This instant pot creamy tomato chicken soup is everything to me this week. Because guys… RAIN… in the desert! I’m in heaven. Rain AND a creamy tomato chicken soup that takes 30 minutes start to finish WITH frozen chicken … AND costs me like 200 calories for a big bowl. (You’re skeptical, I would be to, but I don’t lie about portion size. It’s too important to me.)
And it’s so packed full of veggies and protein, you’ll feel like a superstar when your kids love it… AND you’ll love me when you don’t even have to bother tossing a salad.
Why the Instant Pot?
I thought about just making this in a pot on the stove like I do this turkey cauliflower chili, or this yummy cream white chicken chili. Sometimes it’s definitely just as quick to sauté and simmer in a normal pot, and I for sure prefer the color and sear you get from a normal pan for a lot of recipes. But the MAGIC of the Instant Pot for me, is how quick and tender it cooks up my meat! And the fact that you can just dump stuff in and walk away. Even FROZEN CHICKEN.
You mean I can run downstairs at 5pm without a dinner plan and nothing but frozen chicken and have hot creamy tomato chicken soup in like 30 minutes. YES. Magic.
I hate extra appliances. I’m not one of those who has every gadget. I don’t want to store them, or be responsible for missing pieces, or have to clean them. But I got my instant pot a year ago and I’ve used it at least once a week since! Often a couple of times a week. Definitely worth it to me. It’s just the easiest way to get a bunch of yummy, tasty, tender meat prepped for the week! I have this 8 qt option because it was on sale, but I think the 6 qt would be plenty big if you’re in the market and debating if you need it.
Can I use a slow cooker?
Yes! There’s some instructions included in the recipe. And look at you. You’re one of those people that plans ahead. Good for you! Ever since I got the IP, my slow cooker has retired… because… I am not. Ha.
What makes it creamy?
Remember that amazing cauliflower cream sauce adapted from Pinch of Yum, that we’ve used for the chicken divan, the mushroom/thyme pasta bake, and the spaghetti squash casserole? It’s magic. It really is. It’s so creamy and tasty and has the macros of like a stalk of celery. It’s nuts.
So I’ve been wanting to use it for soup since the first blend. And it worked just as great as I’d hoped! Adding so much thickness and creaminess for just a pinch of calories. Throw in a little greek cream cheese for richness? PERFECTION.
How to make Creamy Tomato Chicken Soup in the Instant Pot:
- Throw your raw FROZEN chicken TENDERLOINS in the instant pot with chopped veggies, some canned tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, and spices. Let it cook for TEN MINUTES! (This never gets old to me.)
- Blend some more canned tomatoes with steamed cauliflower, basil, and greek cream cheese (or regular low fat will work!)
- Shred your cooked chicken, add in the cauliflower/tomato sauce from the blender, some more chicken stock, and some fresh kale… put the lid back on for a few and it’s done. DONE. And waiting for you. THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART.
The part where you actually have a minute to get your kitchen in order and breath before you invite the little people you might live with to come ruin it all again.
Ha. But still. Dinner is so much smoother when it’s not ALL OVER my counters.
Oh yeah… and when you build your bowls, top with some fresh basil and of course parmesan because…… look at the macros. WHAT. Two fat.
Two fat. And this is a legit bowl of soup. Like pretty much as much as I could fit in my bowl. That also leaves room for some butter on your bread. Or obviously just a bigger dessert. You know the drill.
So I usually make a pot of pasta or tortellini on the side for the kids to throw in theirs. You could always add it to the whole pot, but this way I can control my carbs if I’d like! But if I want to bulk my soup up even more without the pasta, I love to sauté some extra veggies on the side to toss in mine. Cauliflower and broccoli are my favorite for this! But my belly can only take so much of those… so I threw in some sautéed mushrooms this time and LOVED it.
Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Chicken Soup
This creamy tomato soup is packed full of chicken and veggies for a healthy, comforting, delicious bowl! A large, filling portion is so light… there’s even room to pair with a grilled cheese if you want!
