Instant Pot Minestrone Soup Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

47 reviews / 4.6 average
This recipe is sponsored by DeLallo

I don’t mean to sound so happy about this, but how about this chilling-down-of-the-weather situation? Haaappy dance!

It’s time to bust out the Instant Pots, slow cookers, or big ol’ soup pots again because my favorite season is making its annual appearance. SOUP SEASON!

And this humble, modern-ish minestrone has everything you could probably ever want: veggies, more veggies, one more pile of veggies, basil pesto, yummy tomato sauce, beans, bulgur (we’ll talk this over shortly), fresh parsley, garlic, smoked paprika, and parmesan on top! And crusty bread on the side! Dang, Gina. That is one winter-body-lovin soup. Like, the good kind of winter body. Just… nevermind.

In This Post: Everything You Need For Minestrone

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instant pot minestrone soup with a wooden spoon

What Makes Minestrone So Good

I have a special love connection with this minestrone because my neighbor Pam (👋🏼 remember Pam? originator of carrot cake cupcakes?) makes a minestrone that is kinda like this, only better. Better because 1) it’s always better when someone else makes it. And 2) because actually it IS better. It has bacon. Mine has smoked paprika instead of bacon. I know. WHY DO YOU EVEN FOLLOW ME.

Is it weird that I can still vividly remember the exact first time I ate this minestrone, oh, let’s see, FIFTEEN YEARS AGO? I remember sitting around a superlong table, huddled up with a bunch of neighbors, in a cabin in the Wisconsin woods, and Pam dishing out her Minestrone to the masses after a “long day” where my only job in life was to go snowmobiling and play card games.

Honestly, sometimes the food details that live inside my brain are borderline alarming. Is this really why I can’t remember where I put my water bottle this morning? Because this obscure, wonderful memory of Pam’s minestrone and a green can of Parmesan cheese around a cozy cabin the Wisconsin woods is taking up space in the corners of my brain?

Priorities, I guess.

Ingredients In This Minestrone

Okay, so Minestrone. Modern minestrone. Without pasta!

…Hello? you still there?

Let me try to defend the – pasta + bulgur decision. First of all, have you ever even had bulgur? Guys. It’s Yum City. Chewy, nutty, wheaty (makes sense, since it is, in fact, wheat). Secondly, nutrition. Think complex carbs, fiber, and protein. I dunno, maybe you’ll feel awesome after you casually eat it in your Instant Pot minestrone? Thirdly, just try it already. If you don’t like it you can go back to pasta like a regular person. Or barley like Pam’s original version. I will allow adaptations.

A few shortcuts to note here:

  • Instant Pot. There’s a time and place for the healing powers of sautéing garlic and onion, or the smell of something in your oven, or the sound of a pot of soup simmering on the stove. I fully believe that. There’s also a time and place for putting your feet up and pressing a button on an electric cooker machine thing. Fully believe that, too.
  • DeLallo pesto. We are long-time users and lovers of DeLallo. Evidence: here.
  • DeLallo marinara sauce, or any of their tomato sauces. These are hands-down my favorite jarred sauces – they’re all clean, no added sugar (which is surprisingly hard to find), made with really high quality ingredients. Yes please. Love it.

Beyond the shortcuts, we’ve got lots of veggies like carrots, onions, and celery, a can of beans, and some pantry spices.

minestrone soup ingredients in a measuring cup
delallo pesto in a jar

How To Make This Minestrone Soup

Since we’re using the Instant Pot, things are pretty simple here!

  1. Chop all your veggies. Use a food processor to make things quick, as you can see here too!
  2. Place your ingredients in the Instant Pot. Veggies, sauce, beans, spices, pesto.
  3. Let it cook! Set it and forget it for 30 minutes.
  4. Finish it off. Stir in the bulgur and let it all cook together for a bit, then serve and top with parmesan and parsley.

It’s a weeknight wonder that makes just about everyone happy. Easy, nutrition-packed, and delicious.

What To Serve with Minestrone

This soup is delicious and filling all on its own, but there are a few extras that make this even more delicious!

  • Bread. BREAD! All the bread, especially for dipping. This No-Knead Bread or No-Knead CHEESE Bread are the ticket.
  • A little simple green salad on the side for something crunchy and fresh.
  • You can also add meat to this pretty easily – you could cook and crumble up some ground Italian sausage or turkey and add it to cook with everything else, or even add in some chicken breasts to cook and then shred.
instant pot minestrone soup in a bowl with a spoon

Guys, I can’t stress enough how happy I am to be back in the swing of soup season. It is my zone.

