to eat, simply reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through.
There are approximately 280 calories in one serving of black pepper chicken. This recipe contains about 4 servings total.
Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken
- Instant Pot
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
- 1 onion sliced
- 3 celery stalks sliced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
For the sauce:
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup oyster sauce
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- pinch red pepper flakes optional
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum for thickening if desired
- Heat the electric pressure cooker using the “saute” function until “hot.”
- Meanwhile, place the chicken into a zip top storage bag. Add the seasonings and seal the bag. Shake and mash to cover the chicken in the seasonings.
- Add the oil to the pressure cooker and then add the chicken. Brown the chicken on all sides.
- If the bottom of the instant pot collects frond (baked on bits,) deglaze the bottom of the pot by adding a tiny amount of water or chicken stock and scraping with a wooden spoon.
- Place all the ingredients for the sauce EXCEPT the xanthan gum in a jar with a lid and shake to combine. Pour over the chicken.
- Cover the electric pressure cooker and set the valve to “sealing.”
- Program the electric pressure cooker using the “pressure cook” or “manual” function for 5 minutes. When the cook cycle is completed, quick release the pressure.
- If a thicker sauce is desired, stir in the xanthan gum and allow the chicken to “keep warm” as the sauce thickens.
- Serve alone or over cauliflower rice.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.