Do you have an Instant Pot and need some inspiration? With this Easy Instant Pot Chicken Soup recipe, I’ll teach you how to cook chicken, make chicken stock, and transform those ingredients into the most delicious, homemade chicken soup. Although there are a few steps, you’ll be surprised at how easily everything comes together! Bonus – if you have leftover chicken and chicken stock on hand, you can skip straight to the finish line and have that yummy chicken soup on your table in less than 30 minutes!
The soup is super chicken-y, reheats like a dream, and freezes well which makes it a great option for weekly meal prepping. WIN – WIN – WIN!
Without further ado, let’s make some soup!
Oh, wait. Two quick notes before we begin.
1) For this recipe, you’ll need to know how your Instant Pot works, and how to use the basic functions. If you are a beginner and need to learn how to use your Instant Pot, I’d recommend you watch some tutorials on my favorite pressure cooking website. Once you know how to use your IP, come back and let’s make soup!
2) I broke the recipe up into 3 easy steps, so if you already have chicken stock on hand, and / or leftover cooked chicken, feel free to jump in to the recipe at whatever step makes sense for you.
And here we go!
STEP 1: Cook the chicken
I start with two pounds each of chicken drumsticks and chicken thighs. Drop those in the Instant Pot and add one cup of water. Cook for 13 minutes on high pressure, and allow 10 minutes of Natural Pressure Release.
Once the chicken has cooled, strip the meat and put it in the fridge. Put the bones and skins and any juices back in the Instant Pot for Step 2 – Chicken Stock!
(HELPFUL HINT: This is a great method to prepare chicken for the soup… but don’t stop there! You can also use this method for weekly Meal Prep; it’s an easy way to stock your fridge with cooked chicken to add to salads, sandwiches, and pastas through the week.)
STEP 2: Make chicken stock
This super easy method makes quick work of chicken stock – no more simmering and stirring all day to achieve a tasty, chicken-y, chicken stock. This chicken stock is ready in less than an hour – and the entire process is hands-off!
Just add the chicken bones and skin and juice back to the Instant Pot, along with 8 cups of water, a roughly chopped onion, and some celery and carrots. Oh – and a bay leaf, some kosher salt, and some peppercorns. Cook for 35 minutes on high pressure, with at least 10 minutes of Natural Pressure Release.
Strain the solids from your stock and you’re ready for Step 3.
STEP 3: Soup Time!
Add 3 tablespoons chicken fat (skimmed from top of stock), olive oil, or butter to the empty Instant Pot liner and set to Sauté. Sauté chopped carrots, celery, and onions and a teaspoon of kosher salt for about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, thyme, oregano, cooked chicken, and 8 cups of chicken stock. Close the lid, seal the vent, and cook on Manual – High Pressure – for 4 minutes.
Once 4 minutes is up, do a Controlled Quick Release of the pressure – as described below.
The Instant Pot is full of hot, delicious soup. And if you do a regular Quick Release, you might end up with a bit of soupy sputtering and bubbling from the pressure release valve. To prevent this, I like to do a Controlled Quick Release, which lets the pressure out at a little slower pace than a normal Quick Release.
Using a wooden spoon, lightly turn the pressure release valve on the lid to open it about halfway between sealing and venting for about a minute. You’ll have to use the spoon to hold the valve in this position. This will allow the pressure to release, but it will happen at a slower pace than if you turned the pressure valve all the way to venting for a normal Quick Release. After about a minute, rotate the valve all the way to venting to Quick Release the rest of the pressure. As always, wait until the pressure release has completed, and the metal pin has fully dropped before opening the lid. Watch this video if you need a visual, or read about it here, described as the “Slow Normal” release.
Remember, at this point, the soup will be extremely hot – much hotter than if you made it on the stove. After making sure the soup is cool enough to taste, season with salt and pepper.
Since you read this far, I will reward you with a SUPER SECRET CHICKEN SOUP TIP: If you want a little more oomph – you can even add a little chicken bouillon at the end for a chicken-y flavor boost!
Serve the soup hot, or cool and freeze in single serve containers and bring them for lunch during the week. WIN!
This recipe was inspired by Live Simply
Easy Instant Pot Chicken Soup
Super easy chicken soup - from scratch! If you're in a hurry - use store bought chicken stock and a rotisserie chicken for a quick and easy homemade dinner in less than 30 minutes!
Step 1: Chicken (skip if using rotisserie chicken)
- 2 pounds chicken drumsticks
- 2 pounds chicken thighs bone-in
Step 2: Chicken Stock (skip if using store bought)
- Chicken bones and skin from Step 1 or rotisserie chicken
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
Step 3: Chicken Soup
- 3 tablespoons chicken fat, butter, or olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 carrots chopped
- 4 stalks celery chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 8 cups chicken stock prepared as above, or store bought
- 2 cups cooked chicken prepared as above, or use leftovers or rotisserie chicken
- chicken bouillon cubes or powder optional
Step 1: Cook the Chicken
Add chicken drumsticks and chicken thighs to Instant Pot with one cup water.
Cook on Manual mode, High Pressure, for 13 minutes, with 10 minutes Natural Pressure Release.
Allow chicken to cool, remove chicken meat and refrigerate.
Step 2: Make Chicken Stock
Return chicken bones and skin to the Instant Pot.
Add 8 cups water, chopped onion, celery, and carrots, bay leaf, kosher salt, and peppercorns.
Cook for 35 minutes on High Pressure, with 10 minutes Natural Pressure Release.
Step 3: Soup Time!
Add chicken fat (skimmed from top of chicken stock), butter, or olive oil to empty Instant Pot liner and heat using Sauté function.
Sauté carrots, celery, onions and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt for 5 minutes until softened.
Add garlic, thyme, and oregano and cook for 1 more minute. Add bay leaf, chicken stock, and cooked chicken.
Cook on Manual - High pressure - setting for 4 minutes.
Do a Controlled Quick Release of the pressure for about a minute (using a wooden spoon, turn and hold the pressure release valve partway toward venting to allow some of the pressure to release more slowly than a normal quick release.) After about a minute, turn the valve all the way to venting to Quick Release the rest of the pressure.
Once the pressure has fully released, and the metal pin has dropped, open the lid. Remember - the soup will be extremely hot - much hotter than if you made it on the stove!
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot. Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers.
- If you don't have time to prepare your own chicken stock, substitute store bought chicken stock and meat from a rotisserie chicken.
- If you used store bought stock and think it doesn't taste chicken-y enough, add a little bit of chicken bouillon powder or a chicken bouillon cube to taste to amp up the flavor.