Instant Pot minestrone with pesto

Instant Pot minestrone with pesto

Total Time
2 hr 30 min
45 min
1 hr 45 min
Minestrone is a hearty Italian soup traditionally made with tomatoes, beans, an assortment of vegetables, and often has pasta or rice—this version does not. It’s really a changeable soup that gives you the opportunity to use up whatever leftover vegetables you have around your kitchen. Heating the broth before adding it to the Instant Pot will cut back on the overall cooking time. Make sure you use hot water to add to the pot to give the pot a jump-start on coming up to pressure. If you start with cold water, it’ll take another 15 to 20 minutes at that volume. This soup freezes well; store it in airtight containers in the freezer for up to 6 months.


Olive oil

1 tsp

Uncooked onion

1 medium, finely chopped


1 large, cut into 1/4-inch half-moons


1 rib(s), large, cut into 1/4-inch slices


3 clove(s), minced

Tomato paste

1 Tbsp

Dry white beans

8 oz, cannellini variety, picked over and rinsed (about 1 1/4 cups)

Bay leaf

1 leaf/leaves

Fresh thyme

1 sprig(s)

Chicken broth

6 cup(s), or vegetable broth, heated

Uncooked string beans

¼ pound(s), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Uncooked zucchini

2 medium, cut into 1/4-inch half-moons

Canned crushed tomatoes

28 oz

Table salt

¼ tsp, or to taste


5 oz, baby variety


2 cup(s), fresh leaves


1 small clove(s), coarsely chopped

Pine nuts

2 Tbsp, toasted

Table salt

¼ tsp

Olive oil

1 Tbsp


1 Tbsp

Grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp


  1. To make soup, turn on the sauté function of a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot; add oil. When oil shimmers, add onion, carrot, and celery; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste; cook, stirring a few times, 30 seconds more. Turn machine off.
  2. Add dried beans, bay leaf, thyme, and hot broth. Close the pot and seal the vent; set to high pressure for 35 minutes. (It may take as much as 20 minutes for the machine to reach full pressure.)
  3. When pressure cooker beeps, release the pressure manually. Stir in green beans, zucchini, crushed tomatoes, and salt. Add kale, pressing gently to submerge, but don’t stir. Reseal Instant Pot; cook for another 10 minutes on high pressure.
  4. Meanwhile, to make pesto, pulse basil, garlic, pine nuts, and salt in a food processor until finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in oil and water; process until mixture is smooth. Stir in grated cheese.
  5. When machine beeps, wait 5-10 minutes, then release remaining pressure. Discard bay leaf, and thyme sprig before serving; serve soup topped with pesto.
  6. Serving size: 1 ½ c soup and 2 tsp pesto