Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

When I was in Mexico, I ate Chicken Tortilla Soup more than once.  In fact, I love the stuff so much that I didn’t even care that it was 95 degrees outside!

The thing about Chicken Tortilla soup is that, like Pasta Fagioli, it’s very different depending on the person who makes it.  Some are super tomatoey while others are more chicken soup based.  Some also like to incorporate beans and corn (but I didn’t use those in mine – I’ll save that for chili).

I decided to balance mine out by making it more chicken-packed with a hint of tomato but also adding a light touch of creaminess to the mix.

The soup couldn’t be easier to make thanks to the Instant Pot, is delightfully zesty in flavor, on the healthier/lower-sodium side and is truly the Mexican version of the classic Chicken Noodle Soup we all know and love!

Here’s How I Made It!:

We’ll start by taking a pretty onion…

…and dice it up.

Then, display these cute jalapeño peppers…

…and dice them up too and add to the onion.

Now we’ll take a pair of adorable limes…

…and squeeze the hell out of them until they’re juiced.

Add some vegetable oil to your hot Instant Pot…

…and add in the onion and jalapeños.

Stir for a few minutes until softened up a bit and lightly browned.

Now we’ll add in some garlic…

…and brown that for another minute until the bottom of the pot becomes slightly browned from the garlic which likes to stick to things.

Now we’ll add in some chicken broth…

…the lime juice…

…a can of diced tomatoes (I like using fire roasted with some garlic added)…

…a little Frank’s Red Hot Sauce…

…some salsa verde (green salsa)…

…dried cilantro…

…and cumin.

Stir it all up well.

Next, we’ll take some lovely chicken boobies…

…and add them to our broth mixture.  Secure the lid and cook on high pressure.

When done, it’ll look and smell like Mamacita’s house!

Turn the Instant Pot off and let the soup cool down for 5 minutes…

…remove the chicken…

…and place in a mixing bowl.

Shred the chicken on up using two forks (or a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer)…

…so it looks all nice and shredded when done.

To finish off our soup, add in some sour cream to the slightly cooled broth…

…and whisk it up until melded into the soup.

Add back the shredded chicken…

…and give it a final stir because the soup’s done!

Ladle some (and get plenty of that pollo)…

…and deposit into a nice deep bowl.

Now let’s send it home by adding some fresh cilantro…

…freshly sliced avocado…

…some shredded cheese of your choice (I used Jalapeño Jack)…

…and, of course, tortilla strips!  (This very well wouldn’t be Chicken Tortilla Soup without those in there, now would it?)

Now slurp that soup up as the cheese begins to get all gooey and amazing and all the flavors come together beautifully!

Make it a Mexican Fiesta with my awesome refried beansmy amazing Mexican street corn and my creamy chicken enchiladas!

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is basically Mexican Chicken Soup and it's sassy and full of glorious flavor to make a party happen in your mouth. If you leave out the tortilla chips, it'll be keto and gluten-free.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes


  • 2 lbs of chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, diced
  • 1.5 tbsp of crushed garlic
  • 5 cups of chicken broth (2 tbsp of Low Sodium Chicken Better Than Bouillon + 5 cups of water)
  • Juice of 2 limes, freshly squeezed
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with their juices (any variety will do)
  • 2 tbsp of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 2 tbsp of salsa verde (green salsa)
  • 1 tbsp of dried cilantro
  • 1 tbsp of cumin
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream

For Garnish:

  • Freshly chopped cilantro
  • Freshly sliced avocado
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used Pepper Jack)
  • Tortilla strips (I used Mission Tortilla Strips)


  1. Add the vegetable oil to the Instant Pot and hit “Sauté” and adjust so it’s on the “High” or “More” setting.  Once it reads hot, add the onions and jalapeños and cook for about 3-5 minutes until softened and lightly browned in color.  Add the garlic and stir for another minute until the bottom of the pot begins to slightly brown
  2. Add in the chicken broth, lime juice, diced tomatoes, hot sauce, salsa verde, dried cilantro and cumin.  Stir well
  3. Add the chicken breasts, secure the lid and hit “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” High Pressure for 12 minutes.  Quick release when done and turn the Instant Pot off so the soup cools down a little for about 5 minutes
  4. Using tongs, remove the chicken and place in a mixing bowl and shred with two forks (or use a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer with the paddle attachment) and set aside
  5. After 5 minutes of cooling, add the sour cream to the soup and whisk it in until melded.  Then, add the shredded chicken back into the pot and give it all a good stir
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with some fresh cilantro, avocado, shredded cheese and tortilla strips
  7. Enjoy!

Jeffrey's Tips

Don’t like it spicy?  That’s fine!  Sub a 4oz can of diced green chiles (they aren’t spicy) instead of the jalapeño peppers and feel free to leave out the hot sauce but I suggest you do use the salsa verde regardless.

Remember that classic book Mexicali Soup?  We don’t want all the ingredients out of there to the point where we’re just left with a bowl of hot water! There’s 5 cups of chicken broth in there plus lime juice and sour cream. The spice factor will be present but it won’t overpower the soup.

Since this soup has SO many different varieties as mentioned, I like the broth on the thinner side for this particular one.  If you want it thicker, add in a cornstarch slurry (3 tbsp cornstarch + 3 tbsp of the broth) and pour in at the very end, bring to a simmer and turn the heat off.  It will thicken.

Wants yours with beans, corn kernels or black olives?  No problem, add them in before cooking (beans should be canned, drained and rinsed).

This makes about 3 quarts worth so if you have leftovers, remember soups always taste better the next day once the flavors had a chance to cool and marry.  You can also freeze what’s left for another day as they will last in your freezer for a good, long while!

Make it a Mexican Fiesta with my awesome refried beansmy amazing Mexican street corn and my creamy chicken enchiladas!

Reader Interactions


    • Karen

      While I thought this was tasty the one thing I would change, based on those that ate it tonight..eliminate one of the limes..2 med. Size limes dominate the taste..just our opinion

  1. Amanda

    This is an AWESOME recipe – one my new favorites for sure. I’ve made it 3 times in 3 days!

    These were my additions:

    Add a cup of shredded Colby jack cheese cheese along w the sour cream

    Used one huge lime instead of 2

    Add one can of rinsed black beans

    Made chicken stock then put back in the shredded chicken instead of using bouillon and chicken breast

    Top with diced avocado, tortilla strips, more shredded cheese

  2. Mike R

    This was delicious, but my sour cream separated when I added it to the IP, making it visually less appealing. Any idea how I can prevent this in the future?

    • Stephanie

      you can temper it in a separate container first. I usually just add a few tablespoons at a time of the hot broth to my cup of sour cream and mix it up well, you essentially want to slowly introduce the heat to it to prevent curdling.

  3. Barry Tobin

    Good Stuff!

    I like the pot roast recipe above all. Baby back ribs, too! Awesome!

    One addition: Could you list the nutritional value of your recipes?

  4. Nicole

    This was good! I added 4 chopped up corn tortillas in with everything too. The tortillas cook down into the broth, giving it extra flavor and thickens the broth to the perfect consistency.
    I also added one can each of pinto beans and corn.

  5. Sharon

    It says the chicken hroth 5 cups, but then says better than bouillon and water, do you put both broth and eater and bouillon , it doesn’t say either or?

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