Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup is a comforting one-pot meal loaded with tender chicken, sweet corn, black beans, and a spicy kick from taco seasoning and green chilies. It’s easy to make any night of the week!
If you love zesty chicken soup recipes like my Chipotle Lime Chicken Soup, you’re going to love this Instant Pot tortilla soup.
Easy Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
Smoky, flavorful chicken tortilla soup is quick and easy to make in the Instant Pot, perfect for weeknights or weekends. The ingredients are healthy and uncomplicated. The broth is bursting with bright and zesty Tex-Mex flavors. And once this soup is in bowls, there are so many possibilities for toppings (we love ours with crunchy tortilla strips and plenty of lime). Pressure-cooking soup is the best way to lock in loads of flavor, and the chicken in this recipe turns out insanely tender and juicy! Plus, you can get started on the rest of your dinner while this soup cooks in the Instant Pot. Winning all around.
Why You’ll Love This
- One-pot. This Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup recipe is basically hands-free. It’s a one-pot recipe that takes just a little bit of prep, and then you’ll leave the rest to the pressure cooker.
- Locked-in flavors. Cooking under pressure is an easy way to infuse every inch of this tortilla soup with delicious, Mexican-inspired flavor.
- Great for leftovers. This tortilla soup stores and freezes well, so you can enjoy leftovers all week long.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Below is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need to make this chicken tortilla soup. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full amounts and recipe instructions.
- Olive Oil
- Onion and Garlic: Aromatics that form the flavor base for this tortilla soup. You can use white, yellow, or brown onions and freshly minced garlic. Feel free to adapt the amount of garlic to taste.
- Taco Seasoning: Use your favorite store-bought taco seasoning to bring classic Tex-Mex flavor to this chicken tortilla soup. In a pinch, a combination of cumin and chili powder should do the trick.
- Chilies and Tomatoes: Canned green chilies and canned diced tomatoes are convenient and full of flavor. You can choose your chilies according to taste, depending on how spicy you like your soup. Look for mild canned chilies if you’re not after a lot of heat.
- Black Beans: You’ll need two cans of black beans, drained and rinsed before you add them to the pot.
- Chicken Broth: I recommend low-sodium chicken broth so you can better control the saltiness. You can also use homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock.
- Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs cook right in the broth and are easy to shred. Bone-in chicken will take longer to cook.
- Corn: Frozen sweet corn kernels work perfectly in this recipe. You can also use canned corn, just remember to drain it first.
- Lime: I love squeezing in the juice from one whole, fresh lime right at the very end. The acidity boosts the smoky, spicy flavors of the broth and brightens everything up.
- Garnishes: Optional, but recommended! Lime wedges make a great garnish, as do tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sliced avocado, and cilantro. See further in the post for details.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
This tortilla soup comes together quickly. There’s only minimal prep involved before we let the pressure cooker take over. Here’s how to make it:
- Saute the onions. Start by switching your IP to saute mode. Saute the onions in a bit of olive oil, then stir in the garlic and taco seasoning. Afterward, pour in the chicken broth and use a spoon or spatula (not metal) to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
- Combine. Cancel saute mode, and dump in your canned green chilies, dice tomatoes, and drained black beans, along with the rest of the chicken broth. Give everything a good stir.
- Add the chicken and cook. Add the chicken breasts to the pot, then close and seal the lid. Set your Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Keep in mind that it will take the pot 20 minutes or so to come to pressure before the cooking time begins. Afterward, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes.
- Shred the chicken. Next, take out the chicken, and use two forks to shred it before returning the shredded chicken to the Instant Pot.
- Finish and serve. Stir in the corn and, finally, add the lime juice, then let the contents heat for 5 minutes or so. Your chicken tortilla soup is ready to serve with your favorite toppings! See below for ideas.
Tips and Variation Ideas
Keep these tips in mind when making the best chicken tortilla soup in the Instant Pot:
- Quickly shred the cooked chicken using your stand mixer. Go slowly and use the paddle attachment, and your chicken should be shredded in a minute or so. See my post on how to shred chicken for more tips.
