Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

chicken tortilla soup

5 from 157 reviews

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup – a fast and flavorful recipe that can be made using dry or canned beans, and using fresh or frozen thighs, or breast meat. Very adaptable! Very easy.



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


Set the Instant pot to the Saute function. Saute onions ( if using granulated garlic, add later with the spices) in the oil for 3-4 minutes while you prep the garlic, carrots and celery. Add them to the pot, and saute 3-4 minutes.

Add the diced tomato, 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).  Manually let pressure out, covering steam with a kitchen towel. (Or feel free to let pressure release naturally.)

Shred chicken thighs with two forks. 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 soup tastes bland, it probably needs more of each.)

Top with tortilla strips, cheese, sour cream, scallions or avocado and cilantro. Add hot sauce for added heat.


For a more brothy soup, use only 1 can of beans vs. two. ( I prefer this brothy.)

If using whole breasts, cook 8-12 minutes, and do not use dry beans (you will overcook the breasts). 8 minutes for smaller breasts or 12 for thicker breasts.

The toppings really add to the soup.

For the tastiest tortilla chips, spray strips of fresh tortillas with olive oil spray and a sprinkle of  salt, and bake in a 300 F oven until crisp.

STOVE TOP:  Use a big pot or  dutch oven–  follow same directions, simmering covered until chicken is cooked through and easily shreddable, and beans are tender, about 40 minutes.

For a bean-free version you could swap out 3 cups corn  for the beans ( Trader Joes, frozen fire-roasted corn is great) adding it to the soup after you release the pressure.

For slow cooker version, cook as stated above then cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours, or on High for 3 to 4 hours.

If doubling the recipe, this will not fit in a 6  quart Instant Pot.  I recommend making in a big pot on the stove.


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