When Amazon had that sale on the instant pot I went for it.  I was feeling the pressure (ha)… and figured I’d want to figure it out eventually.  And then it sat in the giant box taking up space in a closet for like a month and a half.

Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

I have to admit I still haven’t branched out much.  No desserts or homemade yogurt or even rice or potatoes.  But I’m LOVING that I can decide to cook some meat in the afternoon and throw it in and have yummy shredded meats for a million different purposes within like 15 minutes! THAT is straight magic.  And this time I just added all the yummy additions for tortilla soup and it was still done in about fifteen minutes.  Like add stuff to the instant pot, and fifteen minutes later (maybe 20) it’s ready to pile in your bowls like this. MAGIC.

Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup www.lillieeatsandtells.com

Here’s the thing, when I started macros last Fall, I pretty much stopped making soups and chilis. Still, I sometimes tend to steer away from one pot meals because when everything cooks down, it becomes more calorie dense for a smaller volume of food.  Think soup vs salad. I always worry one bowl won’t feel like enough! And soups and chilis can get so high in carb with beans, quinoa, squash or other added veggies.  Not to mention figuring out how on earth to track it used to blow my mind.

Well once I really got used to the recipe feature in MFP, everything opened up and I feel like I can make and track anything!  So liberating.  If you could use the help, I added a page explaining how to add and log a recipe over here.

Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love this soup and I made sure it was stuffed full of chicken for protein and skipped any beans to lower the carbs.  For me, the corn is worth the carbs for the amount it adds, and just a cup goes far enough to add that little sweet pop in each bite.  But feel free to skip it if you want to cut the carbs a little more. As far as the QUANTITY was concerned, this serving was a totally great size, but I can always use more! So about half way through I tossed in some steamed cauliflower to make it stretch a little further because I like my food to last! And It was great!  There was enough flavor to go around and I felt like I doubled my food and got nice and full for just a handful of carbs.  I’ll probably do it every time.  Maybe even pile it on top of a bowl of mashed cauliflower like this shrimp because sometimes volume IS EVERYTHING.  Of course feel free to eat it like a normal person just like this… or with some tortilla chips (or fritos if you’re not above them YUM) or cornbread on the side!

Instant Pot chicken Tortilla Soup - macro friendly www.lillieeatsandtells.com
Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Lighter Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

There’s nothing easier than a pot of soup all ready to go at dinner time… except for for an INSTANT pot of soup. Healthy, easy, tasty chicken tortilla soup.
5 from 2 votes
Author Lillie
Course Soup/Chili
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 -12
Calories 206 kcal


  • 1 16 oz jar salsa verde like Herdez
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 2.5 tbs chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

Pour the above mixture over:

  • 3 lb thawed chicken breasts or tenderloins
  • 1 large onion diced 330 g
  • 2 bell peppers diced 275 g

After initial cook add:

  • Handful of cilantro
  • 3-4 green onions chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen corn 135 g
  • These are the toppings I did for mine but the macros below will be for just soup
  • Avocado 30 g
  • Cotija 5 g
  • Lite three cheese mexican blend I like Trader Joes (10 g)
  • Fat free sour cream 15 g


  • Mix together salsa, garlic, green chilis, chili powder, salt, liquid smoke, cumin, paprika, and crushed tomatoes.
  • Add chicken, diced onions, and diced bell peppers to the bowl of the instant pot and pour salsa/spice mixture over the top (Or if you don’t want to dirty that second bowl just pour everything one by one right in there! No biggie.)
  • Seal lid, close vent, push manual, and the up arrow to 12 minutes. It’ll start on it’s own.
  • When it’s done, let it do it’s natural release for 10-20 minutes until you can open the lid easily.
  • Pull out the chicken with a slotted spoon and shred in a different dish OR do what I do and throw it in your kitchenaid to mix until it’s shredded. (I’m lazy.)
  • Throw it back in the pot, mix it into the juices and add in a handful of fresh cilantro and green onions.
  • Add 2 cups of chicken stock (you might want more if you want it soupier and less like chili) and 1 cup of frozen corn.
  • Stir- close the lid and keep warm until you’re ready to eat… ten minutes or a few hours later!


