This Instant Pot® Chicken Tortilla Soup is perfect for busy weeknights. Make ahead of time and keep it warm while you pick up the kids from dance or watch a baseball game.
I’ve got another soup recipe for you today: Instant Pot® Chicken Tortilla Soup. If your family loves classic chicken noodle soup or perhaps this chicken soup with parsnips, this is a fun way to spice it up. In fact, this chicken tortilla soup is quickly taking over as the most requested soup by our oldest son.
Instant Pot Magic
Ok, let’s face it, there is no real magic to the Instant Pot®. You still have to plan, shop, and prep–but it certainly does simplify cooking. Benefits include being able to:
- Easily keep food warm until ready to eat.
- Safely step away from the stove while cooking.
- Less time needed than with a slow cooker.
- Clean just one pot.
Unlike the slow cooker, the instant pot also has a saute feature which allows you to cook all those soup veggies right in the pot before adding the stock and chicken. (But I still love my slow cooker and the fact that you can “set it and forget it” for hours!)
Chicken Tortilla Soup Key Ingredients
Chicken thighs – Chicken thighs tend to be more flavorful and less dry than chicken breast. They also contain slightly more iron than chicken breast and tend to be less expensive. Choose organic, humanely raised meat when possible.
Chicken stock – I have said it before and I will say it again–homemade is best! Once you’ve made it you will see how easy it is. I use the 100 Days of Real Food recipe for Overnight Stock in a Crock-Pot. (One of my favorite ways to use my slow cooker!)
Spice – I used the classics Tex-Mex spices: chili powder, cumin, garlic, and oregano. Instead of jalapeno or poblano, I opted to use a bit of adobo sauce that I had on hand. Overall, it’s not too spicy, but you can add additional spice or hot sauce to bring it up a notch if you want!
Veggies – I love to add veggies to foods (beef tacos, pad thai, morning glory muffins) that I know my kids love as it’s a great way to get some more into their diet (and mine). Here I added corn, carrots, and bell pepper. And let’s not forget that the diced tomatoes and onions count as veggies too!
Tortilla Chips or Strips – And, of course, you need some tortillas for chicken tortilla soup! While you could make your own in the oven, being a busy mom, I find it easier to use store-bought. Not to mention, my kids get pretty excited about this too. Seek out a brand that uses quality ingredients and is not too high in salt.
If you have a little extra time or want to reduce sodium further, go ahead and your own tortilla chips. Simply start with corn tortillas, cut them into strips, place them on a baking sheet, spray or brush lightly with oil, season with cumin, and then broil on the middle rack in the oven for 5 minutes, or until crisp but not burned. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from this recipe by Damn Delicious.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive, avocado, or organic canola oil
- 1 med yellow onion, chopped
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 14.5-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes no salt added if available
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 medium red or yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon ancho pepper adobo sauce, medium heat (or sub a diced and seeded jalapeno)
- 1.5 pounds boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast
- 4 cups chicken stock, low sodium or homemade
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt plus more to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 6 ounces tortilla chips or strips (or make your own by slicing whole tortillas into thin strips, spritzing with oil, and then baking in the oven until crispy)
- 1 med avocado
- 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated (use dairy-free or omit as needed)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 med lime sliced into wedges
- hot sauce for those who like it hot!
- Set your Instant Pot® to the saute setting. Add the oil and onion and saute for about 4 minutes, until fragrant and golden.
- Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder. Saute for another minute and then add the diced tomatoes, corn, carrots, bell pepper and adobo sauce and stir.
- Add the chicken, chicken stock, freshly ground pepper to taste, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Select the manual setting and set the time for 10 minutes. When finished cooking, do the quick-release method (refer to Instant Pot® instruction manual).
- Remove the chicken and place onto a cutting board. Let cool for a couple of minutes and then shred using two forks or dice if you prefer. Transfer chicken back to the Instant Pot. Taste and adjust salt and seasoning accordingly, adding 1/4 teaspoon of salt at a time.
- Serve with tortilla chips, and additional toppings as desired, such as avocado, shredded cheese, fresh cilantro, fresh lime, and hot sauce.