Recipe of the week Chicken Tortilla Soup


Instant pot, slow cooker or stove top (see bottom of recipe for slow cooker and stove top changes).


  • 1–2 tablespoons olive oil  I just used cooking spray*
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, rough chopped (or sub 1–2 tablespoons granulated garlic)
  • 1–2 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 x 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, and juices ( preferably fire roasted) or 1 ½ cups diced tomatoes w/juices
  • 1  small 4-ounce can, mild green chilies (or sub 1 poblano chili, diced)
  • 2-3 lbs chicken thighs or breasts (boneless, skinless, fresh or frozen) left whole (or breasts -see cooking notes)  *I like a meatier soup so I did 3.3 lbs of chicken breast when I made it and it was super good. 
  • 1-2 cans black beans, or sub corn-see notes ( do not use dry beans with chicken breast as breasts will overcook.)
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth (or water with 4 chicken bouillon cubes)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • juice from 2 limes (get a few extra limes while at the store cause an extra squeeze on top is great!
  • optional: for a smoky heat, add a little chipotle (either the adobo sauce from canned chipotles, or a little ground chipotle powder to taste. )

Garnish with any or all of the following:  tortilla strips, grated cheese, sour cream, avocado, hot sauce, cilantro, fresh jalapeño, scallions


    • Set the Instant pot to the Saute function. Saute onions in the oil for 3-4 minutes while you prep the garlic, carrots and celery. Add them to the pot, and saute 3-4 minutes. (If using granulated garlic, add later with the spices)
    • Add the diced tomato and their juices, green chilies, chicken thighs or breasts (whole), beans ( if using canned, drain the liquid first), chicken stock, water, salt and all the spices.  Give a good stir, and set the Instant pot to pressure cook on high. If using dry black beans, pressure cook 25 minutes. If using canned black beans, pressure cook for 14 minutes (same for either fresh or frozen thighs).
    • Manually let the pressure out, covering steam with a kitchen towel. (Or feel free to let the pressure release naturally.)
    • Shred chicken thighs with two forks (either right in the pot, or on a cutting board). The soup will thicken. (At this point you could add corn, and return to saute setting for a few minutes.) Squeeze with a generous amount of lime juice and taste for salt, adding more if necessary- especially if you used dry beans, you will need to add more. You want a good balance between lime and salt. ( If the soup tastes bland, it probably needs more of each.)
    • Divide among bowls and top with tortilla strips, cheese, sour cream, scallions or avocado and cilantro. Add hot sauce for added heat.
    • Enjoy!
    • Cooking Notes!
  • -CHICKEN BREASTS If using whole chicken breasts, cook 8-12 minutes and do not use dry beans (you will overcook the breasts). 8 minutes for smaller breasts or 12 for thicker breasts.
  • -The toppings really add to the soup. Use them!
  • -For the tastiest tortilla chips, spray strips of fresh tortillas with olive oil spray and a sprinkle of  salt, and bake in a 300 F oven until crisp.
  • -STOVE TOP:  Use a big pot or dutch oven–  follow the same directions, sauteeing over medium heat, then simmering covered until chicken thighs are cooked through and easily shreddable, and beans are tender, about 40 minutes. Soaking the beans first shortens this time!
  • For a bean-free version you could swap out 3 cups corn for the beans ( Trader Joes, frozen fire-roasted corn is great) adding it to the soup after you release the pressure.
  • For slow cooker version, cook as stated above then cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours, or on High for 3 to 4 hours.


Categories: WOD