This Instant Pot tortilla soup is light yet so incredibly flavorful. It requires few ingredients and is simple and quick to make.
All you do is prep the veggies and let the Instant Pot do the rest! It makes a great weeknight meal that is sure to be a hit. For more instant pot weeknight wins try Instant Pot Carnitas, Instant Pot Spaghetti, and Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff.
Tortilla Soup in 20 Minutes!
I can remember going to one particular restaurant in California and falling in love with their tortilla soup. I can’t even recall how many times I’ve had it. It is simple and so delicious! This is my Instant Pot version (and a slight variation) of that beloved recipe.
This recipe is rather mild in terms of heat. In the recipe below I give a range of how much jalapeño to add. If you don’t like spicy (or you have an unusually hot pepper), only add 1 teaspoon (you won’t even realize it’s there). If you love spicy, go ahead and add 2 teaspoons and some cayenne pepper! I’m leaving it in your hands!
You can use chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs or a combination of both. Just remember you’ll need to pull it out and shred it before you finish the soup. This only takes a matter of minutes but it’s definitely necessary.
Making Tortilla Soup in an Instant Pot
First off, let’s chat about why I chose to use my IP over a Dutch oven. Time & tenderness. I wanted the chicken to be fall-apart tender without boiling it for hours. That’s where the Instant Pot comes in. You can pressure cook EVERYTHING for 20 minutes and it’s good to go. No babysitting a boiling pot on the stovetop. Always a huge bonus if you ask me.
SAUTE. Turn Instant Pot on SAUTE mode. When hot, add the oil. Add the onion, celery, jalapeño, and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the chicken, chicken broth, chili powder, salt, paprika, coriander, cumin, pepper, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and lime juice.
COOK. Place lid on and lock. Turn on MANUAL mode with high pressure selected for 20 minutes. Turn switch to VENTING and allow for the pressure to release manually, this usually takes 7-10 minutes or so.
SEASON. Remove the lid and stir in remaining cilantro.
SHRED. Remove chicken and pull into chunks, return to the broth.
SERVE. Place a generous amount of cheese in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle soup over top, then add tortilla strips.
Note: do NOT add the tortilla strips until you are ready to serve this soup. They should be the VERY LAST THING you do before you eat. Mine got a little bloated and soggy as I photographed everything. And well, they look a bit unappetizing- sorry. That didn’t stop me from downing two big bowls of it… and it probably won’t stop you either!
Slow Cooker Instructions: Combine all your ingredients (except the cheese and tortilla strips) in the crock pot and cook it on low for 5-6 hours until the chicken starts to fall apart. Then shred your chicken and serve it up!
Change it Up!
Thicken it: You can mix flour and water together and then mix it into the soup, or you can do the same with cornstarch. Just make sure you mix it separately before incorporating it into the soup, that way you don’t get chunks.
Add other mixins and garnishes:
- Black or Pinto Beans
- Frozen corn
- Chipotle sauce
- Sour Cream
Serving and Storage Tips
Try serving your soup with:
STORE your soup in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop in a saucepan.
FREEZE your soup (after it’s completely cooled) in either freezer safe bags or in an airtight container. It will last for about 4-6 months. When you’re ready to eat it, let the soup defrost the soup overnight in the fridge. Then rewarm on the stovetop or in the crockpot.
For more Mexican soups, try:
Instant Pot Tortilla Soup Recipe
- 1 tbsp. olive oil - canola, vegetable or avocado oil
- 1 medium onion - diced
- 1 stalk celery - thinly sliced
- 1-2 tsp. minced jalapeño - depending on how spicy you want it
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 lb. chicken breasts - or boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 49 oz. can low-sodium chicken broth - (about 6 cups)
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. kosher sea salt
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. coriander
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 4 vine ripe tomatoes - seeded and diced
- 1/4 c. freshly chopped cilantro - divided
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 c. grated monterey jack cheese
- 8 corn tortillas - cut into strips and toasted
- Turn Instant Pot on SAUTE mode. When hot, add the oil. Add the onion, celery, jalapeño, and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the chicken, chicken broth, chili powder, salt, paprika, coriander, cumin, pepper, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and lime juice.
- Place lid on and lock. Turn on MANUAL mode with high pressure selected for 20 minutes. Turn switch to VENTING and allow for the pressure to release manually, this usually takes 7-10 minutes or so. Remove the lid and stir in remaining cilantro.
- Remove chicken and pull into chunks, return to the broth. Place a generous amount of cheese in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle soup over top, then add tortilla strips.