Instant Pot Ham and White Bean Soup

Posted on Apr 14, 2018
71 Comments

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.

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

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

Overhead closeup of soup in bowl.

If you’ve tried this Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup or any other recipe on the blog, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how yours turned out in the comments below ~ I love hearing from you!  You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of what I’m cooking in my kitchen and recipes.  Never miss a post ~ sign up for The Hungry Bluebird Newsletter for a weekly email of new content.

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.
5 from 19 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: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  •  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.

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.
Keyword: Instant Pot ham and bean soup, ham and white bean soup, Instant Pot soup recipes, no presoaking
Did you make this recipe? Rate it below and share on Instagram so I can see!Mention @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird !

 

 

 

71 thoughts

  1. Avatar

    5 stars
    It tastes as good as it looks.

    Reply

  2. Avatar

    I will definitely be trying this recipe

    Reply

  3. Avatar

    Penny V

    July 17, 2018

    Your soup looks delicious, on the line up for this week. Making your IP Country green beans and potatoes tonight. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      We love pho ga and its so easy in the pressure cooker. Hope you like the Country Green Beans ~ I just made it for Sunday supper with some skillet cornbread, delish!

      Reply

  4. Avatar

    5 stars
    Full of flavour and easy to pull together. Thanks for this recipe!

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      You are very welcome, glad you liked it!

      Reply

  5. Avatar

    5 stars
    Best bean soup ever! And soooooo easy.

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      I’m so glad you liked it, we think it’s the best!

      Reply

  6. Avatar

    5 stars
    AMAZING! I’ve been craving white bean and ham soup. I threw this together last night and walked away to do some sewing. Boy did I have a wonderful dinner waiting for me downstairs. Thanks for a great recipe.

    Reply

  7. Avatar

    Gitte Collins

    December 11, 2018

    5 stars
    I am a fairly new Instant Pot user but this recipe was really easy to follow and it turned out really, really tasty! I will definitely be making this recipe again! Very yummy!

    Reply

  8. Avatar

    Hi Kelly – Excited to try your recipe! The family is looking for a thick “southern style” white bean and cornbread supper. Do you recommend I reduce the amount of water or add a thickener?

    Thanks, Sheila

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      It thickens up upon standing but you could do a quick release of the pressure, that will thicken it, too. I don’t think you need to add a thickener.

      Reply

    2. Avatar

      John Watson

      May 9, 2019

      Hi Kelly & Sheila
      I loved the easy ingredients!
      I don’t like recipe comments but this does not change the recipe.
      Sheila and the world, I peeled 2 potatoes (your choice) and threw them in at the start. This always gives me something to mash if I want to thicken or eat coz I love ‘em!
      If you don’t have any, try to keep powdered mashed potatoes in your cubbard; good for thickening soup, gravy etc.
      Single John in Costa Mesa

      Reply

      1. Avatar

        5 stars
        To thicken, take an immersion stick blender to about ¼-½ cup of the beans, works great.

        Reply

  9. Avatar

    Heather Pamplin

    December 28, 2018

    Made this tonight with just a few tweaks:
    1. I added 3 Tbspns of chicken Better Than Bouillon
    2. I cooked for 40 minutes
    3. I removed about one third of the beans and soup water and used a hand mixer to emulsify

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      All good tweaks!

      Reply

      1. Avatar

        Liz Whitley

        April 23, 2019

        I cooked it for the 40 minutes as this review did, the beans are still hard. I wish I had soaked them the night before. I’m going another 15 minutes. If that doesn’t work then I’ll have to throw something else together for dinner. Sad though, I was really looking forward to this.

        Reply

        1. Kelly

          Sorry to hear things didn’t work out for you. I’ve made this soup many times with no issues with the beans, as have many other readers. Impossible for me to tell what’s causing the issue you’re having, too many variables.

          Reply

          1. Avatar

            I don’t know about your beans, of course, but if they are a bit old, this will sometimes happen.

          2. Kelly

            Yes, I’ve heard that older beans can be tough. I’ve also heard not to salt the beans while cooking, that can make them tough, also.

        2. Avatar

          John Watson

          May 9, 2019

          Did you do a quick release without waiting 20 minutes?

          Reply

        3. Avatar

          I had the same experience- the beans didn’t cook thoroughly. I pressure cooked a little longer per the recipe and the beans still were not completely done. I put on slow cook overnight and the beans still aren’t completely done. I give up. However, the flavor of the soup is good, next time I will soak the beans first.

          Reply

  10. Avatar

    5 stars
    This was amazing! First recipe I made in my Instant Pot. The only thing I did differently was 4 cups chicken broth/4 cups water.

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      Chicken broth is good!! Glad you liked the soup.

      Reply

  11. Avatar

    5 stars
    This soup was amazing! I decided to add some fresh kale at the end. I just stirred it in before we dished it into our soup bowls. It added a new color and it was yummy!

    Reply

  12. Avatar

    5 stars
    I changed a few things but not much. I have an 8qt instant pot so added 10 cups of water instead of 8. I chopped up about 1.5 lbs of ham and also used the ham bone. Added an extra carrot as we enjoy veg. The Herbes de Provence was so good in this! One of the best out of the gate Instant Pot recipes that we have tried.

    Reply

  13. Avatar

    Andrea F.

    December 30, 2018

    Making this tonight! I’m confused on if this recipe is for beans that have been quick soaked or only rinsed.
    Thanks! Will update after devouring it 😉

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      Just rinsed, no pre-soaking 😉

      Reply

  14. Avatar

    2 tablespoons of rosemary and thyme each or combined?

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      Combined 🙃

      Reply

  15. Avatar

    I want to pre soak beans overnight for health benefits so how would that change the cooking time ? Thanks !

    Reply

  16. Avatar

    Ann Sutton

    January 3, 2019

    5 stars
    Question. Would you recommend replacing the water with chicken broth? or would that be too much?

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      You could use chicken broth if you want, it would be very good, I’m sure. I find the ham and seasonings are enough for a very flavorful soup.

      Reply

  17. Avatar

    5 stars
    This soup is outstanding. I just got my Instant Pot and this was the second recipe I ever made in it.

    I sautéed 6 onions and left out the carrot since I didn’t have any. I also added more garlic than I care to admit 🙂 I used Herbs de Provence and rosemary as you suggested.

    Your instructions were super helpful for a first timer. I think this is the first scratch-made soup I’ve ever made that I actually enjoyed.

    If anyone else doesn’t love the texture of whole beans, I stuck my immersion blender in the pot after it was done cooking and it was still spectacular. Thank you for this recipe!!

    Reply

  18. Avatar

    5 stars
    This was delicious. I made two changes. Used navy beans and omitted the rosemary. Cook time was perfect.

    Reply

  19. Avatar

    5 stars
    Just made this and it really does taste delicious!! I used 6 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water but other than that followed the directions exactly! Was a hit and this recipe is definitely a keeper! Thank you!!

    Reply

  20. Avatar

    What size instant pot do you use?

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      6-quart Ultra.

      Reply

  21. Avatar

    I made this recipe and put the insta pot on for 75 min with the stew button after pressure was built, than let pressure out and the beans are not cooked. I just put the pressure back on for soup for 35 more minutes. I have to wait for the pressure to come again and than the 35 min starts. Why is my batch taking so long?

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      I use the high pressure setting, not the stew setting, that could be why.

      Reply

  22. Avatar

    So my house smells terrific. But my beans were not fully cooked. The only change i made was 4 cups of stock and 4 cups of water. I’m on high pressure in the 6 quart Instant Pot Duo. Its my first time doing dried beans. I’m certainly up for any thoughts. A lot of the liquid was absorbed, so I added 4 more cups of water and am running it for another 15 minutes.

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      I’ve made this soup several times in the Ultra under high pressure and 35 minutes is enough time. I let it naturally release for about 20 minutes and I don’t salt the beans. Not sure why it’s taking longer for you but there are definitely variables. Maybe 40 minutes is a better time in your model? Hope it eventually turned out for you. I bet your house smelled divine!

      Reply

      1. Avatar

        I also cooked this on high pressure in the 6 quart Instant Pot Duo (for 40 minutes), and the beans were still pretty hard. I followed your instructions for the 20 minute natural release after the 40, then released the steam. I removed the ham, and cooked the beans for another 15 minutes (with quick release), and they were still not done. Any thoughts?

        Reply

        1. Kelly

          Not sure why, mine always cook in the stated time. I’ve read that the age of the beans matters, that could be a possibility if the beans are on the older side. They should have been cooked and tender in the time you stated. Also, salting the cooking water can toughen beans. I’m stumped, sorry.

          Reply

          1. Avatar

            Do you soke the beans overnight?

          2. Kelly

            Nope. You can if you want but I find it’s unnecessary in the pressure cooker.

  23. Avatar

    This was really good. Couple subs (1) used 2 smoked ham hocks and an 8-oz slab of ham, diced; (2) used 4 cups low sodium chicken broth and 4 cups water. Mine was perfect after 35 minutes with 20 minute rest. Very, very good, filling and comforting. Leftovers for lunch!

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      Leftovers are the best!!

      Reply

  24. Avatar

    This is only the 3rd dish I’ve made in my instant pot nd was not impressed with the first 2. But this- this was not only delicious but so easy to put together! I had a ham bone from Christmas dinner and everything else already in my pantry and fridge. A cold winters dinner ready in no time

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      It takes awhile to figure out Instant Pot cooking, I definitely don’t like everything in the IP. This soup, though, is a favorite. I’m glad you tried it and liked it.

