Soup season is here! This tasty Southwest Ground Turkey Soup only requires 10 to 15 minutes of active prep time, thanks to your trusty Instant Pot.
Pull out your Instant Pot for this easy Southwest Ground Turkey Soup! Once the weather starts to turn colder, soups make an appearance on our menu at least a couple of times each week.
While I’d like to claim that I’m that I'm a meal prep wizard, the truth is that I’m as lazy as the next person when it comes to weeknight meals. This turkey soup recipe plays right into that laziness. The prep time is short, it uses ingredients that I almost always have on hand and the flavors are hearty and delicious without much effort from the cook.
Since I always receive positive reviews for my Beef Taco Quinoa Soup and I know how you guys love taco flavorings (see my Turkey Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes), I figured it was high time for a turkey taco soup.
What you need for this Instant Pot ground turkey soup recipe:
These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):
- Ground turkey: For soups I like to use lean ground turkey (93%). Feel free to substitute with extra lean ground turkey (99%) if you prefer.
- Mirepoix: A mirepoix is a mixture of diced vegetables, most commonly onion, celery and carrot. Cooked in a little fat (olive oil in this case), the vegetables cook down and soften to form a solid flavor base for the soup.
- Garlic: You can never have too much garlic! I used 4 cloves in this recipe.
- Seasoning: Ground cumin, dried oregano, ground coriander, salt and pepper.
- Broth: Use your favorite homemade or store-bought chicken broth. If preferred, use low sodium chicken broth.
- Rice: Brown rice is an easy way to add extra fiber to any dish. I’ve made this soup with brown basmati, brown jasmine and long grain brown rice. All work equally well.
- Corn: Either fresh or frozen corn.
- Black beans: When using canned black beans, be sure to drain and rinse the beans in a fine mesh sieve.
- Cilantro: Stir in some fresh cilantro after the soup cooks. If you don’t like cilantro, substitute with minced flat-leaf parsley.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
How to make ground turkey soup in Instant Pot:
This soup follows the same general formula as most broth-based soups. Cook the protein, cook the vegetables and aromatics and simmer everything with broth. You can’t go wrong!
Start by setting your Instant Pot to SAUTE mode and let it heat up. Coat the liner with some cooking spray and cook the ground turkey. Ground turkey has a tendency to release water when cooked in the Instant Pot. Once cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer the ground turkey to a bowl. Using a potholder, lift out the liner of the Instant Pot and discard any liquid.
Still working on SAUTE mode, cook the onions, carrot and celery in a little olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and seasonings, and cook for another minute. Things to be smelling good now!
Pour in the broth and water, and stir in the cooked ground turkey, rice and corn.
Now it’s time to let the Instant Pot do its magic! Put on the lid and set the valve to SEAL. Set the Instant Pot to HIGH pressure for 12 minutes.
Once the time expires, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then flip the valve to quick release the rest of the steam. This may take a couple of minutes – plenty of steam tends to build up when there’s a lot of liquid.
Stir in the black beans and cilantro. And don’t forget to TASTE!!! But be careful because the soup will be hot. Add more salt and pepper to suit your taste.
What to serve with turkey vegetable soup:
Soup nights in our house means easy side dishes, such as salad and sometimes bread for dipping. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Any green salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette or tahini dressing.
- Spaghetti Squash Salad with Apples – one of my favorite fall side dishes!
- Brussels sprouts salad
- Maple Pear Salad with Goat Cheese
- Southwest Spaghetti Squash Side Dish
- Mushroom Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
- Caramelized Onion Olive Oil Quick Bread
- Brush some store-bought naan with olive and sprinkle with kosher salt and Parmesan cheese. Warm in a 350 degrees F oven for 5 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! While I like the extra flavor that a little fat provides, this soup works equally well when you swap in extra lean ground turkey for the lean version.
Soup recipes are often versatile and this one is no exception. Don’t have ground turkey on hand? No problem. Use 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead, with a couple of easy changes to the cooking method.
Skip the first three steps in the recipe card below. Add the chicken breasts when the broth and rice are added. Once the time expires, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes (instead of 5). Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup.
According to the USDA, cooked ground turkey lasts for 3 to 4 days when refrigerated. Cool the soup, then transfer to airtight containers, such as these ones. Refrigerate.
Not all soup recipes freeze well, but I’ve had good luck with this healthy soup. The rice will lose a bit of its texture when frozen (becomes a little mushier), but brown rice holds up better than white rice.
Allow the soup to cool completely, then transfer to freezer ziplock bags or freezer-safe containers. If using ziplock bags, fill the bags, leaving about 1 inch of space at the top to allow for the soup to expand as it freezes. Lay the filled bags on a baking sheet. Once frozen, they can be stacked horizontally or vertically in your freezer.
Southwest Ground Turkey Soup (Instant Pot)
- 1 pound lean (93%) ground turkey (See Note 1)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt divided
- ¾ teaspoon ground pepper divided
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
- 5 cups chicken broth (See Note 2)
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup brown rice (See Note 3)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 (14 ounce) can black beans drained & rinsed
- 3 tablespoons minced cilantro (See Note 4)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE mode and coat with cooking spray. Once hot, add the ground turkey. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is not longer pink.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked ground turkey to bowl. Pour out any accumulated liquid (use a potholder – the Instant Pot liner will be hot).
- Continue on SAUTE mode. Heat the olive oil. Add the onion, celery, red bell pepper and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, oregano, coriander, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook for 1 additional minute.
- Add the broth, water, brown rice and corn, along with the cooked ground turkey. Stir to combine.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot, close the steam vent and set to HIGH pressure. Set the time for 12 minutes. It will take the Instant Pot about 15 minutes to reach pressure.
- Once the time is expired, use natural pressure release for 5 minutes, then quick release. There’s a lot of liquid, so it may take a couple of minutes for the pressure to release completely.
- Stir in the black beans and cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning (be careful – it will be hot!) Serve.