by Olena

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 17 votes

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Instant Pot Minestrone Soup is a one pot Italian soup brimming with flavor and textures thanks to the tender veggies, buttery beans, pasta, and a delicious broth. It’s delicious, highly nutritious, and so easy to make!

Instant Pot black bean soup, Instant Pot zuppa toscana and Instant Pot vegetable soup are other budget friendly soups we make year round.

Instant Pot minestrone soup garnished with parsley.

This Instant Pot minestrone is hearty, chunky, filling, and so delicious thanks to all of the veggies, beans, pasta, and seasoned broth! It’s a restaurant style soup that is as easy to make and customize as a dump-and-set recipe by using any firm veggies you have in your fridge.

This better than Olive Garden minestrone is a classic comforting cool weather meal that makes coming home to a cozy bowl of soup a great way to end the day on a healthy high note!

Other healthy pasta dishes we feel the same about include Instant Pot chicken alfredo!

Minestrone is a complete vegetarian meal that is easy enough for busy weeknights with leftovers for the week! Healthy Instant Pot recipes just makes it easier!

Why Instant Pot Minestrone Is Healthy?

  • Fresh vegetables: Carrots, zucchini, potatoes, you name it. If it’s in your fridge, throw them in there for added nutrients!
  • Pulses (dried or canned beans): Loads of high fiber, high protein beans similar to pressure cooker lentil soup and pressure cooker vegetarian chili
  • Low-sodium: Use low sodium or no salt canned tomatoes. 
  • Instant Pot: Using a pressure cooker makes using dried beans super simple without having to pre-soak them. This also lowers the sodium content tremendously. 

What makes minestrone, minestrone? You may notice its similarities to best ever vegetable soup or pasta e fagioli and wonder what makes this any different. Well, minestrone becomes minestrone when beans, pasta, and hearty vegetables are added. A traditional Italian soup bulked up with fiber and protein and loads of mouth watering textures!

Instant Pot minestrone soup with beans and vegetables in a soup bowl.

What Ingredients Do You Need For Instant Pot Minestrone Soup?

  • Firm veggies: Carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. I like to add potatoes because they make the soup thicker and hearty. Just like I like my borscht. Must be the Ukrainian in me!
  • Soft veggies: Zucchini can be added before and after cooking with pasta if you like firm squash. Bell pepper comes out bright red and looks pretty in minestrone.
  • Aromatics. Onion and garlic, of course!

What’s the difference between minestrone and vegetable soup? As mentioned above, the difference is in the addition of beans and pasta! It turns a thinner soup into a chunky, heartier soup.

  • White beans: You can use dried white beans or 2 x 14 oz cans of beans. I prefer cannellini beans but Great Northern or white navy beans work.
  • Pasta: You can use any short pasta (macaroni and seashells are classic). The healthier choice would be whole grain, brown rice, quinoa, chickpea, or any whole food pasta. But white regular pasta works too.
  • Diced tomatoes: They add chunks of veggies and flavor keeping the soup a lighter broth than if you were to use tomato sauce. I use no salt added.
  • Water + bouillon cube/low sodium stock: Vegetable or chicken bouillon cube.

How many cups of water per bouillon cube? Usually 1 cube per 3 cups of water, or as stated on the directions per the brand you use.

  • Seasonings and garnish: Dried rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Fresh parsley and Parmesan for garnish.
Dried beans, pasta, diced tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, beans, zucchini, onion, garlic, spices, broth, bell pepper.

What Pasta Type Is Best for Italian Minestrone?

Any small shell pasta will do! The pasta is not the star of the show but rather a supporting character so you don’t want it to overpower anything else in this delicious soup. Bite-sized pieces will go nicely with the chunky veggies and beans and will be easier to get a bit of everything in every spoonful. If you want olive garden minestrone copycat, use the smaller shell pasta. 

If you’re familiar with chicken noodle soup, then any pasta you’d use in that, you could use in a minestrone!

