If you want to use your pressure cooker, check out this recipe to learn how to make the most delicious Instant Pot Chicken Soup. If you use fresh ingredients instead of tinned products, you will find this meal even more delicious.
Despite needing a whole chicken, this dish takes only an hour to cook! That is impressive and such a time saver, especially for those who don’t have much time to cook in the evenings.
This is a wholesome, comforting, nourishing, and simple dish, so you are guaranteed to love it. There is a lot to love about this humble yet iconic meal.
But what makes it truly remarkable is how you can easily modify this recipe to your liking.
On top of that, you only require minimal preparation, a few simple ingredients, and just a few minutes of hands-on time. So, in this article, we will take a closer look at ‘A Saucy Kitchen’s instant pot chicken soup recipe and how you can make this tasty dish from scratch.
With that said, let’s dive right in and get started!
What Is Instant Pot Chicken Soup?
Instant Pot Chicken Soup is a comforting and wholesome dish made using the Instant Pot, a multifunctional electric pressure cooker. This soup combines chicken, vegetables, herbs, and broth, offering a quicker method to achieve deep flavors typically associated with slow cooking.
With the Instant Pot’s efficiency, what traditionally took hours on the stovetop can be crafted in a fraction of the time, delivering a hearty, nourishing bowl of soup that warms the body and soul.
History Of Instant Pot Chicken Soup
While chicken soup’s roots trace back millennia, spanning various cultures as a home remedy and comfort dish, the Instant Pot revolutionized its preparation in the 21st century. Introduced in 2010, the Instant Pot transformed age-old recipes into swift culinary creations without sacrificing depth of flavor.
Instant Pot Chicken Soup emerged as a modern adaptation of this timeless broth, bridging the gap between tradition and technology. It pays homage to the past while embracing the convenience demanded by today’s fast-paced world.
Interesting Facts About The Instant Pot Chicken Soup
- Versatility King: Instant Pot Chicken Soup can be tailored with global flavors – think Thai coconut or Mexican tortilla versions.
- Quick-Fix Nutrients: Pressure cooking preserves more nutrients than traditional methods, offering a more nutritious broth.
- Economic Elegance: Using chicken bones or leftovers can yield a rich flavor, making it budget-friendly.
- Ancient Meets Modern: Chicken soup’s medicinal use dates back to Ancient Greece, but the Instant Pot brings it to modern kitchens in a jiffy.
- Consistent Outcome: The precise temperature control ensures uniform cooking each time.
- Eco-Friendly: The Instant Pot uses up to 70% less energy than conventional cooking methods.
- Time Traveler: The gadget reduces the cooking time by 2/3, making ancient comfort accessible on the busiest days.
What Makes The Instant Pot Chicken Soup Special?
- Speed & Flavor Fusion: The Instant Pot achieves deep flavors in record time, a union rarely seen in culinary arts.
- Nutrient Retention: Pressure cooking ensures vital nutrients are sealed in, amplifying health benefits.
- Consistency: With preset settings, the soup’s texture and richness are replicated perfectly each time.
- Adaptability: From creamy to brothy, the Instant Pot easily tailors the soup to one’s preference.
- Minimal Supervision: Once set, it requires little to no monitoring, freeing up the cook.
- Safety First: Advanced safety features ensure peace of mind while cooking.
- All-in-One: From sautéing to simmering, it handles multiple steps, eliminating the need for various pots and pans.
|Whole Chicken||1 whole or 2-3 pounds|
|Olive Oil||2 tablespoons (30 milliliters)|
|Yellow Onion||1 large|
|Garlic Cloves||5 large cloves|
|Celery Stalks||3 large stalks|
|Chicken Stock||4 cups (1 quart or 950 milliliters)|
|Water||4 cups (1 quart or 950 milliliters)|
|Bay Leaves||2 leaves|
|Lemon Juice||2 tablespoons (30 milliliters)|
|Fresh Parsley||A handful|
|Black Pepper||To taste|
What Ingredients Will You Need?
You will inevitably need a few things to make this delightful, comforting meal. This is why we have listed all the ingredients and how much you need each to make this delightful dish.
