Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup


Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken tortilla soup is studded with tender shredded chicken, diced onions, garlic, and chiles, topped with a pile of crispy tortilla strips. The tomato-y broth is lighter than chili, yet hearty enough to enjoy as a meal on its own. This version is amped up with corn and beans, too.

This soup is so hearty, it’s filling enough to enjoy as a standalone meal.

EASY TORTILLA SOUP IN THE INSTANT POT

This soup is easy to make any time of day and have ready by dinnertime. Sauté onions and garlic, and then everything else goes into the pot, including raw chicken – no searing required! When you’re ready to eat, the boneless chicken tenders or thighs are easy to shred up and stir back in just before serving.

While the soup is cooking under pressure, you can get your toppings ready – slice up avocado, chop cilantro, and get your tortilla strips nice and crispy. Traditionally, they’re fried, but I find it easier (and less greasy) to bake them in the oven, toaster oven, or air fryer.

A white bowl with Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup inside. A red broth with fried tortila strips, shredded chicken, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese and slices of avocado are visible in the bowl. A slice of lime is next to the avocado on the edge of the bowl. A partial view of a second bowl with the same soup inside is in the upper right corner. A white container has fried tortilla strips inside in the top left. A linen with a grey pattern is in partial view to the left of the bowl. A stem of cilantro is to the right of the bowl.

A white bowl with Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup inside. A red broth with fried tortila strips, shredded chicken, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese and slices of avocado are visible in the bowl. A slice of lime is next to the avocado on the edge of the bowl. A partial view of a second bowl with the same soup inside is in the upper right corner. A white container has fried tortilla strips inside in the top left. A linen with a grey pattern is in partial view to the left of the bowl. A stem of cilantro is to the right of the bowl.

TIME-SAVING TIPS FOR CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

When you’re making chicken tortilla soup, you can choose to go the convenient route on a couple of key steps:

  1. Make your own tortilla strips as shown in this recipe
  2. Or use store-bought tortilla chips or tostadas instead

Some recipes call for chopping up all fresh vegetables, but I find that this is a great opportunity to save a little time and open cans of peppers and tomatoes instead. (They’re always in season that way, after all!)

Oh, and fire-roasted crushed tomatoes will give you the most flavor—if you can’t find those, add 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika to give your soup a little more depth, or else use a can of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes, pureed in the blender along with their liquid.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH TORTILLA SOUP

You don’t really need to serve anything with chicken tortilla soup—it makes a great meal on its own! If you want to make it a real Mexican feast, serve the soup with sides of refried beans and rice, or with wedges of cheese quesadillas for dipping.

A white bowl of pressure cooker tortilla soup with a spoon and grey patterned linen napkin to the left. The top right corner has a partial view of a second bowl of the same soup.

A white bowl of pressure cooker tortilla soup with a spoon and grey patterned linen napkin to the left. The top right corner has a partial view of a second bowl of the same soup.

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

If you have leftovers, you’ll want to store the soup separately from the tortilla strips so that they don’t get soggy. I put my tortilla strips in a zip-top bag and leave them on the counter, ready to use the next time I want to heat up a bowl of soup.

The soup can be stored in the fridge for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to three months. If I’m freezing the soup, I like to ladle it into silicone molds to freeze in single-serving blocks, then pop them out and store them in bags. They thaw much faster than a big, frozen block of soup, and can be reheated easily in the microwave or on the stovetop.

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