Instant Pot® Chinese Black Pepper Chicken with Celery


Quick, easy, and delicious Chinese black pepper chicken made in the Instant Pot®. Just like takeout. Pressure cooking time is just 4 minutes for either fresh or frozen cut-up chicken pieces. I use Foster Farms® frozen chicken pieces I get in a bag at Costco. I've experimented with the timing many, many times and 4 minutes is just right. Just follow my directions below. Serve with rice or noodles.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 5 stalks celery, sliced, or more to taste

  • ¾ cup chicken broth

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh ginger

  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

  • 1 ½ pounds frozen cubed chicken

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 2 teaspoons water

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch


  1. Turn on a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot®) and select Saute function. Add onion and celery and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Turn off Saute function. Add chicken broth, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, and pepper; stir to combine. Set frozen chicken on top and do not stir.

  2. Close and lock the lid. Select high pressure according to manufacturer's instructions; set timer for 4 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.

  3. Release pressure carefully using the quick-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, about 5 minutes. Unlock and remove the lid. Stir to mix, then stir in sesame oil.

  4. Select Saute function. Mix water and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Add to the bubbling liquid and stir until sauce has somewhat thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

Make sure that the frozen chicken pieces are in separate pieces, not one big frozen block You can of course also use fresh chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.

You can substitute another mild, unsweetened vinegar for the rice vinegar.

Make sure you use coarsely ground black pepper, not fine, or it will be too peppery.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

349 Calories
18g Fat
8g Carbs
37g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 349
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 1022mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 37g
Vitamin C 5mg 26%
Calcium 56mg 4%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 516mg 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love