I hope you make this for yourself and enjoy a free pass for 30 minutes while it cooks and then love your happy desk lunches all week. Win win win. ♡

Minestrone Soup: Frequently Asked Questions

Could I add use pasta in this instead of bulgur?

If you want this to be more traditional with pasta, yes! The instructions should stay mostly the same, but instead of just closing the lid to let it cook, seal and cook it on high pressure for just 3 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook the pasta separately on the stove, and then spoon the soup over the pasta in bowls, which will keep the pasta from getting mushy!

If I don’t have an Instant Pot, how could I make this?

In a slow cooker: Place all ingredients except bulgur in a slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on low heat. Mix bulgur in at the end and let it rest for 30 minutes or so (doing this near the end helps it stay chewy rather than turning to mush).

On the stovetop: Saute the carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and pesto until the vegetables are soft. Add the beans, spices, liquids, and cabbage and simmer for an hour or so. Add bulgur at the end until cooked. Longer simmer = better flavor.

Can I freeze this recipe?

Unfortunately not, as the soup overall will get too mushy!

What other veggies could I add to this?

Just about anything! A traditional minestrone soup might have green beans, zucchini, spinach, squash, etc. It’s pretty forgiving, so add whatever makes your heart sing!

Can I add meat to this?

Yes! Ground Italian sausage or ground turkey would both be lovely here. Just cook and crumble it before adding it to the Instant Pot to cook with everything else. If you prefer chicken, you could add chicken breasts in with everything else and shred before adding the bulgur.

How can I make this vegan?

Use a vegan pesto like this one and skip the parm!

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Instant Pot Minestrone Soup in bowl with spoon and bread.

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup


Instant Pot Minestrone! With tons of veggies, beans, pesto, tomato sauce, parsley, topped with Parmesan, served with bread. Veg-friendly, nutritious, easily made vegan.


Units Scale

For the Instant Pot Minestrone:

  • 45 carrots, chopped
  • 45 celery stalks, chopped
  • half an onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • half of a head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup DeLallo pesto
  • 1 24ounce jar of DeLallo marinara sauce
  • 1 14ounce can cannellini or navy beans
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (optional – see notes)

To add at the end:

  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • Parmesan for topping


  1. Part One: Place everything in the first list inside an Instant Pot / pressure cooker. Turn on the soup setting  (30 minutes). Go put your feet up!
  2. Part Two: Use the quick release to let the steam out (hang on, it takes a few minutes). Pull out the bay leaves. Add the bulgur, replace cover, and let it all sit together to cook the bulgur for a while (about 20 minutes). Add more water as needed.
  3. Serve like a boss: Serve with Parmesan and fresh parsley. I’d also like to mention that the leftovers are mighty delicious.


In a slow cooker: Place all ingredients except bulgur in a slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on low heat. Mix bulgur in at the end and let it rest for 30 minutes or so (doing this near the end helps it stay chewy rather than turning to mush).

On the stovetop: Saute the carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and pesto until the vegetables are soft. Add the beans, spices, liquids, and cabbage and simmer for an hour or so. Add bulgur at the end until cooked. Longer simmer = better flavor.

Smoked paprika adds a smoky depth to the flavor of this soup that can also be achieved with bacon! If you prefer, just mince a few pieces of bacon and add to the mix instead. It’s YUMMY, but the downside is that it makes the soup a little more greasy, which is why this version is written with the smoked paprika instead.

Traditional minestrone would use pasta (and that works fine here if you want to make that sub). I used bulgur here because I liked the nutrition and chewiness of it as compared to the pasta!

If you don’t have a jar of pasta sauce or marinara sauce, you CAN use a can of diced tomatoes, but I would recommend adding more seasoning to compensate for what you’re missing with the pasta sauce or marinara.

We tried freezing this recipe and would not recommend it as it gets too mushy when reheated.

If you need this recipe to be vegan, you’ll need to buy vegan pesto or make it yourself. This one might be nice!

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: instant pot minestrone, minestrone soup, instant pot soup

Thank you to DeLallo for sponsoring this post!

More Cozy Instant Pot Soup Recipes

One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our collection of best healthy soups. Check it out!

