Chicken Tortilla Soup [Instant Pot]

If you were #blessed enough to read my rant on my love affair with my new Instant Pot pressure cooker, then it should come as no surprise made this tortilla soup in it. Thus, for those of you in possession of one of these kitchen magicians, you can make this soup AND gobble it up in under 30 minutes. SCORE! If you were not on your savvy Black Friday game, however, and missed out on the best kitchen appliance deal of all time (I know it's hard to interpret inflection and tone in text, but make no mistake, I'm judging you), I've also included directions to make this over the stove. Because I'm pretty much Glinda the Good Witch (just kidding - I totally melt in the rain). Just be warned that if you are using the stove, you most certainly cannot make this recipe and gobble it up in under 30 minutes...but it will still be delicious, I promise.

Now warm up and get your soup on! It may be 70 degrees in December in North Carolina (shaking my fists at global warming), but if I try hard enough, I can visualize the North Carolina snow (*laughably light frost*) pouring down (*covering a nearly invisible, thin layer of lawn*) and all the North Carolinians celebrating (*shutting down schools, barricading themselves in their homes, refusing to do anything or go anywhere*) with a bowl of this hearty soup in hand!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, shredded
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 4 cups bone broth 
  • 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (7 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • To garnish: plantain chips, avocado slices, cilantro 

Method (Instant Pot)

  1. Add olive oil, garlic, onion, celery and carrots to the electric pressure cooker and hit the "Saute" function. Let simmer for 3 minutes then turn off the "Saute" function. 
  2. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the lime wedges and garnishes and lock the lid in place. Hit "Manual" on high and set it for 5 minutes (it will take about 10 minutes for the pressure to build and then the 5 minute high pressure count down will begin).
  3. When the timer goes off, allow the lid to naturally release for at least 5 minutes before initiating a quick release (flip the lever on the lid from "seal" to "vent" - be careful of the steam!).
  4. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred with two forks. Return to the pot and stir.
  5. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and squeeze the juice of each lime wedge into the bowls! Garnish with plantain chips, avocado and cilantro and BOOM!

Method (Stove Top)

  1. In a dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot, add the olive oil, garlic, onion, celery and carrots over medium heat. Cook until the onions are softened and the garlic is fragrant - about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to the pot (including the chicken breasts) EXCEPT for the lime wedges and garnishes and raise the heat to bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid for 10 minutes. Stir a few times here and there.
  3. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and let the soup simmer (still on low) for another 20 minutes.
  4. At this point, the chicken should be cooked through. Remove the chicken breasts and shred them. Return the shredded chicken to the pot and stir. Let the soup sit for another 5 minutes (so the shredded chicken can really soak up the flavor) and then ladle evenly into serving bowls.
  5. Squeeze the juice of each lime wedge into the bowls and garnish with plantain chips, avocado and cilantro!

Servings: 4-6