This Instant Pot Minestrone is an easy Italian soup filled with fresh vegetables, pasta, and a rich broth. Thanks to the Instant Pot, this simple, healthy soup can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Thanks to a few trade secrets, this recipe for Minestrone is truly the best. Not only does it come together quickly, but the flavor that is developed is outstanding. This soup is a perfect plant-based meal that is warming, comforting, lacks nothing in flavor.
If you love Minestrone, you will love this recipe for Instant Pot Minestrone Soup.
In fact, I am willing to bet it is better than any minestrone you have ever had!
I know that is a bold statement, but I am sharing with you 4 tips that will turn good minestrone into outstanding minestrone.
And the best part?
Thanks to the Instant Pot, this recipe for Minestrone comes together in just 30 minutes! While I love my Slow Cooker Minestrone recipe, this busy mom REALLY loves this fast version! And truthfully, I think the flavor of this Instant Pot version is better! I believe it has to do with how the pressure cooker seals in all the incredible flavors on the soup!
4 Secrets to the Best Minestrone Soup
1. Toasted Spices
I use dried oregano in my Minestrone soup. But in order to enhance the flavor of the oregano, it is best to lightly toast it. To do this, just add the oregano to the sauteed carrots, celery, and onion and let toast up for 1 minute. Trust me, that extra step really brings out the flavor of dried herbs.
2. Deglaze with Red Wine
I love adding wine to so many recipes. A good quality wine just adds incredible flavor and depth to savory dishes and is especially delicious in soup recipes. For this minestrone recipe, use a dry red wine, like Cabernet or Merlot. And be sure it is worthy of drinking--I NEVER recommend using a wine labeled as cooking wine. They are often sweetened and weak in flavor.
If you are not a wine drinker, just use additional vegetable or chicken stock. You will miss out on some of the flavors the wine adds to this soup, but I promise your minestrone will still be delicious.
3. Use Marinara Sauce
I am telling you that using prepared marinara or homemade tomato sauce, makes a world of difference in flavor. The flavored sauce adds more depth to the soup than canned diced tomatoes and I prefer the texture of the sauce over the chunks of diced tomatoes--as do my picky kids!
4. Add Vinegar
A trick I learned years ago, is to finish the soup with an acid of some sort. I use lemon juice for Chicken Noodle Soup and balsamic vinegar for Lentil Soup. But for this Minestrone, red wine vinegar is best. The splash of vinegar brightens and heightens all the flavors in this soup and makes it truly memorable. Trust me, you don't want to skip this step!
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute and add in a bit of oil and let heat.
- Once heated, add the carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and oregano to the inner pot and saute for a couple of minutes until the onions begin to soften.
- If using add in the red wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the inner pot. This will prevent a burn notice!
- Turn the saute function off and add in the vegetable broth, zucchini, beans, and noodles.
- Set the cooking time for 1 minute on high pressure. This is much less time than I typically suggest for cooking pasta in the Instant Pot, but for this recipe, we need to let the pressure release for 10 minutes. In that time, the noodles will cook up to al dente perfection and the soup will develop incredible flavor.
- Once pressure has released for 10 minutes, do a quick release of any remaining pressure. Because our instant pot is full of thin liquid, be extra cautious when doing a quick release. Knock the vent knob from sealing to venting using the handle of a wooden spoon and stand away from the vent knob in case any liquid escapes from the knob. Remember to never release pressure directly under kitchen cabinets either. It is best to always use your pressure cooker in an open space.
- Once pressure is released, open the pressure cooker and stir in spinach and red wine vinegar. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and let sit for a couple of minutes, or until the spinach is wilted.
- Then dish up this hearty, healthy soup! I love to serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and homemade Italian bread.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- Vegetables: If your family does not like celery or garlic, just omit it from the soup. Personally, I find that this soup benefits greatly from this combination of vegetables, but it is best to adjust the recipe to suit your preferences.
- Beans: I use kidney beans and Great Northern beans, but you can use all kidney beans, white beans, or even garbanzo beans/chickpeas work great in Minestrone.
- Noodles: For the noodles, elbow noodles are traditional, but orecchiette or small shells are a great substitute. Whole wheat or regular noodles work perfectly.
- Gluten-Free Modifications: For gluten-free noodles, I recommend Barilla Gluten Free--those are the only noodles that cook up well in the soup without releasing too much starch.
- Spinach: Feel free to stir in baby kale instead of the kale. You can also add shredded cabbage BEFORE pressure cooking if desired.
- Storage: Leftover minestrone soup can be stored in a sealed container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. It also can be frozen for up to 3 months. Keep in mind you may need to add a bit of stock when reheating, as the noodles will absorb the extra broth.
More Plant-Based Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup
- Instant Pot Coconut Milk Yogurt
- Instant Pot Rice and Beans
- Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
- Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
Instant Pot Minestrone
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ onion minced
- 2 large carrots peeled and diced
- 2 stalks of celery diced
- ½ tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 zucchini diced into ½ inch moons
- ½ cup dry elbow macaroni
- 2 cups cooked kidney beans or 15 ounce can, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cooked white beans or 15 ounce can, rinsed and drained
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Turn Instant Pot to saute, add oil and let it heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the Instant pot. Let saute for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften.
- Add in the garlic and oregano. Saute that for 1 minute.
- Add in dry red wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the inner pot and let cook off for 1-2 minutes. Turn Instant Pot off.
- Add in vegetable stock, marinara, zucchini, beans, elbow noodles, bay leaf, salt, and stir well.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and set cook time for 1 minute. Hit Manual and adjust time to read 1 minute.
- Once cook time has released, let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then do a quick pressure release. Use a wooden spoon to hit vent knob from sealing to venting. (Be sure to stand away from vent knob to protect yourself.)
- Remove the bay leaf and then stir in the spinach and red wine vinegar. Place the lid back on pressure cooker and let spinach wilt for just a couple minutes and then serve the soup