Don’t have hours to wait on a warm comforting soup? This Instant Pot Chicken Barley Soup can be whipped up in a fraction of the time! Made with fresh veggies, chicken, and barley, this is the ultimate comfort food!
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Why We Love Instant Pot Chicken Barley Soup
Don’t settle for the canned soups…homemade is so much better! I love a good soup especially when the weather gets colder, but this chicken barley soup is one of my favorites. Here’s why we love it:
- Delicious ingredients. With fresh veggies, moist tender chicken, perfectly cooked barley, and seasoned broth, you have the makings of a delicious comfort soup.
- It’s quick. Unlike using your crock pot or stove top, this recipe is quick! In fact, you can have dinner on the table in less than an hour.
- Simple. You don’t have to be a great cook to whip up a great meal! This soup recipe is warm and comforting just like grandma used to make, but without any of the hard stuff.
Instant Pot Chicken Barley Soup Ingredients
You can use frozen or canned ingredients for this recipe, but I think it tastes so much better with fresh ingredients. So, get out your shopping list and head to the grocery store!
- Chicken– I use about 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you can use any boneless skinless chicken that you prefer.
- Onion– I use a fresh yellow onion diced up. You’ll only need half an onion.
- Oil– I use olive oil, but you can use vegetable oil, canola oil, or even butter to sauté your onion.
- Carrots– You can use fresh, frozen or canned carrots sliced into thin circles.
- Spices– You’ll need minced garlic, dried thyme leaves removed from the stem, dried parsley flakes, sea salt, and ground white pepper.
- Barley– For this soup, you’ll want quick pearled barley. It’s a barley flake that cooks in about 10-minutes.
- Chicken broth– Use chicken broth or stock to give your soup a delicious flavor. If you don’t have any, you can make it by dissolving 1 bouillon cube for every cup of water.
- Cornstarch with water– If you wish to thicken your soup, you will need cornstarch and water to make a slurry.
Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of exact ingredients!
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Barley Soup
You haven’t seen easy until you’ve made this delicious chicken and barley soup! Just let the Instant Pot do all the work.
Step 1: sauté the Onion
Hit the sauté or sear button on your Instant Pot, add the oil and let it get hot. Then, add your diced onion and sauté it for about 3-5 minutes or until softened.
Step 2: Add Chicken and Spices
Hit the cancel button to turn your sauté function off. Then, add your chicken breasts, minced garlic, salt, thyme, white pepper, and chicken broth to the pot. Stir to combine.
Step 3: Pressure Cook
Seal the lid on your Instant Pot, move the venting valve to the sealing position, hit your manual or pressure cook button, and set the time for 7-minutes.
Step 4: Natural Release
When the Instant Pot beeps, allow the soup to sit in there until your Instant Pot has fully released all the pressure. The silver pin will drop and the lid will unlock.
Step 5: Cut the Chicken
Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and cut it into cubes. Then, place it back into the pot along with the barley, parsley and carrots.
Step 6: Simmer the Soup
Hit cancel on your Instant Pot, then hit the sauté button, again. Bring the soup to a boil to cook the barley. Then, put the lid back on to lock in the heat and allow the soup to simmer for 15-minutes with the lid on.
Step 7: Make the Slurry
If you want a thicker soup, make your cornstarch slurry. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of cold water together. Then, add it to the soup.
Serve and Enjoy!
- Shred the chicken. If you don’t want to spend time cutting the chicken into cubes, you can easily shred it with a hand mixer.
- Get baby carrots. To cut down on the prep work, get thick baby carrots, instead. Then, you can just toss them in.
- Use leftover chicken. If you have leftover rotisserie chicken, you can use it up in this recipe. Simply add it to all the other ingredients and pressure cook it all the same.
Can You Overcook the Barley?
Yes, you can overcook the barley. This is why you will cook the barley with the soup like you would on the stove top. It only needs to cook for 15-minutes or you will overcook it.
Does Barley Get Mushy in Soup?
Barley is a grain, so it continues to absorbs water, broth or any liquid. This means that it can get mushy the longer it is in the liquid. As a results, you should only add the barley when you are ready to eat the soup.
How to Store Leftover Chicken Barley Soup
As stated above, the barley does continue to absorb the liquid in the soup. So, you should only store it for about 2-3 days. You can place it in a a container with a lid and store it in the refrigerator.
Side Dish Recommendations
Soup pairs perfectly with a salad or a side of breadsticks. Here are a few of my favorite side recipes to try with this chicken barley soup:
- Tasty Broccoli Salad
- Weight Watchers Fruit Salad
- Instant Pot Hawaiian Rolls
- Instant Pot Garlic Monkey Bread
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1.5 lbs. boneless breast, boneless (about 2 breasts)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 sprigs dried thyme, leaves removed from stem
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 64 oz. chicken broth or stock
- 1 cup quick pearled barley
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 cup sliced carrots, frozen or canned
- 2 tablespoons corn starch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water (this is called a slurry), optional for a thicker soup
- Turn your Instant Pot on to Sauté mode. Add to your Instant Pot your oil and allow it to get hot. Add your onions and sauté for about 3-5 minutes until softened.
- Turn your Instant Pot off by selecting cancel. Add in your chicken breasts (whole), minced garlic, salt, thyme, white pepper, and chicken broth. Stir together.
- Place the lid on your Instant Pot and close the sealing valve by pushing it away from you. Selected pressure cooks for 7 minutes.
- Once the time has completed, do a natural release by not opening the sealing valve. Once the silver pin has dropped, you may open the lid.
- With tongs, remove the chicken breast from the instant pot, and transfer to a cutting board. Cut the chicken into cubes.
- Add your chicken back to the Instant Pot including the barley, parsley, and carrots.
- Select sauté mode to bring it to a boil to cook the barley. Place the lid on and close the sealing valve to lock in the heat. Allow it to cook for about 15 minutes with the lid on.
- Add in your slurry now if you want to thicken your soup. Mix well.
- Transfer to your soup bowl and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 1798mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
More Soup Recipes to Try
- Instant Pot Tomato Soup with Fresh Tomatoes
- Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Creamy Instant Pot Chicken Soup
- The Best Broccoli Cheese Soup
About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has studied nutrition for children and has also taught cooking skills to adults. Angela loves to share family meals and easy instant pot recipes here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!