Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup


If you haven't made the leap to buy an Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker), my advice is...don't to get one. Especially with the colder months upon us. There is nothing easier. I love mine. A pressure cooker infuses meat with the liquid from the pot and makes it so delicious. You just gotta try it. It will make you want to throw your crockpot away. :-)

This simple Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe is so good and perfect for a cool, Fall day.


1–2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

5 garlic cloves, rough chopped (or sub 1–2 tablespoons granulated garlic)

1–2 cups carrots, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 x 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, and juices ( preferably fire roasted) or 1 ½ cups diced tomatoes w/juices

1  small 4-ounce can, mild green chilies (or sub 1 poblano chili, diced)

2 lbs chicken thighs (boneless, skinless, fresh or frozen) left whole (or breasts -see cooking notes)

1 cup dry black beans or sub 1-2 cans black beans, or sub corn-see notes ( do not use dry beans with chicken breast as breasts will overcook.)

4 cups chicken stock or broth (or water with 4 chicken bouillon cubes)

2 cups water

2 teaspoons salt, more to taste

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

juice from 1–2 limes

optional: for a smoky heat, add a little chipotle (either the adobo sauce from canned chipotles, or a little ground chipotle powder to taste. )

Garnish with any or all of the following:  tortilla strips, grated cheese, sour cream, avocado, hot sauce, cilantro, fresh jalapeño, scallions

  1. Set the Instant pot to the Sauté function. Sauté onions in the oil for 3-4 minutes while you prep the garlic, carrots and celery. Add them to the pot, and sauté 3-4 minutes. (If using granulated garlic, add later with the spices)
  2. Add the diced tomato and their juices, green chilies, chicken thighs (whole), dry black beans ( or canned, drained), chicken stock, water, salt and all the spices.  Give a good stir, and set the Instant pot to pressure cook on high. If using dry black beans, pressure cook 22 minutes. If using canned black beans, pressure cook for 14 minutes (same for either fresh or frozen thighs).
  3. Manually let the pressure out, covering steam with a kitchen towel. (Or feel free to let the pressure release naturally.)
  4. Shred chicken thighs with two forks (either right in the pot, or on a cutting board). The soup will thicken. (At this point you could add corn, and return to saute setting for a few minutes.) Squeeze with a generous amount of lime juice and taste for salt, adding more if necessary- especially if you used dry beans, you will need to add more. You want a good balance between lime and salt. ( If the soup tastes bland, it probably needs more of each.)
  5. Divide among bowls and top with tortilla strips, cheese, sour cream, scallions or avocado and cilantro. Add hot sauce for added heat.
  6. Enjoy!