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 40
- Yield: 8-10
- Category: Soup/Chili
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Italian, American, Mediterranean
In the instant pot
- 1.5 lb (680) g FROZEN chicken tenderloins (may use thawed of course)*
- 2 zucchini, chopped (365g)
- 1 onion diced (250 g)
- 2 cups carrots chopped (195g)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tbs tomato paste (I love the tubed option from Trader Joe’s for easy storing)
- 1.5 tbs salt
- A few grinds of black pepper
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- Big pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 14.5oz cans of diced tomatoes (undrained)
In the Blender
- 12 oz cauliflower steamed
- 2 MORE 14.5 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 18 g basil paste (in a tube from the produce section, or 3 frozen cubes or 1 tbs fresh minced basil)
- 6 tbs (66g) whipped greek cream cheese*
After all combined
- 2 cups chicken broth (I use Kirkland boxed)
- 3 oz kale chopped (remove big, hard, miserable stems)
- Parmesan and fresh basil for topping
*May sub 66 g reduced-fat (1/3 less fat) cream cheese. It will add an additional 7 grams of fat to the entire pot and reduce carbs by about four. TINY difference in your bowl.. so I wouldn’t worry about it!
- Add frozen chicken, zucchini, onion, carrots, garlic, tomato paste, seasonings, and TWO cans of the diced tomatoes to your instant pot.
- Set pressure cooker to manual high pressure and cook for 10 minutes, making sure the steam valve is closed. When the timer goes off, I always let mine release naturally for 10-15 minutes but if you’re in a hurry, release the steam valve and open as soon as it lets you.
- Remove chicken with a slotted spoon or tongs and shred with two forks or throw in the Kitchen-aid with the basic paddle attachment to shred like I do. If you used tenderloins, it should be very tender and easy to shred.
- Add steamed cauliflower (I just microwave a 12 oz bag of fresh from Trader Joe’s as directed), two more cans of diced tomatoes, basil paste, and greek or low-fat cream cheese to the jar of your blender. Blend ’till smooth. Throw in a pinch of salt and pepper for good measure.
- Add your shredded chicken back into the instant pot. Pour in the blender mixture. Add the 2 cups of chicken stock, and 3 oz or two huge handfuls of chopped kale. Stir it all together and close the lid and let it sit for at least ten minutes for the kale to wilt. If it’s not wilty enough for you, turn to the sauté setting and let it get really hot for a few minutes.
- Enjoy immediately or let it sit on warm until you’re ready to eat! Top each bowl with a little extra shaved parmesan, and some fresh basil.
- I love to do homemade bread on a soup night. This easy french bread from Your Home Based Mom is our favorite!
- I like to cook a separate pot of pasta or tortellini for the kids to throw in theirs. If I want more bulk, I’ll cook extra broccoli or cauliflower or even sautéed mushrooms to throw into mine.
- Grilled cheese is a great addition of course.
- Or we love to just do some broiled parmesan toasts for dipping or big croutons for topping.
- Breasts vs tenderloins: I always prefer tenderloins… I just find them to turn out so much more tender. Never ever weird and bouncy. But of course breasts work just fine. Increase time to 12 minutes for breasts.
- Thawed chicken?: *I wanted to make this as easy as possible meaning, you don’t even have to remember to thaw your chicken! But of course if you’ve got thawed, that works great too! Reduce time to 8 minutes.
Slow Cooker instructions:
- Add first set of instant pot ingredients to the crock pot PLUS one cup of the chicken broth. Cook on low for about 4 hours- till the chicken shreds easily.
- Follow original blender step from above.
- Remove chicken, shred, and add back to slow cooker. Stir in blended cauliflower mixture, chicken stock, and kale. Cover and let sit until the kale is as wilted as you like.
*Macro-count disclaimer: That sounds so official… but just know, there could always be some variation in our final count depending on if you cook your soup longer or shorter causing more or less moisture evaporation. But dealing with such lean protein and low calorie items overall… the margin of error is not too dangerous.
- Serving Size: 400 g
- Calories: 197
- Fat: 2
- Saturated Fat: 0.6
- Carbohydrates: 13.5
- Fiber: 2.8
- Protein: 22.5
Keywords: Creamy, Tomato, chicken, soup, zucchini, carrots, onions, kale, cream cheese, parmesan