Instapot Southwestern Chicken Stew

We finally did it. We broke down and gave into the Instapot craze.  It always seemed like a fad that would just go away, but about two years after the craze, they’re still selling like hotcakes. And Jake couldn’t take it anymore. He claimed he was the only one at work without one. So under the guise of peer pressure, an Instapot showed up at our door. We gave away our crockpot the next day. And we haven’t looked back.

I’ve been experimenting almost daily since it arrived. And Sunday night I landed on a recipe that was worth sharing. Even if you don’t read it, I need to write it down here so I can make it again. I’m calling it a “stew” because it just seems a little too thick for soup. But technically it’s probably a soup. Either way, it’s hearty, delicious, healthy and easy. I heavily relied on Trader Joe’s freezer section, which is where the “easy” part really kicks in, but you could totally swap out fresh veggies or any of your other favorite brands. I’m sure you could also make this in a slow cooker as well, it would obviously just be, well, slower.

For the stock of the soup I started with homemade chicken broth, but any will do. If you want to make your own Instapot broth, just throw the bones of a chicken you’ve made into the pot (mine was about a chicken and half, frozen leftover from Thanksgiving) with 8 cups of water, some carrots, some bay leaves, salt, pepper, two tablespoons apple cider vinegar and half an onion. Set that pressure cooker setting to 25 minutes and do a natural release. After scoop out the bones and other paraphernalia and throw in your ingredients for a spicy fresh stew!

Warning: this stew takes up a lot of room in the pot. If that scares you, halve the recipe.

Southwestern Chicken Stew: 

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 bag fire roasted frozen corn
  • 1 bag roasted fajita veggies (onions, peppers)
  • 8 chopped crimini mushrooms
  • 2 cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground garlic
  • 1 tablespoon frozen hatch fire roasted and chopped chili puree
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 3/4 tablespoon chili powder
  • 5 frozen chicken breasts 
  • Salt and pepper to your liking (start with 1 tablespoon salt at least, add more after cooking to taste)


  • Plain greek yogurt
  • Shredded cheese
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Hot sauce
  • Lime juice

Dump every above ingredient from the chicken broth to the salt and pepper into the Instapot and set on high pressure cook for 25 minutes. Let the steam do a natural release. This will take a while because your pot will be full. If it takes more than 30 minutes, release the remainder manually. Open the pot when done and remove the chicken breasts. They should be cooked-through and very tender. Shred the chicken and return to the pot. Mix well. Serve in bowls topped with a sprinkle of lime juice and cheese, dollop of greek yogurt, hot sauce of your choice and fresh cilantro. Try not to burn your tongue. 

If you like things really hot, add more of the frozen chilis. I could have added at least 2 more tablespoons, but somebody I know can’t take the heat…


~ Cheers to easy, healthy southwestern flavors!




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