Instant Pot Minestrone Soup Recipe
Chock full of nutritious and tasty vegetables, kidney beans, and pasta, this hearty Instant Pot minestrone soup can be made in less than an hour. Perfect on a cold winter’s night, it tastes like a sunny garden!
Winter winds are gusting as I write this, looking out at the frozen white landscape. When the weather is frosty, we need to warm up from the inside out, and this Instant Pot minestrone soup is the right way to do it.
You don’t have to bundle up, scrape your car off, and brave snowy roads driving to Olive Garden to enjoy this classic Italian soup. Make it right in your own cozy kitchen–no need to get out! Better yet, make it a family project and get everyone scrubbing, slicing, and dicing. Memories will be created along with the soup.
Each spoonful contains a wealth of summer vegetables: green beans, carrots, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, and garlic. Add an herbal bouquet of basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley, all simmered together, and made even more hearty with the addition of dark red kidney beans and pasta.
And the wonder of it all? You can make this delicious and classic vegetarian soup in your Instant Pot in under an hour! That’s my kind of recipe. You know that here on Rachel Cooks, we try to make your life in the kitchen just a little bit easier and one pot soups are a perfect way to accomplish that.
(Leftovers are just a bonus.)
About this Instant Pot Minestrone:
I love that you can sauté right in the Instant Pot. One less pan to wash, right? I sauté chopped onions, sliced carrots and celery briefly until they’re getting a bit soft, stirring in the garlic for the last minute or so. Stir in tomato paste and let it coat the vegetables and cook just a bit. This will deepen the flavor of your soup.
Pour in broth and canned diced tomatoes, add diced zucchini or summer squash, and herbs. Put the cover on the Instant Pot, set it for 2 minutes at high pressure. It will take 7-8 minutes to come to pressure. Once it’s cooked for 2 minutes, set the valve to quick release, releasing the pressure. The pressure cooking takes the place of the long, slow simmer that soups usually require.
But your soup is almost ready! Turn your Instant Pot back to sauté, and add frozen green beans, pasta (I like ditalini), and a can of kidney beans. Simmer for twelve to fifteen minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Stir in red wine vinegar and brown sugar.
Sprinkle with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese.
Ladle the soup into big ceramic bowls, and serve with crusty homemade bread or breadsticks. I love minestrone soup with this Italian herb and cheese pull-apart bread or no-knead cheesy bread. Or you can top it with crispy homemade croutons. That’s amore!
How to make this minestrone soup your own:
- Quite frankly, any combination of vegetables can be used. Wikipedia says that there really isn’t a classic recipe for minestrone soup, because it’s the kind of soup that uses whatever you have on hand. So check your refrigerator and freezer and see what needs to be used up. Cauliflower, bell peppers, corn, peas or edamame would be good possibilities. Diced potatoes would be delicious, too. I’d add them with the onions, carrots and celery. Tip: The tomatoes are essential, don’t skip those.
- Like lots of greens? Add chopped kale or spinach with the beans.
- I like to use a small sized pasta like ditalini. Any small pasta, including macaroni, would work. Add a little fun with alphabet pasta.
- Have a leftover Parmesan cheese rind? Throw that in with the broth for added flavor. Or don’t add any Parmesan to make this soup vegan.
- Not into vegetarian soups? Add sausage, ground beef or turkey, or cooked chicken. Minestrone soup with Italian sausage? Yum!
- Or add bacon or pancetta. Sauté first, remove from pan, and use the grease to sauté the vegetables. Add the cooked bacon/pancetta right before serving.
- Garnish with a swirl of homemade pesto that you froze last summer when your basil was going crazy, to really amp the flavor.
- Don’t have an Instant Pot? Make this recipe on the stovetop in a Dutch oven instead of an Instant Pot. Or, make minestrone soup in your slow cooker instead for a hands off version. This slow cooker recipe has quinoa for added protein.
Reheating and Storage Tips
Instant Pot minestrone soup is delicious left over. Let it cool a bit, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for a couple of months. If you are planning on freezing all of the soup to eat at a later date, I would leave out the pasta which tends to get mushy when frozen. Cook pasta separately and add to the soup when you reheat it.
For best results, thaw frozen soup overnight in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat, put into bowls and heat in the microwave, or pour into a pan and simmer gently until warmed through. If the soup seems too thick, thin it with a bit of broth or water.
Other Instant Pot Soup recipes:
Soup is the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter day. I have more Instant Pot soup recipes for you to try!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4 inch slices (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, ½ inch slices (about 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to taste
- 1 cup dry/uncooked small pasta (such as ditalini)
- 1 cup frozen cut green beans
- 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Parmesan and fresh parsley for serving
- Heat 6-quart Instant Pot to “saute.” Add olive oil, onion, celery, carrots, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute or until fragrant. Add tomato paste and stir, coating all vegetables in tomato paste.
- Add broth, canned tomatoes, zucchini, oregano, basil, thyme, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes.
- Secure lid and make sure valve is turned to “seal.” Set on “pressure cook” or “manual” (depending on which model you have), high pressure for 2 minutes. It will take about 7-8 minutes to come to pressure.
- When pressure cooking has ended, turn valve to “vent” to quick release pressure.
- Remove lid, and turn Instant Pot back to “Saute” mode. Add pasta, green beans, and kidney beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Remove bay leaf. Stir in red wine vinegar and brown sugar. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if desired.
- Serve topped with shredded Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
- Add more broth or water for a thinner soup.
- If desired, ¼ lb. bacon or pancetta could be added. Saute until crisp, remove from pan, and then saute the onions, celery, and carrots in the bacon grease. Add the cooked bacon or pancetta right before serving.
- For additional flavor, add the rind of Parmesan cheese to the soup with the pasta.
- Make it vegan by leaving out the Parmesan cheese.
- If you are planning to freeze this soup, leave out the pasta. Add cooked pasta to soup prior to serving.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 of 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 584mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 8gSugar: 13gProtein: 8g
Husband’s take: Ben prefers this with meat, but loves the flavors!
Changes I would make: None are necessary, but have fun with some of the varieties we mentioned above!
Difficulty: A fair amount of chopping is involved, but throw on some good tunes or a great audiobook and the time will fly.