Have you discovered Instant Pot cooking yet? Ever since I bought mine I’ve been testing Pinterest recipes and developing my own in an effort to collect a wide variety of healthy meals that can be prepared quickly enough for our fast-paced lifestyle. I’m happy to tell you that the Instant Pot soup recipe I’m about to share with you is not only quick, it’s also insanely delicious. It was born out of my love for chicken tamales. Thick and hearty, this chowder has all the flavors of tamales, but unlike traditional tamales, this recipe comes together in a snap. Instant Pot Soup Recipe | Chicken Tamale Chowder

Having lived in Tucson, Arizona, for twelve years, you can bet I enjoyed my fair share of authentic tamales. My favorite variety were the chicken and green corn tamales. We’d always order a dozen for our Christmas dinner and and enjoy them along with our enchiladas and rice and beans. It may not sound like a traditional Christmas dinner but for our family, nothing says festive quite like that Mexican menu.

Instant Pot Soup Recipe | Chicken Tamale Chowder

This hearty chowder represents my best effort to deconstruct the chicken tamales I love and give them new life in an Instant Pot soup recipe. I think it quite successfully does just that. It brings together tender shredded chicken with a savory polenta that mimics the corn masa of a traditional tamale. The Mexican flavors you’d expect are brought in with the addition of cumin and chili powder and then the whole things gets a tangy zip from tomatillo salsa.

Instant Pot Soup Recipe | Chicken Tamale Chowder

Hatch chilies were in season and available in stores when I developed this recipe so I added a couple of those and they delivered just the perfect amount of heat and a nice, smoked chile flavor. If you don’t have access to fresh or frozen Hatch chilies, you can substitute a can of diced green chilies. Either way, I suggest including this recipe on your dinner menu sometime soon. Our whole family licked the bowls clean.

Instant Pot Chicken Tamale Chowder

Preparation 10 mins Cook Time 40 mins Total Time 50 mins
Serves 6     adjust servings

 This hearty chicken tamale chowder is a comforting and delicious take on the traditional tamale and comes together in an Instant Pot super quickly without any fuss.


  • 2 chicken breast halves
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta
  • 1/4 cup tomatillo salsa
  • 2 roasted Hatch chiles, seeded and diced or 2 4.5 oz cans of diced green chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Chopped cilantro, roasted corn, sour cream and Cotija cheese for garnish


  1. Place chicken breast halves, chicken stock and salt in the stainless steel bowl of your Instant Pot.
  2. Lock cover into place and seal the steam nozzle.
  3. Choose the manual setting and adjust time to 18 minutes.
  4. When cooking time is complete, allow natural depressurization for ten minutes and then release any remaining pressure.
  5. Unlock and remove the cover. Remove and shred the chicken.
  6. Return chicken to the inner pot and stir in the polenta, salsa, chiles, spice and cheese. Replace and lock the cover. Choose the manual setting and adjust the time to 12 minutes.
  7. When cooking time is complete, release pressure manually. Unlock and remove cover. Stir in heavy cream.
  8. Serve warm.
  9. Garnish as desired with cilantro, corn, sour cream and/or Cotija.


Recipe Notes

Leftovers might need to be thinned with additional chicken stock before reserving.

1 review
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 357kcal Calories from fat 112
% Daily Value
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 820mg 34%
Carbohydrate 43g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 6g
Protein 17g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

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  1. Sounds delish! Don’t you love the convenience of the Instant Pot? Can’t wait to see what other recipes you make with it.

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