When life gives you pressure, cook with it. <– I’m not sure where I heard that saying for the first time, but it’s been my motto since I picked up my beloved Instant Pot last December. Seriously, my IP has become almost like a friend – I even took it on vacation with me. I did not, however, plop it next to me on the beach and hand it a coconut pineapple popsicle, so I guess you could say the IP is a better friend to me than I am to it.
Now, I’ll admit that when it first arrived on my doorstep I wondered if it would be easier to, say, build a time machine or earn a doctorate in theoretical physics than figure it out, but fortunately it’s much easier to use than I expected. Some friends shared a few tried-and-true recipes to help me get the hang of things, and it’s been saving dinner ever since!
Today, I want to share one of my favorite tried-and-true recipes with you. 🙂
This recipe for belly warming chicken soup was declared one of the most satisfying and flavorful ever by my husband, and it was so easy to make! I found it in Dr. Karen Lee’s ebook, Easy Instant Pot Paleo Recipes, and she graciously gave me permission to share it with you. (Thank you, Dr. Karen!) If you’re looking for delicious ways to simplify mealtimes, I highly recommend you pick up a copy.
Here are some recipes I’ve made and loved:
From left to right: BBQ Chicken Drumsticks (A bit too spicy for my littles, but no problem. More for me!), Chicken Garam Masala (So much yes to this one), and the Chicken Soup I’ll be sharing with you today.
Once you’ve delighted your family with this recipe, make sure to save the bones for homemade chicken broth. I’ll be sharing a tutorial for making it in an Instant Pot next week, but here are some slow cooker instructions for now. Also, if you’re not sure what to do with your freshly made chicken broth I have three words for you – egg drop soup.
Instant Pot Chicken Soup Recipe
- 2-3 lb pastured chicken
- 2 carrots (roughly chopped)
- 1 celery stalk (roughly chopped)
- ¼ cup turnip or radish (cut in 2” cubes – I used a little less than ¼ cup chopped daikon radish)
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning (or equal mixture of dried parsley, oregano, thyme and rosemary)
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1 medium onion (sliced or diced)
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- purple onion (thinly sliced or finely chopped scallion to garnish)
- In the liner pot, add the vegetables first, then, chicken, and the herbs on top.
- Add 4-5 Cups of cold water.
- Close the lid tightly and close the vent.
- Press “SOUP”.
- When the timer goes off, release the pressure naturally, using NPR. It may take about 20-30 minutes after the timer goes off for the vent to open.
- Open the lid, take out the chicken and debone the meat.
- Reserve the bones to make bone broth. Put the meat back to the pot and stir.
- Crush the carrots and celery gently against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Before serving, garnish with thinly sliced onions, and scallions.
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Thanks for this post…the food looks delicious! Regarding the instant pot, what size pot do you use when you cook for your family? We have 3 adults and 3 children at home and I want to buy the right size. Thank you.
I have the 8 quart for my family of five 🙂
This soup was seasoned perfectly! My family loved it! Thank you!
Thank you Heather for an awesome instant pot chicken recipe. This is by far the best soup recipe my family and i have ever had. I have made it about 3 times already since i tried it a little over a month ago. Today i added 2 handfulls of noodles and 6 cups of cold water. I don’t even try other chicken soup recipes as this is the only recipe i need. Next time i’m gonna try making it with some dumplings. 👍!
I have leftover chicken. How could I modify your recipe to use cooked chicken and make the soup in my Instant pot? Do I add it at the last minute after the other items have cooked?
Did you ever get an answer?
I would make the soup and when it’s done, add the chopped up chicken. It should warm pretty quick in the hot soup.
Do you take the skin off the chicken before cooking?
The skin is the best part! If you want to take it out after cooking with the bones, you can but the skin gives such good flavor and oils. Yes it’s fattier but it’s tastier too.
you need the whole chicken to make the soup… so it can’t really be modified for cooked chicken.:)
Hi Liz, I am sure you have already researched and experimented with this recipe, but I thought I would chime in! I use cooked chicken in almost all of my recipes. I also left out the turnip in this recipe because I didn’t have one. Still turned out delicious! Linda
This is far and away my go-to chicken soup recipe. Comfort washes over me with every bite. I have gifted it to many when their souls (or symptoms) need a good chicken soup. Freezing a batch today. Thank you so much
The chicken soup came out amazing! And how easy was it to make the BBQ drumsticks in the Instant Pot, eh? I just cooked Ravioli for lunch in the Instant Pot too! And I’m so glad this bundle has my recipe book in it! Your readers would love this amazing bundle. Thx for sharing my recipe!
