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+ servings
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.
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


  • 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)


  • Place chicken, breast side up (and giblets if they came with the chicken) in the instant pot
  • Add the rest of the ingredients (other than the orzo)
  • 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)
  • 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


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.


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