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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.
4.69 from 67 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: 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 servings
Calories: 215kcal
Author: Kelly


  • 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.

Recipe Notes

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.


Calories: 215kcal Carbohydrates: 37g Protein: 14g Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Sodium: 35mg Potassium: 1090mg Fiber: 9g Sugar: 2g Vitamin A: 1355IU Vitamin C: 2mg Calcium: 156mg Iron: 6mg
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!




Recipe Rating


Monday 31st of October 2022

Great recipe! I didn't have enough ham so I threw in some Kielbasa. Also, didn't have celery so used celery seed. Even with reducing water/broth to 6 cups as others suggested I felt it was still too liquidy at the end so I'll decrease to 5 cups next time and maybe 7 cups for 1.5 times the recipe. I also felt some of the beans were underdone so I will pressure cook for 40-45 mins next time. This was sooo yummy with sweet Mexican corn bread. My 2 kids went back for seconds...WIN WIN :)!

Brandon G.

Sunday 2nd of October 2022

Let me start off by saying I live in Tennessee. So know you know I live in the South and grew up on white beans and ham. Its definitely a main staple where I live. I tried this recipe one night wanting to try out the new instant pot I got, and let me tell you this is without a doubt one heck of a meal. If you use this recipe I promise you won't regret it. So don't look at any other white beans and ham recipes. This is the one to go for your waiting your time with all the others.


Tuesday 16th of August 2022

I made this for the first time…it is delicious!! I love beans and cornbread!!! I will definitely fix this one again!!!


Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

Omgosh it’s my new, never have to find another recipe bean soup! Thank you for a great recipe. Reminds me of my mom’s and no one made better soups than her. ( except me now lol ) So happy I found your recipe!


Wednesday 30th of March 2022

Thank you so much for letting me know, Joanna. I'm so happy you liked this comforting soup and honored it reminds you of your mom's!


Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

I am only giving 3 stars as I had to make modifications to the recipe. I used 6 cups of chicken broth vs 8 cups water and I still had to take almost 2 cups of the soup out and blend with an immersion blender and added a half cup of heavy cream. I used dried navy beans as those are smaller and they cooked fine for 35 minutes on high pressure. Also on the spices used 1 tbsp of chopped sage along with 1 tbsp each of fresh chopped rosemary and Italian parsley And 6 sprigs of thyme (can pick out the stems at the the end). Finally at the end, to add a flavor burst, heat some olive oil with a sprig of rosemary and then drizzle on top of soup along with some grated Parmesan cheese.


Wednesday 30th of March 2022

Hi Pam, sounds like this recipe isn't quite what you expected. It's definitely brothier than others, although it does thicken upon resting or reheated for leftovers. And it sounds like you found a mix of spices that works better for you, and a great way to finish off the soup before serving.