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This Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup is the ultimate comfort food with a kick! Toss in some chicken, beans, and spices, and let your instant pot do the heavy lifting. You’ll end up with a soup chicken tortilla soup that’s rich and super flavorful. Plus, those crispy homemade tortilla strips on top? So Good and so easy!
Table of Contents
- Why you’ll love this easy instant pot tortilla soup
- Ingredients to make Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- How to make Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Tips for making the best instant pot chicken tortilla soup
- Popular substitutions & additions
- What to serve with your instant pot chicken tortilla soup
- How to store & reheat Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Frequently asked questions
- More Instant Pot recipes:
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
Making this IP chicken tortilla soup is straightforward without compromising on flavors. I like to use boneless chicken thighs and let them simmer in a base of spices, tomatoes, black beans, and corn. Top off your tortilla soup with crunchy oven-baked tortilla strips and your favorite garnishes like cilantro, sour cream, and cheese for a complete, satisfying meal. No need to wait on long, simmering hours; this Instant Pot recipe is all about delivering maximum flavor with minimum fuss.
Why you’ll love this easy instant pot tortilla soup
- Quick Meal Prep: This instant pot chicken tortilla soup literally cooks itself. Just toss everything in the pot and let it do its magic! You’re free to take care of other things—or just relax—while your dinner gets made.
- Budget-Friendly: All you need are some pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients, and you’ve got yourself a budget-friendly meal. Even better, it’s a great way to use up leftover chicken or veggies you’ve got sitting in the fridge.
- Easy to Customize: Have a picky eater or specific dietary needs in the family? No worries! This soup is very forgiving. You can easily swap ingredients or adjust the spice level to make everyone happy.
- Leftovers for Days: Not only does this instant pot tortilla soup taste great fresh out of the pot, but it also makes for fantastic leftovers. The flavors meld together even more, so it’s perfect for meal prepping for the week ahead.
Ingredients to make Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper: This combo will give your soup its signature zesty kick. If you’re out of smoked paprika, regular paprika will do in a pinch.
- Olive oil: Used for sautéing and making the tortilla strips nice and crispy. Any mild-flavored oil, like canola or vegetable oil, can be used if you’re running low on olive oil.
- Chicken thighs (boneless and skinless): These bring a juicy tenderness to the soup. Remember to pat them dry before seasoning for the best flavor. If you prefer, chicken breasts can be used too; just adjust the cooking time a little.
- Onion, jalapeño, and garlic: Dice them up nice and small so they melt into the broth. If you’re not a fan of heat, remove the seeds from the jalapeño or skip it altogether.
- Tomatoes: You’ll need crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes with chiles for a nice, rich tomato base. Canned crushed tomatoes are a time-saver, but feel free to use fresh if you’ve got them handy.
- Chicken broth: What’s a chicken soup without chicken broth? It’s the base flavor of this instant pot tortilla soup! You can also go for a low-sodium version if you’re watching your sodium intake, or make a homemade one.
- Corn tortillas: These become deliciously crispy when baked and add a wonderful texture contrast to your soup. No tortillas? Some store-bought tortilla chips crumbled up can work, too.
- Black beans: They add a hearty, protein-packed element to your soup. Kidney or pinto beans can be swapped in if that’s what you’ve got.
- Frozen corn: Adds a natural sweetness to your soup. Fresh or canned corn (drained) works just as well.
- Fresh cilantro, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese: These toppings elevate the flavors and add creaminess and freshness. However, you can get creative and add any toppings you like!
How to make Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
This is definitely a set-it-and-forget-it kind of meal. Just toss your ingredients into the instant pot, press a couple of buttons, and let it do its thing. While it’s cooking, you’ve got plenty of time to prep your toppings. Shred some cheddar cheese, chop up fresh cilantro, and make those tortilla strips extra crispy.
Bake the tortilla strips
- Toss the tortilla strips with olive oil and spread them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Cook them in the oven until crisp.
How To Cook Chicken tortilla soup in an Instant Pot
- Place seasoned chicken thighs in a preheated instant pot.
- Cook the chicken until it’s lightly golden. Then, take it out and set it aside.
- Add your veggies and the remaining spice mixture to the pot. Cook until the onion softens up and it smells good.
- Add in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with chiles, chicken broth, and the chicken you set aside. Put on the lid and set the vent to ‘seal’ and cook.
- After the Instant Pot is done and the pressure has been released, open the lid and take out the chicken. Shred it into small pieces and put it back in the pot.
- Turn the Instant Pot back to ‘Sauté’ and add in the black beans and corn. Cook until they’re heated through.
Tips for making the best instant pot chicken tortilla soup
- Mind the ‘Sauté’ setting. If you want to make the best instant pot chicken tortilla soup, don’t walk away during the ‘Sauté’ step. Keeping an eye on your pot ensures nothing sticks or burns.
- Use a stand mixer to shred the chicken. Place the cooked chicken thighs in your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. A quick mix will shred your chicken into perfect bite-sized pieces, way easier than using two forks.
- Double-check your vent setting. Make sure your Instant Pot vent is properly set to ‘seal’ before starting the pressure cooking. You don’t want to realize halfway through that you’ve been venting steam and losing flavor!
- Keep those tortilla strips thin. When you’re slicing up your tortillas, aim for thin strips. They’ll crisp up nicely in the oven and add the perfect crunch to your soup.
- Skim off any excess fat. If you notice some fat floating on top of your soup after cooking, just use a spoon to skim it off. This gives the soup a cleaner flavor and feel.
Popular substitutions & additions
- Swap chicken thighs for chicken breast. Either one will work in this recipe, but I find that chicken thighs will add slightly more flavor, plus they are more affordable!
- Use store-bought tortilla chips. Feel free to skip the homemade tortilla strips for store-bought chips instead!
- Pre-cut chicken for quicker cooking. If you’re in a real hurry, cut the chicken into smaller pieces before sautéing. They’ll cook faster and be easier to shred later.
- Spice it your way. Not a fan of cumin or smoked paprika? Feel free to experiment with your favorite spices. Maybe try some coriander or even a pinch of cinnamon for a unique twist.
- Go meatless with tofu or beans. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, firm tofu or even extra beans can be a great substitute for chicken. Tofu soaks up all those yummy flavors!
What to serve with your instant pot chicken tortilla soup
How to store & reheat Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Storing is a breeze! Just pour any leftover instant pot tortilla soup into an airtight container and pop it in the fridge. But keep those crispy tortilla strips separate so they stay crunchy for next time.
Reheating is just as easy. Pour your chilled soup into a pot and warm it up on the stove over medium heat. If you’re in a rush, microwaving works too. Add your tortilla strips, cheese, and other toppings fresh when you’re about to eat.
How long will Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup last in the fridge?
You’ve got a good 3 to 4 days to enjoy your soup if it’s stored in the fridge. So, you can totally make it ahead of time for meals throughout the week.
Can i freeze instant pot tortilla soup?
This soup freezes really well—minus the chips, of course. Just pour it into a freezer-safe container, leaving some room at the top for expansion. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw it overnight in the fridge and reheat it like you normally would.
Frequently asked questions
If you find your soup is a bit too watery for your taste, you can easily thicken it by mixing a couple tablespoons of cornstarch with cold water and stirring it into the soup. Turn your Instant Pot back to the ‘Sauté’ setting and let it simmer for a few minutes. It’ll thicken right up!
Absolutely! If you prefer using dried beans, soak them overnight and increase the pressure cooking time by about 10-15 minutes. Remember, dried beans expand, so adjust the quantity accordingly.
Totally! Just toss everything except the tortilla strips and toppings into your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. Then shred the chicken, add your beans and corn, and let it all cook for another 20-30 minutes. Crisp up your tortilla strips in the oven like usual.
This easy instant pot chicken tortilla soup is a total lifesaver on busy days! It combines the rich flavors of chicken, beans, and spices to create a dish that feels like a warm hug in a bowl. And the best part? You get all the yummy goodness in a fraction of the time. So, next time you’re in the mood for a flavorful and quick meal, pull up this recipe!
More Instant Pot recipes:
- Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Instant Pot Beef & Broccoli
- Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
- Instant Pot Baked Beans
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Vegan Broccoli Soup
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Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for tortillas
- 1 ½ pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 onion diced
- 1 jalapeño minced
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles
- 1 32-ounce carton chicken broth
- 4 corn tortillas halved then cut into thin strips
- 2 14.5 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cups frozen corn
- Fresh cilantro for serving
- Sour cream for serving
- Shredded cheddar cheese for serving
- In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to the Instant pot, and set to ‘Sauté’. While the oil heats, season the chicken thighs all over with about half of the chili powder mixture, reserving the rest.
- Once the oil is shimmering, add chicken thighs and cook for about 6 minutes total, flipping halfway through cooking time. Remove from the instant pot and set aside. They should be lightly golden brown but not yet cooked through.
- Add onion, jalepeño, garlic and remaining spice mixture to the Instant pot and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the onion has softened slightly. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, chicken broth and chicken thighs. Hit ‘cancel’ on the Instant Pot to stop the saute function, then add the lid with the vent sent to ‘seal’.
- Set to manual high pressure for 10 minutes. While the pot comes up to pressure, preheat the oven to 425˚F. Add tortilla stips to a medium bowl and toss with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Spread into a single layer on a sheet pan and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, or until crisp.
- When the cooking time is up on the soup, let the pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure. Remove chicken and shred into bite-sized pieces and return to the pot.
- Turn the pot back to ‘Sauté’ and add black beans and corn. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Serve the soup topped with crispy tortillas, cilantro, sour cream and cheese.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.