Instant Pot Chicken Soup

Family Dinner IdeasFavorite WinterChickenChicken Soup

Make quick chicken soup in the pressure cooker! This classic recipe is made with whole chicken (or chicken pieces), carrots, onions, and celery, and it's ready in 60 minutes. Just add noodles for chicken noodle soup!

Photography Credit: Coco Morante

The minute anybody in my house comes down with the slightest sniffle, I run to the store for ingredients for chicken soup. It’s the go-to cure-all around here!

The recipe I make is classic and very simple, but to get it ready even more quickly, I make it in the pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

Why Use the Pressure Cooker?

Pressure cooking in the Instant Pot (or any electric pressure cooker) reduces the cooking time a fair amount. Using an electric one also allows you to leave the pot unattended while it cooks. The cooker will even switch to a “Keep Warm” setting once cooking has finished so you don’t have to worry about turning off the cooker right away when the soup is done.

How to Make Chicken Soup in the Pressure Cooker

Just throw all the ingredients in the pot, press a button, and come back to piping hot soup later on!

What Kind of Chicken to Use in the Instant Pot

I use a whole chicken for my soup for a few reasons:

  • First, it’s the most economical way to go.
  • Second, I like having a mix of white and dark meat.
  • Third, all of the bones and cartilage help to create a rich, nourishing broth.

You can also use any mix of bone-in drumsticks, thighs, or breast meat. Remove the skin if you like, but I like a little bit of rendered chicken fat in my soup!

Instant Pot Chicken Soup

Tips for the Best Pressure Cooked Chicken

  • You’ll need a 6-quart or larger pressure cooker for this recipe. The pot should be just big enough to fit a 3- to 4-pound chicken. If you have a larger pressure cooker (8-quart or bigger), you can also get away with using a slightly larger chicken.
  • Be careful when doing a quick-release. This is because liquid-heavy pressure cooker recipes like this soup can release a lot of steam during the venting step after cooking.
  • Scared of steam? That’s ok! If you want to avoid the jet of steam entirely, you can wait for the pressure to release naturally. Just wait until the pressure cooker’s float valve has returned to its “down” position. This will take quite a while, though, since this recipe contains a lot of liquid.
  • Chicken jello?! Good chicken soup made with the whole chicken will often develop a jelly-like consistency once chilled, so don’t be alarmed if this happens to you! The soup will turn back into liquid when warmed.

Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Add-Ins to Chicken Soup in the Instant Pot

  • Chicken Noodle Soup: Stir some cooked noodles into the soup; I prefer to cook the noodles separately so that they don’t absorb a ton of moisture from the soup itself. I mix them in just before serving, and store them separately from the soup in the fridge.
  • Chicken and Dumplings: Make this recipe in the Instant Pot if you’re dying for some dumplings!

No Instant Pot? Make This On the Stovetop!

Put the chicken in a large soup pot or Dutch oven, breast side up. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, pouring in the water last to avoid splashing. Cover the pot and place it on the stove over medium heat.

When the soup comes to a boil, turn it down to low and simmer, covered, until the chicken is tender and the meat is just beginning to come away from the bones, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Continue with the remaining steps as described in the recipe below.

MORE CHICKEN SOUPS TO CURE WHAT AILS YOU!

Updated November 11, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the original recipe.

Instant Pot Chicken Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 3- to 4-pound chicken, or an equivalent mix of bone-in thighs, legs, or breast meat
  • 4 ribs celery, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium parsnip, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 12 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 quarts water
  • Cooked egg noodles, optional

Special equipment:

  • 6-quart electric or stovetop pressure cooker (like an )

Method

1 Put the chicken in the pot of a pressure cooker, breast side up.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

2 Layer all of the other ingredients into the pot, pouring in the water last to avoid splashing. Adding four teaspoons of salt at this point will result in a well-seasoned soup broth. Use less salt or eliminate if you'd like to make basic chicken broth to use for other purposes.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

3 Cook the soup: Place the lid on the pressure cooker. Make sure the pressure regulator is set to the “Sealing” position. Select the “Manual” program, then set the time to 25 minutes at high pressure. (Instant Pot users can also select the "Soup" program and follow the same cooking time. For stovetop pressure cookers, cook at high pressure for 22 minutes.)

It will take about 35 minutes for your pressure cooker to come up to pressure, and then the actual cooking will begin. Total time from the time you seal the pressure cooker to the finished dish is about one hour.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

4 When the soup has finished cooking, wait about 15 minutes before "quick" releasing the pressure. This helps prevent a lot of steamy broth spitting out of the valve. Even so be careful when releasing the steam!

You can also let the pressure release naturally, though this will take quite a while. Wait until the pressure cooker’s float valve has returned to its "down" position before opening the pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

5 Prepare the chicken meat: Use a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the pot, and transfer it to a dish to cool until you can comfortably handle it, about 20 minutes. It may come apart as you are removing it from the pot, so go slowly and carefully.

Take the meat off of the bones, and discard the bones, skin, and cartilage. Cut or tear the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

6 Stir the chicken meat back into the soup. Ladle into bowls and serve. Add cooked egg noodles, if you like.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

Let any leftover soup cool completely, then store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. The soup may gel as it cools; it will liquefy again when heated.

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Coco Morante

Author of The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook and The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook. A self-taught cook and classically-trained soprano, Coco Morante writes and sings in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and their beagle. For more recipes, visit her blog, Lefty Spoon.

More from Coco

41 Comments / Reviews

No ImageInstant Pot Chicken Soup

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Tami G

    Nice and easy!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Heather

    This was the best chicken soup I’ve made. I used to make it and would add a tbsp of chicken in a mug to give it the extra punch. I followed these directions, and although I didn’t have any thyme, I substituted oregano and for whatever reason, the flavor is incredible! Thank you!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Mike

    Best (and easiest) chicken soup I’ve ever had!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. GAIL

    PS- Sorry, did not know if I could edit.. I wanted to add that my mother would not touch my PC out of fear from her youth’s PC explosions, in the kitchen. Thus, when she made soup, it was on the stovetop. It was good, but she had a secret.. and it could be more seasoning or a specific one I missed this time.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. GAIL

    Being Italian, my mother did all the cooking until her unexpected recent passing. Since then, I’m “learning” bits and pieces. I have a Cuisinart Elec. PC and never knew how to make chicken soup as she always made it while I was at work, having lived with my folks and taking care of them. I have been buying store broth and doctoring it up. I had a chicken in freezer and had no clue how to deal with it in PC, but hopped on line and came across this page. My first ever, soup in PC, and it came out great! The meat melted off the chicken which gave me a project to do in cleaning away bones, but overall, I was very excited for end result. I didn’t add thyme and some other seasonings, but did add some I had here and I think I need to do something to give it a little more “umph,” flavor wise. I was able to make a good amount, enough to freeze for 2-3 more times and plenty of options for the meat. I only used half a chicken as it was a 7 lb. Roasting chicken.. did not realize this until I went to use it! The other half provided me with chicken cutlets, chick fingers and chicken for stir fry. I am so proud of myself for making this attempt and also, I added pastina pasta to it and it cooked up fine. Thank you so much!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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Instant Pot Chicken SoupInstant Pot Chicken Soup