We’re big fans of Instant Pot meals. They’re a total dream for anyone who wants the satisfaction of a home-cooked meal, but doesn’t have a lot of time (or patience) to spend hours prepping lunch or dinner. This recipe for Instant Pot minestrone soup only takes 27 minutes from prep work to the finished product. For soup, we’d say that’s pretty impressive.
"The inspiration for this recipe came from my upbringing," says Miriam Hahn, recipe developer and wellness coach at YouCare-SelfCare. "I am 100% Italian, and minestrone soup was a staple growing up. It was really the only soup my mom used to make. So, I decided to adapt it to do in the Instant Pot."
According to Hahn, this recipe yields eight to 10 servings. So, this is a perfectly comforting meal to whip up for a big family, enjoy for leftovers, and even freeze some to savor in the future. Continue reading for insider tips on how to perfectly pressure cook this Italian favorite.
Gather the ingredients to make minestrone soup
This Instant Pot minestrone soup calls for a lot of fresh ingredients, like veggies and herbs, but there are some canned, non-perishables in the mix as well. We suggest laying out all of your ingredients so you know you have absolutely everything you need to make this hearty meal.
This minestrone soup recipe calls for olive oil to coat the Instant Pot, diced onion, sliced carrots, minced garlic, diced celery, chopped zucchini, fire roasted diced tomatoes (with liquid in the can), tomato paste, dried basil, dried thyme, dried oregano, salt, vegetable broth, kidney beans, cannellini beans, pasta shells, fresh spinach, and fresh Italian parsley. Hahan also recommends fresh basil and Parmesan cheese for topping off the soup. It’s a hefty ingredients list, but the tasty outcome is so worth it.
Chop up the vegetables
As previously mentioned, this Instant Pot minestrone soup calls for a lot of fresh ingredients like onions, celery, garlic, carrots, and zucchini. These items do need to be chopped and diced prior to going into the Instant Pot. Make sure you have a decent cutting board and a sharp chef’s knife.
The carrots should be sliced into coins, the celery diced into small pieces, and the onion finely chopped. (Use a food processor if you don’t want to deal with tears.) Finely mince the garlic and chop the zucchini into small wedges. Keep the zucchini separate since it’s added in later on in the recipe.
Sauté the garlic, onions, celery, and carrots in the Instant Pot
At this point, all of your ingredients should be prepped, measured, and ready to go, so you can officially start cooking the minestrone soup.
Pour the olive oil in the Instant Pot, and turn it to the sauté setting. When the pot is warm, add the chopped onions, minced garlic, sliced carrots, and diced celery. Sauté the vegetables with a wooden spoon for three to five minutes. When the veggies start to soften and are fragrant, hit cancel on the Instant Pot, and move on to the next step in the recipe.
Add spices, tomatoes, pasta, broth, and tomato paste to the Instant Pot
Now, it’s time to actually do some pressure cooking, which is the true super power of the Instant Pot. You’re going to top the sautéed veggies with some of the other minestrone soup ingredients.
Add the basil, thyme, oregano, salt, tomatoes, pasta shells, broth, and tomato paste to the Instant Pot. Stir everything together so it’s well combined, then set the Instant Pot to sealing and high pressure for two minutes. When the timer beeps, conduct a quick release by turning the sealing valve to venting, and make sure you step back from the pot when you do this part.
After a quick release, add the zucchini and beans to the Instant Pot
After the quick release, when all of the steam has cleared, open the Instant Pot lid. Add the chopped zucchini and both types of beans to the pot. Turn the sauté setting back on, stir everything, then cook for about five minutes. Hit cancel before moving on to the next step.
A quick note about the beans: This recipe calls for a can of kidney beans and a can of cannellini beans (both drained of all liquid). While Hahn confirms that this combination of beans is "typical of a traditional minestrone soup," she adds, "you can definitely go with one type if you don’t have both on hand."
Stir in the spinach and parsley
After you’ve sautéed everything for five minutes, hit cancel on the Instant Pot. Then, stir in the fresh parsley and spinach until they are just wilted.
And voila! Just like that, your minestrone soup is basically ready (except for a final, and optional, garnish in the next step). Thanks, handy dandy Instant Pot! Hahn sings the praises of the Instant Pot’s speed, and we can all relate. "I love using the Instant Pot, because the cook time is super short," she says. "Also, I enjoy this soup year-round, and love not turning on the stove in the summer."
Garnish your soup with basil and Parmesan cheese
Minestrone soup is pretty hearty on its own, but a little garnish never hurts for taste and aesthetic purposes. And by that we mean a soup is straight-up prettier will a little topping.
This recipe suggests serving basil and Parmesan over the soup, but you certainly aren’t limited to those items. Hahn says, "I love topping this soup with fresh basil, but it is also great topped with fresh thyme or Italian parsley."
In terms of longevity, according to Hahn, this minestrone soup "will keep for up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge."