Instant Pot Kung Pao Chickpeas

Sweet and salty, Kung Pao Chickpeas made in the Instant Pot!

The chickpeas are cooked in a flavorful sauce made with soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar.

Crunchy peanuts add texture to this dish which is also vegan.

picture of kung pao chickpeas served along with white rice in a rimmed silver plate

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I cook beans and lentils in my kitchen very often.

That’s obvious since I am not only an Indian but also vegetarian! Beans and lentils are one of my primary sources for protein.

Chickpeas are something which both me and Sarvesh love. Of course, our favorite way to enjoy it has to be punjabi chole.

Nothing can beat a plate of good chole and rice, so good!

However one can get bored of eating chole or Indian recipes made with chickpeas after a while.

So, when I want a change from the usual, I make this Kung Pao Chickpeas!

Based on my kung pao tofu, this recipe has sweet and salty flavors and tastes so good with rice.

This Kung Pao Chickpeas

✓ is made in the Instant Pot!

✓ is made from raw chickpeas

✓ makes a hearty and flavorful meal

✓ is vegan and can be made gluten-free

✓ pairs well with rice or noodles or quinoa

The flavor of this dish comes from it’s sauce. It’s literally packed with flavors.

It is made with soy sauce (I use regular and dark soy sauce), hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, mirin and brown sugar.

There’s also a bit of toasted sesame oil for that unique flavor.

What if you don’t have all of these sauces? Please have a lot at notes, I have given substitutions whenever possible.

This is a super easy recipe but since I have used raw chickpeas, it does take some time to pressure cook.

Most of the cooking is hand free though.

For this kung pao chickpeas recipe, the garlic, ginger and onions are sauteed first in little oil and then the chickpeas are pressure cooked along with the sauce.

The peppers are tossed in the end so that they remain crunchy. And of course the roasted peanuts are the final touch.

I also add some cornstarch slurry in the end to thicken up the sauce. There isn’t a lot of sauce left in the end though.

kung pao chickpeas in a black bowl garnished with green onion with a bowl of rice in the background

Using Canned Chickpeas

You can make this recipe using canned chickpeas.

This recipe calls for 1 cup dried chickpeas which becomes almost 2.5 cup chickpeas after being soaked overnight.

So if using chickpeas from can, you would need 2.5 cups chickpeas, which would be little less than 2 cans of chickpeas.

If using canned chickpeas, pressure cook for 10 minutes only.

Make this Gluten-free

Yes, you can make this gluten-free. Use tamari in place of regular soy sauce.

Also, make sure that the hoisin sauce that you have used us gluten-free.

Method

Soak chickpeas overnight in 3 to 4 cups water before you start. In the morning drain the water in which the chickpeas were soaked and rinse them. Set aside.

1- In a bowl or glass jar, whisk together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, sriracha, toasted sesame oil and brown sugar. Set aside.

2- Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the chopped ginger, garlic, dried red chilies and chopped onion. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.

3- Then add the soaked and drained chickpeas to the pot and toss to combine.

4- Stir in the prepared sauce.

step by step picture collage of making kung pao chickpeas in instant pot

5- Then add 1 cup of water. Scrape the bottom to make sure there’s nothing stuck at the bottom of the pan.

6- Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally.

Do 10 minutes high pressure if using canned chickpeas.

7- Open the lid and then press the saute button. Add the peppers, green onion and half of the roasted peanuts. Let is simmer on “saute mode” for 3 to 4 minutes until peppers soften a little.

8- Then make a cornstarch slurry by mixing 1.5 teaspoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water and add it to the pot. The sauce will thicken, simmer one more minute.

You may also add salt at this point if you want, I did not add any since the salt in the sauces was enough for me.

step by step picture collage of making kung pao chickpeas in instant pot

Stir in the remaining roasted peanuts, garnish with more green onions and serve kung pao chickpeas with rice.

kung pao chickpeas in a black bowl garnished with green onion with a bowl of rice in the background and a spoon on the side

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Instant Pot Kung Pao Chickpeas

picture of kung pao chickpeas served along with white rice in a rimmed silver plate
Manali
Kung Pao Chickpeas made in the Instant Pot! Chickpeas cooked in a sweet and salty sauce and topped with crunchy peanuts! This vegan dish pairs well with rice.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4
Calories 348 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight, 200 grams, or use 2.5 cups cooked chickpeas from can
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce 60 ml, I used 3 tablespoons regular soy sauce and 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce 15 ml
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine (mirin) 15 ml
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha 5 ml, or any hot sauce of choice, add more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 5 ml
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil 15 ml, I used avocado oil
  • 1 inch ginger finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 whole dried red chilies
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 cup water 8 oz
  • 1 small red bell pepper cut in square
  • 1 small green bell pepper cut in square
  • 2 stalks green onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts unsalted

1.5 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

    Instructions
     

    • Soak chickpeas overnight in 3 to 4 cups water before you start. In the morning drain the water in which the chickpeas were soaked and rinse them. Set aside.
    • In a bowl or glass jar, whisk together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, sriracha, toasted sesame oil and brown sugar. Set aside.
    • Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the chopped ginger, garlic, dried red chilies and chopped onion. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
    • Then add the soaked and drained chickpeas to the pot and toss to combine. Stir in the prepared sauce. 
    • Then add 1 cup of water. Scrape the bottom to make sure there's nothing stuck at the bottom of the pan.
    • Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally. Do 10 minutes high pressure if using canned chickpeas.
    • Open the lid and then press the saute button. Add the peppers, green onion and half of the roasted peanuts. Let is simmer on "saute mode" for 3 to 4 minutes until peppers soften a little. 
    • Then make a cornstarch slurry by mixing 1.5 teaspoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water and add it to the pot. The sauce will thicken, simmer one more minute. You may also add salt at this point if you want, I did not add any since the salt in the sauces was enough for me.
    • Stir in the remaining roasted peanuts, garnish with more green onions and serve kung pao chickpeas with rice.
    • Stir in the remaining roasted peanuts, garnish with more green onions and serve kung pao chickpeas with rice.

    Notes

    1. You can use regular soy sauce only if you don't have dark soy sauce.
    2. If you don't have mirin, use an extra tablespoon of rice vinegar.
    3. If you don't have hoisin sauce, use any other sweet sauce like a sweet barbecue sauce and add some hot sauce to it and then use in the recipe. Although best would be to use hoisin sauce.
    4. The cooking time may seem long but it's all hands-free cooking time. Since we are using raw chickpeas, they take time to pressure cook. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 348kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 15gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 1158mgPotassium: 696mgFiber: 11gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 873IUVitamin C: 45mgCalcium: 86mgIron: 4mg
    Keyword kung pao chickpeas
    Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

    7 thoughts on “Instant Pot Kung Pao Chickpeas

    1. 5 stars
      Thank you for this recipe, it’s absolutely delicious. The crunch of the peanuts really made it for me. (I used tinned chickpeas, which worked beautifully, and I sprinkled some black sesame seeds on top.) Lovely!

    2. 5 stars
      Yum. Yum. And more yum!!! Such a tasty dish. Thank you so much Manali. I made this without soaking the chickpeas. Cooked them for 35 minutes then did PIP brown rice together for another 25. Perfect. Will definitely make again. Will up the sauce ingredients next time as it is delicious when “soaked” into the rice. How bad is this – salivating already for the leftovers after only just finishing a rather large bowl full!!!!! Thanks once again.

    3. Can I use a regular traditional pressure cooker to cook this? Could you guide me on cooking time and whistles please. Looks yummy!

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