Thank you so much for allowing me to share your recipe, Dr. Lee. I’ve loved everything I’ve tried so far – next on the list are your Korean-Style Braised Short Ribs!
I’m excited to taste this recipe. Please add timing for soup in your recipe. Also, should I take off the skin when I debone the chicken? Thanks!
Trying out this recipe now, and I’m a bit confused. The soup setting on my Instant Pot is 200 minutes. It needs that much time? Your bone broth recipe said soup setting and bump it down to 120 minutes, so I’m wondering if I misunderstood something. I’ve seen recipes for meat still frozen solid that only needed about 15 minutes.
I pressure cooked (on high) my soup on the “soup” setting in my instant pot for 30 minutes and let it cool down naturally. The pot kept the soup hot (warming) until we could sit dow to eat about 2 1/2 to 3 hours later. I added some finely cut greens/kale to the soup that cooked just enough before serving. It was a big hit on a cold damp fall day. 6 quart pot served 5 hungry adults.
thanks for adding the time! just what I was searching for.
Totally agree! There are many models of Instant Pot. Just say how many minutes for clarity!
Just to clarify, my pressure cooker is the InstaPot brand, so will the directions will be the same as what you used for your Instant Pot cooker? I’m hoping that the recipe will translate between brands!
It’s the same!!
Alicia | freshbabygear
Look so yummy!
I have never used an instant pot and am intrigued by it! Maybe I will need to get one.. anything that makes homemade chicken soup easier.
I’m so excited to find this recipe! I got an InstaPot recently and absolutely love it. I’m going to try this this week! Thank you!
I wish this had been answered already. Anyone care to share how much radish you added?
I wonder if she meant turnip. Even if that’s not what was meant, it would work fine
I saw where she said 1/4 turnip or radish. The radish was to be 1/4 cup or less.
She said she used a Daicon radish which is larger than the more common radishes but the cube size stated would not yield very much. I just adapt and would use more carrots and 2 or maybe 3 ribs of celery. A “stalk” (entire head) would be too much.
1/4 of a turnip or 1/4 of a cup of a daikon radish is what she said she used. I’m making some now and I used just a tad more then a 1/4 cup of radish. I also used about 4 and a 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs instead of 3 and I used about 6 celery stalks and 4 large carrots plus some leeks and 8oz of sliced mushrooms. I also added about 5 small red potatoes cut in 4ths. I’ll let ya know! I made this once before without any turnip or radish but did add small potatoes cut in half and it was very good. My hubby didn’t care to much for the seasoning, couldn’t understand why you’d put italian seasoning in a chicken soup recipe but we still liked it. In the recipes defense, I added more then the tablespoon it called for due to the extra ingredients. This time I just used the amount of spice called for. I’ll let ya know!!
after the chicken etc has cooked and you remove to debone , she just added chicken back into pot and served. Isn’t there a lot of fat from the chicken floating on top? I want to use frozen chicken thighs, do I need to add extra time? I have only had my pot a couple of weeks or so and have made stew and cooked a whole chicken, both were terrific…
There is Fat, but I usually chill it overnight. Then I can easily scoop out the hardened fat. I add a quarter lemon to my soup. It brings out more flavor from the bones. Sometimes, the chicken and veg have flavor. Sometimes, they give it all to the broth and you have to add in fresh veg and chicken meat. The dogs love the spent chick and veg. DEBONE CAREFULLY.
Turnip or other root vegetable not radish hahaha
Looking for the answer to this, too.
Glad I am not the only one.. I was wondering the same thing. Like how much are you suppose to use?? Is it 1/4 cup?
1/4 of a turnip or a 1/4 cup of a daicon radish
I plan on making this next week.. going to wing it since some of the instructions are questionable.. lol but after reading some of the comments I think I know what I am going to do 🙂
Drumsticks.. 1 turnip.. i don’t like celery so I might use another veggie or just add extra carrots 🙂 might add some of those cute little potatoes. Mmm I look forward to making this. Thank you.
I think that you may not like celery, but overall celery adds a flavor that blends really well with carrots and onions. You could probably cook it, then take the celery out. Keep the benefit of the flavor medley.
