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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
More Comfort in a Bowl
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
An excellent go-to recipe.
A really good soup, it is spicy! I will make it again.
I am rarely delighted with a recipe and don’t leave reviews but this recipe was SO DELICIOUS! I was so surprised. I used some diced homemade salt pork for the meat element. I actually wrote the recipe in my recipe book- a bold move.
So glad you loved it!
My family loved this soup. The recipe is definitely a keeper. Thank you!
Wow. Never had bean soup before. I was a little nervous about trying this. My dad was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s and high fiber is a must! I made this for him and me hoping we would like it. And we both do!!! I tripled the cayenne because we like spicy! It’s so good. I love it so much. Easy to prepare and will feed us for 4 dinners this week!
I’m so happy to hear that this recipe worked well for both you and your dad. Thanks so much, Lori. 🙂
This was delicious and a nice change with the chili powder. It is easy to follow, dump it all into a pot after sauteing, unlike other recipes that call for additional steps. I highly recommend the recipe. I did cook for 45 min instead of 40, but it would probably be fine at 40.
Excellent taste. Loved the seasoning. Used fresh oregano and bay leaves and smoked ham hock.
Sounds wonderful! Thanks, Linda. 🙂
Hi, this looks amazing. Do you think I could substitute the ham for a smoked turkey drum?
I’ve never tried that but let me know how it works out for you if you do!
I needed an hour instead of 45 but otherwise it was great!
The recipe is spectacular.
Everything about it is perfect! It was by far the best bean soup I have ever had. This one is definitely getting bookmarked. Thank you so much for sharing it.
I needed a recipe to use a ham bone from my Christmas ham and this recipe was perfect. The seasoning are spot on and made one of the best bean soup I have had. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
I love your recipes I’ve tried a lot of them
Glad to hear this! Thanks, Leonard. 🙂