- Whole Chicken – You need one whole chicken or two to three pounds of chicken pieces. You can use drumsticks, thighs, or breast meat, depending on your preference.
- Olive Oil – You will need two tablespoons of olive oil or thirty milliliters of olive oil to make this delicious and nutritious chicken soup.
- Yellow Onion – This recipe needs one large yellow or brown onion. Make sure to slice and dice your onion before cooking it.
- Garlic Cloves – To make this chicken soup, you will need five large garlic cloves which have been minced. You can use a knife or a garlic crusher to do this.
- Carrots – For this recipe, you will require three large carrots. Make sure that your carrots have been peeled and diced before cooking.
- Celery Stalks – Three large stalks of celery are needed to make this dish. Just make sure that they have been diced before you cook them.
- Chicken Stock – To make this dish, you will need four cups, one quart, or 950 milliliters of chicken stock.
- Water – To make this dish, you will need four cups, one quart, or 950 milliliters of water. Alternatively, you could use more chicken stock for a stronger flavor.
- Bay Leaves – To add an extract kick of flavor, you will need two bay leaves for this recipe. They can be fresh or dried.
- Lemon Juice – Two tablespoons or thirty milliliters of lemon juice to make this perfectly delicious instant pot chicken soup (Also check out How To Make Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)).
- Fresh Parsley – You need just a handful of fresh parsley for this recipe for the garnish. You can use any herb you like, for example, rosemary, basil, dill, or thyme.
- Black Pepper – To add just a hint of spice and tie this dish together, add just a hint of black pepper to your soup. You can add this ingredient to taste.
- Salt – Add just a bit of salt to your soup. You can use any salt you prefer and add as much or as little as you like.
None of these ingredients should be super hard to find. They should be readily available at your local store. But the great thing about this recipe is that you can substitute certain herbs and spices to suit your preferences.
- Chicken: Opt for organic or free-range for richer flavor and nutrient density.
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin offers a better aroma and health benefits.
- Onion: Yellow onions yield a sweeter caramelized flavor; brown ones provide a sharper taste.
- Garlic: Freshly minced has a more potent flavor than store-bought.
- Carrots: Younger carrots tend to be sweeter; choose firm ones.
- Celery: Use leaves, too, for added depth.
- Chicken Stock: Homemade or low-sodium versions give control over salt.
- Bay Leaves: Fresh leaves impart a milder flavor compared to dried ones.
- Lemon Juice: Fresh-squeezed trumps bottled for brightness.
- Herbs: Rotate fresh herbs for varied soup profiles; dill offers a refreshing twist!
Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?
The beauty of the Instant Pot Chicken Soup is its adaptability.
- For Keto and Paleo enthusiasts, consider omitting starchy vegetables and adding zucchini or spaghetti squash.
- For a Gluten-Free option, ensure the chicken stock or any added thickeners are gluten-free.
- The Whole30 version would involve using compliant stock and excluding non-compliant additives.
- Transitioning to Vegetarian? Swap chicken with hearty beans or lentils and use vegetable stock.
- For Vegan adaptations, in addition to the vegetarian modifications, omit any animal-derived additives, and consider adding tofu or mushrooms for a protein boost and a richer texture.
- With each variation, the Instant Pot Chicken Soup remains a versatile, healthful, and delectable dish that caters to various dietary needs.
- Sauté Chicken: Add olive oil to Instant Pot. Sauté chicken on ‘Sauté’ mode for 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken.
- Sauté Veggies: Add garlic, carrots, celery, and onions. Sauté for 4-5 minutes.
- Add Chicken & Stock: Return chicken (breast up). Add chicken stock, water, and bay leaves.
- Pressure Cook: Secure lid set valve to ‘Sealing.’ Choose ‘Pressure Cook’ for 20 minutes.
- Natural Release: Allow 15 minutes of natural release before venting steam.
- Shred Chicken: Remove, shred, discard bones/skin, return to pot.
- Final Touches: Add lemon juice, herbs, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Serve & Store: Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days or freeze for 3 months.
Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings
- Asian Twist: Add ginger slices and replace celery with bok choy. Finish with a dash of soy sauce.
- Mexican Flare: Introduce corn, black beans, and a touch of cumin. Garnish with cilantro.
- Grains: Near the end, stir in quinoa, barley, or rice for added texture.
- Legumes: Lentils or chickpeas can provide additional protein and heartiness.
- Greens: Spinach, kale, or Swiss chard can be wilted in at the last moment for a nutritional boost.
- Creamy: A dollop of yogurt or sour cream for richness.
- Crunch: Sprinkle croutons or crispy tortilla strips.
- Zest: Fresh herbs, grated Parmesan, or a splash of hot sauce can elevate flavors.
Scaling The Recipe
- Proportions: Maintain ingredient ratios when scaling up or down. If you double the chicken, double the veggies, stock, and seasonings.
- Liquid Limit: Ensure the Instant Pot isn’t overfilled; typically, avoid going past the 2/3 mark. For smaller quantities, ensure there’s enough liquid for pressure cooking, usually at least 1 cup.
- Cooking Time: Whole chicken size might change, the cooking time remains relatively consistent, especially if using chicken pieces. You should add a few minutes for a larger whole chicken.
- Taste Test: When scaling up, season gradually. Adding more salt or herbs later than correcting an overly salty soup is easier.
- Equipment: If quadrupling a recipe, consider multiple batches or a larger cooking vessel if available.
What Is Used For Garnishing?
- Herbs: Freshly chopped parsley, cilantro, dill, or chives lend a burst of color and aroma.
- Creams: A swirl of sour cream or a dollop of Greek yogurt adds creaminess and a touch of tang.
- Citrus: Lemon, lime zest, or a thin wheel can provide a zesty pop.
- Seeds: Toasted sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds offer a slight crunch.
- Spices: A sprinkle of paprika, freshly ground black pepper, or red chili flakes can elevate the heat and taste.
Can I Make Instant Pot Chicken Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?
- Searing: Start by searing the chicken in a separate pan for flavor enhancement.
- Veggies: Sauté vegetables in the same pan after the chicken is seared, then transfer to the slow cooker.
- Combine: Add the chicken, veggies, stock, and other ingredients into the slow cooker.
- Cook: Set on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- Sear & Sauté: In the pot, sear the chicken, then sauté the vegetables.
- Simmer: Add the remaining ingredients, boil, then simmer for 1.5-2 hours until chicken is tender.
Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?
- Convenience: Perfect for those short on time. Open and pour.
- Consistency: Reliable flavor and salt content, ensuring a predictable soup outcome.
- Options: Available in regular, low-sodium, and organic varieties.
- Flavor: Homemade offers a depth and richness that’s hard to match, tailored to your preference.
- Control: You control the salt and ingredient quality without additives or preservatives.
- Economical: Made from leftover chicken bones and veggie scraps, it can be more cost-effective.
Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?
- Meat: Swap chicken for turkey, beef, or pork. Consider bone-in cuts for a richer broth.
- Fish: Delicate fish like cod, salmon, or shrimp can be added. Ensure they’re added towards the end to prevent overcooking.
- Pasta: Orzo, elbow macaroni, or even egg noodles can be integrated. Pre-cook or add directly – monitor to avoid overcooking.
- Vegetables: The possibilities are endless. Think sweet potatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, or peas. Adjust cooking times based on the veggie’s hardness.
Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making The Soup
Before we go over how to make this delicious and wholesome instant pot chicken soup (Also check out Best Spices For Chicken Soup) from scratch, there are a few tips and tricks that you need to consider.
In this section, we will go over a few things you need to know before cooking.
Do You Need To Use A Whole Chicken?
- You can use chicken thighs or breasts if you prefer. However, using whole chicken can be beneficial. For one thing, you will get a variety of dark meat and light meat, which can make your soup more flavorsome.
- If you do not want to use whole chicken, we recommend using some thighs and some breast meat so that you use a combination of dark and light meat.
- What if a whole chicken does not quite fit in your pressure cooker? If this is an issue you are experiencing, you should cut your chicken into portions.
