Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup is the perfect fall soup for when you are craving the flavors of your favorite mexican dishes, but don't want to go through all the work. In this creamy tortilla soup, you get the flavors of chicken enchiladas, with much less effort because it is made in the Instant Pot. Be sure to top this easy pressure cooker chicken tortilla soup recipe with tortilla chips, cilantro, lime, and avocado!
Instant Pot’s took the world by storm a few years back-- and they are still readily used in many kitchens. An updated version of the classic pressure cooker, they are a kitchen “gadget” that actually does serve multiple purposes.
I don't use my Instant Pot for everything (there are many things I still prefer traditional stove top, oven, or slow cooker methods for). But I do think that they are helpful for soups and meats, like this Hearty Red Beans and Rice or Creamy Pesto Chicken. It's also great for cooking beans from dry without having to soak them.
Pressure cookers are especially helpful if you forget to thaw your meat the night before. I have cooked chicken breasts from frozen in my Instant Pot by simply adding a few minutes on to the cooking time. I love making this Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup in the Instant Pot because it is so simple to just dump everything in there and set it to cook at high pressure. There is no stirring or checking the pot, as the pressure cooker does all the work.
Ingredients for Pressure Cooker Tortilla Soup
- green bell pepper (red bell pepper works too!)
- boneless skinless chicken breasts
- canned diced green chiles
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- frozen corn
- can of black beans
- can of tomato sauce
- can of diced tomatoes
- chicken broth
- cream cheese
- finely shredded colby jack cheese
- tortilla chips, cilantro, lime wedges, avocado for serving
How to Make Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup (Instant Pot)
Turn Instant Pot on to the saute function. Saute diced onions and bell pepper, about 5 minutes. Add in spices and saute for 1 minute-- to bring out their flavors. Turn off saute function.
Place whole chicken breasts on top, and add in both cans of diced green chilies, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, black beans, corn, chicken stock, and salt.
Turn on Instant Pot to High pressure for 8 minutes. When the time is up, allow to natural release.
Once the pressure has been released, remove chicken from pot and shred with a fork (it should shred very easily). Place shredded chicken back into the pot, along with softened cream cheese and shredded cheese. Stir until everything is well combined.
Serve creamy tortilla soup with crushed tortilla chips, cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Tip Regarding Instant Pot Cook Times
I often think “Instant” is a misnomer in regards to pressure cookers. The time an Instant Pot takes to come up to pressure and depressurize adds to the overall time significantly. Although this creamy tortilla chicken soup recipe technically has a cook time of 8 minutes, the time it takes for the device to come up to pressure and “natural release” the pressure is going to easily quadruple the time. This is all hands-off time, and I think that’s what makes the Instant Pot remain such a helpful kitchen tool. There is no need to worry about stirring, burning, or things becoming overcooked. Once you have it on, as long as you have entered the time correctly, you are free to walk away.
Be mindful when deciding what time to start cooking, in relation to when you want to actually eat. The “cooking time” is not an accurate depiction of the entire time the meal will take. Below I share the difference between Quick Release and Natural Release. In general, I do a combination of the two. I favor Natural Release, and after 15-20 minutes if all the steam hasn’t been released, I finish with a Quick Release.
- I made this easy Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup with cream cheese, but feel free to use sour cream or greek yogurt in place of the cream cheese to keep it lighter, but still still make this chicken tortilla soup creamy.
- Any beans will do here! I love black beans, pinto beans, or cannellini beans. Use your favorite.
- You can make this a thinner or more chunky tortilla soup depending on how big or small you chop your peppers and chicken.
- Sub in rotel for the diced tomatoes for even more flavor. Omit the tomatoes entirely for a white chicken tortilla soup instant pot recipe that mirrors chicken chili or this Instant Pot Chicken and Poblano Soup.
Make this Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe in the Crock Pot
I love that Instant Pot recipes can so often be adapted to the crock pot as well! This soup recipe can easily be made in the Crock Pot if you prefer.
To make creamy tortilla soup in the crock pot, add all of the ingredients except for the cream cheese and shredded cheese. You can saute the onions and bell pepper first, but you don't have to. Set on high for 3-4 hours or low 5-6 hours. Remove the chicken from the crock pot and shred. Place shredded chicken back into the Crock Pot along with the cream cheese and shredded cheese and stir. Serve with tortillas, avocado, lime, and cilantro.
Instant Pot Natural Release vs. Quick Release:
Electric Pressure cookers, like the Instant Pot, use pressure and heat to cook meals quickly. In order to remove the lid safely, that pressure has to go somewhere. There are two different ways to allow an Instant Pot to come back down to stable pressure after the cook time has finished, natural release method and quick release method. Depending on the amount of liquid and ingredients in your Instant Pot, allowing it to natural release completely can take upwards of a half hour (this is very dependent on recipe quantity). Many recipes call for a combination of natural release and quick release to save on time.
- Natural Pressure Release: After the cooking time as ended, the device will begin counting back upwards, as it comes down to normal pressure. Carry-over cooking continues during this time, which is why delicate things like fish and vegetables don’t often use this method. You will know it’s finished when the float valve (silver circle next to the venting/sealing knob), drops. This is my preferred method to depressurize the Instant Pot, but definitely the slower of the two.
- Quick Pressure Release: This method involves using a towel or pot holder to toggle the pressure release valve from sealing to venting manually. If you are short on time, this can be carefully used. Be aware that if you are cooking meat, this often results in it being tougher, as the change in pressure is fast and drastic. It can also make a mess when cooking very liquidy dishes. Be very careful not to have any exposed skin in the way of the releasing steam-- it will be HOT!
Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 4 oz. cans diced green chiles
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 15 oz. can black beans rinsed
- 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken broth 3 if you want a thicker soup
- 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup finely shredded colby jack cheese
- tortilla chips, cilantro, lime wedges, avocado for serving
- Turn Instant Pot on to the saute function. Saute onions and bell pepper, about 5 minutes. Add in spices and saute for 1 minute-- to bring out their flavors. Turn off saute function.
- Place whole chicken breasts on top, and add in both cans of green chilies, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, black beans, corn, chicken stock, and salt.
- Turn on Instant Pot to High pressure for 8 minutes. When the time is up, allow to natural release.
- Once the pressure has been released, remove chicken from pot and shred with a fork (it should shred very easily). Place chicken back into the pot, along with softened cream cheese and shredded cheese. Stir until everything is well combined.
- Serve with crushed tortilla chips, cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime.