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  • Instant Pot Ham White Bean Soup

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    Hearty, starchy, and filling, this rustic Instant Pot Ham White Bean Soup is the epitome of comfort food. This soup is an easy and satisfying way to transform leftover ham and a ham bone into a hearty meal.

    Ham White Bean Soup

    When it’s cold outside and all you want is to stay cozy and warm, the best thing to do is make a large pot of this hearty soup. Especially, now when I make this soup in a pressure cooker, it is very quick & easy – and ready in minutes. Just chop the vegetables and dump them in the electric pressure cooker, and soup cooks in only 15 minutes on Manual High Pressure after it comes to pressure.

    It’s one of my favorite soups from my childhood, and one my grandmother used to make very often. We enjoyed it for lunch and for dinner, and I never got tired of eating it. It was so good! Made with love!

    I tried to make the soup just like my grandmother used to make it. While it can’t compare to the soup from my childhood, I think it turned out pretty good! This soup tastes great and it is even better the next day. The flavors of the ham, beans, and vegetables have time to blend together and they taste wonderful. The starch from the beans thickens the broth and makes the soup creamy and so comforting. On cold days like today, there is nothing more satisfying and delicious than a warm comforting soup.

    This ham bean soup is a great way to use up any leftover ham from Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.

    Make sure you also try my Instant Pot Ham and Potato Soup and Instant Pot White Chicken Chili.

    Ham White Bean Soup

    Why you will love this ham and white bean soup recipe!

    • Hearty: This instant pot recipe won’t leave you wanting more. High in protein and fiber, it makes for a great main meal.
    • Great for a crowd: This recipe is perfect for a crowd or a large gathering. And it can be easily doubled.
    • Make ahead & freezer-friendly: This pressure cooker beans and ham recipe is perfect for weekly meal prep or to freeze for later.

    Ingredients for Instant Pot White Bean Soup

    • Olive oil
    • Vegetables: carrot, onion, garlic, tomato
    • Ham: Either leftover ham shanks or cubed ham. You can also add ham hocks.
    • Beans: 3 cans of Great Northern, Navy beans, or Cannellini beans, or 1 lb Great Northern beans, soaked for 1 hour using the quick soak method (see notes)
    • Vegetable stock: You can use vegetable or low sodium chicken broth/stock
    • Water: I use about 1 to 2 cups of water depending on the consistency you like. Keep in mind that the soup thickens as it cools.
    • Seasonings and spices: salt, freshly ground black pepper, dried mint, thyme, paprika, bay leaves, fresh parsley
    ham and white bean soup ingredients

    How To Make Ham White Bean Soup

    • Press the “saute” button on the Instant Pot, and heat oil. Once the oil is hot, add carrot, onion, garlic, tomato to the pot. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. (This is an optional step. You can dump everything in at once if you want).
    • Add the beans, ham, seasonings, chicken stock to the Instant Pot and close the lid. Lock the lid, move the valve to sealing and cook on Manual for 15 minutes. 
    • When the ham and bean soup is done, and you hear the beep sound, press the Cancel/Keep Warm button. Let NPR for 10 minutes, and then QR until all the pressure is out. 
    • Open lid and serve warm.

    For stovetop and slow cooker instructions, check the recipe card below.

    process images of making ham white bean soup
    Ham White Bean Soup

    Storing

    Once the soup cools down, you can store it in the refrigerator for about 4 – 5 days. You can also store it in the freezer for up to 6 months for best texture and taste.

    Can you freeze this soup?

    Yes, this soup recipe is freezer-friendly. You can keep it in the freezer for about 6 months. Once it is cooled, portion it into freezer safe containers or freezer bags, and freeze it. When ready to eat, you can defrost the soup slowly in the refrigerator overnight, and heat it on the stove. If it’s too thick, you can add a little bit water to thin it.

    Once a year, I like to make several batches of this soup on a weekend and freeze it for later. And when I am short on time, and don’t have enough time to cook, I just defrost this soup or some of my other freezer meals. This soup recipe is so simple, inexpensive and so good.

