This taco soup is everything you love about taco night without the work and ready to serve in no time!
If you’re anything like me and always keep a pound -or a few- of chicken breasts in the freezer, this recipe is a great way to stretch your freezer supply. Yes, I was referring to the stash of frozen chicken that’s become my go-to meal builder.
So it’s only expected that I create recipes like this chicken taco soup when I want to enjoy a warm and satisfying meal after a long day. What’s even better is that my instant pot shaves off a good 30 minutes from kitchen duty. A hands-free meal made in less than 25 minutes? Now, we’re talking!
Easy Instant Pot Chicken Taco Soup
Loaded with taco spices, this chicken taco soup is hearty, delicious, and made in the instant pot in a matter of minutes. Not only does the instant pot cut down on time, but it’s a hands-free recipe that practically cooks itself.
With just a few canned goods, jarred salsa, and a pound of chicken breasts, this soup can be whipped up in the middle of the week. Plus, leftovers make great net day lunches for school or the office.
If you forgot to thaw your chicken, don’t fret! Grab that pound of chicken breasts from the freezer and use one of my three methods to defrost chicken.
Best Chicken for Soup
I’ve found the best cuts of chicken for soup tend to be boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs. But really, use what you have on hand. The point: even if you roasted a whole chicken and have some meat leftover in the fridge, you can use that instead (you’ll need about 3 cups of cooked chicken).
For today, I used chicken breasts for this taco soup since I keep a steady stock in the freezer, but you could also opt for boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which offer more flavor (in my opinion) and shred just as easy after they are cooked.
Healthy Chicken Taco Soup Ingredients
Let’s take a trip to your pantry, shall we? More than likely, you have a couple of cans of beans, corn (or in the freezer), stock or broth, and a lonely jar of salsa next to a half-eaten bag of tortilla chips.
Don’t get scared. I haven’t been snooping around, but these ingredients are often staples in my house -including the half-eaten bag of chips!
Here is everything you’ll need to make this cozy, delicious soup!
- Mild salsa: tons of flavor! Use your favorite.
- Canned beans: black and pinto beans add protein and consistency to this soup.
- Corn: canned or frozen. If frozen, thaw it before using it.
- Tomatoes: petite diced tomatoes add a nice texture, but you can use regular diced tomatoes too.
- Taco seasoning: store-bought or my easy homemade version.
- Chicken broth: the liquid needed for this soup. Use chicken broth or stock made at home or from the store.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: you can use chicken thighs too or swap it for turkey
You’ll find the measurements in the recipe card below.
How to Make Chicken Taco Soup in the Instant Pot
Only 5 easy steps between you and making this delicious bowl of soup. Grab the ingredients, a can opener, smile at your Instant Pot and let’s make this happen!
Here’s how to make this soup:
- Stir Everything Together
Add the thawed chicken to the bottom of the instant pot. Top with salsa, black beans, kidney beans, corn, tomatoes, taco seasoning, and chicken broth.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the pressure valve to sealing.
- Apply Pressure
Press the manual button and pressure cook for 20 minutes. When done, do a quick release of the steam, making sure to wait until the pressure gauge drops back down and the lid is safe to open.
Using 2 forks, shred the chicken breasts and stir into the soup.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with sour cream, avocado, and cilantro.
How Long To Cook Soup in the Instant Pot
Cooking times for soup recipes depend on the ingredients, particularly if uncooked meat is included. In that case, it can take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes for the meat to cook through.
From start to finish, this taco soup takes about 20 minutes to be ready since the internal temperature of the chicken needs to reach that 165F mark -just like cooking chicken in the oven or in a pan.
I recommend keeping a meat thermometer handy to check for doneness before shredding the meat and serving. The chicken meat will be white, and separate/shred easily between two forks. Remember, 165F for white meat like chicken breasts and 175F for dark meat like chicken thighs.
Easy Way to Shred Chicken
Once the soup is ready, vent out the steam, open the lid, and take on the delicious smell that is coming out of your Instant Pot. Magical.
The easiest way to shred the chicken is to use tongs and remove the chicken breasts from the taco soup onto a board or bowl and shred it between two forks. If you’re wondering if you can shred it in the pot itself, remember that the soup is going to be piping hot so I recommend you remove the chicken breasts.
Topping Your Chicken Taco Soup
Just like tacos, this soup is made even better with the right toppings! You can keep it as simple as you like, but I like bringing out the works:
- Sour Cream
- Shredded Cheese
- Diced Avocado
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Fresh cilantro
You have to admit there is something special about tortilla chips soaking up that taco spiced broth and laced with bits of melted cheese and avocado, whew! Anyone else getting hungry?
How to Freeze Taco Soup Leftovers
You can absolutely freeze the leftovers of this epic chicken taco soup. First, wait until the soup has fully cooled down to room temperature. Then, ladle out single servings of the soup into quart zip bags or freezer-safe containers for a future meal-for-one. Or, in a gallon size zip bag for more servings.
Frozen chicken taco soup is good for up to 3 months in your freezer. When you want to enjoy it, simply thaw, heat, and eat!
More Instant Pot Soup Recipes
I know you and your instant pot are waiting for more epic soups like this one, so this quick version of classic Minestrone Soup is one you need to try. This Chicken and Rice Soup is also one of my favorites, as tasty as this Chicken Pot Pie Soup. You’ll want to try them all!
Instant Pot Chicken Taco Soup
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup mild salsa
- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 15- ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 ounce can corn, rinsed and drained
- 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Sour cream
- Sliced avocado
- Chopped cilantro
- Add the chicken breasts to the bottom of the instant pot. Top with salsa, black beans, kidney beans, corn, tomatoes, taco seasoning, and chicken broth.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the pressure valve to sealing.
- Press the manual button and pressure cook for 20 minutes. When done, do a quick release of the steam, making sure to wait until the pressure gauge drops back down and the lid is safe to open.
- Shred the chicken between 2 forks and stir to combine with the soup.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top with sour cream, avocado, and cilantro.