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Instant Pot Bean Soup

This Instant Pot Bean Soup is hearty, nutritious and full of beans and vegetables! The best part is that you’ll have this family favorite on the table in less than 30 minutes!

instant pot cannellini bean soup in a pale blue bowl on wooden board.
A bowlful of warming and hearty Instant Pot Bean Soup.

Why you’ll love this recipe

It’s really important to me to eat well but also to have recipes that I can make quickly and easily. That’s why I love my Instant Pot pressure cooker. You may be like me, I don’t always plan my meals ahead and that’s when I turn to my pressure cooker!

This Instant Pot Bean Soup is a regular on our table. It’s tasty, filling and the ingredients are basic staples that I always have on hand. Plus, the ingredients are very adaptable. Read on to my variations below.

While I love using dried beans, I don’t always have the time for that. This recipe uses canned beans which cuts the cooking time down considerably. Canned beans are delicious and so convenient.

This bean soup in the pressure cooker is similar to my crockpot minestrone soup which is another family favorite! And like my minestrone, any leftovers freeze very well. Win! Win!

While you have the instant pot out, be sure to also try my delicious instant pot chicken pot pie, it is a treat!

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Ingredients

ingredient needed for this recipe as in the recipe card.
  • Olive oil – Use light or regular olive oil. While you could use sunflower oil or another oil that you may use, for the best flavor, buy a bottle of olive oil – you won’t regret it!
  • Bacon – I always have bacon in the freezer. I buy a larger quantity then divide it up into portions that I know I will use, wrap in plastic and freeze in plastic or zip lock bags. 
  • Onion – This is the first of the “Holy Trinity” of Italian cooking. Chop is as finely as you can.
  • Carrot – The second ingredient in the Italian “Holy Trinity”. Dice the carrot into small pieces – at least smaller than the cannellini beans.
  • Celery – Finally the last ingredient of the “Holy Trinity”. Gently frying a mixture of finely diced onion, carrot and celery is commonly known as soffritto and many Italian recipes begin with this. For best results don’t skip this step.
  • Garlic – You’ll find that the garlic just melts into the soup and you won’t notice any chunks.
  • Potato – The starch in the potato gives the bean soup a little bit of body.
  • Chicken Stock – store bought stock is perfectly fine for this recipe. Buy the low salt version if you are concerned about your salt intake. 
  • Diced Tomatoes – You’ll just need a half a regular can of diced tomato. I can buy small cans but if you have leftover diced tomatoes, simply pop into a small container or zip lock bag and freeze for next time. Don’t forget to label!
  • Cannellini Beans – A couple of cans of beans is needed for this recipe. Using canned beans makes this recipe so much quicker to prepare! Dried Lentils – Dried lentils need no soaking and break down during cooking to thicken and flavor the soup. Be sure to wash before using – sometimes there is a little bit of dust or grit.
  • Parmesan Rind (optional) – I mentioned this before but buy Parmesan in chunks from your delicatessen, cut off the rinds and freeze them for soups and risotto for a delicious umami hit. If you don’t have it, don’t stress, leave it out. Also if you ask at your local deli, they might give you some rinds for free!
  • Bay Leaves – Because I have a bay tree, I use fresh but substitute dried with no change to the taste. 
  • Fresh Rosemary – Again I have rosemary growing in my garden so this isn’t a problem for me. However if you prefer, use ½ teaspoon of dried rosemary.
  • Salt – Just a little bit of salt. If you are concerned about your salt intake, you can leave it out. 
  • Pepper -Freshly ground black pepper has the best flavor.
  • Fresh Spinach – Not only does the green lift the color of the soup but spinach is full of nutrients and it cooks really quickly.

Variations

  • If you prefer to use dried cannellini beans, pressure cook for 35 minutes then do a natural release for 25 minutes. Soak beans overnight to prevent splitting and bursting but unsoaked beans will also cook in this time.
  • Use 2 tablespoons of tomato paste instead of canned diced tomatoes.

Equipment Needed

  • Electric Pressure Cooker – I use an Instant Pot but if you are familiar with another brand of pressure cooker, this recipe will work.

If you don’t have an electric pressure cooker, see below for the stovetop method.

Instructions

4 step process images showing how to make this white bean soup.

This recipe starts with sauteing the first few ingredients so if your electric pressure cooker doesn’t have that function, you can do this step in a skillet on the stove.

  1. Heat the Instant Pot using the “saute” function then add the olive oil, bacon, onion, carrots and celery. After 5 minutes add the garlic. 
  2. Press “cancel” then add remaining ingredients except for spinach. Stir, scraping the bottom well. Place the lid on and turn the vent to “sealing”. Press “pressure cook” and set for 6 minutes.
  3. When the time is up, leave the instant pot in “keep warm” mode for 10 minutes then press “cancel’ and do a manual release then add in the spinach. 
  4. The heat should be enough to wilt the spinach. If not, press “saute” and simmer for a minute or two. 