- There are plenty of videos or articles that you can reference to learn how to break down a whole chicken properly.
Is It A Good Idea To Use Boneless Or Skinless Chicken?
- If you prefer to use boneless or skinless chicken, you can do this instead. Remember that a chicken soup made with skin and bone will be more silky, rich, and flavorful than a soup without it.
- On top of adding to the flavor and richness of the soup, the collagen that the skin and bone add is perfect for you.
- It is highly beneficial for your skin, hair, and overall health. But if bones in your food give you the ick, you can use chicken without these components.
Is It A Good Idea To Use Frozen Chicken In This Dish?
- If you forgot to take your chicken out of the freezer, do not worry! You can use frozen chicken in this dish. The main thing to remember is that if you use frozen chicken, you can have a longer cooking time.
- A whole thawed chicken should take about forty minutes to cook. It will take twenty-five to thirty minutes for chicken thighs with the bone to cook.
- If your thighs are skinless and boneless, cooking will take only twenty minutes. Skinless chicken breasts will take even shorter to cook at about fifteen minutes.
- If any of these pieces of meat are frozen, it will take longer. But you can minimize the cooking time if your chicken pieces are frozen separately instead of stuck together.
Is It A Good Idea To Skim Your Chicken Soup?
- For most chicken soup recipes, it is considered the norm to skim the surface to get rid of any impurities. Because this recipe is cooked in an instant pot, this is impossible while the chicken is cooking.
- But, you do not NEED to skim an instant pot chicken soup, most of the time.
- In some cases, when you open the lid of the instant pot, you might see gray scum floating on the surface; skimming the top might be a good idea.
- This does not happen often, so with an instant pot chicken soup, you will likely not need to skim the surface.
Is Searing the Chicken Skin Before Cooking A Good Idea?
- While you do not have to sear your chicken skin before putting it in the crock pot, it can add to the flavor to do so. Seared chicken skin can add a richness to the soup that you would not taste otherwise.
- Simply putting your chicken in a hot pan and browning the skin will caramelize it and make your soup more tasty and rich.
- However, you only need to sear the skin if your chicken has skin. If you intend to use skinless chicken breasts or thighs, this is a step that you can skip.
Dive into the nutritional wealth of Instant Pot Chicken Soup! Each spoonful delivers a healthful punch packed with lean protein, essential vitamins, and minerals. Boost your well-being with this savory delight!
What Are The Total Calories In The Soup?
When made with whole chicken, vegetables, and basic seasonings, a single serving of Instant Pot Chicken Soup can range between 150 to 250 calories, depending on portion size and specific ingredients. Most calories come from the chicken, mainly if the skin is included. Consider using a nutritional calculator or app with the exact ingredients you’ve used for precise values.
Dietary Restrictions Of The Instant Pot Chicken Soup
- Vegetarian/Vegan: Contains chicken, a meat product. Substitutes like tofu or legumes can be used.
- Gluten-Free: If store-bought broth or added seasonings contain gluten, it’s a concern. Always check labels.
- Keto: Whole chicken and broth are keto-friendly, some veggies might exceed carb limits. Modify as needed.
- Paleo: Ensure all ingredients, especially store-bought broth, are free from non-Paleo additives.
- Low-Sodium: Commercial broths can be high in salt. Opt for low-sodium versions or make your own.
- Allergies: Check for individual sensitivities, especially using pre-made broths or seasonings.
Health Benefits Of The Instant Pot Chicken Soup
- Boosts Immunity: The broth contains essential minerals and vitamins that fortify the immune system.
- Hydration: Its liquid content helps maintain hydration, crucial for overall health.
- Joint Health: Natural collagen from chicken bones can promote joint flexibility.
- Digestive Aid: The broth is gentle on the stomach and can assist digestion.
- Protein Source: Chicken provides lean protein essential for muscle repair and growth.
- Anti-inflammatory: Ingredients like garlic and onion have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Vitamins & Minerals: Vegetables offer a wealth of essential nutrients, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and potassium.
How Can I Make Instant Pot Chicken Soup Lower In Sodium?
