Tortilla Soup
This recipe seems like a bit of wizardry. By starting with frozen quesadillas, you can transform enchilada sauce and broth into a fast tortilla soup. The recipe works because the filling in those quesadillas (the vegetables, meat, cheese, chiles, and whatever else) falls out and adds body to the soup while the tortillas thicken the enchilada sauce as they expand and thaw. When you open the pot, you’ll find the tortillas on top have puffed up. Don’t worry— you’ll cut them down to smaller bits. Use either corn or flour quesadillas— and any variety you like. We found this soup worked best with the frozen quesadillas that come two to a 12-ounce package. But in the end, since this dish is a soup, not a stew, there’s leeway for the types and sizes of quesadillas you can use.
Servings Prep Time
6servings 3min
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
6servings 3min
Cook Time
  • 2 1/4cups red enchilada sauce19‑ounce can
  • 2cups chickenor vegetable broth
  • 1tsp stemmed fresh thyme leavesor 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ground cumin
  • 6-8 frozen quesadillas or gluten-free quesadillas of any flavor
  1. Press the button SAUTÉ. Set it for HIGH, MORE, or CUSTOM 400°F and set the time for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir the enchilada sauce, broth, thyme, cinnamon, and cumin in an Instant Pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until several wisps of steam come up off the sauce. Add the frozen quesadillas to the sauce without pushing them to the bottom of the pot. (The tops of a couple of the quesadillas will perhaps not be touched by the sauce.) Lock the lid onto the pot.
  3. Option 1 Max Pressure Cooker
    Press Pressure cook on Max pressure for 5 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
  4. Option 2 All Pressure Cookers
    Press Soup/Broth or Pressure cook (Manual) on High pressure for 8 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off. The valve must be closed.
  5. Use the quick-­release method to return the pot’s pressure to normal. Unlatch the lid and open the pot. Use cleaned kitchen shears to cut up the quesadillas, or pull them to rough shreds with two forks. Serve the soup by scooping up the broth with bits of the tortillas and their (former) filling.
Recipe Notes

• For an 8-quart Instant Pot, you must increase the broth to 3 cups.
• For a heartier soup, add one drained and rinsed 15-ounce can of black or red kidney beans or one drained 15-ounce can of corn to the pot after you release the pressure and cut up the quesadillas. Simmer on the SAUTÉ function at MEDIUM, NORMAL, or CUSTOM 300°F for 2–3 minutes, stirring often, just to heat the beans and corn through.

• For a thicker stew, add one of those cans of vegetables mentioned above, plus up to 1 pound chopped, skinned,and deboned rotisserie chicken meat. Simmer in the same way.