  1. *Macro trick: About half way through I added some steamed cauliflower to my bowl to make it stretch a little further and it was great!  There was enough flavor to go around and I felt like I doubled my food for just a handful of carbs. *I haven’t made this exact thing in the slow cooker but I’m sure you could put it all in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours and it’d be great!
  2. I’ve had a few comments from people who’ve gotten a “burn warning” from their instant pot. I’ve never had this happen so I don’t know why it varies! But if you’re worried about that, or have had it happen to you, add 1 of the cups of chicken stock before it cooks for the 12 minutes!


Serving: 350g of soupCalories: 206kcalCarbohydrates: 13.1gProtein: 30.5gFat: 1.3g
Keywords chicken, instant pot, mexican, shredded, soup, tortilla

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About the Author

Hello. My name is Lillie. I’m not a registered dietitian, or a macro coach, or a public figure or culinary genius. I’m a mommy of four who FOUND macro-counting and fell in love with this balanced approach to food...

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Recipe Rating


  1. Just started Marco tracking and excited to try so your recipes. I cooked my chicken before hand and 3 cooked chicken breasts have me 1 pound of chicken when I weighed it or about 3 cups and the soup is really thick. The recipe says 3lbs of raw chicken so does that mean you adding like 9 cups of chicken to this soup? I’m just confused between raw and cooked and trying to figure it out, and insight super appreciated. Love your recipes, humor and the time you took to put them into my fitness pal. Thx

  2. I also got the burn notice…I cleaned the pot (completely) and added chicken stock and tried again…another burn notice. By this time though, the chicken was cooked through and I shredded and just put it on the stovetop in a new pot. This recipe was SO good. My kids are picky so I find it helps to make rice to go with it as my youngest (5) will eat anything over rice. All four of them requested that I add this to the rotation. Thank you!!

  3. Once again, Lillie kills it. Our family LOVED this one and it was so easy and so flavorful and made enough I was able to freeze some and save it for another cold night. Thank you for sharing with us all.

  4. This recipe was a huge hit with my family tonight!! Thank you!! I stirred the wet ingredients in with the onion, bell pepper and chicken, and didn’t have any problems with burning in the Instant Pot. My picky eaters LOVED the dinner and even THANKED me for making it! This will definitely go into the regular rotation at our house.

  5. 5 stars
    I used less than the 2.5 tablespoons of chili powder. The brand of chili powder I have is really spicy, and a 1.5 teaspoons is enough to give a good spice level without being overwhelming. Other than that, this recipe is amazing! It has become a weekly staple. I’ve even gotten my mom and a couple of friends hooked on it. I absolutely adore that it is healthy and delicious.

    1. Where are you seeing 46? I see 17 in MFP under “Lillie eats and tells instant pot tortilla soup” and that’s just because it’s listed as a larger portion there.. let me know if i can help!

  6. I made this the other night and it was delicious. I didn’t have the exact ingredients so I used fire roasted diced tomatoes and it turned out just fine. My question is why are the carbs so high in MFP. I put in Lighter Instant Pot Chicken tortillas soup and it says 46 carbs, but on the recipe 13.1. Does this have tortillas in it or something? Just curious. I just put it in as a quick add.

  7. Just wanted to add that I also got the same “burn” notice. I added chicken stock and scraped off what had burned on the bottom and it was fine. I wonder if some cans of crushed tomatoes have more liquid than others and that’s why it varies? 🤔

  8. Does the type of onion or bell pepper make a difference? Totally new to this whole cooking thing. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. I got the burn notice twice too. Added one cup of stock after the first burn notice, added another cup after the second and then it was fine.

  10. I had the same problem w the burnt chicke on the bottom of the instant pot. Which was weird bc it seemed to have enough liquid? Any way to prevent that?

    1. crazy! I’ve never come close to that in mine.. so I’m not sure why the difference, but maybe just add a cup of your chicken stock before you cook. So sorry!

  11. This was great! The only thing that happened to me was burn notice 2 times until I finally went ahead and added 4 cups of chicken stock. It was too thick for me with just 2 cups.

    1. Oh no! I’ve heard that once or twice! I’ve never come close to running out of liquid… I wonder if it has to do with pot size or something?? Thanks for letting me know! I should add a note to the recipe!

    2. I responded to this and it seems like it disappeared… so if you’re getting this twice, sorry! But thank you for letting me know! It’s never happened to me but I think I’ve heard that from one other reader. I’d better add a note!