She refers to a daikon radish, which is very large — much bigger than a carrot say.
^This. Daikon radishes can be quite large (especially the ones grown in Japan!) It is a very mild radish.
She used 1/4 cup chopped daikon radish.
Thanks for all your amazing work! Sorry to be off-topic; but which cloth diapers do you use?
Made this soup tonight. It was a big hit!
I have been resisting buying this pot because I like to make a lot of soup at once and freeze it. How many quarts does this recipe yield?
I love the saying about cooking with pressure :-)))). Instant Pot is the best appliance I have ever bought. Even things that could easily be cooked on the hob end up in it :-).
Is it possible to cook whole chicken frozen? Or do I need to thaw it first?
You can use frozen ingredients in the Instant Pot, and you don’t even need to adjust the cooking time, as it will simply take longer to reach pressure.
I also have this question.
I”m trying it with frozen chicken now and adding potatoes. I’ll let you know 🙂
Rachel, how was it? I’m thinking I might add potatoes, I also only have thighs on hand. Think they would be fine, or need a whole chicken?
I didn’t use whole chicken but frozen chicken thighs and potatoes as well and it came out great!
How long do you cook the soup? I don’t see that in the instructions, just press “Soup”.
I was just wondering the same thing!! I think I’ll cook for… 20 minutes?
The instant pot defaults to 30 minutes on high pressure when you use the soup button.
Mine defaulted to 14min ><
I believe it defaults to whatever time you last put in at that setting. I use my “soup” setting to make bone broth, so it will come up with 120 minutes when I press “soup”. It’s not standardized, so it should be added to the recipe.
Yummy soup! Having it for lunch right now!
Just wondering about “Crush the carrots and celery gently against the side of the pot
with the back of a spoon.” These carrots seem cut, should they be smushed/smashed or is just cut as you’ve shown them fine? What are we going for?
The soup is amazing. I used drumsticks which were already seasoned ( eight of them) added
rudaba instead of the turnip & one quarter head of cabbage with potatoes & carrots. Did not
have to use any other seasonings because the seasoning merinated the drumsticks. Delicious
mexican style chicken soup. Thank you for this recipe. JR Fresno, CA
PS. The instant Pot Pro is a must have in any kitchen, I use it every day.
Any idea if you can do this with frozen chicken and maybe sub radish for potatoes?
And how many servings is this?
I made this soup tonight and it turned out great. The only changes I made was I used boneless thighs and 2 cans of low sodium chicken broth and 2 cups of water. My family liked it and it was very easy to make.
The instruction, “When the timer goes off, release the pressure naturally, using NPR. ”
What is NPR?
I don’t have an instant pot, but I am shopping for one.
Natural Pressure Release- aka do nothing. Let the pressure release on it’s own.
Cooking now.. Hubby had a bad cold.
This came out so delicious! Thank you. We just got an 8 quart Instant Pot and we’re intimidated at first like you. I used 2 chicken legs (free range, we raise our own) and doubled the carrots and celery. I boiled egg noodles separately and added at the end. Yum!
Made this today and holy cow is it awesome! So easy and so tasty! I am so picky about soup and was worried but this was amazing! Thank you so much for sharing!
How long does the soup cook? This will be the first time I’ve used the Instant Pot.
If I want to eat at 7:00, what time should I press SOUP?
How many minutes does the soup cook? This is my first time using the instant pot so I’m a bit confused.
It defaults to 30 min but that’s a long time for small chicken
Anyone know about the frozen chicken? I have frozen on hand do I just throw frozen in. First time with the InstaPot…
I’ve cooked frozen chicken breasts in my instant pot and they come out perfectly!
This was a delicious soup! I used a whole turnip cubbed and it reminded me of a potato. I love that because with the turnip it makes it more filling with 0 watcher points compared to a potato which has 5 points. How many servings are in this recipe?
This recipe sounds fantastic! Looking forward to making it in my instant pot. I’d like to add some little pasta shells to it – any idea how much additional water I should add for 1 cup of shells?
Cook shells separately in salted water. If you add it to the pressure cooker it will be overcooked
Thanks for the recipe! I couldn’t find a turnip at the grocery store so I used a parsnip instead. I also added a cooked bag of peas after I returned the chicken to the pot. My very picky teenager declared it the best chicken soup I’ve ever made:)
So good. I added potatoes and cabbage and used homemade chicken broth. In the future, I would double the vegetable quantity. For those wondering about frozen chicken, I had no problem using large frozen chicken breasts with this recipe.
