This Instant Pot minestrone recipe features chunky vegetables, pasta, and a hearty broth. Top with pesto or Parmesan for a tasty healthy meal!
What’s more comforting than a steaming bowl of minestrone soup and rusty bread? This healthy Italian soup is made up of chunky vegetables, savory broth, and pasta, and it’s downright delicious! Alex and I realized 1. we love minestrone and 2. we didn’t have a recipe for this Italian soup using our pressure cooker. So, we set about to create the very best Instant Pot minestrone we could find. This one is chock full of all the best vegetables and teaming with flavor. Even better: you can top it with pesto for loads of savory flavor. Ready to get started?
How to make Instant Pot minestrone (basic steps)
First things first. Despite the branding of this pressure cooker, the Instant Pot does not make minestrone faster or easier than on the stovetop. It takes the same amount of time and effort as our Stovetop Minestrone Soup. Then why make it in the Instant Pot? Well, if you have a pressure cooker it’s a great way to use your favorite to make a healthy vegetarian meal!
But even better: the Instant Pot replaces the need for a stovetop. So you don’t need a kitchen at all to make this minestrone soup: which is kind of amazing! It’s perfect if your kitchen is out of commission, you’re teaching a cooking class, etc. While it’s not quicker or easier than the standard way, it’s certainly still fun to use an Instant Pot to make soup! Here are the basic steps to make it.
Step 1: Prep the veggies.
You’ll dice an onion, chop carrots and celery, and chop zucchini. If you’d like, you can use 1 to 2 cups of any other veggie instead of the zucchini, since minestrone was originally intended to use up vegetables you had on hand.
Step 2: Saute mode: cook the onion, carrots & celery.
You’ll use Saute mode twice in this recipe. The first time is to soften the onion, carrots and celery and add flavor. It should be on the Medium setting, the default for Saute mode. (In Step 4, you’ll want it to be on Low.)
Step 3: Pressure cook 0 minutes, then quick release.
Add the zucchini, broth, tomatoes and spices and pressure cook. 0 minutes? Yes, this still cooks the soup because it cooks as the pot builds pressure. It takes about 15 minutes to build pressure.
Step 4: Saute mode: cook the pasta.
Then, you’ll use Saute mode again! This time it should be on the Low setting, because you don’t want it to boil too high. Add the beans and pasta. Then grate the garlic cloves into the broth (the pressure cooker dulls the flavor of garlic, so we add it at the end in our soups.) Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until the pasta is al dente. Stir in the baby greens and you’re done! Delicious Instant Pot minestrone: a fabulous healthy dinner.
Top with all the garnishes!
This Instant Pot minestrone is tasty as is, but it’s made even more delicious with various garnishes! Here’s what we recommend:
- Finely chopped parsley (or other herbs). Sprinkling with herbs adds a fresh element. Other nice additions would be basil, thyme or oregano. Serving this way keeps it 100% plant based.
- Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese. Add a few shavings of Parmesan and it’s incredibly good. Even better, Pecorino Romano is sharper and even tastier.
- Basil pesto or vegan pesto. Serve this soup with pesto and it’s called Minestrone alla genovese. In Italian this means “minestrone soup from Genoa,” the capital of the region of Liguria Italy and where all the great pesto comes from! Alex and I love serving this one “alla genovese” because it adds incredible savory flavor.
What kind of Instant Pot to use?
The pressure cooker we used to test this recipe is the Instant Pot 6 Qt Pressure Cooker. But there are lots of great brands out there! If you’re using a different brand, you may find that the cook times are slightly different. With this soup, it shouldn’t be an issue since there aren’t tough vegetables like dried chickpeas or lentils.
Ways to make Instant Pot minestrone a meal
You’ll have two breaks in this Instant Pot minestrone recipe to make a side dish to go with the meal! Here are a few of our sides for soup that we recommend:
- Crusty Bread Use either store bought or one of our Homemade Bread Recipes.
- Easy Arugula Salad Here’s the simplest salad you’ll ever make! This easy arugula salad is fool-proof: you don’t even need to make dressing.
- Garlic Bread A total treat would be this easy garlic bread! It’s crunchy on top, chewy on the inside, and full of flavor: the perfect side for minestrone soup.
More Instant Pot soup recipes
- Best Ever Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili This really is the BEST, featuring two beans, lentils, and a robust flavor. (It’s vegan too.)
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup This ultra cozy soup stars fennel, fire roasted tomatoes, and lentils: it’s an easy vegetarian meal that everyone will love.
- Instant Pot Split Pea Soup The ultimate meal: it’s filling, plant based, and easy to make in a pressure cooker. It’s a tasty, healthy vegan dinner recipe.
This Instant Pot minestrone recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. For gluten-free, use gluten free or legume pasta.Print
This easy Instant Pot minestrone recipe features chunky vegetables, pasta, and a hearty broth. Top with pesto or Parmesan for a tasty healthy meal!
- 1 medium onion (or leek)
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 celery rib
- 1 small zucchini squash (or 1 to 2 cups of other chopped vegetables)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 28-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano and thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans
- 3/4 cup pasta shells or spirals (gluten-free or legume pasta if necessary)
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 3 cups baby kale (or spinach or other chopped greens)
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Optional topping: Parmesan cheese, basil pesto or vegan pesto
- Prep the vegetables: Peel and small dice the onion and carrots. Small dice the celery and zucchini.
- Turn on Saute mode (on Medium) and add the olive oil to the Instant Pot. When it is heated, add the onion, carrots, celery and tomato paste, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until the onions are just translucent.
- Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes and juices, water, zucchini, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Place the pressure release handle (vent) in the “Sealing” position.
- Cook on High Pressure for 0 minutes: Press the Pressure Cook button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time. Note that it takes about 15 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking. (During cooking, avoid touching the metal part of the lid.)
- Quick release: Vent the remaining steam from the Instant Pot by moving the pressure release handle to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. Never put your hands or face near the vent when releasing steam. Open the pressure cooker lid. Remove the bay leaf. Add the white beans, pasta, and grated garlic (you can grate it right into the pot).
- Turn on Saute mode to Low and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the baby greens for a few seconds until wilted. (If you’re using tougher greens like mature kale, chop them and add them in the last 5 minutes of the cook time.)
- Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Taste and add fresh ground black pepper and more kosher salt to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley (or optionally add Parmesan cheese shavings or basil pesto or vegan pesto).
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Instant Pot Minestrone, Pressure Cooker Minestrone
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.