This Instant Pot Orange Chicken and Cauliflower dish with gluten free sweet and spicy sauce is an easy, high protein weeknight meal that the whole family will love.
As someone who legit cooks for a living, I am horrified by the thought of my total Uber Eats bill since the day I gave birth. Letâ€™s be honest, with such a harsh Canadian winter we had this year, I think weâ€™d all take advantage of not having to go outside and just Ubering all your food directly to the door. Add to that trying to juggle a career and motherhood is seriously no joke.
After a full day of work, feeding and cleaning up after Baby Eâ€™s dinner, bathing him, reading him stories, and putting him to sleep,Â there is NO way Iâ€™m busting out a fry pan to work on dinner. Itâ€™s greasy Chinese delivery or cereal with milk, folks.
Enter my mom to the rescue! Grandma Sharp got me an Instant Pot when they were on sale (#blackfriday), and I instantly fell in love. The rest â€“ as they say- is delicious history.
This yummy Instant Pot Orange Chicken and Cauliflower dish has become of my familyâ€™s favourites because itâ€™s sweet, spicy, high in protein, and a satisfying full meal in one pot. Â Itâ€™s also a great way to get fresh, seasonal fruit and veggies in for the day, which apparently only 1 in 10 Canadians do! Even baby E totally approves, and that is music to any mamaâ€™s ears.
key ingredients to make this orange chicken and cauliflowerÂ
Florida Orange Juice – Florida OJ is the key ingredient that makes this recipe sing! It gives this recipe a sweet and tangy flavour that goes really well with the more savoury ingredients.Â
Chicken Breast – Chicken breast is the main protein in this dish, but you can totally try it out with some extra firm tofu if you wanted to make it vegan or vegetarian.Â
Cauliflower – I am on a huge cauliflower kick lately and love adding it into flavourful recipes like this one to add extra veg without altering the flavour profile I’m going for since cauliflower is pretty neutral in taste. But you can definitely try adding in any other veggies that you have on hand!Â
Sesame oil – since this recipe does have some asian inspired elements, i like to use sesame oil whenever I can to really boost up the umami flavour profile.Â
Low Sodium Tamari – I use low sodium tamari to make this recipe gluten free. If you are not gluten free, you can totally use a low sodium soy sauce instead.Â
Corn Starch – I like to use cornstarch to thicken sauces or dressings. You can also use all purpose flour if you have that on hand.Â
Ginger & Garlic – because these two ingredients are meant to be when it comes to a sweet & savoury bowl liek this one.Â
Why Florida OJ with Chicken and Cauliflower?
We always have Florida Orange Juice for breakfast smoothies, and it has become a staple for adding a ton of natural sweetness and a ton flavour, without added sugar. A Â½ cup of Florida Orange Juice has just 55 calories and 11.5 g of naturally occurring sugar, while a medium sized orange has 69 calories and 12 grams of natural sugar. Itâ€™s also an easy way to sneak in lots of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium, folate, and thiamin, plus calcium and vitamin D (in fortified options). Cauliflower and chicken breast are both pretty neutral flavoured ingredients, so adding that tangy sweet of Florida Orange Juice is a great way to bring this instant pot dish to life.
How to Make this Instant Pot Orange Chicken and Cauliflower Dish
The beauty of this instant pot recipe is you just kind of throw everything in, push a few buttons and you get dinner on the table in a flash. Yes, even this time-starved working mom can pull this off. While you can totally use chicken thighs in this recipe (which will yield even juicier results, so I would if serving it just to Baby E), I personally prefer lean chicken breasts in general. Thankfully, this sweet and spicy Florida OJ sauce keeps things deliciously juicy and moist, resulting in an amazingly light and fresh spring dish.
FAQ ABOUT THIS RECIPE
These are the most frequently asked questions I get about this orange chicken and cauliflower bowl.Â
can i make this vegan?
Absolutely! You can totally swap the chicken for some extra firm tofu to make this recipe vegan.Â
what can i serve this with?
I often serve this instant recipe as is, or on a bed of cauliflower couscous, but you can also add some good carbs to the party with brown rice or quinoa.
is this recipe kid friendly?
Definitely. This recipe is Baby E approved but I would recommend holding back on the spice.
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER INSTANT POT & SLOW COOKER RECIPES?Â
Now friends, tell me, have you tried making a gluten free Instant pot Orange Chicken dish? Leave me a comment below with your thoughts!
Instant Pot Orange Chicken and Cauliflower with Gluten Free Florida OJ Sauce
- 3/4 cup Florida Orange Juice
- 1/4 cup low sodium tamari
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp ginger grated
- 1 tbsp of sriracha or to taste
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
- Pinch each of salt and pepper
- 1 head cauliflower cut into large florets
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp water
- Green onion thinly sliced
- White and black sesame seeds
- 3 tbsp pomegranate arils
- 3 tbsp toasted coconut chips
- In a small bowl whisk Florida Orange Juice, tamari, garlic, ginger, maple, and sriracha and set aside.
- Turn your Instant Pot to sauté and add sesame oil and olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and brown for 3 minutes.
- Turn pot off. Add the sauce, close lid and push MANUAL. Set timer for 4 minutes. Set vent to closed and cook.
- When timer goes off, vent, open and add the cauliflower. Push MANUAL and set the timer for 1 minute. Allow to vent then open and remove the chicken and cauliflower to a bowl.
- Set pot to SAUTEE. Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and add to pot. Stir well and let sauté for about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens to your liking.
- Toss the chicken and cauliflower in the Florida OJ sauce.
- Serve on top of rice or cauliflower rice garnished with green onions, sesame seeds, pomegranate arils, and coconut chips.
Disclaimer: This recipe was developed in paid partnership with the Florida Department of Citrus, however, all opinions are genuine.
Updated on June 25th, 2020
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.