Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup Recipe

Making really good minestrone in the Instant Pot with dried, un-soaked beans is possible. I wasn't sure at first, and it required a few attempts to get the recipe right, but check it out! Deliciousness. Let's start at the beginning. Like many of you, I love minestrone soup. It's hearty and filling. It's healthy, made with a diverse mix of ingredients your body wants more of. And, if you have an Instant Pot, a good minestrone is going to be one of your standbys. That said, most of the IP minestrone recipes I see rely on canned beans, which I was hoping to avoid. Instead, I wanted to develop a minestrone version from dried beans - un-soaked(!) dried beans. Because, that way, you don't have to plan ahead. Second, I want to avoid that murky, overcooked, canned soup flavor (and texture) we're all familiar with - it shows up when you use canned beans and then cook them again under pressure. The size you cut your ingredients ended up being important as well, and so was when you add them to the pot. I landed on a specific order here that maintains brightness, acidity, flavor definition, and general deliciousness. More on that below!

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

A few notes & techniques:

Potatoes: I found any potatoes cut too small turn to mush after cooking under pressure for 35+ minutes. Not great. So, I started using big chunks of potato, really big - and they're incredible! Creamy, perfectly cooked, and nicely structured. Carrots are more dense, and handle the pressure just fine.

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

Tomatoes & Kale: I think the inclination is to add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot, seal it up, and go for it. The minestrones I attempted to cook this way lost a lot of vibrancy. But not this version! This version has you stir in crushed tomatoes, and kale immediately after releasing pressure. The acidity of the tomatoes brightens the soup immediately, and holding the kale back until the last minute keeps a bit of structure, color, and flavor definition.

Pasta: A lot of people love to add pasta to their minestrone. You can certainly add a handful of dried, short pasta before pressurizing, but, quite honestly, it's much better if you cook the pasta on its own. You can also stir dried pasta into the soup directly after it has pressure cooked, adding a bit more water if things get too thick. In short, on the pasta front, you can be pretty flexible. It's open to personal preference (and how convenient you'd like the process to be).

Serving Ideas:
I like this minestrone straight and simple, and I also like it flaired out with toppings. A few ideas: a dollop of pesto, a drizzle of lemon olive oil, or a big squeeze of bright lemon, some chopped olives. Stir in a couple of handfuls of day old bread for something more like a ribollita.

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

Pro tip: if you get long, thin carrots, they're easy to cut into tiny coins. Potatoes: use big chunks of waxy "new" potatoes, so they maintain some structure. If you like kale, use more. If you'd rather use cabbage in place of chard, do so. Or use a combination. To make this vegan, leave out the Parmesan rind, and opt for vegan toppings.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch coins
3 celery stalks, diced
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1 1/2 cups dried cannellini beans
5 medium waxy potatoes (the size of an egg), halved
1 3-inch chunk of Parmesan rind, (optional)
8 cups of water
1 medium bunch kale or chard, de-stemmed and chopped
1 1/4 cup crushed tomatoes (from can)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

optional topping ideas: chopped black olives, a dollop of pesto, a drizzle of lemon olive oil, or a big squeeze of lemon juice

Press the SAUTE button on the Instant Pot, and press it again to bump it to SAUTE MORE. Heat the olive oil in the Instant Pot. When hot, sauté the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic until softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the chile flakes. Add the beans, potatoes, Parmesan rind (if using), and 8 cups of water. Press CANCEL.

Close and seal the pot, and pressure cook on MANUAL for 40 minutes* (high). Carefully QUICK RELEASE. Gently shake or tap the pressure cooker, and then carefully open away from you. Remove the Parmesan rind, and gently stir in the salt. Taste and adjust with more if needed. Stir in the kale, and once it has collapsed stir in the tomatoes. Serve as-is, or topped with chopped olives, and a dusting of cheese.

Serves 6.

*If after 40 minutes your beans aren't cooked through (yikes!) and you have the time, just slow cook them, covered, to your liking. They should be close with this timing, but you never know! The age and quality of dried beans varies dramatically. Alternately, you can reseal the IP and go for another 5 or 10 minutes.

For reference, this is the Instant Pot I used for this recipe: Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 40 min

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
weeknight express

WEEKNIGHT EXPRESS features 10 Vegetarian, Plant-centric Recipes for Feel-Good Food — Fast!

Subscribe to get 32-pages of recipes to view on your tablet, e-book reader or phone.

weeknight expressweeknight express


Hi Heidi, Following your post, I purchased an Instant Pot also. I am looking forward to all your recipe.....

HS: Thanks Betty!

Betty Baig

You are really on fire with the Insta Pot these days - thanks for putting so much thought into this recipe, I can't wait to make it!

HS: Thanks Rachel! It has been fun - like working a quirky puzzle ;)

Rachel @Clean Eating for the Non-Hippie

Pressure cook on high or low?

Hi Mihaela - pressure cook set to high.


Sounds great! Did you drain the crushed tomatoes?

HS: Nope! Straight into the pot. xx!


I'm a hold-out on more large kitchen gadgets, but will use your recipe for tonight's soup nonetheless, and cook it the old and slow way. Is that kale AND chard, or OR? You mention subbing cabbage for the chard, so I'm thinking it's calling for two kinds of greens? I know I can use whatever I have, but I happen to have all three... decisions, decisions...

HS: Either or all Janet! :) xx


I really got excited that you will be posting recipes for Instant pot. Your recipes are healthy, vibrant, colorful, delicious, and so easy to follow. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us. Keep up your great work!!!

HS: Thanks Nancy!


