Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup has all of the hearty flavors of the old-fashioned classic in the fraction of the time.
Why Make Chicken Noodle Soup in the Instant Pot
Because it creates a deep, rich broth that tastes like grandma used to make. And compared to grandma’s version, it’s a time saver. Now, not as time saving as my Quick Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup that’s ready in 15 minutes, but in about an hour’s time (including prep, cooking, pressurizing, and depressurizing time), you can have a soup with juicy chunks of chicken and tender vegetables swimming in broth that even grandma would be envious of.
What Vegetables Should I Use for Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup?
When I’m making chicken noodle soup, I like to stick to the classic combination of carrots, celery, and onion. But on occasion, like this one, I like to add some greens in the form of kale or baby spinach. It adds another level of flavor, texture, and nutrition to this comfort food. If you prefer to stick to the classic, leave out the greens at the end of the cooking process.
Can I Cook Noodles in the Instant Pot?
Noodles can be cooked in the Instant Pot with great success. When they are added to the dish is dependent on the recipe. With recipes like my Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff or Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo the noodles are cooked during the pressure cooking time. With soups, I’ve found that the best method is to add the noodles to the broth after the pressurized cooking time is over. Setting the Instant Pot to SAUTÉ allows you to bring the broth to a boil and cook the noodles to the perfect doneness.
Another note on noodles – if I know that we won’t be eating all of the soup in one setting, I cook the appropriate serving of noodles in boiling water on the stove top, ladle the soup over them and either refrigerate or freeze the remaining soup sans noodles. This will prevent the noodles from absorbing all of the broth and becoming mushy.
What Chicken Should I Use for Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup?
Although you can use almost any part of the chicken or even a whole chicken, I recommend using boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Because they’re fattier than white meat, they stay tender and juicy during the cooking process. They also add a much richer flavor to the broth. Since there are no bones, shredding the meat after cooking is much easier than trying to remove the meat from bones or a carcass. And no skin means you don’t have to degrease the broth before serving.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
There are a couple of ways to make Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup. One way is what I call the dump and cook method. The other way involves sautéing the vegetables before pressure cooking. They both have their benefits. The dump and cook is quick and easy. The pre-sautéing method builds more flavor into the broth.
If you hadn’t guessed my preference for this recipe, it’s the pre-sautéing method. The vegetables are sautéd using the SAUTÉ function on the Instant Pot. Then the balance of the ingredients are added to the pot and the PRESSURE cooking function is employed.
In this recipe, I use unsalted chicken broth because it creates a super rich, chicken-y chicken broth. You can also use water or a combination of 1/2 chicken broth and 1/2 water.
After the cooking time and a natural pressure release is complete, the noodles are cooked to al dente by switching to the SAUTÉ function again, bringing the broth to a boil and cooking the noodles.
Serve in deep soup bowls with your favorite crackers.
Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup has all of hearty flavors of the old-fashioned classic in the fraction of the time.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 2 lbs. chicken thighs, boneless, skinless (about 8 thighs)
- 2 1/2 cups egg noodles, dry
- 1 cup kale, thick stems removed and torn into bite size pieces (baby spinach can be substituted)
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Add oil to the inner pot and select Sauté to preheat.
- When the indicator says HOT, add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 -4 minutes.
- Add the carrots and celery and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and thyme, cooking until garlic becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the bay leaves, broth, and chicken thighs. Stir to combine.
- Close and lock the lid. Make sure the steam release handle is in the sealed position.
- Select the SOUP function (or MANUAL) on high pressure and set 6 minutes cooking time.
- When time is up, allow the steam to naturally release. When the valve has dropped, unlock the lid and open carefully.
- Remove the chicken thighs and shred with two forks.
- Add the noodles to the Instant Pot and set to Sauté. Boil until the noodles are al dente, about 6 minutes.
- Switch to Warm, add the shredded chicken and kale (or spinach if substituting) and heat until greens are just wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately.