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+ servings
Artisan Chicken Tortilla Soup

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Steven Pennington
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Instant Pot / Slow Cooker

Suggested Equipment

Instant Pot
Slow Cooker
Temperature proof water tub/bath


Making the Broth & Cooking The Chicken Ingredients

  • Organic Chicken (/ 4 to 6 pound) 1
  • Yellow Onion 1 large
  • Carrots 2
  • Celery 3 stalks
  • Tomato Paste 2 tablespoon
  • Sea Salt (/ I used Himalayan Sea Salt) 1.5 teaspoon

The Soup Base

  • Vine Ripe Tomato (/ Sliced In Half & Cored) 1 large
  • Orange Bell Pepper (/ Sliced In Half & Rib Removed) 1
  • Red Bell Pepper (/ Sliced In Half & Rib Removed) 1
  • Poblano Pepper (/ Sliced In Half & Rib Removed) 1
  • Ancho Chile Pepper (/ Seeds Removed) 1
  • Guajillo Pepper (/ Seeds Removed) 1

Vegetables In Soup

  • Red Bell Pepper (/ Quartered & Rib Removed) 1
  • Orange Bell Pepper (/ Quartered & Rib Removed) 1
  • Poblano Pepper (/ Halved & Rib Removed) 1
  • Vidalia Onion (/ Sliced (Julianne) Cut Lengthwise) 1 Large

Finishing Options

  • Black Beans (/ Rinsed & Drained) 1 can
  • Sweet Corn (/ Rinsed & Drained) 1 can
  • Favorite Cheese
  • Green Onion (/ Sliced @ 45 degrees)
  • Cilantro
  • Crispy Corn Tortilla Strips
  • Minced Garlic (/ Optional) 1 teaspoon


Prep The Chicken

  • Rinse the chicken off under warm water. 
    Using the (Instant Pot) leave the chicken in a bowl with warm water for about 7 to 10 minutes to remove the chill. 
    Slow Cooker = No need to remove the chill from the chicken

Cooking The Chicken & Making The Broth - Instant Pot Method

  • Place the whole chicken into the middle of the Instant Pot or your Slow Cooker / Crockpot
    Slice the onion into 8 pieces ( Cut in half, then cut those pieces in half, then one more time. The creates more surface area to extract flavor from.
    Carrots - No need to peel - Chop 
    Celery - Chop into pieces
    2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
    1.5 Teaspoons of Sea Salt
    (Optional - 2 Bay Leaves )
  • Instant Pot Settings 
    -Broth/Soup Setting (Pressure Cooker) - Pressure on "Normal" the middle setting.
    -Time 40 Minutes
    The chicken will be fall-apart goodness. You could just take the recipe to this point and have a wonderfully cooked chicken. Remember the Instant Pot takes a little time to pressurize before the timer begins to count down.
    instant pot cooking timer settings for chicken tortilla soup

Slow Cooker / Crock Pot

  • If you have the time. Set the heat to high for the first 30-to-45 minutes if you would like to cut down on the cooking time. Otherwise, use the low setting.  The beauty of the slow cooker is you can set it and pretty much forget it. 
    Cooking Time Range: Cook on low 4-6 hours
  • Both Slow Cooker & Instant Pot Method - Remove the chicken - 
    Strain the broth and add it back into your cooker. Look At That Color!!!
  • Shred the chicken while it's hot, then add a little bit of the broth back on top of the shredded chicken to help keep it moist.
    shredded chicken for chicken tortilla soup

Making The Base

  • Traditionally Tomatoes, Garlic & Dried Peppers get charred then blended together. 
    Using Cast Iron is the key to getting nice charr.
    Slice one tomato in half and remove the stem - place face down in the skillet
    Slice one red bell pepper and one orange bell pepper in half and remove the stem and rib. ( The white stuff is bitter ) Add to skillet
    Add one Dried Ancho & one Guajillo Pepper
    I do not use garlic due to how easy it can burn. That would create a bitter flavor running throughout the entire dish. I simply skip this step for a more consistent product. 
  • Once charred, add the dried peppers to a glass full of water and microwave for 3 minutes. This will soften the dried peppers so they will blend together nicely in our base.
  •  Blend all charred ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, then add it to the chicken broth in your cooker.

Vegetables Preparation

  • Onion, red & orange bell pepper, plus one poblano pepper.
    Slice into whichever shape you like. I demo this in the video below.
    Add into your cooker

Finishing - Instant Pot

  • Place the cover back on securely. Make sure the vent is on sealing.
    Set to broth/soup ( Pressure Cooker) Normal pressure ( middle option)
    Set timer for 15 minutes. 

Finishing - Slow Cooker

  • Broth + Base + Sliced Vegetables - all in the slow cooker. Cook until the vegetable has softened.
    Why not add all of the vegetables into the broth in the first place?
    Answer: We are building a depth of flavor.  Otherwise, the soup feels one-note.


  • Add the broth to a bowl, then add the shredded chicken to the middle. Use enough to show off the chicken. Add corn, black beans, cilantro, cheese, tortillas, and finished with a squeeze of lime. 


Keyword Artisan Chicken Tortilla Soup Instant Pot and Slow Cooker / Crock Pot, Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
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