Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Okay, I wasn’t going to start with this one but I had a special request for it tonight.

I love soup, and this is the season for it.  I told an online friend that I didn’t need an Instant Pot because I made a lot of soups and I didn’t think it would save me any time.  I only made chicken tortilla soup one time about a year ago pre Instant Pot.  I prepped and simmered and I was supposed to simmer it for hours.  It was okay.  I didn’t like the tortilla pieces in the soup, so I figured if I ever did it again, I would have to change that.  It really didn’t wow anyone probably because I didn’t have time to simmer it as long as I should have.  But now… now after making it in the Instant Pot, I actually have requests for it, and gone are the days of needing to simmer the soups!

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is the same basic recipe you can see anywhere; however, I have modified it for my lifestyle and family’s taste.

  • 3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion (preferably a sweet onion)
  • 3 sticks of celery (optional – I use this in almost every soup I make)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (in a jar – you can use fresh but I like to speed the process up)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I use my own canned tomatoes/garlic from this summer’s garden)
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans (you can drain these or not)
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • Fresh cilantro (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

vitamix soup

Time Saver Tip:  It usually takes a while to chop up ingredients so I don’t do this.  I purchased a Vitamix a long time ago.  I feel a Vitamix or some sort of food processor is required in the kitchen.  I like my Vitamix because it is so easy to use and easy to clean.  No parts to put together, etc.

Most recipes will tell you to chop the onion and use the Instant Pot on saute mode and saute for a few minutes.  I don’t do this except for a rare occasion.  That just feels like a waste of time for me for what little return we get on that.   since my Vitamix chops the onion so small, I feel that is plenty of a release of flavor, etc.

I toss my celery, onion, and cilantro in the Vitamix and make it into a smoothie.  Sounds gross, right?  But it chops it  up, more like pulverizes it.  This makes a great soup base.  This takes seconds.  No standing at the counter top chopping!

Need a Vitamix?  Buy it here… it has more than paid for itself over the years.  I would have to say mine is about 10 years old.  I use it for soups, smoothies, to “grate” carrots, to coarsely chop onions, homemade hummus!… the list goes on…

So in the Instant Pot, place the whole chicken breasts, the broth, the onion/celery/cilantro smoothie, black beans, corn, spices, and my canned diced tomatoes and garlic.

pressure cooker soupsoup base with vitamix

Give it a stir.  That’s it!

Set the pot to manual 6 minutes.  When it is done, let natural release for 10-15 minutes.

chicken tortilla soup recipeTake the chicken breasts out and shred.  You can shred using forks, but nope, you will learn by ready my recipes, I hate standing at the counter chopping, shredding, etc. if not necessary.  That’s just too much work.  I quickly cut the chicken into smaller pieces and toss a few pieces at a time into the Vitamix, set it on a low setting, and it will shred the chicken nicely.  Toss the shredded chicken back in the pot and add the lime juice, taste, add more salt as needed


Odd Little Tip:  I have found that sometimes I can’t get the flavor of my soup just right.  For instance, in this case, I used a white onion instead of a sweet onion.  I added a tablespoon of sugar (gasp!).  Sometimes that is the missing ingredient in my chicken soups.  I don’t know why, but that little bit of sugar boosts the flavor with the salt.

Guess what?  Soup is done!

Serve with some shredded cheese on top and crumble up some tortilla chips.  You can go through the process of baking your tortillas, etc. as other recipes say but none of us like that (several of us have texture issues here).  The tortilla chips are perfect with the soup.

More recipes to come!

BUY IT HERE!  For this recipe, I used the following Instant Pot – the 8 quart Lux…………….


Disclaimer:  I am a complete realist.  There is nothing I hate more than false information online.  That’s one of the reasons it took me a while to commit to an Instant Pot.   There are too many “wizards behind the curtain.”  What you see on my blog and social media is about what works for myself and my family realistically.  My life is far from perfect but the good things make it online.  I’m a wife, mom, entrepreneur, and I strive to live the most efficient and practical life but mesh that idea with things that I like.  I’m extremely busy and I know you are too!  I hope that the things I share help you in some way when you are trying to balance it all as well 🙂