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Instant Pot Kung Pao Chickpeas

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Instant pot kung pao chickpeas is a vegan, gluten-free, and kid-friendly Chinese recipe and served for lunch or dinner. Kung pao chickpeas is made with stir fry vegetables, spicy sauces, and chickpeas.
kungpao chickpea served in a pasta bowl

Kung Pao chickpeas is a vegan, gluten-free, and kid-friendly Indo-Chinese recipe and served for lunch or dinner. Kung pao chickpeas is made with stir fry vegetables, chickpeas, and spicy sauces. Instant pot simplifies the process of cooking the chickpeas.

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Ingredients for Kung Pao Chickpeas

The main ingredient of this recipe is chickpeas and I prefer to use dry chickpeas soaked in water for about 8 hours or overnight. You can also pressure cook chickpeas in the instant pot in advance and storing them.

I also like to use a lot of veggies as it is a great way to incorporate veggies in the meal and kids also enjoy this dish.

Bell peppers, mushrooms, baby corn, chestnuts, carrots, and scallions can be used. However, you can easily replace/exclude any of the veggies based on your preference.

Dark soy sauce, chili sauce, sriracha sauce, and vinegar are used to give it a perfect flavor. Kung pao chickpeas is made in toasted sesame oil.

Roasted peanuts are often used in cooking or garnishing. However, you can skip it to make it nut-free.

kungpao chickpea served in a pasta bowl

How to make instant pot kung pao?

Making kung pao chickpeas in instant pot is easy. It just involves the mixing of pressure-cooked chickpeas with sauteed vegetables and sauces and it is ready.

Soaking chickpeas

If you are using dry chickpeas and not the canned ones then soaking the chickpeas in enough water for at least 8 hours is very helpful and reduces the overall cooking time of the dish.

I usually use a 1:4 ratio of beans to water while soaking. If however, you have forgotten to soak the chickpeas, you will just have to pressure cook the chickpeas in the instant pot for a longer time.

kungpao chickpea served in a pasta bowl

Stir fry the vegetables in instant pot

Turn the instant pot on saute mode on the normal setting. I am using the 3 qt. instant pot for this recipe.

Once the instant pot is hot, add the toasted sesame oil followed by a dry whole red chili and garlic paste. You can also check how to make and store homemade garlic paste.

Add all the chopped veggies and some amount of dark soy sauce, chili sauce, sriracha sauce (optional), and vinegar. Add some salt and sugar, saute until the veggies are cooked but still crunchy.

Turn off the saute mode and transfer all the veggies into a plate.

chickpea vegetable kung pao in a bowl served with rice, half green pepper and mushroom in background

Cooking chickpeas in instant pot

Now add the chickpeas and water to the instant pot. For making kung pao the ratio of 1:2 of soaked beans and water works well, you don't want it to be too watery.

If you are using dry beans, you will need more water. Add the remaining dark soy sauce and chili sauce and pressure cook the chickpeas for 18 mins on high-pressure mode.

Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then you can release the remaining pressure manually by turning the valve in the venting position.

Making cornstarch slurry

While the chickpeas are cooking, make a cornstarch slurry by adding some cornstarch and water and mixing it well such that there are no lumps.

Adding cornstarch slurry gives a smooth consistency to the sauce but is optional.

Making kung pao chickpeas

Turn on the instant pot on the saute mode on normal setting and add the cooked veggies to the pressure cooked chickpeas. Mix it well for about a minute and then add the cornstarch slurry.

Kung pao chickpeas serving suggestions

It is best to serve the kung pao hot. It goes well with jasmine rice, fried rice or can be served with noodles. You can also serve it with basmati rice or cilantro lime rice.

Don't forget to check out these easy dinner recipes

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📖 Recipe

chickpea vegetable kung pao in a bowl served with rice in background

Instant Pot Kung Pao Chickpeas

Instant pot kung pao chickpeas is a vegan, gluten-free, and kid-friendly Chinese recipe and served for lunch or dinner. Kung pao chickpeas is made with stir fry vegetables, spicy sauces, and chickpeas.
5 from 13 votes
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Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Indian
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 160kcal
Author: Alpa Jain

Ingredients

Vegetables

  • 1 Red bell pepper (cubed)
  • 1 Yellow bell pepper (cubed)
  • 1 Green bell pepper (cubed)
  • ½ cup Mushrooms (sliced, fresh or canned)
  • 1 Carrot (diced)
  • ½ cup Baby corn (cut)
  • 3 Scallions (chopped)
  • ½ cup Chestnuts (sliced)

Condiments

Cornstarch slurry

Instructions

Saute vegetables

  • Turn the instant pot on saute mode
  • Add sesame oil, once heated add whole dry red chili, garlic paste and saute for a few seconds.
  • Add bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, chestnuts, white portion of scallions, and baby corn and saute all vegetables until crunchy
  • Add salt, sugar, 1 tbsp of soy sauce and ½ tsp chili sauce, sriracha sauce (optional), and vinegar and mix well.
  • Turn off saute mode and remove the vegetables in a plate

Make corn starch slurry

Pressure cook chickpeas

  • In the same instant pot container, add water, 1 tbsp soy sauce, ½ tsp chili sauce, and soaked chickpeas and pressure cook for 18 minutes.
  • Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then release the remaining pressure.
  • Turn the saute mode on, add the sauteed vegetables and let it simmer for a minute.
  • Add the cornstarch and water mixture to thicken the sauce.
  • Give it a good mix, garnish with chopped scallions and roasted peanuts
Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
160
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
6
g
9
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Sodium
 
598
mg
26
%
Potassium
 
405
mg
12
%
Carbohydrates
 
23
g
8
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
2583
IU
52
%
Vitamin C
 
87
mg
105
%
Calcium
 
34
mg
3
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Recipe Rating




foodopium

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Great Option for who like veggies in their dish.......certainly will try this dish out. Thanks for the recipe !

Alpa Jain

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Glad to know you liked it. Let me know how it turns out

Lathiya

Monday 21st of September 2020

Great recipe and sounds interesting. A great choice for a meat substitute.

Alpa Jain

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Lathiya, glad to know you liked it

Beth

Thursday 17th of September 2020

This is such a colorful recipe with a great variety of vegetables. The sauce sounds great - I love anything with roasted sesame oil.

Alpa Jain

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Beth, thankyou. Yes, sesame oil has a unique flavor

Jacqueline Debono

Thursday 17th of September 2020

I love everything with chickpeas and also prefer to use dried ones, not canned. Love all the veggies and flavours in this kung pao!

Alpa Jain

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Jacqueline, glad to know you liked it

LaRena Fry

Wednesday 16th of September 2020

Kung Poa Chicken is a family favorite here. Can't wai to try this recipe. Looks so yummy!

Alpa Jain

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

LaRena, glad to know you liked it