Kismet - minestone is on this week's meal plan, and I was just asking Google how I might adapt my stove-top recipe to my new Instant Pot. I was delighted to see your new recipe, using dried beans instead of canned. I will be curious to see how the non-soaking method works for me: our water is so hard that in "normal" cooking, I have to pre-soak everything - even split peas and red lentils - or they will not soften. Hopefully pressure cooking will provide the magic softening touch. :) I'll report back.

HS: Please do Carol, and if you know you might have trouble, perhaps add a few minutes? Let us know how it goes!


Hi, I'm wondering what other veggies might work in place of the potatoes? Thanks so much for your recipes - they are wonderful!!


I made this today and it was excellent. Pleasantly surprised how well this turned out in the instant pot. I separately prepared and added a handful of the ditalini pasta, fresh spinach, and fresh tomatoes in the end. Next time, I will try to add the olives. In your photographs, it appears sliced almonds were added. Thank you for posting this recipe!

HS: Thanks for the note Mahnaz! The olives are such a bonus. Give them a try.


We have had great luck with a 6 min pre-soak under high pressure. Rinse beans. Then make the soup but decrease pressure cooking time to 20-25 mins. The advantage is that you get to discard most of the digestively problematic parts of the beans and makes it easier to set liquid levels because the beans are partially hydrated


Hi Heidi, I'm the poster with hard water, reporting back. The beans took an additional 10 minutes. The soup was delicious, with the only possible criticism being that the longer time under pressure meant that the vegetables were a bit overcooked. I think next time I'll do my usual overnight soak and then follow @Dan's suggestion above about the cooking time. Thanks again for the recipe - for me, it moves minestrone from the "project" category into "sure, why not?"

HS: Thanks Carol! Interesting. The other suggestion I have, is perhaps cut your veggies into larger chunks.


I just got an Instant pot this week and your minestrone soup is the first thing I made. It was amazing. I did soak my beans and cooked it for 30 min. I like your suggestion to add the chard and tomatoes after the cooking. I did add some cooked orzo and lemon juice at the end. I started early and then kept it warm until we were ready to eat. While it cooks fast it does take time to build and release pressure. I look forward to more of your Instant pot recipes. Thank you!


We made this for lunches to sustain us through this busy work week/holiday season. It's wonderful, and I will definitely be adding it to my regular rotation of recipes.

Heidi, I'm SO thrilled to see you putting out Instant Pot recipes. I too am not one for kitchen gadget fads, but we bought one and your recipes here along with Melissa's book have finally helped me hit a groove with my Instant Pot!

HS: Thanks for the nice note Krista!


Hi! Tried your instant pot minestrone - excellent! Your directions were perfect. Good, adaptable recipe. Didn't have all ingredients, so subbed small red beans for cannellini, and frozen spinach for kale. Didn't have parmesan rind, so added grated parmesan at end. Thank you!

HS: Fantastic! Thanks for the nice note Asha!


Your Instant Pot recipes gave me the confidence to get an IP Mini and this minestrone was the first thing I made in it. I loved being able to skip the pre-soak and used cranberry beans because that's what I had. I don't know if I've ever had such creamy beans in a soup before! It was delish and I hope you'll continue with the IP theme - I've yet to find another source of such vibrant and creative vegetarian recipes for the machine. Thank you!

HS: Thank you Barbara! I'm working on a few new ones :) Thanks for the encouragement. xx!


Excited to try this soup! I've made a lot of beans in my stove-top pressure cooker over the years using Lorna Sass's guidelines, and so have never done a quick release. According to her, quick release "causes the beans to split, lose their shape, and become mushy." I'm guessing you found this not to be the case? I'm hopeful, since natural release feels like it takes forever, and even longer with the IP (even when using we towels).


Im beyond excited to see you are adding Instapot recipes to your site. I made this soup and loved it! I'm adding it to my regular rotation. Easy, flavorful, and healthy! Thanks Heidi!


Made this in my new IP tonight. I've never been crazy about Minestrone, but because you have yet to disappoint, Heidi, I went for it. SO good!!! I love the way the IP manages to keep the flavors distinctive, not mashed together like a slow cooker. I'm such a fan of yours, thank you for the new cooking adventure in the IP!

Fantastic Nancy, so happy to hear it!

Nancy D

Heidi, just wondering why 40 minutes for soaked beans? They usually take about 10 minutes at the most...I made the Fiasco Beans and they were great but way soft...I would try less time next time so I don’t want the minestrone to be mushy. Thanks—love all your recipes and your cookbooks!

HS: Hi Ora - It's actually tricky, people are all over the board re: what works with their beans (I think there are a lot of old, dried beans out there). I've had success at 30 minutes using great beans, but at 30 minutes some readers still get uncooked beans, so....long way of saying, go for it with less time if you generally have success. Or, start with 30, and shorten from there...xx!


I just ordered the Instant Pot (after some research, including your "This is How to Become an Instant Pot Whisperer" article) and made this soup. Amazing, and the leftovers are even better the next day, Thanks for sharing.

HS: Have fun with it Joyce!


This soup was a success for all! My six year old declared it to be the best soup in her life and all agreed to put it on the make it again list. Delish as is, but also yummy with a touch of pesto on top. I cut fingerling potatoes in half and they were perfect- the kids carved bites out with their spoon. Well done.


I just got an Instant pot this week and your minestrone soup is the first thing I made. It was amazing. I did soak my beans and cooked it for 30 min. I like your suggestion to add the chard and tomatoes after the cooking. I did add some cooked orzo and lemon juice at the end. I started early and then kept it warm until we were ready to eat. While it cooks fast it does take time to build and release pressure. I look forward to more of your Instant pot recipes. Thank you!


THANK YOU for a recipe with something other than dried beans and white pasta! I love dried beans and potatoes, I think it's much healthier. I can't wait to try this out this week.


Post Your Comment

More Recipes

Popular Ingredients