Homemade soups are so much fun to make, and this Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup is an all-time favorite. We’ll use pantry-friendly ingredients along with fresh boneless, skinless chicken breast to make a vibrant, hearty and delicious soup that’s loaded with classic flavors. If you’re just getting started with Instant Pot cooking, this is a great way to make an awesome recipe that’s sure to impress.
The Instant Pot continues to be my favorite way to make all kinds of soups and chilis. We don’t have to drag out a heavy Dutch oven or let anything simmer for hours. In fact, this whole recipe is ready to enjoy in about 45 minutes! Pressure cooking is ideal for combining all the flavors, giving us perfectly cooked chicken, and making an unforgettable soup.
What is Chicken Tortilla Soup?
Chicken tortilla soup is a chicken broth-based soup seasoned with traditional Mexican spices and features shredded chicken along with a variety of other ingredients including tomatoes, beans, corn, garlic, onions and chiles. The soup is then topped with fried tortilla strips or chips. What makes it extra special are the toppings: fresh avocados, cheese, sour cream, cilantro and more. Each spoonful of chicken tortilla soup is like a mini adventure for your taste buds, offering a bunch of different tastes and sensations all at once!
While chicken tortilla soup may sound like it could be complicated, it’s one of my favorite and easiest recipes to make. Again, being able to bring all the flavors together perfectly in the Instant Pot is such a treat.
We’ll use a combination of fresh ingredients, canned ingredients, and pantry-friendly spices to get the very best results.
Our fresh ingredients will include boneless skinless chicken breast, onion, garlic and a jalapeño pepper.
Canned ingredients include: crushed tomatoes, black beans, corn (can be frozen) and chicken broth.
Spices include: cumin, chili powder, cayenne, paprika and salt.
The tortilla part of the recipe can be your favorite tortilla chips. You can also buy tortilla strips, usually found near the salad toppings at the grocery store.
Dice the onion, mince the garlic and dice the jalapeno pepper. That’s not too bad, right?
Dicing a Fresh Jalapeño Pepper
To dice a jalapeño, start by cutting off the stem and slicing the pepper in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and white membrane if you want less heat. Place the pepper halves skin-side down, then slice into narrow strips. Line up the strips and cut across to create cubes. Be careful to avoid touching your eyes while handling the jalapeño, and wash your hands right after you’re done. Using gloves can also prevent skin irritation.
I absolutely love the flavor and characteristics a fresh jalapeño brings to this recipe. However, if you want to skip this step you can just use a small can of green chiles in its place.
How to Cook
Our first step will be adding olive oil to the pot and setting it to the sauté mode. Once hot, we’ll add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent. Then we’ll add the garlic and spices and sauté for another 1 minute. By sautéeing the spices, we’re doing what’s called “blooming” them, bringing out extra flavor.
After the 1 minute is up with the spices and garlic, add in a splash of the broth and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any stuck-on bits to the bottom of the pot. There’s lots of terrific flavor there! This is called deglazing.
Now add the remainder of the broth and then the chicken breast. Add in the crushed tomatoes, black beans and corn. Don’t stir. Leave it all as-is.
Secure the lid and pressure cook for 10 minutes on high pressure, followed by a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
When the pin drops, remove the lid and remove the chicken breasts to a plate or bowl and shred with two forks. Then return it to the pot and mix well so that all the ingredients are well incorporated.
Your chicken tortilla soup is now ready to serve! Simply ladle it into bowls and then have fun adding the toppings. Of course, start with the tortilla chips or strips. Then add the rest to your heart’s desire.
As mentioned, one of the best things about chicken tortilla soup is the toppings. Kind of like a taco or those loaded nachos at the sports bar, you can have all sorts of fun adding delicious toppings to this soup.
Avocado: Cubes or slices of ripe avocado add a creamy texture and a rich, smooth flavor.
Cheese: Shredded cheese such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Mexican-style blend will melt nicely on top of the hot soup, adding a layer of creamy richness.
Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt: A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt can balance the soup’s heat and add a creamy tang.
Black Olives: Sliced black olives can contribute a unique, savory taste.
Fresh Cilantro: Chopped cilantro contributes a burst of freshness and is a traditional herb in Mexican cuisine.
Hot Sauce: Have some fun with your favorite hot sauce added to this soup!
Storage and Reheating
Chicken tortilla soup can be stored and reheated in much the same way as most other soups.
Make sure the soup is cooled down and stored, without any of the toppings, in air-tight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freezer for up to 4 months.
To reheat, first thaw it in the refrigerator if it’s frozen. Then, pour the soup into a pot and warm it over medium heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally until heated through. If you’re using a microwave, transfer the soup to a microwave-safe bowl, cover it loosely, and heat it in intervals, stirring between each for uniform warming.Print