When I ask my kids what their absolute favorite meal is, they often say mommy’s chicken soup. (It’s a fierce competitor to In-N-Out burgers.) My whole family loves it, and it has a mysterious healing power for curing a cold. Probably because every time I make this soup, my kids eat second and third servings, reviving their appetite. This Instant pot chicken soup only takes 10~15 minutes of prep time, mostly dumping ingredients into my 8-quart Instant Pot.
Before I got an Instant Pot, I only made chicken soup once in a while. It felt like a lot of work for a weeknight meal, even using chicken breast or thighs. With an Instant Pot, making chicken soup with a whole young chicken is a breeze, and it became one of my go-to easy dinners. The only downside to this meal is that it will take about one hour and a half to cook (hands off), so you must plan ahead. We don’t want hangry kids impatiently waiting for dinner.
Washing chicken makes a cleaner-tasting soup
I use a small whole chicken with its neck and giblets already removed from the market. However, depending on where I shop, sometimes the giblets are packed in a little plastic bag and stuffed inside the cavity. If you’re not sure, check the cavity of the chicken and remove the giblets before cooking.
I usually don’t wash raw chicken and have made this dish without rinsing the chicken many times. Although they turned out fine, I found some whole chicken to be a bit gamey. To be safe, now I rinse the whole chicken inside and out under cold water and trim some fatty parts near the cavity. It results in a much cleaner-tasting soup. The tedious part is that you must disinfect the sink and kitchen once you’re done washing the chicken—yup, not my favorite part, but worth it for the result. Once you get through this part, it’s easy peasy. I place the cleaned chicken straight into my 8 quarts Instant Pot, breast-side facing up.
This is where a larger Instant Pot comes in handy. Currently, I have 8 quarts and 3 quarts Instant Pot at home.Jump to Recipe
How to use the Instant Pot
Once the chicken is in, it’s just a matter of adding all other ingredients (except noodles) into the bowl and get the machine running. If this is your first time using an Instant Pot, don’t feel scared about this pressure cooker. You just got to secure the lid, turn on the machine, and click the soup function (pressure high) set to 25 minutes. Done!
Now you can walk away until the chicken soup is cooked. The machine is going to take time to build up the pressure, then start the 25 minutes countdown. This is why the total cooking time is longer than the minutes set for pressure cooking. Once the 25 minute count down is over, it will start releasing pressure very slowly, aka “natural release.” Let Instant Pot release the pressure naturally for about 15 minutes. Then you can manually release the remaining pressure. Make sure you don’t go too close to the hot steam with your bare hands. Once all the pressure is released, open the lid, and add more salt to taste.
Since my kids could handle a little heat, I added Creole seasoning to the soup. I use the no-salt seasoning blend since I like to control the salt level separately from the seasoning. It adds a subtle kick and extra flavor.
I also add a tbsp of mirin to the soup. Mirin is Japanese rice wine, and it’s widely used in Asian cuisine, including Korean. I use it in a similar way to using white wine in cooking but in smaller quantities. A little bit of mirin can add noticeable sweetness.
Don’t forget the noodles and cream
My kids love the egg noodles in this soup! If you plan to finish the soup in one sitting, cook the noodles in the soup. Cooking in the soup would lead to more flavorful noodles, but the noodles will continue to soak up the liquid when stored for later. Once the soup is fully cooked, remove the chicken to make some room, briefly turn off the machine, then turn it back on by pressing the saute function. Add a bit more water and egg noodles and cook per package directions.
I believe the add-ins totally elevate this dish, and my favorites are a squeeze of lemon juice, freshly ground peppers, a splash of half n half (heavy cream works too), and red pepper flakes for my husband and me. I also love to add radish slices to mine for some crunch. My kids prefer chopped avocado.
Cook the noodles separately if you plan to store leftovers when making chicken noodle soup. Store the soup and noodles separately and combine right before serving. This way, you prevent the noodles from absorbing all the juice. I typically heat leftover soup in a pot over the stove and add the noodles once the soup is simmering
Also, you might want to check out Instant Pot Korean Style Drumettes.
I would love to hear from you if you tried and enjoyed this recipe!
Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Soup
It only takes 10~15 minutes to prep for this delicious family favorite meal using a whole chicken.
- 1 small cleaned whole chicken about 3~4 lb
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 1 large or 2 small parsnips chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp salt more to taste after cooking
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp no-salt Creole seasoning optional
- 1 tbsp mirin optional
- chicken broth or water see instructions
- 12 oz egg noodles
- Add-ins: lemon juice, pepper, red pepper flakes, half n half, sliced radishes, chopped cilantro, chopped avocado
Add chicken, breast-side up, into an Instant Pot. Add onion, celery, carrots, parsnip, bay leaves, salt, Creole seasoning, and mirin.
Add chicken broth, water, or a combination of both to the pot to the max fill line.
Close the Instant Pot and set settings to Soup function (high pressure), 25 minutes.
Once 25 minutes countdown is over, natural release for 15 minutes.
Cook the noodles separately in a pot and add to the chicken soup when serving. This is the prefered option if planning to store leftovers.
Alternatively, take out the chicken to make some room and add more water if needed. Turn on saute function. Once the soup is boiling, add noodles and cook per package direction. Add more salt to taste.
Serve soup along with the chicken. Add lemon juice, pepper, red pepper flakes, and half n half to taste. Top with sliced radishes, cilantro, or avocado if desired.
- Plan ahead for this meal because the Instant Pot takes time to build up pressure and release in addition to the actual pressure cooking time.
- Cook the noodles separately if you plan to store leftovers when making chicken noodle soup. Store the soup and noodles separately and combine right before serving. This way, you prevent the noodles from absorbing all the juice.