Instant Pot Perfect Chicken Queso Soup

This soup was such a big hit, I can’t wait to make it again. It’s a perfect balance of hearty, warm, fresh and just the right touch of spicy. The flavors are amazing–this may be the soup you’ll never want to stop eating. And in the Instant Pot, it comes together in that “set it and forget it” way that we love!

Oh, and did we mention that it’s also gluten-free and keto-friendly? It really deserves to be called the perfect chicken queso soup.

For a heartier, chunkier soup, choose a chunky salsa, or use a mixture of salsa and diced tomatoes (canned or fresh work). Cutting the salsa with diced tomatoes is also a great way to cut the spiciness.

Want to ramp up the spiciness? Add additional hot sauce after cooking the soup. Hot sauce can mellow out under pressure, so if you want extra spice, always add it when the pressure cooking cycle is complete.

This may be the soup you’ll never want to stop eating.


Pot Mixture:

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh salsa
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2  tsp ground chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

To Finish:

  • 8 oz package cream cheese, softened and cubed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup cotija (or queso fresco), crumbled
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, optional


  1. Add Pot Mixture ingredients to the Instant Pot and stir to combine, then secure the lid, making sure the vent is closed.
  2. Using the display panel select the MANUAL function*. Use the +/- keys and program the Instant Pot for 20 minutes.
  3. When the time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure.
  4. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot to a cutting board and shred, then return to the pot.
    5. Turn the pot off by selecting CANCEL, then select SAUTE.
  5. Add cream cheese and stir until melted and mostly incorporated.
  6. Stir in the Monterey jack cheese. Serve warm topped with cotija and chopped cilantro.

*The MANUAL and PRESSURE COOK buttons are interchangeable.