- Homemade Broth: Use homemade chicken broth without adding salt, giving you complete control over its sodium content.
- Low-Sodium Broth: Choose a low-sodium or sodium-free version of store-bought broth.
- Fresh Herbs & Spices: Mix the flavor with fresh herbs like basil, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Incorporate spices like black pepper, turmeric, or ginger.
- Lemon Juice: A splash can enhance the soup’s taste without adding salt.
- Limit Processed Ingredients: Avoid ingredients with hidden sodium, like canned vegetables or bouillons.
- Taste Before Serving: Add salt sparingly and always taste before serving.
How Can I Make Instant Pot Chicken Soup Lower In Sugar?
- Natural Broth: Opt for homemade or unsweetened store-bought broths. Many commercial broths sneak in added sugars.
- Fresh Veggies: Use fresh vegetables rather than canned, as some canned veggies contain added sugars.
- No Additives: Avoid flavor enhancers or sauces with hidden sugars, like some teriyaki or soy sauces.
- Check Ingredients: If incorporating other ingredients, ensure they’re sugar-free or low in sugar.
- Herbs & Spices: Boost flavor without sugar using fresh herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme, or pepper.
- Awareness: Being conscious of sugar content helps make better choices during preparation.
How To Serve The Instant Pot Chicken Soup At Its Best?
- Heat: Always serve the soup piping hot. A pre-warmed bowl can help maintain its temperature.
- Garnish: A sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or dill or a squeeze of lemon can elevate its appearance and taste.
- Bread: A side of crusty bread or whole-grain rolls complements the soup, contrasting the texture.
- Bowls: Opt for wide, shallow bowls to showcase the ingredients.
- Accompaniments: Offer add-ins like croutons, cheese, or a dash of chili flakes for those wanting an extra kick.
- Timing: Serve immediately after preparation to savor its freshness and richness.
Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Instant Pot Chicken Soup
Now that you have made your delicious instant pot chicken soup from scratch, you might wonder what serving suggestions there are (Also check out Skinny Spatula’s Delicious Instant Pot Chicken And Rice Soup).
From experience, we highly recommend enjoying this dish with delicious crusty gluten-free bread or maybe crackers.
Both of these options are fantastic with chicken soup. You can dip them in the soup or crumble them on top of your soup. There are tons of great gluten-free crackers recipes out there, some popular options are as follows:
- Easy Gluten-Free Vegan Crackers
- Gluten-Free Cheese Crackers
- Gluten-Free Spicy Cheddar Crackers
- Low Carb Garlic and Herb Biscuits (Also check out Keto Soup Recipes)
- Bacon and Herb Biscuits
- Gluten-Free Bread
- Gluten-Free Cheese Bread
You will find a load more astounding side recipes to go with your instant pot chicken soup. The above are merely a few suggestions to inspire and get you started!
How Long Can We Store The Soup?
Instant Pot Chicken Soup can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. If you want to keep it longer, consider freezing the soup. When stored in an airtight container or freezer bag, the soup can last in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
Always ensure the soup is cooled completely before refrigerating or freezing. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator if frozen, then warm on the stove until heated.
Can I Make The Soup In Advance?
- Prepare and Cook: Follow your recipe and cool the soup quickly after cooking.
- Storage: Transfer to airtight containers, leaving some space for expansion.
- Refrigerate: Store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Freeze: For longer storage, freeze the soup for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: Thaw (if frozen) and reheat on the stovetop or microwave, ensuring it’s piping hot before serving.
What Can We Do With Leftovers?
- Reinvent as a New Soup: Add new ingredients like beans, lentils, or veggies to change its profile.
- Stir-fry: Shred chicken from the soup and use it with veggies in a stir-fry dish.
- Pasta Sauce: Thicken the soup to create a flavorful pasta or rice sauce.
- Casserole Base: Use the soup as a moistening agent in casseroles.
- Pie Filling: Leftover soup can be a base for pot pies.
- Frozen Cubes: Freeze in ice trays and use cubes as starters for other dishes.
- Gravy: Reduce and thicken the soup to create gravy for meats.
- Broth for Cooking: Use the liquid as a broth for cooking grains like quinoa or rice.