Did you use the same cooking time?
This is AMAZING. Saving this recipe and I’ll be making it over and over again. Thank you thank you! I’ve never made a chicken soup from total scratch before (using a whole chicken) because I’ve been too intimidated. This made it easy and fun, and is truly the best chicken soup I’ve ever had. Can’t wait to make this for people!
HaHa…HI! You just never know who you’ll bump into on the interwebs. I feel the same way about chicken soup from scratch. So happy to hear your success and can’t wait to try it.
bahahaha HEYYYY girl hey. You’ll love this soup too! I’m making it again today 🙂
Just got my instantpot and found your recipe. Made it,loved it. Thanks a bunch! Susan
Do I use “soup” default setting time 30 minutes or adjust the time for smaller whole chicken (2.5 lb) to 20 minutes or so?
If I need to make this recipe for 6 lbs of chicken, do I just double up on all the ingredients? What about the cooking time?
How many minutes does “soup” need to be on. Because it just pulls up 120 from when I just made bone broth.
I made this before and can’t remember the Soup time.
Probably too late, but on my Instant Pot the “Soup” setting is 30 minutes.
Looking to make this for the first time. Question on the carrots…won’t they be too mushy if it cooks for 30 mins? We like them cooked firmer.
Hi, could you tell us all how long we should cook the soup for? I think quite a few of us have asked that question. Otherwise it looks like an awesome recipe and I’m excited to try it tomorrow! Thanks so much!
This was a very tasty, easy recipe! I left out the Italian seasoning, though, because I was making matzoh balls to serve with the soup and that just seemed like they wouldn’t go together. I left everything else the same and it was perfect!
Thank you for the recipe. Was skeptical at first and pleasantly surprised at how flavorful the soup was. We addd some already cooked brown rice to it after done cooking to give it some substance.
Hello, want to make this tonight. Can I use chicken breasts instead of the whole chicken?
Was also looking for time.
As people mentioned ,on some or all it has memory for last use , which is not going to work if it was way different than what we need for this.
I’m cooking this shortly and I will just put it on the regular timer 30 minutes ,hope that works but the soup cycle seems too iffy.
The photo of the finished soup has delicious looking chicken, carrots,potatoes, onions, etc.; yet you say to mash the vegetables with the back of a spoon. How did you keep those vegetables seemingly perfect to eat when you cook on “soup” and natural release? Do you add more vegetables?
No pressure cooking after adding the carrots and celery? They’re going to be uncooked?
For future reference, scallions and green onions are the same thing, so don’t sweat it! ?
Can you use stock instead of water?
I just made this for the first time and I think stock would be too much. Water works fine
Excellent recipe, made this evening and the soup was perfect!
This soup is cooking as I type. My chicken was in my freezer so I thawed it by putting it on the cooking grate with 2 cups water in my instant pot for 10 min. I will use the water that was left in my pot after my chicken partially cooked/thawed as part of my cooking liquid to make the recipe. I am going to use Butternut squash “noodles” that I spiralized to add in after the steam pressure has released. They will cook in the hot soup while I am carefully remove the chicken meat off the bones to add back into the soup. My house smells wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
This recipe only allows for 2.5 cups of liquid before it reaches the full capacity. I have the IP Duo Plus.
I am hoping when I take the chicken out I can cook it for a couple of minutes to warm the other 2 cups.
I have the 6 quart Insta pot and was able to add all 5 cups of water…
First time using my instapot. Good news is that this soup is great, bad news is that my husband has the flu and I was looking for a really good recipe. I’d add more vegetables next time. Loved the turnip! My only problem was removing the whole chicken without it falling apart in the pot so I had a few bones that were missed. Plan to use the bones tomorrow for bone broth!
Marcia G Maiten
I had the same situation with bones left in the soup so now I place the chicken in a large, single layer of cheesecloth and tie it at the top. Just lift it out when soup finished. No more bones.
What a great idea! I’m going to do that next time!
Very good recipe. I found that 2 bay leaves were too strong, but I reduced it to 1 and used kosher salt as I only had fine sea salt and the soup was too salty. These modifications were perfect for my family.