- Budget enough time for the Instant Pot to come to pressure. If you’re new to cooking with the Instant Pot, keep in mind that the pressure cooker takes an additional ~20 minutes to come to pressure before the actual cooking time begins. Be sure to plan your time accordingly!
- Be careful when opening the lid on the Instant Pot, as the steam inside may still be hot.
- Make vegetarian tortilla soup. Swap chicken broth for vegetable broth, and add in canned chickpeas or an extra can of black beans in place of shredded chicken to bulk up the soup if you’re making this recipe vegetarian.
- Add more veggies. Saute diced bell peppers and carrots at the same time as the onions if you’d like to amp up the amount of vegetables.
Can I Use Frozen Chicken?
Yes, you can make this recipe with frozen chicken breasts, however, you’ll need to increase the cooking time. Cook the soup at high pressure for 12 minutes, and naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes before manually venting the rest.
Can I Make This Recipe In the Slow Cooker Instead?
To make slow cooker chicken tortilla soup, add your soup ingredients to the bowl of your slow cooker or crock pot (leave out the corn and lime juice). Place the chicken breasts into the broth. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Afterward, remove the chicken and stir in the corn kernels and lime. Shred the chicken, dump it back into the pot, and then serve!
Note that if you’re using frozen chicken breasts, frozen chicken must be thawed before you add it to your slow cooker. See my slow cooker honey garlic chicken recipe for more details.
Ways to Serve Chicken Tortilla Soup
This easy Instant Pot soup is a meal on its own, or you can round out dinner with some easy side dishes. Here are some ideas:
- Toppings: Serve bowls of tortilla soup topped with fresh lime wedges, tortilla strips or chips, diced avocado, sour cream, cotija cheese, or shredded cheddar.
- Bread: We love this soup with wedges of fluffy sour cream cornbread or flaky sweet potato biscuits for soaking up all those spicy Mexican-style flavors.
- Mexican: This chicken tortilla soup makes an easy starter for a full Mexican meal. Serve it with pork carnitas tacos, homemade crunch wraps, chicken enchiladas, and a side of skillet taco rice.
- Appetizers: Chicken tortilla soup is perfect for gatherings and game days! Pair it with easy appetizer ideas like chipotle meatballs and cheesy chicken taquitos.
- Chips and Dip: Soup also pairs nicely with cowboy caviar, mango salsa, or easy avocado salsa and a basket of chips for dipping.
- Salad: Soup and salad is always a winning combination. Try this Southwestern Cobb salad, this spicy Frito corn salad, or a simple green salad on the side.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
- Fridge: This Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup is great for reheating the following day. Store any leftovers airtight and refrigerate the soup for up to 3 days. Reheat portions in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop until warmed through. You can also reheat soup using the saute setting on the Instant Pot.
- Freezer: Once the soup is cooled completely, store the soup airtight and freeze it for up to 2-3 months. Defrost the tortilla soup in the fridge overnight before reheating.
More Instant Pot Soup Recipes
This Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup recipe is a comforting one-pot meal, loaded with tender chicken, sweet corn, black beans, taco seasoning, and green chilies.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 (4 ounce) can green chilis
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup frozen corn niblets
- Juice of 1 lime
- Turn the instant pot to saute mode and add the olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and taco seasoning. Cook for 1 minute more, stirring constantly.
- Add 1 cup of the chicken broth and use a spatula to deglaze the bottom of the instant pot. Press the cancel button.
- Add the green chilis, tomatoes, black beans, and remaining chicken broth. Stir well.
- Nestle the chicken breasts into the liquid.
- Put the lid on the instant pot and set the vent to seal. Turn on manual high pressure for 8 minutes. Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow the steam to naturally release for 10 minutes.
- Open the instant pot and remove the chicken. Shred it with two forks then return it to the pot.
- Add the corn and lime juice. Put the lid on and let the corn heat for about 5 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite toppings
Keywords: instant pot chicken tortilla soup, instant pot tortilla soup, chicken tortilla soup recipe
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