I was part of the “why instant pot” group for a long time. Living in a small NYC apartment, I don’t have much room for appliances. After seeing a ton of delicious-looking recipes, recommendations from friends, and making the promise I could get rid of a few other appliances (rice cooker, slow cooker, etc.) I took the plunge and bought a 3qt instant pot. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made.
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3qt Instant Pot Basics
One of my favorite aspects of the 3qt instant pot is how easy and quick it is to make dinner. It’s perfect for 2-3 people, and depending on what you’re making, can definitely have leftovers. The meal prep time is still there – you can’t get away from chopping up veggies, sautéing meat – but everything else is made easier. You can sauté and cook in one pan (fewer dishes) and can set and forget so you don’t have to hover around a stove or oven.
Make it a One Pot Meal
When you’re done, the bowl is dishwasher safe too, so even clean up is easy. I used a separate pot here for the pasta because I feel like it helps with the consistency of the pasta and will help with the ratio of broth to pasta. If you are looking to make this a one-pot meal, you could try cooking the pasta in the broth as well, but make sure to increase the volume of liquid first.
Chicken Noodle Soup Tips
I’ve made a fair amount of instant pot dishes, but this was my first soup recipe. This soup turned out better than I imagined. The consistency of the chicken was perfect: firm, able to be shredded, and not too soft or mushy. Sometimes you can run into too-soft protein in the slow cooker, which wasn’t the case here. This might be one of the best chicken soups I’ve had.
You can definitely add fresh herbs to this, I just didn’t have any on hand. Fresh thyme or parsley would be perfect. For liquid, chicken broth can be swapped with better than bouillon chicken cubes mixed with water – I actually ended up using bouillon since I was out of chicken stock, and was surprised how delicious it turned out.
Depending on how hungry you are (or how many servings you like) there’s some wiggle room with the amount of chicken and pasta. I’d also highly suggest serving with crusty bread. It’s perfect for soaking up the delicious broth.
Easy Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot (3 qt)
- Pot (3-4 qt)
- Cutting Board
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 small yellow or spanish onion chopped
- 2 medium carrots chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- kosher salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 2.5 cups chicken broth (or substitute with better than bouillon chicken and water)
- 8 oz pasta of choice or egg noodles
- 1 loaf french or italian crusty bread (optional)
- Turn on the "sauté" function on the instant pot. Add oil and chopped vegetables (carrots, onion, and celery) and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and saute for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add bay leaves if using, chicken breasts, and salt and pepper (can be fairly liberal, but can always adjust for more later). Add chicken broth or bouillon broth mixture. Switch the instant pot setting to "soup" for 7 minutes. Let it it preheat, cook, and then let the steam naturally release. The total cook time (preheat, cook, and natural release) should take anywhere from 30-45 minutes.
- After steam has released, open instant pot and remove chicken. Discard bay leaves. Use two forks to shred the chicken and then add back to broth. Taste broth and add more salt and pepper per taste.
- In a separate pan, cook egg noodles or pasta of choice per their instructions (usually around 5-10 minutes). Once finished, add noodles to serving bowls and ladle in chicken soup broth. If preferred, serve with crusty French or Italian bread.