The classic Italian minestrone soup can’t be beaten when you’re craving a soup that’s flavorful, filling, yet still light and wholesome. Today I’m sharing my vegan Instant Pot minestrone soup recipe that my family (including our 2 year old toddler) has been enjoying lately.
The beauty of minestrone soup is in its ingredients. You can use as many or as few vegetables as you’d like, and as long as you keep to a few main staple ingredients (tomatoes, pasta, cabbage, and beans), your soup will most likely be a success.
This delicious vegetarian minestrone soup is:
- – healthy
- – light yet filling
- – oil-free
- – entirely plant-based
- – made without meat or dairy
- – full of nutrition
- – easy to make
- – approved by adults and kids
- – ready in 40 minutes
I’ve been making this recipe for years (here’s my earlier vegan minestrone version from the blog), adding or subtracting a few ingredients here and there. But it took me a while to adapt it to the Instant Pot – mainly because I didn’t want to cook everything into a mush while pressure cooking this soup.
Eventually I decided to give it a try, and it turned out a success! Below are a few tips I followed to make it happen.
Tips for Making Vegan Minestrone Soup in the Instant Pot
1. Make sure to prep all ingredients in advance. Peeling, slicing and chopping takes time, so if you prep and start cooking the first few ingredients, they may be done before the rest of the ingredients are ready.
2. Divide prepped vegetables between 3 bowls, and add everything to the Instant Pot in 3 steps. In my recipe below, bowl #1 will have diced onions, carrots and celery; bowl #2 – cubed potatoes, shredded cabbage, cauliflower florets, green beans, and sliced mushrooms; bowl #3 – zucchini, canned beans, and kale.
3. Boost flavors by adding garlic and spices in two steps. Split them in half, then add the first half when sauteing the vegetables. Add the second half later, after pressure cooking, along with pasta and zucchini. Pressure cooking tends to mute the flavors of garlic and spices, so by adding them in two steps, we’re avoiding this.
4. Don’t add all broth or water at once – the larger the volume of food you’re planning to pressure cook, the longer it takes for the pressure to build up. So initially, add only 6-7 cups of broth before closing the lid. Once the pressure cooking cycle is over, feel free to add more broth when the soup is simmering on Saute function.
5. After adding pasta, cook it for a very short time, just until it starts getting al dente. It will continue cooking after you turn off your Instant Pot, so you don’t want to overcook it here.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, I’ve included the stovetop cooking directions in the recipe card below.
And if you have an Instant Pot but haven’t cooked in it much because it intimidates you, check out my 5-step guide to using an Instant Pot for beginners that will help you ace pressure cooking in no time!
Also, see other Instant Pot recipes from the blog.
Trying to make being vegan easier both for yourself and your family? Check out my favorite vegan finds on Amazon, from useful cookbooks and vegan pantry staples to kitchen tools, products for vegan kids, etc.!
What is vegan minestrone soup made of?
Traditionally, minestrone soup contains beans, small-shaped pasta, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and broth. I’m also adding cabbage, potatoes, zucchini, lentils, mushrooms, cauliflower, green beans, and kale (the last four are optional).
Minestrone lends itself perfectly to being vegan. However, a lot of recipes for this soup call for broth made with animal parts, or for a sprinkling of parmesan cheese at the end. To bypass those while adding a rich flavor, I’m using a variety of spices, garlic, and nutritional yeast.
Is minestrone soup kid-friendly?
Yes! Of course, this may vary from child to child, but my 2 year-old loves this vegan minestrone. She first picks out pasta and potatoes, then demands that I give her pasta and potatoes from my bowl, then dips bread in what’s left in front of her – fun times 🙂
What do I do if my vegan minestrone becomes too thick?
If your vegan minestrone soup becomes too thick towards the end of cooking, or when it cools off, just add more water or broth. Mix it in and adjust seasoning if needed.
My minestrone soup recipe below yields a soup that becomes quite a bit thicker the next day. I often add some water just before reheating it in the microwave or on stovetop.
How do I store vegan minestrone soup?
Store vegan minestrone soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To freeze it, split the soup between freezer-proof individual serving size containers, and freeze up to 2 months.
What do I serve vegan minestrone soup with?
I love serving my vegan minestrone with freshly baked bread (French baguette or sourdough bread pair really well). It’s amazing with a dollop of my vegan kale pesto. A sprinkling of nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan are also nice.
If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Rate this recipe below, pin it to Pinterest, tag @vegan_runner_eats on Instagram, or leave a comment.
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup fresh or canned tomatoes, chopped
- 4 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 cup uncooked red lentils
- 1.5 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 cup cauliflower, pulled into small florets (optional)
- 1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)
- 5 crimini mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- 1 can white beans*. drained and rinsed
- 1 small zucchini, sliced into half-moons
- 1/2 cup small pasta**
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water, plus more if needed
- 1 1/2 cups torn kale leaves (optional)
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- Salt, pepper to taste
- Optional, for sauteeing vegetables: Avocado or olive oil (or use more water/broth)
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp fresh or dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- Dash cayenne pepper (optional)
Instant Pot Instructions:
- In a small bowl, mix all spices. Set aside.
- Press Saute button on your Instant Pot. Once the inner bowl is hot, add 1-2 Tbsp water/broth (or oil if using). Add diced onions, carrots and celery, saute 3-4 min until the onion is translucent.
- Mix in 1/2 of the minced garlic and 1/2 of the spice mixture, saute 1 min. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste.
- Add cubed potatoes, red lentils, shredded cabbage, optional cauliflower florets, green beans, sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper, and 6 cups of vegetable broth or water. Press Cancel button.
- Lock the lid in place, making sure that the vent lever is set to pressure. Press the Manual button and set the timer for 3 minutes. Once the time is up and your Instant Pot beeps, quick release for 10 minutes (let the timer reach 10 minutes, then press Cancel and carefully turn the pressure knob to release steam - be careful not to burn yourself when the steam starts coming out!).
- Open the lid. Press Saute button. Add the pasta, zucchini, white beans, torn kale leaves if using, nutritional yeast, and 1-2 additional cups of broth or water if the soup looks too thick. Mix in the rest of the garlic and spices. Bring to a boil. Cook 4-5 min until the pasta is just beginning to become al dente. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Once the pasta is al dente, press Cancel. Let the soup rest for 10-15 min before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
- Saute diced onion, celery and carrots in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot with 1-2 Tbsp of water/broth or oil until the onion is translucent, 3-4 min.
- Mix in garlic and all of the spices, saute 1 min until fragrant. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste.
- Add cubed potatoes, shredded cabbage, red lentils, optional cauliflower florets, green beans, sliced mushrooms, and all of the of vegetable broth or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer, and cook for 15-17 min, until potatoes are fork-tender, and the lentils begin to break down.
- Add the pasta, zucchini, white beans, torn kale leaves if using, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and additional broth or water if the soup looks too thick. Bring to a boil. Cook 4-5 min until the pasta is just beginning to become al dente. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Let the soup rest for 10-15 min before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
*Canned cannellini beans, Great Northern beans, or even red kidney beans work well in this recipe. Alternatively, use cooked beans instead of canned.
**Small shells, elbows, or tubatini pasta work well here.
***Alternatively, use 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning + 1 tsp sweet paprika.
- Anthony's Premium Nutritional Yeast Flakes (1lb), Verified Gluten Free
- Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker
- Eden Organic Cannellini White Kidney Beans, No Salt Added, 15-Ounce Cans
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Serving Size:1 bowl
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 385 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 0mg Carbohydrates: 65g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 16g Sugar: 12g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 19g
Question for you: what’s your favorite recipe to cook in the Instant Pot?
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