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bowl of tortilla soup with crispy tortilla strips and fresh cilantro

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Recipe yields 6 servings. Nutrition Information (average values, products can vary; analyzed with unsalted broth + 1 teaspoon salt) for 1 bowl of soup topped with 1 oz. tortilla chips and 2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese: 470 calories, 18 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 620 mg sodium, 50 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 5 g sugars, 29 g protein. (Without any toppings, 1 bowl is only 270 calories, 7 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 440 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 5 g sugars, 24 g protein.)
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 470 kcal

Ingredients
  

For soup:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 6-inch corn tortillas chopped into 1-inch squares
  • 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 very large ripe tomato chopped
  • one 15 ounce can black beans or equivalent amount cooked beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 4 cups chicken broth or 4 cups water + 1 tbsp. 'Better Than Bouillon' (if using unsalted broth, add 1 teaspoon salt or adjust to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 chicken breasts roughly 12-16 oz.

To serve:

  • corn tortillas sliced into strips
  • canola or other oil for frying
  • fresh cilantro
  • grated cheese
  • fresh lime juice

Instructions
 

Instant Pot Instructions:

  • Set Instant Pot to saute mode, medium (default) heat. Add the olive oil and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened. At this point, add the garlic, cilantro, and tortilla squares. Stir to combine and cook for one minute longer before adding the tomato, black beans, corn, broth, spices, and chicken breasts. Cancel saute mode, and cover Instant Pot with its lid, set to sealing position. Select Soup Mode and manually adjust the time to 4 minutes.
  • It will take about 10 minutes to reach pressure before the 4-minute countdown begins. This is a good time to prepare the toppings. Heat the frying oil over medium heat in a medium-sized skillet. The oil is hot enough when you can place a tortilla strip in and it immediately starts bubbling. Fry the tortilla strips on both sides until golden brown, then transfer to a paper towel to drain. Lightly salt the tortillas immediately after frying. Grate the cheese, wash and chop the cilantro, and slice lime wedges for serving.
  • After the timer goes off, manually release the pressure (be careful of the steam!). Remove the chicken breasts to a plate and use two forks to shred the meat apart. Return the shredded chicken to the pot and stir to combine. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with fresh cilantro, a sprinkle of shredded cheese, a squeeze of lime juice, and the crisp tortilla strips.

Stovetop Instructions:

  • Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened. At this point, add the garlic, cilantro, and tortilla squares. Stir to combine and cook for one minute longer before adding the tomato, black beans, corn, broth, spices, and chicken breasts. Increase heat to high to bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • This is a good time to prepare the toppings. Heat the frying oil over medium heat in a medium-sized skillet. The oil is hot enough when you can place a tortilla strip in and it immediately starts bubbling. Fry the tortilla strips on both sides until golden brown, then transfer to a paper towel to drain. Lightly salt the tortillas immediately after frying. Grate the cheese, wash and chop the cilantro, and slice lime wedges for serving.
  • When the chicken breasts are cooked through, remove them to a plate and use two forks to shred the meat apart. Return the shredded chicken to the pot and stir to combine. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with fresh cilantro, a sprinkle of shredded cheese, a squeeze of lime juice, and the crisp tortilla strips.