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Instant Pot Ham and White Bean Soup

Smoky ham and white bean soup made easy in the Instant Pot, no need to presoak the beans.

Ham and bean soup in bowl with spoon and hot sauce in background.

I think my favorite thing to make in my Instant Pot so far, has been soup.  I’ve made a lot of soups and my pressure cooker is my go-to for making chicken stock (or bone broth, if you prefer).  Instant Pot Ham and White Bean Soup is so easy and so good.  We love it.

Soup in bowl with Instant Pot and hot sauce in background.

I used to never make soups from dried beans because I was always turned off by having to soak them overnight.  Don’t have to do that with the Instant Pot.  I didn’t and they were perfectly tender.  I wanted cannellini beans, but couldn’t find dried, so I used Great Northern beans, which is probably the preferred white bean to use anyway.  You need a one-pound bag of beans.

I love ham shanks for soups, they are meaty and add so much flavor.  You could use a smoked ham hock but you won’t get any meat to shred for the soup.  You’re better off with shanks or a meaty ham bone with some extra meat added.  Just sayin’

side view closeup of soup in bowl.

I flavored the soup a couple different ways, each time I made it.  I like fresh rosemary and thyme (or dried) a lot.  I also like herbs de Provence.  Whatever you got and like.  And a bay leaf.  That’s it.  Well, along with the onion, celery, carrot and garlic, that’s it.

It all goes in the Instant Pot and you can walk away while it does all the work.  While the actual cooking time is about 35 minutes, it takes awhile to reach pressure as well as naturally release the pressure.  Count on about an hour and a half, start to finish.

Ham and bean soup in white bowl with spoon.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • I do not presoak the beans and never have a problem with them cooking all the way.  Use the manual pressure cook setting, set at high pressure.  Do not use the bean or soup setting.  I can not stress this enough.
  • Make sure to use a natural release of at least 20 minutes before you open the pot.
  • If the beans are not tender, remove the ham shanks and cook the beans under high pressure an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  • The soup will thicken upon standing as well as after refrigeration.  I like it on the broth-y side but also like it after it sits for awhile and thickens.
  • Use a ham bone, either leftover or shanks, to cook with the beans to make the best flavored broth.  Add any leftover ham not on the bone at the end.
  • Total time to make this soup is about an hour and a half.  It takes some time to come to pressure and then the natural release time, but it’s all hands off and easy.

Instant Pot Ham and White Bean Soup is a favorite around here.  We love a hot bowl of soup for dinner, with crusty bread and a salad.  It’s even better the next day for lunch, and I usually manage to stash a quart in the freezer for later.  I think you’ll like this, homemade soup is so tasty and comforting.  Enjoy, Kelly🍴🐦

Overhead closeup of soup in bowl.

If you’re looking for Instant Pot recipes to try, you might like these favorites of mine:

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side view closeup of soup in bowl.

Instant Pot Ham and White Bean Soup

Smoky ham and white bean soup made easy in the Instant Pot.
4.76 from 33 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Instant Pot, Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Bring to pressure/release: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird


  • 1 pound dried Great Northern white beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary and thyme, minced or 2 teaspoons dried, or 2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pounds meaty, smoked ham shanks
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 sprigs parsley


  •  Turn Instant Pot on sauté setting and heat olive oil in insert.  I use the medium heat setting for sautéing.  Add onion, celery and carrots and sauté until starting to soften, a few minutes.  Add garlic, stir a few seconds until fragrant, then add herbs and bay leaf, stir and turn off sauté function.
  • Add the dried beans to the pot along with the ham shanks.  Pour in 8 cups of water and combine gently.  Toss in 2 sprigs of parsley.
  • Close lid and seal pressure cooker.  Cook on high pressure and set timer for 35 minutes.  It will take about 25 minutes to reach pressure and then the timer will start.  When finished cooking, let pressure naturally release for 20 minutes.
  • Manually release any remaining pressure, carefully open pot.  Remove ham shanks to cutting board and shred/cut meat into bite-sized pieces.  Add back to soup and season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.  Ladle into bowls and serve with a little hot sauce on the side.


If the beans aren't tender enough, remove the ham shanks and cook for another 5 minutes under high pressure, release pressure manually and continue with recipe.
Keyword: Instant Pot ham and bean soup, ham and white bean soup, Instant Pot soup recipes, no presoaking
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!




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Terry Lynne

Wednesday 15th of April 2020

With everyone stocking up here, there were no dried beans at all, in two different stores. :( I had to get canned Northern beans instead. Can you tell me what adjusted time would be?? And I assume I drain the beans first .. ? Thank you for the help!


Wednesday 15th of April 2020

I would cook as directed without the dried beans and adjust the time to 25 minutes to make the broth, natural release for 10 minutes. Shred the meat and then add your drained and rinsed beans and heat for about 5 minutes on the sauté setting.

The Mom

Monday 13th of April 2020

Lol first time I ever made ham n bean soup because I never wanted to soak my my Instant Pot!! This turned out exceptional. Used my leftover Easter Ham bone with added meat. Didnt have minced garlic so used 1.5 tsp of garlic powder. Didnt have Rosemary so used 2tbsp of just Thyme. Used 5cups water n 5 cups chicken broth because I think I had more meat n carrot than called for. No need for salt but did add black pepper before cooking.


Wednesday 15th of April 2020

I'm so glad to hear this, your tweaks are perfect!


Sunday 15th of March 2020

I used 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water instead of the recommended 8 cups. I didn't have any ham, but I cooked a pkg of bacon in the oven and then crumbled it in at the end. It was delicious! The beans were perfectly cooked in the specified time. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


Saturday 21st of March 2020

Sounds delicious!!

Cindy O.

Friday 10th of January 2020

This was delicious! I used my ham bone I had previously frozen on Christmas. I did need to add 5 minutes to the beans, but will adjust by 5 next time.


Friday 28th of February 2020



Tuesday 7th of January 2020

We have the IP Ultra - I did need to return the beans to high pressure for the suggested extra 5 minutes and they were perfect after that second time. Used half chicken broth and half water as other commenters recommended and my husband, who will normally eat all the goodies out of a soup and leave the broth sitting, literally drank the bottom of the bowl clean (twice)! Will definitely make again and simply add an extra few minutes on cook time from the beginning. Thank you for the recipe!


Friday 28th of February 2020

You're very welcome, glad you enjoyed it.