How to Make Instant Pot Minestrone

  • Prep: In 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, add onion, carrots, other veggies, garlic, dried beans (see below for canned beans), diced tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaves, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and water. It is important to have tomatoes on top and not to stir to avoid Burn. Close the lid and set the valve to Sealing.
minestrone soup with dried beans in instant pot

Why no stir? Some recipes are very specific about how to layer the ingredients and this happens to be one. We do this to avoid the burn notice. Tomatoes will cook down quickly and their sugars will burn before everything else has a chance to cook (especially the dried beans). Keeping them on top separated by everything else will help to avoid this.

  • Cook for 30 mins with dried beans: Press Pressure Cook on High or Manual button for 30 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 30 minutes to come to pressure and then cook for another 30 mins.
Finger holding valve on Sealing on Instant Pot lid.

Using canned beans? Do not add canned white beans in the beginning otherwise, they will become mushy. Reduce broth to 5 cups and pressure cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Then, we will add rinsed adn drained beans at the end with pasta.

  • Allow pressure to come down naturally for 15 minutes: After cooking is finished, wait 15 minutes and only then turn the valve to Venting. Don’t do it right away because the releasing pressure will splatter soup all over your counters.
  • Add pasta: Add pasta to cooked soup, close the lid and let it sit in a pot turned off (or Keep Warm) for 10-15 minutes. You don’t need to turn any cooking cycle on. If you add pasta with all other ingredients, in the beginning, it will become mush. If using canned beans, they can go in now too.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese and serve.

Minestrone Soup Instant Pot Recipe Variations

  • Other beans: If out of white beans, you could also use black-eyed peas or red kidney beans, just like chili, it’s flexible. The color of the soup will change slightly.
  • Long pasta: If all you have on hand is spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine, break them into small pieces or make Instant Pot spaghetti or alfredo instead.
  • Tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes: You can add tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. I would use only one 14 oz can then. Minestrone will be a deeper red and have a thicker broth, similar to yummy tomato soup.
  • Other herbs: Thyme, oregano, Italian seasoning, and basil are all wonderful herbs that could be added.
  • Other veggies: Green beans are great! Cut them up into 1″ pieces. Add some baby spinach in at the end to wilt like I do in lentil spinach soup, or perhaps some kale, cauliflower, or little broccoli florets.
  • Protein: If you’re not interested in keeping it vegetarian, throw in some leftover rotisserie chicken, Italian sausage, or diced ham, bacon, or pancetta for added protein, flavor, and texture.
  • Slow cooker: Make this in the slow cooker by adding everything except the beans and pasta and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high. Then, add the beans and pasta and continue cooking for another 25 minutes. Add any very soft veggies (leafy greens, etc.) at the end.

Tips for Best Results

  • To cut back on sodium: If your broth or tomatoes are not low sodium or no salt added, then cut back to 1/2 tsp salt and adjust more to taste after cooking, if necessary.
  • 3 quart Instant Pot: Cut ingredients in half and cook for the same time.
  • Can I double the recipe? Original Instant Pot minestrone recipe fits 6 quart Instant Pot. You can make 1.5 times the recipe in 8 quarts and possibly double in 10 quart Instant Pot. Keep the same cook time though. It is important not to go over 2/3 max fill line, otherwise, the pot will not pressurize.
  • For a deeper umami flavor: Toss in a bit of parmesan rind to the pot with the other ingredients.
  • Finish off the soup: With a squirt of lemon juice to finish it off on a bright note!

FAQs

Is minestrone soup Instant Pot vegan?


Unless you’re using chicken broth instead of water and bouillon/vegetable broth or adding in any meat protein or parmesan, this soup is vegan.

How can I make gluten free Italian minestrone soup?

Gluten hides in places, so to be extra careful you want to check labels and use certified gluten free ingredients for added assurance. Other than that, as long as you use gluten free pasta, this can be made completely gluten free!

Can I have minestrone soup if I am following a low carb diet?

You can if you omit the pasta! You could also swap the beans with lupini beans which are lower in carbs, or omit them and turn the minestrone into a delicious bowl of vegetable soup to enjoy.

Can I use fresh tomatoes?


