This quick and easy Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup is healthy, flavorful and comforting. It’s perfect for feeding a crowd or for busy weeknights. Top a bowl with your favorite toppings and dig in!
There are so many reasons chicken tortilla soup is a favorite! It’s flavorful, comforting and healthy to boot. If you’re like me and always on the hunt for easy, delicious and satisfying instant pot recipes, you’ll want to try this one.
This soup is great for busy weeknights. You can also double the recipe and make a big batch to feed a crowd. I like to set out a bunch of toppings when feeding a group and let people build their own soup bowls!
The secret trick that makes this soup extra delicious is adding some corn tortillas to the soup as it cooks. This gives the soup a nice corn flavor and helps it to thicken slightly.
I also like to top the soup with some freshly baked crispy tortilla strips. I’ve included instructions on how to make those in the recipe.
How to Make It
These how-to numbered pictures match up with the instructions below.
- Press SAUTE on the instant pot. Add the oil and vegetables and sauté until softened.
- Turn off the instant pot and add the garlic and spices. The pot will still be plenty hot, but turning off the instant pot at this point helps prevent the garlic from burning.
- Add the stock, tomatoes, corn tortillas and chicken to the pot. Something that makes this recipe extra is easy is you add the chicken whole and shred it after cooking.
- Press MANUAL or high pressure for 7 minutes. After the soup has cooked let it natural release for 10 minutes.
- Take the chicken out and shred it.
- Add the chicken back to the pot along with cilantro and lime juice. Season to taste and serve – yum!
Be sure to check out the video I’ve included in this post for a visual on the step-by-step instructions.
Can I Use Frozen Chicken?
Yes! I always love a recipe where I can use frozen chicken. This soup turns out great if you use frozen chicken. You only need 1 chicken breast for the recipe so don’t use more than one or the soup will burn before it comes up to temperature.
However, adding just 1 frozen chicken breast won’t affect the cooking time. You can use frozen chicken and keep the cooking time for this recipe the same.
Tips for Instant Pot Soups
Soup is a great thing to make in your instant pot. There are a few things to keep in mind when making soup in the instant pot that are different than making it on the stovetop.
- The soup will take time to come up to pressure. You may see instant pot recipes with 7 minute cook times, but just keep in mind it can take an extra 10 minutes for the instant pot to come up to pressure. This is usually fine by me since it’s hands off and the instant pot can sit and do it’s thing. However if you’re making dinner in a hurry remember to account for the time to come up pressure and the time to natural release. All together this instant pot chicken tortilla soup recipe takes about 30 minutes to cook.
- Liquid doesn’t evaporate as much when cooking with the instant pot. Have you ever seen a recipe for making rice in the instant pot and noticed the liquid/rice proportions are way different than you’d see in a stovetop recipe? Since everything is sealed in the instant pot your liquid won’t evaporate much. If you were making this soup on the stovetop you’d need more chicken stock, but the amount in this recipe is just right for the instant pot.
- Add some ingredients after cooking. Since the instant pot cooks at a higher temperature it’s best to add some ingredients like cilantro and lime juice after the soup has cooked. That way the flavors stay nice and bright.
Once you have a delicious, hot bowl of chicken tortilla soup it’s time to top it with your favorite toppings. I love making some fresh crispy corn tortilla strips to top this soup.
All you do is cut the corn tortillas into thin strips, toss them with a little oil and salt, then bake at 350F for 10 minutes. They take this soup to the next level!
- Feta or cotjita cheese
- Hot sauce
- Sour cream
- More lime juice/cilantro
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! If you love this recipe I’d love for you to leave a comment below. I always love hearing from you!
More Instant Pot Recipes:
Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs and Yellow Rice a tasty all-in-one pot meal.
Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli and Rice a kid favorite!
Instant Pot Sausage Lentil Stew you won’t believe how much flavor this soup has.
Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, or olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onions, 1 onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery, 2 stalks
- 1 cups chopped carrots, 2 carrots
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds/ribs removed and minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 14 oz canned crushed tomatoes, you may have to use 1/2 of a 28ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 6 6-inch white corn tortillas, cut into strips
- 1 chicken breast
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- juice of 1 lime
- Toppings: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, and tortilla chips
- Press the SAUTE button on the instant pot and let preheat for 1-2 minutes. Add the avocado oil, onion, celery, carrots and jalapeno. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
- Turn off the instant pot and stir in the garlic, spices and salt. The pot will still be plenty hot, but turning off the instant pot at this point helps prevent the garlic from burning.
- Add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, corn tortillas and chicken. Close the instant pot and press MANUAL (or high pressure) and set timer for 7 minutes. When the time is up let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before releasing the rest of the steam.
- Take out the chicken breast and shred with a fork. Add back to the soup. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Add a little more stock or water if the soup has thicken too much (it can differ depending on the type of corn tortillas you use) and season to taste. Enjoy!