Instant Pot Whole Chicken Soup

This instant pot whole chicken soup recipe couldn’t be easier. Just place the ingredients in your pressure cooker, set the timer and you’ll be slurping down this delicious and comforting soup in no time.

Higher view of the chicken soup in a bowl and on a blue napkin

Everyone knows that chicken soup is great for you when you are feeling under the weather. They also can appreciate that it’s comforting and can be eaten year round, even when you’re at perfect health.

But one tends to forget how delicious it is. And the beauty about this recipe is it’s super easy to make.

Want to learn how to use an instant pot? Click here to read my article about the presser cooker.

Don’t have an instant pot? Try my other chicken soup recipe.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you click the link and buy something. You can read my disclosure here.

Helpful tips

  • Buy organic free-range chicken. There are no hormones or added antibiotics, which experts have written aren’t good for us. It’s not that much more expensive than conventional chicken but tastes so much better and is probably healthier.
  • They’ve changed their recommendation on whether to wash poultry before cooking it. They now say that washing chicken increases the chances of getting food poisoning and of cross contaminating other things, like tools, surfaces and utensils in the kitchen. Here are twowebsites that talk about it.
    • What I do is unwrap the chicken, drain the liquid straight down the drain and pat the bird dry with a paper towel, both inside and out.
  • If your chicken comes with a bag of giblets in the cavity, like mine did, you can add them to the instant pot insert along with the rest of the chicken and throw away the bag. Love me some giblets!
  • I recommend using chicken broth because it enhances the flavor, but if you don’t have any on hand, use water instead.
  • The best chicken broth I’ve ever had (other than homemade), is Trader Joe’s organic, free-range broth. The end.
  • You can use any soup pasta in this recipe. I use orzo because I find it very satisfying but ditalini is also good in this soup.
  • Even though I use an instant pot, any pressure cooker will work.
  • If you are used to peeling your carrots, try washing them and leaving the skin on. You will get more nutrients from the peels.
  • To do a quick release of pressure, first wait for 10 minutes then don an oven mitt and either tap the venting knob gently until the pressure has fully released or turn the knob to the venting position, which will then take an additional 3 – 5 minutes to release the pressure. Please be careful as you can get scalded by the steam.
    • Make sure the silver pressure indicator has dropped before you open the lid.
  • When the instant pot is as full as it is with this recipe and you are adding an extra ingredient past the regular cooking time (in this case, orzo), it can sometimes be difficult to replace the lid on all that pressure now generated by the heat and steam of the contents. Here’s my work-around: press the cancel button and unplug the IP. Place the lid on it (it may take you a few tries) and lock it – then you can plug it back in and continue with the recipe.

How to make instant pot whole chicken soup

Pre-step

Get your instant pot or pressure cooker out. Unwrap the chicken and pat dry both inside and out with a paper towel.

Step one

Gather the vegetables – onions, carrots and celery.

Onions, carrots and celery for the soup

Step two

Cut the vegetables in chunks and get the chicken broth. (1)

Step three

Get the dried herbs – basil, tarragon and parsley. (2)

Veggies, broth and herbs on a grey table

Step four

Place chicken in the instant pot insert, along with the giblets, if they came with your chicken. (A)

Step five

Add the vegetables on top. (B)

Chicken in the pan insert on the left and the veggies added on the right

Step six

Add chicken broth, water, herbs, salt and garlic paste. (C)

Step seven

Place the cover on the instant pot and lock it in place. Make sure the venting knob is in the sealed position and press the pressure cooker button. The settings should be on normal mode and high pressure. Set the timer for 27 minutes.

Since the instant pot is pretty full, it will take up to 25 minutes to come to pressure. Don’t worry, that is normal.

Step eight

After the instant pot beeps that it is done, let it rest for 10 minutes before doing a quick release. (See helpful tips above for how to do that.)

Step nine

Open instant pot. (D)

Broth and herbs added to the instant pot and cooked

Take out chicken and set it aside. Add orzo or other soup pasta. (E)

Step ten

Replace the cover on the instant pot, seal it and make sure the venting knob is again in the sealed position. Press the pressure cooker button again and set the timer to 6 minutes.

The instant pot will only take a few minutes to get back to pressure.

Step eleven

You can either do a quick release after 10 minutes (see tips again) or you can let it release naturally, which will take an additional 25 – 30 minutes.

Step twelve

Start removing the chicken skin and breaking it up into smaller pieces. It will be hot so be very careful not to burn yourself.

There will be a lot of chicken meat. I never use the meat from the whole chicken in the soup, but set aside some of the breast meat to make chicken salad.

Replace chicken to the IP insert and stir. (F)

Orzo added to the soup and chicken shredded

Step thirteen

Either serve the soup straight out of the IP insert or transfer to a big enough serving bowl or pan as I did.

Cast iron pan filled with chicken soup

Ladle chicken soup in a few bowls and get some bread.

Closer view of the chicken soup in two bowls with bread in the background

How about a closer view?

Close up view of the soup with a chicken and carrot in forefront

I hope you enjoyed this instant pot whole chicken soup recipe as much as we do.

I hope you all stay well and don’t ‘need’ to eat this soup, but WANT to eat it. Stay safe out there!

Other delicious soup recipes

And as always, may all your dishes be delish!

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love the know what you thought about it in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

Overhead view of the soup in grey bowls

Instant Pot Whole Chicken Soup

This comforting and delicious soup recipe doesn't have to be eaten just when you're feeling under the weather, it's great year round even when you're feeling in tip top shape.
5 from 19 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken soup, soup recipes, whole chicken recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 33 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes
Servings: 10 cups
Calories: 237kcal

Ingredients

  • 3.25 pound whole chicken (pat dry with a paper towel, inside and out)
  • 2 medium onions (chopped)
  • 5 carrots (sliced)
  • 2 stalks celery (sliced)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups water (or 2 – do not go over the maximum level line in the instant pot)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste (or two cloves – chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon basil (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon parsley (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup orzo (or other soup pasta)

Instructions

  • Place chicken, breast side up (and giblets if they came with the chicken) in the instant pot
    3.25 pound whole chicken
  • Add the rest of the ingredients (other than the orzo)
    2 medium onions, 5 carrots, 2 stalks celery, 4 cups chicken broth, 1.5 cups water, 2 teaspoons garlic paste, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon tarragon, 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cover the IP and lock it. Make sure the venting knob is set to sealed and press the pressure cooker button. Make sure the settings are in normal mode and high pressure. Set the timer to 27 minutes
  • When IP beeps, either do a quick release after 10 minutes (see notes on how to do that) or let it release the pressure naturally but that will take up to 30 minutes.
  • Open IP and carefully remove the chicken and set aside
  • Add orzo, stir and cover the IP again and lock it. Make sure the venting knob is set to the sealed postion and press the pressure cooker button again. Set the timer to 6 minutes. (The IP will not take as long to come to pressure – probably around 5 minutes)
    1 cup orzo
  • Once the IP beeps again, either do a quick release after 10 minutes or let it release it's pressure naturally but know that it will take another 25 – 30 minutes
  • Remove the skin and break the chicken apart in smaller pieces. Please be careful at this point not to burn yourself as the chicken will be hot. You won't need to use all the chicken into the soup, I separate the breast meat and pack it away to make chicken salad. There will be enough chicken for the soup
  • Return the chicken to the IP and either serve it from there or transfer to a big enough bowl or pan
  • Serve
  • Eat
  • Enjoy
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Notes