Sure you can, if you prefer to! They come with a much fresher flavor and no added sodium, so you’ll probably want to use the amount of salt as directed. Then, adjust to taste afterward, to see if you need a little more.

What Can You Serve Olive Garden Minestrone With?

Minestrone is definitely a meal on its own complete with veggies, protein, and carbs! A generous amount of fresh Italian parsley and a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan is all it takes.

If you’re looking for a few side options to serve a hungry crowd, try these:

How to Store?

Storing: Minestrone will be fine in the fridge for a maximum of 2 days because pasta soaks up liquid as it sits and becomes mushy. Store in the inner pot of the Instant Pot with a silicone or glass lid or transfer to an airtight container.

Reheating: You can reheat the soup right in the pot on the stove or pour the desired amount into a saucepan. Always reheat only what you are going to eat at the time.

Freezing: You are better off freezing leftovers same day soup is cooked once completely cooled. When freezing and thawing the soup, pasta does get a bit mushy. If you freeze it the next day it’ll have been given the chance to become mushy first overnight.

Thinking ahead! If you know you’re cooking a pot of minestrone for the sake of freezing it for later, consider not adding the pasta at all. Then, when it comes time to reheat it, you can add it then. Either uncooked or cooked separately.

Enjoy this Instant Pot minestrone!

More Favorite Instant Pot Recipes

Instant pot minestrone soup recipe with parmesan cheese and parsley in a bowl.
Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup is a one pot Italian soup brimming with flavor and tender veggies, buttery beans, pasta, and a delicious broth. It's delicious, highly nutritious, and so easy to make!
5 from 17 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Pressure Up & Down Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 220kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 4 cups chopped veggies like potato zucchini, pepper, celery etc.
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cannellini navy or white beans, dried
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes no salt added or low sodium
  • 1 tbsp rosemary dried or fresh
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 8 cups water+bouillon cube or low sodium stock
  • 1 cup uncooked small shape pasta macaroni, sea shells
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley finely chopped
  • Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions

  • In 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, add onion, carrots, other veggies, garlic, beans, diced tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaves, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and water. Do not stir.
  • Close the lid, turn pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 30 minutes. Please see notes for cooking with canned beans.
  • After Instant Pot has finished cooking, let pressure come down on its own for 15 minutes (otherwise soup will splatter too much). Then release remaining pressure using Quick Release method by turning valve to Venting and open the lid.
  • Add uncooked pasta, stir, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Pasta will cook.
  • Add parsley and stir.
  • Serve hot garnished with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
  • Serving: Minestrone is truly a one pot meal. A generous amount of fresh Italian parsley and toasted whole grain bread complete the meal nicely.

Store and reheating: Minestrone will be fine in the fridge for maximum 2 days. Only because pasta soaks up liquid as it sits and becomes a mush. Store in inner pot of Instant Pot with silicone or glass lid and reheat on the stove right in it. Or pour desired amount in a pot. Always reheat only what you are going to eat at a time

    Freezing: You are better off freezing leftovers same day soup is cooked. When freezing and thawing the soup, pasta does get a bit mushy. If you freeze next day minestrone, it will be more mushy because pasta will soak up more broth overnight in the fridge.

      Notes

      • Using canned beans? Do not add canned white beans in the beginning otherwise, they will become mushy. Reduce broth to 5 cups and pressure cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Then, add rinsed and drained beans at the end with pasta.
      • Other beans: You could also use black eyed peas or red kidney beans. Color of the soup will change slightly.
      • 3 quart Instant Pot: Cut ingredients in half and cook for same time.
      • Can I double the recipe? Original recipe fits 6 quart Instant Pot. You can make 1.5 times the recipe in 8 quart and possibly double in 10 quart Instant Pot. Keep same cook time though. It is important not to go over 2/3 max fill line, otherwise pot will not pressurize.
      • Slow cooker: Make this in the slow cooker by adding everything except the beans and pasta and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high. Then, add the beans and pasta and continue cooking for another 25 minutes. Add any very soft veggies (leafy greens, etc.) at the end.
      See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 335mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 6g

      Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.