Instant Pot Chicken Soup – aka “Cheater Chicken Soup” – is my newest soup obsession. If you know me, you know that I love soup. And honestly, the faster I can make it the better, especially when I’ve got a billion things going on.
So when I threw these simple ingredients into my Instant Pot the other day (see the one I have here) and this popped out, I knew I had to share it with you.
Why I Make This Soup in the Instant Pot
I’m not one of those people who does all my cooking in an electronic pressure cooker, but when it comes to soups, stews, and bone broth, the Instant Pot cannot be beat. Essentially, it slashes cooking time down dramatically. Normally, I’d let this soup cook for at least 90 minutes on the stove top, maybe even two hours.
But with the Instant Pot in the picture, I only have to give it 30 minutes of active cooking time. Even if you factor in the time to bring everything up to pressure and then finish it at the end, this is still far quicker.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Soup
This truly is one of the easiest soups ever, and you may even have the ingredients on hand right now. It’s a relatively inexpensive recipe, especially if you consider a couple things.
First, I use a whole chicken rather than pre-cut chicken parts. Whole chickens are usually far cheaper per pound than chicken parts. Not only that but you just pop the whole chicken into the Instant Pot and strip the meat off the bones once it’s cooked. Chicken cooked on the bone is far more flavorful than boneless cuts.
Second, I save the bones and the veggie trimmings from this Instant Pot Chicken Soup in separate baggies in my freezer. When I accumulate enough bones and veggie scraps, I make bone broth. That means I’m using as much of the animal as possible and saving money along the way.
All I do is chop up some carrots, celery, and onion then add it to the pot along with the whole chicken. I toss in some seasonings like bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Then, I add water and cook it for 30 minutes on Manual (or high). Once the chicken is cooked, I remove it, let it cool a bit, then shred the meat and add it back to the soup.
So simple. (If you want to add gluten-free dumplings, check out this recipe.)
How Long Does This Soup Keep in the Fridge?
I store my soup in Mason jars in the fridge for up to five days, but truthfully, it never lasts that long. And if you’re in doubt, freeze it before it goes bad.
Can You Freeze This Soup?
Yes, you absolutely can! If properly stored in a tightly covered container, I keep soup for about three months in the freezer. It’s great if you’re in a pinch and need to reheat a meal at the last second. For easier freezing and defrosting, I freeze this Instant Pot Chicken Soup into large silicone ice cube molds (like these). After they freeze, pop them out and store tightly sealed in freezer bags.
Instant Pot Chicken Soup (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
My Instant Pot Chicken Soup is ready in just 30 minutes. It's a delicious and nutritious soup made in a fraction of the time. Learn how simple it is!
- 1 whole chicken 3-4 lbs
- 1 onion large, diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 3 carrots medium, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp fish sauce optional
- pinch salt & ground black pepper
Rinse the chicken and remove any giblets. Place in a 6-quart Instant Pot liner. Then add the onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and fish sauce. Add a generous pinch of salt and ground black pepper.
Fill the Instant Pot liner until the water reaches approximately the 12 cup line. Add the liner to the Instant Pot and secure the lid, making sure the release valve is closed. Set to 30 minutes on Manual (high).
After cooking is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally. Or if you're in a rush, quick release the steam. Remove the lid.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken. It'll fall apart which is fine. Lay the chicken on a baking sheet and spread it out to cool. You may want to quickly rough chop the breasts and thighs so they cool faster.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, carefully pick the meat off the bones and shred it with your fingers. Add the meat back to the Instant Pot, discard the bay leaves, adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, and serve. I like to add cooked rice or quinoa just before serving.
Save the vegetable trimmings and chicken bones in a freezer bag to make Instant Pot Bone Broth at a later time.