Warm-up with this vegetarian Instant Pot Minestrone Soup! This Italian classic soup recipe is comforting hearty, filling, easy to make, and tastes incredible. The beauty of this recipe is, It requires one pot, and it gets done in 30 minutes!
It’s vegan, too, if you skip parmesan cheese! Serve with crusty No-knead bread to sop up that hearty savory broth and sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese for a cozy winter dinner!
Minestrone was traditionally made to use up leftover vegetables, so feel free to use any seasonal vegetables and greens you have on hand. I used celery, carrots, zucchini, onion, and spinach for the soup and it was delicious.
You can use any vegetables of your choice. Swap the spinach for Swiss chard or baby kale If you don’t have or don’t like spinach.
If you want your spinach to be less cooked, fold it in right after the soup is done cooking.
For this recipe, we use dry pasta shells that get cooked directly in the Instant Pot to make this an easy one-pot meal. Small/tiny pasta is preferred, our favorite one is small shell pasta. You may use mini farfalle, mini macaroni, orzo, etc.
You can also boil the pasta separately and stir in later or use leftover cooked pasta.
Also, if you plan on freezing this soup, I would leave out the pasta and cook it separately on the stove whenever you’re planning to serve it. That way, the pasta doesn’t end up getting soggy.
For an even healthier option, use whole wheat macaroni pasta.
To keep this low-carb, omit the pasta, you honestly won’t miss it with everything else in this soup.
I have used canned red kidney beans here. You can use any beans you have on hand – kidney beans, cannellini, northern beans, or the combination of all the beans. Chickpeas will also work.
If using dried beans instead of canned, cook and drain ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
For seasoning, I used Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, black pepper powder, and salt.
Since we love spicy, red pepper flakes are an absolute must for us. You can reduce the number of chili flakes or leave it out if you’re making these cheese cookies for kids or for someone who isn’t a fan of spices.
Be very careful while adding salt. Because tomato sauce and beans have salt added in them.
If you don’t have Italian seasoning on hand, you could use a mix of individual Italian herbs as per your preferences.
What makes this soup extra special, is using the rind from a wedge of parmesan. I always stash them in my freezer just for soups, if you don’t have one toss some grated cheese into the soup while it’s cooking.
It adds a rich, savory flavor to the soup. You can skip you want to make vegan or don’t have at hand.
Btw, if you are looking for vegetarian parmesan cheese, then Sprouts and Wholefoods does carry them.
Diced tomato and tomato sauce
I always use this combination for that tomato-y flavors. You can use tomato paste for the intense flavors. If you don’t prefer to use canned products, use fresh diced tomatoes.
I have used low sodium vegetable stock. If you don’t have in the pantry, you may use water or the combination of better than bouillon and water. Feel free to use any other stock of your choice.
I have used extra virgin olive oil. You may use any oil of your choice.
To make keto, low carb minestrone soup, or a whole paleo version of it, simply leave out the pasta, beans, and carrots. And instead, add cauliflower and green beans.
Add sugar if you feel the soup is sour.
Can you make this in advance?
Soups are one of the best to make ahead meals out there! Yes, this Instant Pot Minestrone soup can be made ahead up to 5 days in advance.
How to reheat?
To warm this soup again, add some water, and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat stirring occasionally. Do not simmer for too long as this will overcook the pasta and zucchini and dull the flavor of the basil.
Can this recipe be frozen?
Yes, this Minestrone can be frozen for up to four months. Don’t add pasta if you intend freezing this soup or else the pasta will be mushy on reheating.
Once the soup is cool, divide it into containers with a convenient number of servings.
Cover it tightly and freeze.
Freeze for up to four months.
To thaw, transfer the container to the refrigerator and thaw at least 24 hours.
Reheat in the microwave or a pan.
Also, keep it in mind that this soup will thicken in the freezer or refrigerator as the residual heat of the broth continues to cook the vegetables and they release their starches, so stir in another splash of broth when you reheat leftovers.
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