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    soup season is definitely the best season. My grandma use to make me the best minestrone soup in the fall and through the winter. I have such fond memories of this bean-spinach-tomato soup!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I don’t think Ive ever had minestrone soup with pasta, so I am 100% on board haha! I love the flavors and the addition of bulgar – which I actually much prefer in a soup to pasta! Although I have to say, I have yet to jump on both the slow or fast pot notions. I’m an old-school make it on the stove top kind of person. But maybe my mind will change one of these days;)

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Instant Pot has been on my holiday gift list for months and this series is making me seriously consider caving and getting one early – I’m going to miss fall soup season!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Watch for sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I got mine on Prime Day on Amazon.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I just ordered the pesto and marinara sauce from DeLallo to make this in my instant pot!!! Can’t wait!!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks delicious and I can’t wait to make it. Quick question – for step 2, when you add the bulgur, is the Instant Pot still on the soup setting or do you shut it off and just let it hang out?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I just tried this recipe today and didn’t think of this question until I read it here. I think the idea is you add it and it will cook with the heat that’s already built up without having to restart the cooking. So I didn’t put the Instant Pot back on a cooking setting, just added the bulgur and left it on the Warm setting with a 20 minute timer. That seems to have worked fine.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m not a big fan of pesto, do you think the recipe would still work if you removed it? The rest sounds yummy. Thanks!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hi Lindsay! This is my first comment here, but today I couldn’t resist: this soup looks so tasty! I didn’t have an Instant Pot but thanks to you I’ve ordered one (not through your affiliate links, sorry.. I live in Europe and it wasn’t possible to have it delivered there). As soon as I receive it, your recipe will be cooked! Thanks for your beautiful recipes and thanks too for this series on Instant Pot

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m making this tonight but i’m substituting barley for the bulgur. I am also adding the barley in with all the ingredients. I plan on skipping the pesto and marinara and adding my own canned tomato/pepper/garlic mixture from this summer’s veggie haul. Can’t wait to taste, there’s no way you can mess this up with this many delicious veggies. Thanks yo

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I was also going to try this with barley- did you have to adjust the amount of liquid at all? Thanks!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yay! Thanks for all the Instant Pot love lately! Looking forward to making this soon! When you put the bulger in, are you leaving the Instant Pot on the keep warm setting?

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Lindsay!!! I love that you’ve been sending recipes with the Instant Pot!!! Keep them coming. I cannot wait to try this minestrone. Thank you!!!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I grew up in Pittsburgh and DeLallo products were just a staple of our diets! Do you have any idea how excited it makes me to see someone here in Minnesota who has found and embraced them? It’s really a challenge to find Pittsburgh/East Coast style Italian food & products here. Thanks for indroducing the to people here, and all over!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m doing whole30, so if I omit the beans – should I substitute or increase anything else? I can make dairy free pesto (not as good…)

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    nice, I like to skip the pasta anyway so happy to try it with bulgur, thank you for this and am tempted by your neighbor’s bacon, maybe bacon AND smoked paprika!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This is a wonderful soup recipe! I don’t have an instant pot so I followed the slow cooker directions, but I am putting one on my wedding registry fir sure! This soup has great flavor! I used accini de Pepe pasta because that’s what I had at home. Football Sunday lunch 🙂

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Great recipe, thank you. I sometimes use quinoa instead of pasta, which is also a good light option.
    I don’t have an Instant Pot, but intend buying one. Which one would you recommend if price is no issue? Don’t want to overspend unnecessarily if there are features one would hardly ever use, as often happens with ‘deluxe’ models.

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Looks yummy!
    I’m looking for ways to cut sodium. Think cutting back/eliminating the added salt would make the flavor suffer too much? I don’t know what the sodium is on the pesto or sauce, so this seems the easiest and most obvious place to cut.

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    i’m going to pull the trigger and get an instant pot! what size do you recommend? I don’t want it to be too small for soups. Let me know your thoughts!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I got the 8 qt on Prime Day because it was cheaper than the 6 qt. When it arrived I thought it was ENORMOUS and I’m single, live alone and rarely cook for large groups. I just used it for the first time with this recipe and while I think the 6 qt would be fine, I’m glad I got the 8 qt. When phase 1 of cooking was over the contents came about halfway up the cooker.

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I just made this and it was really tasty, however mine was very thick, not soupy at all. The only thing I changed was all the store had was purple cabbage. Would that change it? Or is it right above with 1 cup of bulgar? (Which PS I really liked the Bulgar!)

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Is the PINCH25 coupon correct? Just tried to order and getting “coupon not valid” message.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi there! I just gave it a try and it looks like it’s working on our end. Please note that it excludes sampler kits and gift cards if that was what you were trying to purchase. I’d also make sure you’re entering it in all caps.