If you like Olive Garden Minestrone soup then you're really going to love this hearty Instant Pot minestrone recipe. It is easy to make and even though it's quick, it tastes like it simmered all day. Add it to your Meatless Monday meal plan or enjoy any night of the week. Keep it vegetarian or toss in some extra protein. Use plant-based cheese to make it vegan. The possibilities are endless.
Regardless of where you live, winter is always a great time to enjoy hearty soups. I love how quick this minestrone is ready but it still tastes like it was cooked all day. That is the miracle of the Instant Pot. Also, this minestrone is easy to freeze and reheat, so you can enjoy it any time of the year.
This is my favorite way of making minestrone. I also have some suggestions below on how to substitute certain ingredients that might not be available or liked.
I'm not sure if there's a finite ingredient list for minestrone, but this is what I use for mine. And, my Instant Pot Minestrone will put Olive Garden's Minestrone soup to shame; or so I've heard.
- olive oil
- fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- tomato paste
- parmesan rind
- vegetable stock
- bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- kidney beans
- cannellini beans
- green beans
- baby spinach
- ditalini pasta
- parmesan cheese (optional)
- Balsamic Vinegar (optional)
Don't let the number of ingredients intimidate you. The prep work is minimal and the results are more than worth the trip to the market.
How to Make Instant Pot Minestrone
Sauteing the root vegetables is the first step. Add oil to the Instant Pot. Start with the minced garlic and sliced onions. Press saute and then start. If you haven't already prepped the carrots and celery, go ahead and do that while the garlic and onions are cooking. Don't let them burn - and stir on occasion
After about 4 minutes, toss the carrots and celery in with the garlic and onion and continue to saute for another 2 minutes. Season with salt & pepper and add the basil, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaf. Stir in the vegetable broth, water, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Press cancel to stop the saute process and put the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the dial is set to SEALING.
When the Instant Pot beeps, signaling it's done, let it sit for 4 minutes and then do a quick release by turning the valve from to VENTING (right to left). After the pressure has been released, open the lid and add the zucchini and beans.
Press Saute and let it simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. At the 5 minute mark add the spinach and keep cooking until the spinach wilts (around another 3 minutes).
During the last 5 minutes is when I start my pasta. I always cook it separately so it doesn't get too done and turn to mush. Let it drain well and set aside until ready to use. Store it in an airtight container apart from the soup.
To serve the minestrone, add a spoonful or two of the pasta to a bowl and top with a hearty serving of minestrone.
I always add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to my bowl of minestrone. It really amplifies the dish and gives it just a slight zing. I also like adding freshly grated parmesan. It takes it to the ultimate level of delish.
If you have a loaf of crusty bread or yeast rolls on hand, they are perfect for sopping up the soup.
When it comes to a recipe with this many ingredients, there has to be room for substitutions. On the plus side, there really isn't one ingredient that stands out in this minestrone. All of the ingredients marry well to make a great soup. But, in case of allergies or complete aversions, you can omit and/or swap out most of the ingredients.
If you want to make this a low-carb recipe, you can swap out the ditalini pasta with riced cauliflower or leave it out altogether. You'll also want to omit the beans. Maybe replace them with beef or tofu to keep the protein.
If you don't like spinach, you can easily swap it out for leafy kale. Zucchini grosses you out? No problem, leave it out or add thinly sliced potatoes.
You don't have to use fire-roasted tomatoes, you can use regular diced tomatoes or even a plain tomato sauce if you'd prefer a thinner minestrone. I adore the flavor boost that the fire-roasted tomatoes give. If you choose not to use them, be sure to check the flavor and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
What Size Instant Pot to Use for Minestrone?
I made this minestrone in an 8 quart Instant Pot. You don't need any fancy equipment, just your pot and silicone or wooden cooking utensils (to prevent scraping the pot).
Can You Freeze Instant Pot Minestrone?
My favorite thing about this and most other soups is how beautifully they freeze. You can easily freeze this minestrone for later by letting it cool completely in the refrigerator and then placing it in an airtight container.
I prefer Ziploc bags (just be sure to let the air out completely). Lay the bags flat on a shelf. Put leftover pasta in a separate bag and refrigerate (pasta doesn't freeze very well).
To reheat, thaw the minestrone in the fridge overnight. Empty it into an appropriately sized pan and heat it slowly on the stovetop. You can also heat it in the microwave at 1-minute intervals until it is warmed through.
When I know I'm going to have leftovers, I freeze some and put the rest in jars to give to friends and family. When something tastes this good, it's just selfish to keep it to yourself!
- 2 cans (14.5 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups vegetable stock (low-sodium if possible)
- 1 cups water
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 small zucchinis, sliced
- 2 basil leaves, chopped (or ½ tablespoon dried basil)
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
- 2 ½ cups baby spinach
- 1 16 oz. box ditalini pasta, prepared separately
- Parmesan cheese
- Balsamic vinegar
- Add olive oil to the Instant Pot. Press the saute button and then press start.
- Add onion and garlic to the Instant Pot and saute until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add the carrots, celery, oregano, rosemary, basil, bay leaf, vegetable broth, water, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.
- Press Cancel (or stop) and place the lid on the Instant Pot. Press the MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK button (depending on the model) and set it to HIGH for 5 minutes. Make sure the valve is set to SEALING.
- After the Instant Pot beeps, allow to sit for 4 minutes and then do a quick release by turning the valve from SEALING to VENTING (right to left).
- After the pressure has been released (once steam stops billowing from the top), open the lid and add the zucchini and beans. Press Saute and let it cook for 5 minutes. At the 5 minute mark add the spinach and continue to cook until the spinach has wilted (about 3 minutes).
To serve, add the desired amount of noodles to a clean bowl and ladle minestrone over top. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, if desired, and enjoy.
Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1 ½ - 2 cups
Amount Per Serving Calories 136Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 438mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 5gSugar 6gProtein 6g