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Air Fryer + Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken (Paleo, Low FODMAP, Gluten-Free)

  • Author: Gail
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Combining the incredible powers of the air fryer and Instant Pot, you too can make this mouthwateringly sweet and tangy sweet and sour chicken! Made with whole, unprocessed ingredients, this recipe is so delicious, your friends will never guess it's not take-out! It's also Paleo, low FODMAP and gluten-free. Instant Pot only instructions also included!




  • 1 lb chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts), chopped into 1" cubes
  • 3 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
  • 3 tbsp cassava flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • If making in the Air Fryer + Instant Pot: Paleo compliant cooking spray - coconut oil (preferably), avocado or olive oil 
  • If making in the Instant Pot only: 2 tbsp coconut oil (not a spray) 


  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1" squares
  • 1 14 oz can pineapple pieces, with juice
  • ½ cup scallions, green tops only, chopped


  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp tapoica flour
  • 2 tsp cold water


  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish (optional)
  • 2 tbsp scallions, green tops only, chopped, for garnish (optional)


  1. Get all ingredients chopped and ready to go before starting to cook.
  2. Preheat air fryer to 400° F for 10 minutes.
  3. While the air fryer is preheating, place chicken in a large bowl. Add tapioca flour and toss chicken with your hands to coat. Add the garlic-infused olive oil and toss again to coat. In another large bowl, add cassava flour, sea salt and ground black pepper and whisk to combine. Dredge chicken pieces in cassava flour mixture a few at a time, shake off the excess flour, and place on a large plate.
  4. Once the air fryer has finished preheating, spray air fryer pan with cooking spray. Using tongs, add half of the chicken pieces to the air fryer pan, leaving a little space between each piece as best you can. Air fry for 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. Using a fresh set of tongs, place cooked chicken pieces on a fresh plate. Repeat these steps for the other half of the chicken.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, add sauce ingredients, maple syrup through red pepper flakes, to the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and whisk to combine. Add red bell pepper and can of pineapple pieces and juice, and stir to coat in the sauce.
  6. Close the Instant Pot lid and set pressure release valve to "Sealing." At the point that you flip the first batch of chicken pieces in the air fryer, hit the "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" button on the Instant Pot and set the cooking time to 1 minute.
  7. Once the Instant Pot cooking cycle completes, hit "Cancel" on the Instant Pot, quick release the pressure, open the lid, and allow the steam to dissipate for a minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove red pepper and pineapple from the pot to a large bowl, leaving the liquid behind.
  8. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together 2 tsp tapioca flour with 2 tsp cold water. Hit the "Saute" button on the Instant Pot and wait a few seconds for the liquid to start boiling. While slowly whisking the liquid, add the tapioca mixture and whisk constantly until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Hit "Cancel" on the Instant Pot, and using hot pads, remove inner pot from the Instant Pot and place on a hot pad.
  9. Once the chicken pieces are finished cooking and resting on a plate, check the temperature of the thickest piece using an instant read thermometer. Chicken must be at least 165° F to be safely consumed. If the chicken pieces are the proper temperature, add them to the bowl containing the red pepper and pineapple. Cover with sauce and stir to coat. Allow to sit uncovered for 5 minutes.
  10. Add scallions and stir to combine. Garnish with more scallions and toasted sesame seeds (if using) and serve on its own or with a starch component, such as plantain rice (Paleo and low FODMAP), cauliflower rice (Paleo but not low FODMAP) or white rice (low FODMAP and gluten-free but not Paleo).
  11. INSTANT POT ONLY INSTRUCTIONS: Follow the same steps for #1 and #3 above. Once the chicken pieces are all breaded, hit the "Sauté" button on the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and add 2 tbsp coconut oil. Once the display on the Instant Pot reads "Hot," using tongs, add half the chicken pieces to the pot and sear for 1 minute per side. Remove to a plate and repeat for the remaining chicken pieces.
  12. Hit "Cancel" on the Instant Pot and add the can of pineapple with juice to deglaze the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot clean with a plastic spoon. Add sauce ingredients maple syrup through red pepper flakes and stir. Add the red pepper and the chicken pieces and stir to coat in the sauce. Using a spatula, scrape any juices left by the chicken on the plate (leave no flavour behind!!!). Close Instant Pot lid, set the pressure release valve to "Sealing," press the "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" button, and set timer for 1 minute. Turn off "Keep Warm" function.
  13. Once the cooking cycle has completed, quick release the pressure and remove lid from Instant Pot. Check the temperature of the thickest piece of chicken using an instant read thermometer. Chicken must be at least 165° F to be safely consumed. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken, red pepper and pineapple to a bowl so that only liquid remains in the Instant Pot. Complete step #8 above to thicken the sauce.
  14. Once the sauce has been thickened, pour on chicken and produce and stir to coat. Complete step #10 above, and enjoy.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Air Fryer + Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Keywords: sweet and sour chicken, instant pot sweet and sour chicken, air fryer sweet and sour chicken, instant pot air fryer recipes, paleo, low fodmap, gluten-free, Chinese recipes, chicken recipes, better than take-out sweet and sour chicken, chinese cuisine