If you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon of purchasing an Instant Pot already, now is the time to do it – if only to make this deliciously spicy Mexican chicken soup.
Sure, you could make it in your slow cooker, or even in a pot on the stovetop. I love my old Crock-Pot. I mean, when it takes just a few minutes to throw a bunch of ingredients together before rushing out the door to go to work, and you get to come home to a delicious meal, how could it not become a staple appliance in your household?
Of course, I am the queen of forgetting to start the slow cooker. And I may have the best of intentions, but somehow, budgeting for the extra ten to fifteen minutes in the morning that’s required seems to be nearly impossible on some days.
Happily, I have discovered the magic of the Instant Pot. Instead of hoping I will wake up early enough to get the slow cooker going, I can come home and dump all of the ingredients in the Instant Pot instead, for a quick and convenient meal option.
Set it to high pressure and you can have dinner on the table in a fraction of the time it would take to cook in your Crock-Pot.
That’s why I absolutely love this recipe. The incredible flavor of this soup can be achieved in an Instant Pot in about 30 minutes.
The chicken, combined with hot chili beans, a variety of seasonings, onion, and diced green chilies, makes for a bowl of delicious soup that is a winner no matter what time of year it is.
It’s a lighter version of a hearty soup, so it will fill you up, but it isn’t so rich and fatty that it will weigh you down completely.
If you love your food spicy, you can add some cayenne pepper, or simply serve the soup up with a splash of your favorite hot sauce. It’s an easy recipe to modify to your preferred spice level without too much fiddling with the original recipe.
Fresh cilantro, shredded iceberg lettuce, cheddar cheese, and dollop of sour cream also make tasty toppings. But it’s great on its own as well.
For another fun and easy modification, you can use cooked ground chicken or ground turkey if you happen to have it on hand, or some that’s left over from a previous meal.
You could even try this recipe with leftover cooked pulled pork, as long as the pork isn’t too intensely flavored – or, in other words, before any sauce has been added.
Do remember that this recipe makes a large amount of food, but you can easily halve it if you are serving just yourself and one other person, without having too many leftovers to try to burn through for the rest of the week. Or, add it to your meal prep menu and freeze individual portions that you can pull out when you need them.
Once you’ve made this in your Instant Pot, if you’re a newbie when it comes to this popular appliance, I guarantee you’ll be turning to this kitchen wonder to make so many recipes, from soups and stews to risotto, pasta, and more.
Of course, if you love relying on your trusty but aging slow cooker (which is probably gathering dust in a closet, let’s be honest), don’t you worry because you can also use the slow cooking function on your Instant Pot – it works like two appliances in one!
You can even use it to sear meat and vegetables, if you have a little extra time available and want to get some flavorful browning action going right in the insert.
You’ll be amazed at how simple it is to make this incredibly flavorful soup, one that’s full of texture and flavors that will make you crave it again as soon as the current batch is gone.Print
If you want to warm up with a bowl of soup that’s hearty yet light, and quick to prepare, this Instant Pot Mexican chicken version is the recipe to make.
- 2 15.5-16-ounce cans hot chili beans (your choice of spice level and bean type)
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
- 1 4.5-ounce can diced green chilies
- 5 cups diced cooked chicken breast
- Combine all ingredients in electric pressure cooker insert. Stir.
- Seal lid and set the timer to cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. As soon as the timer goes off, quick release the pressure manually.
- Remove the lid and stir. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, and serve with your choice of garnishes.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Soup
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keywords: tex-mex, mexican, soup, instant pot, chicken
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
Dice your cooked chicken breast, or consider shredding the chicken instead. I love to use shredded chicken (or pork!) for this soup since it helps to ensure that I get some in every spoonful.
Measure all of the remaining ingredients, so they will be ready to go.
Step 2 – Cook
Add all of the ingredients to your Instant Pot insert, give them a stir, and seal the lid. Set the timer to cook for 20 minutes on high pressure.
If you have a little more time available and you prefer to use your slow cooker, or the slow cook setting on your Instant Pot, you can do that! Cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 4 hours.
Step 3 – Serve with Toppings
Season to taste, and serve the soup while it’s hot, with your favorite toppings.
My personal favorites are salsa, shredded cheese, freshly chopped cilantro, and sliced fresh or pickled jalapenos.
You can also use sour cream and sliced black olives, tortilla chip strips, shredded iceberg lettuce, and diced tomato. Or try whatever combination of these strikes your fancy – the choice is up to you!
Serve with a stack of warm flour tortillas on the side.
Comforting Doesn’t Have to Mean Difficult
So often, the comforting meals we know and love involve difficult, time-consuming recipes.
Though our mothers and grandmothers, aunts and uncles, and other relatives and beloved family friends may have made them regularly – or perhaps just once a year, though they stand out in our memories – it can be hard to find the time.
For me, no matter what time of year it is, the ultimate comforting meal is a bowl of soup. Whether it’s vegetarian or made with beef, pork, turkey, or chicken, nothing beats a warm bowlful that includes a variety of textures and flavors, and a good amount of spice.
But what adds to the pleasure of enjoying it, for me at least, is also being able to prepare it quickly. I used to always make soup either on the stove or in the slow cooker, but ever since I invested in my Instant Pot, I’ve been all about making hearty soup in a flash by using it as an electric pressure cooker.
With the same layers of flavor that you would get from slow cooking for hours in your Crock-Pot or on the stovetop, I find it’s much easier to prepare this way, and in so much less time.
Find out just how flavorful this soup is and how easy it is to prepare by making it yourself, then tell us what you think in the comments below. Don’t forget to give the recipe a five-star rating if you loved it!
And for even more hearty bowlfuls that you can prepare in your electric pressure cooker, try these next:
- How to Cook Chili in an Electric Pressure Cooker
- Get All the Rich Flavor in Less Time with the Best Instant Pot French Onion Soup
- How to Cook Beef Stew in the Electric Pressure Cooker
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 5, 2013. Last updated on January 7, 2022. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.