This recipe is wonderful! We have had the flu go through the extended family and everyone is asking for it. I used two parsnips instead of the radish and added 1/2 bag of egg noodles to make chicken noodle soup. I have used everything from leftover chicken to frozen chicken in this recipe, haven’t changed anything else and it comes out perfect every time. Thank you for a wonderfully seasoned recipe that is easier than most.
I just bought my Instapot and will try the recipe. Here’s one thing I don’t understand – when making soup on the stove, there are stages to go through, such as softening the onions in the bacon fat (then the onions take on the flavor) or mix the spices to make a paste that then flavors the veggies…….. how does the Instapot replicate those techniques?
Great recipe. New to instant pot. Had it for dinner and then skimmed and froze leftover broth. Used leftover chicken for chicken salad the next day. Very easy and very healthy! Thank you for sharing.
Can you share your recipe for chicken salad?
I have been holding off getting an Instant Pot because I don’t want to ruin our precious, pastured roasts. From trial and error with using the slow cooker, I learned that the pork roasts and beef roasts we make tend to take 11 to 12 hours too cook, and that is the smaller sized ones, when they are around 2.5 to 4 pounds. Larger sizes can take 14 hours to be tender. Most slow cooker recipes say to cook for 8 to 10 hours. When I’ve tried to cook a roast for that time frame, at best it is tended around the outside, but the inner area is still tough and at worst, the whole thing was still tough. I also don’t add veggies until the last 3 to 4 hours of cook time because we like them soft, but not complete mush. If I added veggies at the beginning, then they are just mush and the flavor is also cooked completely out of them as well as any seasoning. So I have reservations about spending money on the Instant Pot to find out that it won’t cook our roasts. Also, I have wondered why you have to skim the nasty looking foamy and gray gunk when making soup on the stove top or in a slow cooker, but don’t need to/can’t do that with a pressure cooker. My understanding is that that foamy/gray gunk was “impurities”. What happens to them with a pressure cooker?
Nancy, I’ve used my 6-qt Instant Pot for lean free-range beef in the form of stew cubes, small roasts, and briskets. It has always come out wonderfully tender and flavorful. I probably use the IP most often for beans, dal, and rice, and for chicken bone broth, all of which it does really well, but when I want to cook beef I’ve become confident that the IP will do a great job of that as well.
I haven’t had a problem with gray foam when making chicken soup in the IP. Maybe the high pressure steaming changes the chicken protein such that it doesn’t produce that.
I can’t find a free-roaming chicken in my area. Please help! Can regular chicken be used?
I have made this at least 10 times over the past year! My wife and I love it! I double the carrots and celery and use parsnips instead of radish. I’m in the process of making it again tonight for round 11.
So glad you have enjoyed it, Mike!
Best chicken soup recipe! Now my go-to. Never miss the noodles- and Im a noodle lover! Thank you!
So glad you enjoyed it!
Thank you for this recipe, going to make this today!
The soup was good however when I took the chicken out it fell apart. Problem is bones were throughout my soup, little bits of bone and big bones mixing with the veggies and broth, very hard to pick out. Ideas?
I use parsnips instead of turnip or radish.
Do you recommend putting in a whole chicken or chicken pieces? If pieces…which ones work best?
Hi Hilary, this recipe calls for a whole chicken 🙂
What is ‘pasteurized’ chicken?”
Pastured chicken is chicken raised on pasture rather than in cages or warehouses.
Thank you Heather. I misread “pastured” and ended up with ‘pasteurized’. Your recipe is really really tasty. I did use chicken thighs and all was good.Thanks again.
You forgot to mention what size of IP is suitable for this recipe?
Can the chicken be frozen when you make this recipe?
You can also add a cup of rice to this soup,
Hi Heather, I absolutely love your emails! They are so interesting, and full of very worthwhile information! We bought a Instant Pot a little while ago, and my son first used it a few weeks ago to make chicken, and then a few other meats. I was not aware that it was like a pressure cooker until he used it. I felt like I would not have bought it had I have known that. I am a lover of soups and chicken soup is my all time favourite! I have just seen your beautiful photos of your chicken soup, and read the recipe. You have just changed my life, because I now realize how useful this Instant Pot will be to me. I always say that I could live on soups, and some vegetables and I will be looking on your emails for any of your recipes that use the Instant Pot! At the price of organic vanilla extract, which I love to use, I will be most certainly be making your vanilla extract. Thank you so much for all that you do, I think that you are pretty amazing!!! Warm Regards, Susan