    Can you make it ahead of time?

    Yes, this soup keeps well in the refrigerator for several days. You can make it on Sunday when you meal prep for the week. You can also chop and prepare the ingredients and just pressure cook the soup when you are ready to serve it.

    Ham White Bean Soup

    Do you have to soak the beans?

    You can cook this ham white bean soup without soaking the beans. Just add 1 or 2 cups of extra water, and increase the cooking time to a total of 40 minutes. 

    I usually soak my beans for 1 hour using the quick soak method (I used Great Northern beans) before I put them in the Instant Pot but if you are short on time, and don’t have time for soaking the beans or the longer cook time, you could also use 3 cans of Great Northern or Cannellini beans in this recipe. In which case, you don’t need to increase the water or the cooking time.

    Can you omit the ham?

    If you are looking for a delicious vegan white bean soup, you can omit the ham. This soup is a great source of fiber and protein.

    TIPS FROM NELI’S KITCHEN

    Recipe Notes and Tips

    • For even more flavor, you can also add a ham bone if you have any leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas bone-in ham.
    • If you use dry beans and you don’t presoak them, increase the cooking time to 40 minutes. If the beans are not done after the cooking cycle is over, cook them for an additional 5 minutes.
    • If you use dry beans, you probably need to add 1 to 2 cups of water, additionally. 
    • Make sure you let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
    • This soup is great on its own or served with crusty bread to mop the bowl.
    • The soup will continue to thicken as it cools.

    Quick Soak – Place the beans in a large saucepan with about 7 cups of water. Bring to a rapid boil on medium-high heat, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain soak water and rinse beans. 

    Overnight Soak – Place beans in a large saucepan with about 7 cups water. Cover and let stand overnight, or at least 6-8 hours. Drain soak water and rinse. *Initially, the recipe called for 2 cups water. I reduced it to 1 cup after some readers’ feedback that it was too liquidy. Note though, that if you leave the soup in the fridge overnight, it gets thicker.

    Ham and White Bean Soup

    More Instant Pot Soup Recipes

    If you loved this bean soup recipe, make sure you check out some of my other comforting soups:

    Ham and White Bean Soup
    5 from 23 votes
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    Ham White Bean Soup (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, Stove Top)

    Hearty, starchy, and filling, this rustic White Bean Soup with Smoked Ham is the epitome of comfort food. Great way to use leftover ham.
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes
    Servings 8
    Calories 240kcal

    INGREDIENTS

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Instant Pot Instructions

    • Press the “saute” button on the Instant Pot, and add the oil, carrot, onion, garlic, tomato to the pot. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. (This is an optional step. You can dump everything in at once if you want).
    • Add the beans, ham, seasonings, chicken stock to the Instant Pot and close the lid. Lock the lid, move the valve to 'Sealing' and cook on Manual for 15 minutes. 
    • When the ham and bean soup is done, and you hear the beep sound, press the Cancel/Keep Warm button. Let NPR for 10 minutes, and then QR until all the pressure is out. 
    • Open lid and serve warm.

    Slow Cooker Instructions

    • Add everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours (or on high for 4 hours).
    • Serve soup warm. 

    Stove Top Instructions

    • Add cold water to a dutch oven to cover the soaked beans by about 1 inch. Bring to boil over high heat, boil for 5 minutes.
    • Add sliced carrot, tomato, onion, garlic, ham, and drizzle about 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, crushed mint, thyme. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, or until beans are tender.
    • Serve soup while it’s warm.

