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Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup

If you need a healthy pantry meal, look no further! This Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada soup is made with two chicken breasts along with common pantry ingredients and spices. Eat it plain or dress it up with your favourite garnishes!

If you’re looking for more easy chicken recipes for the Instant Pot, check out my Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice!

chicken enchilada soup in a white bowl garnished with diced avocado, sour cream, grated cheese and corn chips, sitting in front of an Instant Pot

Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup is quickly becoming a favourite at our house. Aside from the chicken breast, it’s made mostly with canned or frozen pantry ingredients, which means I usually have everything on hand to make it. Pressure cooking makes the soup taste like it’s been simmering for hours and the chicken is so easy to shred.

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This recipe doesn’t call for a pre-made enchilada sauce. It’s hard to find at stores here in Canada and I’m all about saving time, so I didn’t want to make a sauce separately. Instead, we’re using spices and tomato paste to get the enchilada sauce flavour. Definitely not authentic, but it’s easy and tastes great!

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make the soup. See the recipe card below for exact quantities and detailed instructions.

For the spice mix

  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Sugar – added to offset the acidity of the tomato. Feel free to omit, if you’d rather not use it.
Chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt and sugar in a small white bowl next to a denim linen

For the soup

  • Olive oil
  • Yellow onion
  • Jalapeño – added for extra heat and colour. You could leave it out or use a green pepper to still get the colour without the spice.
  • Garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Chicken breast – 2 large, about one pound
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Black beans – a 15oz can or 1.5 cups cooked black beans; don’t use dried in this recipe
  • Canned diced green chilies – these add great flavour, if you can find them (here in Canada they can be hard to find). The soup is still great if you skip this ingredient.
  • Tomato paste
  • Frozen corn
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice – optional, but brightens the flavour

Garnish ideas

  • Grated cheese
  • Corn chips
  • Lime wedges
  • Sour cream, or my favourite healthier swap: full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • Avocado
  • Guacamole
Chicken enchilada soup in a white bowl garnished with corn chips, cheese, dice avocado, sour cream and a lime wedge, next to small bowls filled with the garnishes

How to make it

First, make the spice mix. In a small bowl combine the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, salt and sugar. Set aside.

Next, start the soup. Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot. Heat the olive oil, then add the diced onion. Sauté until the onion starts to soften, about 3 minutes, then add the jalapeño (if you want the extra heat) and cook another minute or two. Add the minced garlic and sauté another 30 seconds or so, until fragrant. Turn off the Sauté function.

Chicken Enchilada Soup in an Instant Pot being scooped with a wooden spoon

If there’s any food sticking to the bottom of the insert, add a bit of broth and scrape up any bits that are stuck (this is called deglazing and will help prevent a burn warning). Then add the rest of the broth, the chicken breasts, diced tomato, black beans, diced green chilies, the spice mix and tomato paste. Do not stir. Put the lid on the Instant Pot, set the vent to sealing and pressure cook on Manual High Pressure for 20 minutes. It will take around 20 minutes to come to pressure.

At the end of cooking time, let the pressure release naturally for about 5 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure. Carefully open the lid and remove the chicken breasts to a large plate, then stir in the corn.

Shred the chicken using two forks, then add the chicken back to the soup. Season the soup with salt, pepper and lime juice, to taste. Serve immediately with your chosen garnishes.

chicken enchilada soup in a white bowl garnished with diced avocado, sour cream, grated cheese and corn chips next to lime wedges and small bowls of grated cheese and sour cream

Tips for success

  1. Add ingredients to the Instant Pot in the order given. You want to make sure you add the tomato paste last, because it can cause a burn warning if it’s at the bottom.
  2. Use cooked black beans. Dried black beans will not work with this recipe. They will stay too hard with the cook time. If you have dried beans, I suggest cooking them first separately and add about 1.5 cups in place of the canned beans.
  3. Adjust the heat by swapping out the jalapeño. If you want less spice, swap out the jalapeño for green pepper!
chicken enchilada soup in a ladle held above an Instant Pot full of soup

Other Instant Pot soup recipes

chicken enchilada soup in a white bowl garnished with diced avocado, sour cream, grated cheese and corn chips, sitting in front of an Instant Pot

Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup

Laura Lawless, BASc
If you need a healthy pantry meal, look no further! This Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada soup is made with two chicken breasts along with common pantry ingredients and spices. Eat it plain or dress it up with your favourite garnishes!
5 from 1 vote
Servings 4
Calories 445
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Inactive time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins

Ingredients

Spice Mix

  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

For the soup

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb chicken breast, boneless skinless (about 2 large breasts)
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 1 4 oz can diced green chilies (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • freshly squeezed lime juice (to taste)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, make the spice mix. Stir all spices together and set aside.
  • Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot and heat the olive oil. Add the diced onion and sauté until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the jalapeño, if using, and continue to sauté another couple minutes, then add the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Turn off the Sauté function.
  • Pour in a bit of broth and deglaze the bottom of the insert (scrape up any bits of food stuck to the bottom), if necessary. Pour in the remaining broth, then add the chicken breasts, diced tomatoes, black beans, diced green chilies, the spice mix and tomato paste. Do not stir. Put the lid on the Instant Pot, set the vent to sealing and pressure cook on Manual High Pressure for 20 minutes. It will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure.
  • At the end of cooking time, allow a Natural Pressure Release for 5 minutes, then Quick Release the remaining pressure. Carefully remove the chicken breasts to a large plate and add the corn to the soup to warm up. Shred the chicken using two forks, then stir it back into the soup.
  • Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime, to taste. Serve immediately with your favourite garnishes (grated cheese, diced avocado, sour cream/greek yogurt, corn chips, lime wedges). Cool any leftovers completely, then store in sealed storage containers in the refrigerator. Eat refrigerated leftovers within 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

  1. This recipe was tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot model. 
  2. Inactive time indicates the time it takes to reach pressure and release pressure.
  3. Nutrition estimate does not include optional garnishes. 

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Equipment

6-qt Instant Pot
Ladle
Box Grater
Measuring Spoons

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 958mg | Potassium: 1785mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 2743IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 8mg
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Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. Can this recipe be easily doubled? If so does cooking time need to be adjusted?

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      Hi Megan, I haven’t tested a double batch in my 6-quart, but I think you’ll have enough space for the ingredients if you have an 8-quart model. No change to the cook time, but it will take a bit longer to come to pressure.

  2. 5 stars
    This soup was filling and tasted wonderful. Just the right amount of spices to make the soup taste like an enchilada. I toasted some soft taco shells for dipping.

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy to hear you liked it, Linda! Thanks for leaving a review!