Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup is a delicious, hearty, budget-friendly soup made with a ham bone or ham hock, or chopped ham, and dried beans (no soaking required) with lots of seasonings in your pressure cooker.
What is great about Ham and Bean Soup?
There is no better comfort food than Ham and Bean Soup, and like my other Instant Pot Recipes, such as Instant Pot Ham Green Beans And Potatoes, Instant Pot Taco Soup and Instant pot Chicken And Wild Rice Soup, this pressure cooker soup is a great way to use up leftovers and transform them into a hearty, delicious soup that can be made easily in the Instant Pot.
This soup is especially great after holidays, such as Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, because you can use a leftover ham bone or ham hock from my Crock Pot Brown Sugar Pineapple Ham recipe, for example, or just use up a couple of cups of chopped ham.
Why Make This Recipe?
What makes this soup recipe unique are the seasonings. Most ham and bean soups offer minimal seasonings and let the ham and beans and maybe the onions provide most of the flavor.
This Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup bursts with flavor not only from the ham, beans, onions, and garlic, but from the chicken broth, Cajun seasonings, and Italian Seasonings, in addition to the salt and pepper, that really take this over soup over the top. No one will ever call this soup bland.
Furthermore, making this Ham and Bean Soup in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker makes it so easy. It is a one-pot meal that is, for the most part, a set-it and forget-it type of recipe. Dump all the ingredients in the Instant Pot and in an hour, which is a fraction of the time it would take to make in a slow cooker, your soup is ready.
What Do I Need To Make Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup?
- Ham. This is a great recipe to use up leftover ham, whether it is a ham bone or ham hock, or just ham slices. For the ham bone and ham hock, you just cook those with the beans. For ham slices, chop them up into bite-sized pieces first before cooking them with the beans.
- Beans. If you are wondering what type of beans to use, I like to use the 15-bean soup mix for a variety of dried beans. I used one with a Cajun Seasoning packet included. However, you can use any package of dried beans, such as pinto beans or Northern beans, and use your own seasoning.
- Onion. You’ll need one onion that has been chopped. You can use white onion, sweet onion, or Vidalia onion. Any of these would work well.
- Garlic. I used about 3 cloves of garlic that had been minced, which is about 3 teaspoons, or 1 tablespoon, of minced garlic.
- Celery. You will need to slice or chop about 2 stalks of celery.
- Carrots. I used about 1 cup of sliced carrots. I just sliced up some baby carrots, but you could peel and slice a couple of large carrots to use in the soup.
- Chicken Broth and Water. I used 4 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water. The chicken broth adds great flavor, but I didn’t use all chicken broth because I didn’t want to make it too salty.
- Diced Tomatoes. After pressure cooking, I add a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes for both flavor and color.
- Cajun Seasoning. You can use the Cajun seasoning that comes with the package of 15-beans, or make your own with my Homemade Cajun Seasoning, or use a store-bought Cajun Seasoning. Just beware that some Cajun Seasoning mixes are very salty, so you may want to either reduce or eliminate the salt if that is the case.
- Italian Seasoning. This dry seasoning mix includes lots of dried herbs, such as basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, and more.
- Salt and Pepper. I like to use a good amount of black pepper and just a little salt. But the other seasonings, as well as your personal preferences, will dictate how much salt and pepper to use. If your chicken broth and Cajun Seasoning include a lot of salt, then you may not want to add any salt. As a guideline, I included a 1/2 teaspoon of each, but you really need to adjust to your taste.
How Do I Make Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup?
This soup is really easy to make, especially in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Follow the steps below and see the step-by-step photos below the instructions to visualize how it will appear with each step.
- Saute Aromatics. Saute the onions and garlic first.
- Add Vegetables. Add in the sliced celery and carrots.
- Add Liquid. Pour in 4 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water for a total of 8 cups of liquid.
- Add Ham. Then add in the ham hock or chopped ham.
- Add Beans. Rinse the dried beans and then add them to the soup.
- Add Seasoning. Add the Cajun and Italian Seasonings as well as the salt and pepper.
- Pressure Cook. Pressure cook for 45 minutes on high pressure.
- Natural Release. Do a Natural Pressure Release, which means do nothing and let it release pressure on its own. This may take 20 or 30 minutes.
- Add Tomatoes. Press cancel, remove the lid, add the diced tomatoes, and then press saute to heat the tomatoes and soup for about 5 minutes.
Tips and Tricks For Ham and Bean Soup
Why Add Tomatoes After Pressure Cooking?
- Tomatoes are acidic and if they cook with the beans, then the beans may not soften due to the added acidity. Therefore, be sure to add the diced tomatoes AFTER the ham and beans have finished pressure cooking.
How To Thicken Ham and Bean Soup?
- The easiest way to thicken this soup is to use an immersion blender to blend some of the beans and vegetables to thicken. Another option is to remove 2 cups of soup with beans and pour into a blender to puree and then add back into the Instant Pot.
What To Serve With Ham and Bean Soup?
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I Freeze Ham And Bean Soup? Yes. This soup freezes well. Store in an airtight, freezer-safe container and it should be good for several months.
- How Do I Make It In A Crock Pot? Dump all ingredients, except tomatoes, in the slow cooker and cook either on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
- How Long Can I Refrigerate It? Store covered in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
- How To Reheat Ham And Bean Soup? The soup may thicken while it has been refrigerated. So you may need to add a little water or chicken broth to thin it out before heating. You can reheat the whole pot by placing the inner liner back in the Instant pot and using the SAUTE feature to heat the soup, or you can reheat individual servings in the microwave.
Other Recipes To Use Leftover Ham
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Instant Pot Ham And Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 ham hock (or 2 cups chopped ham)
- 20 ounces dried beans (I used a bag of 15-beans)
- 2 tablespoons Cajun Seasoning (Homemade or Store-bought)
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- Press the Saute button and select High. Wait until the display says "Hot" and then add the oil. When the oil is hot add the chopped onions and cook for 3 minutes or so.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the carrots, celery, and ham.
- Pour in 4 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water.
- Add in the rinsed and drained dried beans.
- Add in the Cajun Seasoning, Italian Seasoning, and salt (if desired) and pepper.
- Place the lid on top of the Instant Pot and move the pressure release valve to the SEALING position. Pressure cook 45 minutes on High Pressure by pressing the MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK button. Adjust the timer to 45 minutes. Make sure it says High Pressure. (NOTE: It will take 10 to 20 minutes to come up to pressure before it starts the 45-minutes of pressure cooking.)
- Do a natural release, which means that you do NOTHING and let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally until the pin drops.
- After the Instant Pot has fully released the pressure, and the pin has dropped, open the lid and pour in can of diced tomatoes with the juice. Press Sauté to heat for 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley and serve.
- Cajun Seasoning. You can use the Cajun Seasoning from the package of 15-bean soup or make my Homemade Cajun Seasoning or use a store-bought seasoning.
- Salt. Depending on the brands of chicken broth and Cajun Seasoning you use, you may not need additional salt as many brands of chicken broth and Cajun Seasoning contain a significant amount of salt.