If using the “saute” function, press “cancel”. Then serve the Instant Pot Bean Soup with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Tips for Success and FAQ’s

thick bean soup in pale blue bowl with instant pot in the background.

For this Instant Pot Bean soup don’t use the “bean” setting. Just follow my instructions for a perfect soup.

If you’d like a creamy thickened soup, blend 1 or 2 cups of soup and then return to the pot. Or use an immersion blender to puree part of the soup.

What are some good cannellini bean substitutes?

If you don’t have cannellini beans, use canned butter beans (baby lima beans), navy beans or great northern beans. Even though these other white beans have slightly different flavors and sizes, your Instant Pot white bean soup will still be delicious.

How long does it take to cook beans in the Instant Pot?

This recipe uses canned beans so it’s very quick to cook. All it takes is 6 minutes plus a 10 minute natural release. If you prefer to use dried white beans, pressure cook for 35 minutes then do a natural release for 25 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

thick bean soup in a pale blue bowl on wooden board viewed from above.

Instant Pot Bean soup is quite a hearty soup and is perfectly nutritious and satisfying on it’s own. However, one thing I always add is a good grating of Parmesan cheese.

But a chunk of bread or focaccia like my Focaccia Genovese or Ligurian Focaccia will pair perfectly plus my family loves to mop up the soup with it!

Made this recipe?
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instant pot cannellini bean soup in a pale blue bowl on wooden board.

Instant Pot Bean Soup Recipe

This Instant Pot Bean Soup is hearty, nutritious and full of beans and vegetables! The best part is that you’ll have this family favorite on the table in less than 30 minutes!
5 from 83 votes
Print Pin Review
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Natural Release Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
Servings:4 people
Author: Marcellina

Equipment

  • Electric Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • ¾ cup diced bacon
  • 1 cup diced carrots 2 small carrots
  • ¾ cup diced celery 1 stick
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup diced potato 2 small potatoes
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup diced canned tomato
  • 2 cans (14 ounces/400 grams) cannellini beans drained
  • cup dried lentils mixed or one type
  • 2 inch piece of parmesan rind optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups fresh spinach coarsely shredded if large

Instructions

  • Press “saute” on the Instant Pot and once the pot is becoming warm (just a minute or so) add olive oil, bacon, onion, carrots and celery.
  • Saute for 5 minutes until softened but not browned, stirring regularly.
  • When there is just a minute to go, add the garlic.
  • Press “cancel” on the instant pot.
  • Then add drained beans, chicken stock, diced potato, lentils, tomato pulp, parmesan rind (if using), bayleaves, rosemary sprig and salt and pepper.
  • Stir well, scraping any bits that have caught on the bottom.
  • Place the lid on ensuring the vent is turned to “sealing”.
  • Press “pressure cook” (or manual) and set the time for 6 minutes.
  • When the time is up, leave the instant pot in “keep warm” mode for 10 minutes then press “cancel’ and do a manual release and add the spinach.
  • The heat should be enough to wilt the spinach. If not, press “saute” and simmer for a minute or two
  • Press “cancel”, remove the Parmesan rind (if using) and serve the Instant Pot Bean Soup with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Alternative Stovetop Method.

  • Place a large saucepan over medium high heat, then add olive oil, bacon, onion, carrots and celery.
  • Saute for 5 minutes until softened but not browned, stirring regularly.
  • When there is just a minute to go, add the garlic.
  • Then add drained beans, chicken stock, diced potato, lentils, tomato pulp, parmesan rind (if using), bayleaves, rosemary sprig and salt and pepper.
  • Stir well, scraping any bits that have caught on the bottom.
  • Bring the soup to a simmer, then turn down to low and place the lid on.
  • Simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables and lentils have softened and the soup is thick. Stir occasionally, checking that the soup isn’t catching on the bottom.
  • When ready, stir in the spinach and simmer for just a minute or two until wilted. Remove the Parmesan rind before serving.
  • Serve the Instant Pot Bean Soup with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes

Tips for Success
  • For this Instant Pot Bean soup don’t use the “bean” setting. Just follow my instructions for a perfect soup.
  • If you’d like a creamy thickened soup, blend 1 or 2 cups of soup and then return to the pot. Or use an immersion blender to puree part of the soup.
FAQ’s questions are answered above. Be sure to check that out if you have any doubts. Or contact me.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 1238mg | Potassium: 849mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 6855IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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