Dried beans are cooked to tender perfection without any pre-soaking in this deliciously seasoned Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup. Old fashioned comfort food at its best!
I’ve been cooking with my Instant Pot for 3 years now and I’m still amazed at what it can do with dried beans. You can decide to cook up a pot of Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup whenever the craving strikes. There’s very little advance prep and the way it cooks dry beans to tender perfection just gives me a little thrill every single time.
Pressure cooking has been around for ages, but the Instant Pot is a real game-changer. It has effectively changed how and what we cook for dinner. You can decide on bean soup from scratch late in the afternoon and it’s on the table in time for dinner.
Bean soup falls at the top of the my list of nostalgic comfort foods. It’s pretty much on par with grilled cheese and tomato soup in my book. It is part of that special group of foods that somehow make things better.
If you have cozy bean soup memories, I think you’re going to love this quick and easy bean soup recipe. It has a creamy, tomato based broth, smoky ham, and a delicious blend of seasonings to evoke that classic feel.
Table of contents
- Dry beans: There are many different brands of 15 or 16 bean soup mix and any will work for this soup. If yours comes with a seasoning packet, just toss it. You can create great flavor with far less sodium by using your own seasonings.
- Ham: Seasoning hams are bony pieces of ham that are used solely to add meaty, smoky flavor to recipes. A leftover meaty ham bone from a holiday ham is a great option, but since we don’t always have one tucked in our fridge, check the meat department for a ham hock or ham shank. You can also buy a ham steak to chop up and add for an even meatier soup if you’d like but this is totally optional.
- Seasoning: A mix of dry spices including oregano, cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, black pepper, and a little cayenne adds great classic flavor. You might notice I didn’t include salt in this list. Between the seasoning ham, tomato sauce, broth, and spices, I find the soup to be perfectly seasoned. I recommend waiting until the end of the cooking process to taste and add salt only if you feel it needs it.
How to Make Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup
- Set your Instant Pot on the Sauté setting and add the oil. Once heated, add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion and veggies begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute then press Cancel.
- Transfer the rinsed dried beans to the Instant Pot.
- Pour in the tomato sauce, broth and water.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and the bay leaves. Stir well to combine.
- Tuck the seasoning ham (ham hock, shank, or meaty leftover ham bone) down into the mixture. Lock the lid in place and make sure vent is sealed (on older models). Pressure cook on High for 40 minutes.
- When time is up, allow the steam pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes then manually release any remaining pressure. Unlock and remove the lid. You can remove any good chunks of ham from your seasoning ham (if any) to chop up and add back to the soup. Discard the remainder of the seasoning ham and bay leaves.
If a creamier (less brothy) texture is desired, pulse the mixture with an immersion blender 3 or 4 times. Just enough to break up some of the beans. Don’t go overboard, you want lots of whole beans and a few pulses will yield a nice and creamy result.
This 15 Bean Soup is delicious in its natural state or garnish it will a little shredded cheese.
Serve it with some crusty bread for a truly delicious meal. It would also be delicious served with a warm slice of Mexican Cornbread.
The Best Instant Pot
I own and LOVE the 6 quart Instant Pot Duo Nova and based on the Amazon reviews, it looks like I’m not alone! They improved on several features that makes this unit simpler and easier to use than older models. Once you close the lid and set the time, it automatically seals and begins to come to pressure without any need to move the steam release valve. After cooking, the steam releases with an easy press of the button. It is slick, easy to use, and has never failed me.
More Comfort in a Bowl
- Instant Pot Navy Bean Soup
- Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
- Creamy Southwest Chicken Soup
- Hamburger Stew with Rice
- Cabbage Roll Soup
Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup
- 1 pound 15 or 16 dried bean soup mix, any brand will work (toss the seasoning packet)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1½ cups diced yellow onion
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne, optional (it adds a nice kick)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ham shank, ham hock, or meaty ham bone
- salt, to taste and only if needed
- grated Parmesan or Monterey Jack cheese, oyster crackers, crushed saltine crackers
- Place beans in a colander and rinse them well with cold water and allow to drain. Pick through the beans and remove and discard any debris.
- Add oil to the Instant Pot and press the SAUTE button. When display reads "Hot" add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion and veggies begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute then press CANCEL.
- Add beans, broth, water, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and the bay leaves. Stir well to combine. Tuck the ham shank (or meaty ham bone) down into the mixture. Lock the lid in place and make sure vent is sealed (on older models). Press the MANUAL or the PRESSURE COOK button, select HIGH, and cook for 40 minutes.
- When time is up, allow the steam pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes then manually release any remaining pressure. Unlock and remove the lid. Transfer ham shank (or bone) to a cutting board. Use a fork to remove the ham from the bone and stir it into the soup. Discard the bone.
- If a creamier (less brothy) texture is desired, pulse the mixture with an immersion blender 3 or 4 times, just to break up some of the beans. Don't go overboard, you want lots of whole beans and a few pulses will yield a nice and creamy result.
- This soup is excellent reheated. It will thicken when refrigerated so just add a little water to reach desired consistency.
- Taste and season with salt and additional pepper, if desired. I don't recommend adding any salt until the end of the cooking process as the seasoning ham, tomato sauce, and broth tend to add enough.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
Questions and Reviews
over all this was a good dish with nice flavors. however, the cooking time was not long enough. after 40 minutes under pressure + the 15 minute release, I had to add another 30 minutes and fast release after that. I think probably an hour to 75 minutes with 15 minute release would be better. also, it took a long while (20-25 minutes) to come to pressure in the first place so don’t forget to include that in your timing…
Hi Gary. It’s strange that it took so long for your beans to cook! An hour to 75 minutes would be a very long time to pressure cook dry beans. I make this soup frequently. My most recent batch was after Easter a couple of weeks ago and the cooking time as written yields perfectly tender beans for me. If you’re pressure cooker is taking a long time to come to pressure, I recommend replacing the sealing ring. They degrade over time and this will increase the amount of total time needed for the recipe. They are pretty inexpensive and available on Amazon.
I’ve made a very similar 15 bean soup for years, but always by cooking it for hours on the stove. My husband suggested looking for an Instant Pot recipe, and I found this. We loved it! It tasted just as good as my regular recipe but took so much less time! I used a can of diced tomatoes instead of the tomato sauce because that’s what my original recipe called for, and we like to use sliced sausages for our protein, but those are minor differences. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the old cooking method!
These spices would be better in Pinto Beans. I am a bean soup lover but not of this recipe.
Sorry it didn’t work out for you!
Really loved the soup. I did cook it for 45 min instead of 40 and used 6 cups of broth, 1 cup of water since I had broth that needed to be used
O-M-YUM! This was so good! The only changes made were that I used the whole 20 oz bag of 15 beans, the whole 14.5 oz can of tomato sauce, and veggie broth since I needed to use it up. For the ham, a used Kentucky Legend hickory smoked ham. This is definitely a keeper! I was going to thin it out with more broth to extend it since it was more like the thickness of chili, but my husband loves it thick. Thanks again for the recipe!