- Shredded Chicken Salad: Pull out chicken pieces, shred, and mix with mayo for a quick salad.
- Soup Dumplings: A creative way to reuse the soup is inside Asian-inspired dumplings.
What Do You Need To Know About This Recipe?
- Before you do any cooking, there are a few things you must consider if you want to make this dish. This recipe, in particular, will yield between four and six servings.
- If you require more, double the recipe as you see fit.
- You will spend about fifteen minutes prepping, twenty-five minutes of cooking time, and an additional thirty minutes for other tidbits.
- You can expect to spend about an hour and ten minutes making this dish.
- What do you need to keep in mind about this recipe? Well, there are a few things, and we have listed them below for your convenience:
- To make this dish, you must use an instant pot that is at least a six-quart instant pot or bigger.
- You can cut a whole chicken into smaller pieces if you can’t fit it in the pot. Make sure to check out some videos on how to do this safely.
- Before you release the steam valve, throw a kitchen towel over the pot. This will prevent much spluttering and steam from spraying when the valve is released.
- Once your soup has completely cooled down, a gelatinous film will form on the top of the pot. Don’t worry; you only need to stir and heat your soup. The film will dissolve, and your soup will be as good as the day you made it.
- Bear in mind that you need to allow additional time so that your instant pot has time to reach its full pressure for cooking. It also requires additional time for the instant pot to depressurize before you open the lid.
- Don’t be afraid to make this dish; it is so easy. Despite these notes, it is super hard to mess up this soup.
- You should be able to make and enjoy this dish without much trouble. But first, you need to ensure you have the right ingredients.
Special Tools/Equipment Needed
- Instant Pot: The primary equipment, designed to function as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and sauté pan.
- Wooden Spoon: Ideal for stirring ingredients without scratching the Instant Pot’s interior.
- Tongs: Useful for handling and flipping the chicken, ensuring even searing.
- Sharp Knife: For precise dicing and chopping of vegetables.
- Cutting Board: Essential for prepping veggies and meat.
- Measuring Cups & Spoons: To ensure accurate ingredient proportions.
- Slotted Spoon: Helps remove chicken from the pot while draining the broth.
- Fine Mesh Strainer: For obtaining a clear broth if desired.
- Thermometer: To confirm the chicken has reached a safe internal temperature.
- Bowl: For collecting and setting aside ingredients or the finished soup.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Soup Setting On The Instant Pot?
Most instant pots will have soup or broth settings that you can use to make delicious soups. These settings will bring your soup to a slow simmer, which can result in a tasty, clear broth.
You could use the Less Mode to make a meatless soup. For meaty soups like this one, use normal mode. Use the More mode if you make a soup requiring longer cooking time.
Why Is Your Chicken Tough In The Instant Pot?
Sometimes, getting the right texture when making soup or other chicken dishes in an instant pot is a real challenge. Because they cook quickly, the chicken can become rubbery.
Too long, and your chicken may be dry and flaky. Ensure you cook your chicken at the right time to avoid either scenario.
What Is The Secret To Clear Soups?
The secret to making the perfect clear soup is to ensure it is appropriately simmered. Start by using cold water and having all your ingredients in the pot.
Once it starts to boil, ensure it does not cook too long. So, stay close to the slow cooker at this stage for the best clear soup.
Can I Add Noodles Or Grains To The Soup?
Yes, you can. However, be mindful that noodles or grains can absorb a lot of broth. Add them to the cooking process’s end, and adjust the cooking time to prevent them from getting too soft.
Is It Essential To Natural Release The Steam, Or Can I Quick Release?
For the best texture and flavor, a natural release is recommended. Quick releasing might cause the chicken to become tough and splatter soup due to the rapid depressurization.
- Chicken Gumbo Soup Recipe With Goodness Of Rich Ingredient Flavors - October 3, 2023
- Ancho Chile and Cauliflower Soup To Unlock Easy Ingredients For A Flashy Event - September 20, 2023
- Bone Marrow Dumpling Soup And Its Flavorful Impact Of Ingredients - September 19, 2023