The Best Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
This Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup is from Gina’s new cookbook Skinnytaste One and Done. It is thick, hearty and sticks to your ribs. And so easy and kid friendly!
I always wanted to add chicken tortilla soup to my dinner rotation. But I never tasted it to create my own version. I could not think of a better person than Gina to learn more about Latin cooking.
I like Skinnytaste recipes because they are simple, healthy and full of flavor. Book consists of sections with dinner recipes cooked in one cooking vessel: skillet, Dutch oven, pressure cooker, slow cooker or air fryer.
What Are Tortilla Soup Ingredients?
You can probably pull off this soup right now. Many pantry staples. Maybe a quick run to the store for fresh Mexican garnishes.
- Tortillas (corn!)
- Chicken breast
- Black beans
- Tomato sauce
- Chipotle in adobo sauce
- Chili powder
- Garnishes: avocado, red onion, cilantro and lime
What If I Don’t Have a Pressure Cooker?
You can cook tortilla soup on the stove or in a slow cooker.
How to Cook Tortilla Soup on the Stove
- Cook half of the tortillas with 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet or in a pot you are planning to cook soup in. For about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add garlic and cook for another minute, stirring.
- Add remaining ingredients, bring soup to a boil and then simmer covered on low for 40 minutes.
- Garnish and serve.
How to Make Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup
- Cook garlic and tortillas in a skillet.
- Add to a large slow cooker with remaining ingredients.
- Cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
Soups are very forgiving. That’s why I love soups unconditionally.
- Beans: Omit or use red kidney beans.
- Chipotle: Replace with smoked paprika or extra chili powder to taste.
- Tomato sauce: Passata or crushed tomatoes will work. It is the same tomato sauce with a different name based on your location. Or pulse diced tomatoes in a blender.
- Broth: Use water and maybe more spices to taste. Done it many times.
- Breast: Chicken thighs or any part of chicken works.
- Tortillas: You can thicken soup with corn flour or corn grits. Will add same tortilla soup taste. Serve with tortilla chips.
How to Make Easy Healthy Tortilla Soup
1. Cook Garlic Until Fragrant
On Instant Pot, press Saute and wait until display says Hot. Add 1 tbsp oil and garlic. Saute for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
2. Cook Tortillas
Let’s get clear on what happens to tortillas.
- Half of tortillas cook in a pressure cooker with other soup ingredients. I had a problem frying tortillas in my Instant Pot because they stuck to the bottom no matter how much oil I added. Later on it resulted in “burn” message. I recommend to fry them briefly with garlic.
- Another half is fried until crispy and used as a topping. Fry in a separate ceramic non-stick skillet while soup is cooking. Unless your Instant Pot doesn’t have a sticky bottom issue.
What Tortillas Should I Use?
There are 3 kinds of tortillas sold in traditional supermarket:
- Wheat: Made with wheat flour and very flexible. Great for fajitas and enchiladas.
- Corn: 100% made with corn flour. Great for tacos and offer authentic Mexican flavour. My favourite! Pictured below.
- Mixed: 50% corn, 50% wheat. Not bad for tacos or when you want tortillas look like corn but be flexible like wheat. Taste is secondary. #foodbloggerproblems
3. Add Everything to Instant Pot
With Instant Pot OFF, add chicken, corn, black beans, chipotle, cumin, chili powder, broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper.
Should I Stir?
No need to stir. It is better not to stir because sugars in tomatoes may start caramelizing at the bottom and cause the “burn” message. With electric pressure cooker tomato sauce should always go on top because of the location of heating element at the bottom.
4. Cook for 20 Minutes
Close the lid, turn pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 20 minutes.
How Can I Speed Up Building Pressure?
Use hot broth or boiling water. I dilute organic bouillon cubes in hot water to make broth. The process of coming to pressure means pressure cooker is heating up ingredients to a boiling temperature. If you add boiling water, it will take less time to heat up.
5. Do Quick Release
After Instant Pot has finished cooking, release pressure using Quick Release method by turning valve to Venting.
Can I Do Natural Release?
Yes. You can let the pressure subside on its own. For example, you are not home or busy. Keep in mind soup will continue cooking slowly while pressure is coming down. It might turn out a bit thicker. Adjust with a little bit of broth or water and seasonings to taste, if necessary.
Why Do You Release Pressure Outside?
I do not like my house smell like food for days and the mess from splatters on a counter.
6. Garnish with All Tasty Garnishes
- Open the lid and shred chicken with 2 forks right in the pot. Stir.
- Garnish. Mexican food is all about garnishes: lime, cilantro, red onion, avocado. Don’t forget crunchy tortilla strips.
Can I Use Frozen Chicken?
Yes. Cooking time will not change. Your Instant Pot will take a few minutes longer to come to pressure. If using a couple of chicken breasts, make sure they are separated.
Can I Use Wheat Tortillas?
No. You have to use corn tortillas or no tortillas at all. Wheat tortillas will get soggy. Not to mention they do not add flavor like corn tortillas do. If you have no corn tortillas, skip all together.
How to Make Soup Thicker?
To make soup thicker, add extra 4 corn tortillas before cooking. They will cook down during cooking and make soup thicker.
More Instant Pot Soup Recipes
- Instant Pot chicken noodle soup – my Ukrainian grandma’s recipe.
- Instant Pot lentil soup – with rave 5 star reviews.
- Instant Pot split pea soup – flavorful with minimum ingredients.
Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Easy and Healthy Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup you can make in 30 minutes. Don’t worry if you don’t have a pressure cooker. Stovetop and slow cooker instructions included. It’s THE BEST stick to your ribs soup!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Soup and Stew
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 8 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
- 2 tbsp avocado oil, divided
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large chicken breast, boneless & skinless
- 15 oz can low sodium black beans, drained
- 1 1/2 cups corn, fresh or frozen
- 4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
- 2 x 15 oz cans tomato sauce, low sodium
- 2 tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Avocado, red onion, cilantro and lime, for garnish
- On Instant Pot, press Saute and wait until display says Hot. Add 1 tbsp oil and garlic; saute for about 1 minute.
- Press Cancel and add half of tortilla strips. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add chicken, black beans, corn, chicken broth, tomato sauce, chipotle in adobo, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
- Close the lid, turn pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on High for 20 minutes.
- While soup is cooking, preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl remaining 1 tbsp of oil to coat. Add tortilla strips and cook for 5-7 minutes or until crispy, stirring occasionally.
- After Instant Pot has finished cooking, release pressure using Quick Release method by turning valve to Venting.
- When pressure subsides, open the lid and shred chicken with 2 forks right in the pot.
- Stir and serve hot with tortilla strips and garnishes.
You can use frozen chicken breast. No changes necessary.
I did not have a good experience with frying tortilla in Instant Pot as it kept sticking and falling apart. Later on residue caused the “Burn” message. Just fry tortilla strips on the stove if your Instant Pot is sticky like mine.
Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.