      Reply

  25. Avatar

    I’m new to the instant pot. Why do you have to wait for it to natural release instead of quick release?

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      To continue cooking the beans and when you manually release, the contents boil vigorously and I like the soup more on the brothy side. That said, the soup does thicken up a bit upon resting.

      Reply

  26. Avatar

    Just got my Pot this week and love this recipe! Served it with homemade biscuits just the way my mom did growing up in Michigan. I used 4 cups of low sodium chicken stock and 4 cups of water.

    Reply

  27. Avatar

    LEE ANN

    March 10, 2019

    Can i use leftover diced ham for this soup and if so do you add it right away with bean

    Reply

    1. Avatar

      I’m planning to do this with leftover ham today. I think what I will do is cook the beans and the ham bone as the recipe states and then add the diced ham in at the end for a simmer to warm through. That way the ham bone flavors the broth and beans, and if the beans aren’t done I can easily remove the bone and restart the pot to finish as the recipe states. I don’t know about ham, but I do know the longer precooked chicken stays cooking in a broth, the less flavor/more boiled tasting it is. So I’m assuming cooked to death ham would become similarly waterlogged as well. I’ll report back later on how it went….

      Reply

      1. Avatar

        5 stars
        Did everything I said I would do and it turned out great. I had soaked my beans for a few hours prior to cooking so I reduced the amount of liquid by two cups. Beans came out great. Removed the ham bone and the meat on the bone was soggy and flavorless I’m really glad I did not cook my diced precooked meat at the same time as the beans. My mother-in-law who hates ham bean soup devoured two bowls!

        Reply

        1. Kelly

          Sounds delicious, glad you liked it. That’s the best compliment seeing someone who doesn’t like something eat it up! I use ham shanks and the ham still has flavor. Your method makes sense, tho. Thanks for letting me know how it went 😊 😉

          Reply

  28. Avatar

    Nancy B.

    April 24, 2019

    5 stars
    Just made this using my leftover ham bone from Easter. Great directions, easy to follow for a beginner like me! I took out the bone am cooking an extra 5 minutes. Absolutely delicious and an absolute keeper! Thanks so much.

    Reply

  29. Avatar

    Deborah Johnson

    April 25, 2019

    5 stars
    Love this recipe

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      Thank you, we love it, too.

      Reply

  30. Avatar

    Can’t wait to taste this! Just got it all in my pot and turned it on. This is the bone from my Easter ham. We’re having this for supper along with grilled cheese paninis.

    Reply

  31. Avatar

    5 stars
    I made this soup with the original ingredients but,I had a half a cup of homemade marinara in my instant pot from canning this morning and used that. Also I had 4 cups of homemade bone broth in the freezer that I added as well as a wrinkly orange pepper and a fairly large jalapeno. I didn’t have a full pound if great northern beans so I used the rest of a package of 15 bean soup. I pressured cooked it for 45 minutes and did a natural release. Very very tasty. My husband loved it. The pot likker is the best!

    Reply

  32. Avatar

    All I have is canned white kidney beans? Put them in at the same time?

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      The recipe is timed for dried beans. Try this, make it as directed but don’t add the beans and cook for 20 minutes under high pressure. Release the pressure, open and add the beans. Seal and cook another 5 minutes. Release the pressure and continue with recipe, removing and cutting the ham. That should work and give you a good flavored broth.

      Reply

  33. Avatar

    This was definitely some of the best bean soup I’ve ever made or eaten for that matter. Hubby had 2 bowls. Didn’t have fresh herb so just used dried. Can’t imagine it being any better with fresh. Will share with friends and make it again.

    Reply

  34. Avatar

    Dacia D Barnes

    October 2, 2019

    This is very delicious, thank you!! Made it last night and it was a hit with everyone!!

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      You are very welcome, glad it was a hit 😋!

      Reply

  35. Avatar

    LeslieSchamberg

    October 4, 2019

    5 stars
    I made this soup today and the family loved it. My husband said it is reminiscent of a rustic French soup. Great recipe!

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      Thanks for letting me know, glad you liked it. It’s our favorite!

      Reply

  36. Avatar

    5 stars
    I made this last night. I used chicken broth instead of water, all other ingredients were the same. My beans were only 1/2 cooked at 35 minutes so I put them back on for another 25 minutes. Perfection!!! The flavor was so good! I’ll definitely be making it again.

    Reply

    1. Kelly

      I’m happy to see you adjusted your cook time accordingly and all was good. It’s such a great soup for the cooler weather. We love it!

      Reply

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