I don’t add the time for the instant pot to come to pressure or to release its pressure to how long this recipe takes. Add an hour to the time and you will have a rough estimate.
Helpful tips
  • Buy organic free-range chicken. There are no hormones or added antibiotics which have been written by experts that they aren’t good for you. It’s not that much more expensive than conventional chicken but tastes so much better and is healthier for you.
  • They’ve changed their recommendation on whether to wash poultry before cooking it. They say that washing chicken gives you a higher chance of getting food poisoning. And a chance of cross contaminating other things like tools and utensils in the kitchen. Here are two websites that talks about it.
    • What I do is unwrap it, drain the liquid straight down the drain and pat it dry with a paper towel, both in the inside and out.
  • I’ve been noticing that chickens aren’t coming with that bag of giblets in the cavity. This chicken had them inside so I added the giblets in the instant pot insert along with the whole chicken. Love me some giblets!
  • You don’t need to use chicken broth but it does enhance the flavor. But if you don’t have it on hand, you can use water instead.
  • The best chicken broth I’ve ever had (other than homemade), is Trader Joe’s organic, free-range broth. The end.
  • You can use any soup pasta in this recipe. I use orzo because I find it very satisfying but ditalini is also good in this soup.
  • Even though I use an instant pot, any pressure cooker will work.
  • If you are used to peeling your carrots, try washing them and leaving the skin on. You will get more nutrients from the peels.
  • To do a quick release of pressure, first wait for 10 minutes and then don an oven mitt and either tap the venting knob gently until the pressure has released or turn the knob to the venting position. It will take an additional 3 – 5 minutes to release the pressure. Please be careful as you can get scalded by the steam.
    • Make sure the silver pressure indicator has dropped.
  • When my instant pot is as full as it is with this recipe, and you are adding an ingredient like orzo, sometimes it is difficult to replace the lid to let the added ingredient cook.
    • Here’s my work-around: press the cancel button and unplug the IP. Place the lid on it (it may take you a few tries) and lock it – then you can plug it back in and continue with the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 658mg | Potassium: 403mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5239IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
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34 Comments

  1. In this crazy world we are living in right now, comfort food is high on the list. Soup is always a great choice. This looks delicious, and the whole family would love this for dinner any night of the week.

  2. Super comforting and great for freezing large batches at a time! I love that you use the holy trinity of carrots, onion, and celery, so much flavor! Great recipe.

  3. First time cooking a whole chicken to prepare soup and this doesn’t disappoint. So comforting and full of flavors, exactly what we all need right now.

    1. Thanks Anita! I love cooking it like this because all of the chicken stays moist. I don’t like dry breast meat so it’s a great way for me to have it. Thank you for your comment.

  4. I love the orzo in the soup! This looks so hearty and comforting…I want to make this tonight!

  5. I love this recipe! I love that it uses my instant pot. I love that it uses a whole chicken (even the giblets) and it’s so easy. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. I’m so lucky that hubby doesn’t like giblets. Yay! Thanks for your comment and I hope you enjoy it, Krissy!

  6. This looks like a wonderful chicken soup recipe. I am going to save this one for the cooler weather as Florida temps are rising already! I love how you added the holy trinity and that really adds a wonderful layer of flavor. Looking forward to having this our next cold snap!!!

    1. Thanks Heidy! I totally understand about waiting for cooler weather, especially in FL as it can get so humid there. I am a soup junkie and will eat it any time of the year, but I wonder if that would be true if I liked in high humidity! Food for thought.

    1. I prefer it with the whole chicken, that way I can eat the meat I want and hub can eat what he wants too! Thanks for your comment Karen!

  7. The perfect comfort meal. Chicken soup is perfect to serve to family. It’s nutritious, comforting, fulling and healthy.

  8. Times like these I wish I had invested in an instant pot! This looks absolutely delicious! I could go for a big bowl of this soup right now…perfect instant pot recipe to try!

    1. I say it’s well worth the investment. I was hesitant to use it when I got it but now I use it 3 times a week. Thanks for the comment Tammy!

  9. Oh, I love comfort food and I love this recipe, it’s easy, delicious and healthy meal to make for the whole family. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  10. I know exactly what I am making for dinner with that whole chicken I have thawing out right now because this recipe hits all the right notes.

  11. This looks amazing and comforting all rolled into one! I love the idea of using orzo, thanks for posting this!

  12. My favorite kind of soup. I love using my instant pot often and make chicken soup quite often too. Your version is very interesting. Definitely going to give this a try.

  13. This was the best chicken soup i have had! It was really easy to make, with an amazing result!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that. I make it all the time myself, even in the summer. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment Farrukh!

    1. I’m so glad you think so Geoff. It’s my favorite soup and I’m actually making it tonight for supper. Thanks for letting me know.

  14. Very good!
    I added turmeric & Tony’s More Spice, but did everything else the same…Yum!
    Oh, added a bit of Apple Vinegar too!

    1. That sounds awesome, Desere. I’ve never put turmeric in the soup and now I have to. I also have to find Tony’s More spice as I’m intrigued. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.