    TIPS & NOTES

    • For even more flavor, you can also add a ham bone if you have any leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas bone-in ham.
    • If you use dry beans and you don’t presoak them, increase the cooking time to 40 minutes. If the beans are not done after the cooking cycle is over, cook them for an additional 5 minutes.
    • If you use dry beans, you probably need to add 1 to 2 cups of water, additionally. 
    • Make sure you let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
    • This soup is great on its own or served with crusty bread to mop the bowl.
    • The soup will continue to thicken as it cools.
    Quick Soak – Place the beans in a large saucepan with about 7 cups of water. Bring to a rapid boil on medium-high heat, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain soak water and rinse beans. 
    Overnight Soak – Place beans in a large saucepan with about 7 cups water. Cover and let stand overnight, or at least 6-8 hours. Drain soak water and rinse. *Initially, the recipe called for 4 cups water. I reduced it to 2 cups after some readers’ feedback that it was too liquidy. Note though, that if you leave the soup in the fridge overnight, it gets thicker.
    *Initially, the recipe called for 2 cups water. I reduced it to 1 cup after some readers’ feedback that it was too liquidy. Note though, that if you leave the soup in the fridge overnight, it gets thicker.

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 1735mg | Potassium: 475mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1800IU | Vitamin C: 4.8mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1.9mg
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine Mediterranean
    Keyword Egg-Free, Fall, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Healthy, Instant Pot, Low Fat, Nut-Free, One Pan, Winter
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    Comments

    June

    Love, love, love this recipe! Made it few times already. I do the crockpot version but it’s great that I have options for other cook methods.

    Mrs. Schillizzi

    Can you use fresh mint and thyme? If so, what would be the comparable amounts?

      Yes, you can. To substitute with fresh herbs, I would use twice the amount of dry herbs. Chop them very finely. Taste and adjust the seasonings/herbs before you add more.

    Beth

    Would it work to add a can of tomatoes, drained, instead of chopping a tomato?

    Matt

    Excellent except the recipe calls for a peeled and chopped “tomato”. Should that say “potato”?? I used a potato and it added a nice creaminess to the soup.

      The recipe is correct and it calls for a peeled and chopped tomato, not potato. You are welcome to add a potato as well if you prefer. Glad to hear you loved the recipe!

    Melissa

    I have a 10qt pressure cooker. Would it be ok to double the recipe?

      Yes, I believe you should be able to double the recipe and make it in the 10 qt pressure cooker. I used a 6 qt IP but the soup was not all the way to the top.

    Toni

    5 stars
    Easy. Hearty. Go to. I take this when people are sick or need a meal. I use applewood smoked ham.

    Barb

    5 stars
    This was great! I used a mixture of soup beans (there was a recipe on the back for the ham and bean soup so I figured it would be ok). I also didn’t use the mint and I skipped step one since you said it was optional. This was very good. The only problem was we didn’t have enough left over for the next day because my boys ate it all.

    Shari Reno

    I had my pressure cooker since Christmas. I just tried it with this recipe. I had no clue what I was doinig, but it came out delicious!! I loved the flavor. I didn’t have the mint, but it tasted great. I love the thyme flavor! My beans are a little tough, but edible and I am sure when I reheat it they will be perfect. I didn’t know what NPR was and I don’t think I left it long enough.

    I locked the lid on tight between bowls and my 2nd bowl was “just right”!!

    Great recipe. I will be making it again this winter.

    Kathy Elaine Smith

    5 stars
    My family loved it. My son ate two bowls as soon as it was ready.

    JEAN M REID

    I’ve made this three times so far, and everyone loves it. Followed recipe as written (din’t have any mint to put in it). When done, I put a few cups of the beans into the blender, then pour back into soup after blended to give a creamier soup. It is delicious, definitely my go-to recipe when I have a ham bone and navy beans!!!

      Neli | Delicious Meets Healthy

      Awesome! So glad to hear that everyone loved it! You should also try the Instant Pot Ham and Potato Soup – it tastes great as well!

    Pamela

    This sounds wonderful. I grew up on ham and bean soup but I am new to the instant pot. My question is this: I love using navy beans which are smaller and would like to skip the soaking step. What is your advice?

      Neli | Delicious Meets Healthy

      Hi Pamela, you can certainly use Navy beans. If you don’t want to soak the beans, you can cook the ham and bean soup for about 30 minutes, and let the pressure release naturally. If you are using older beans, you might need to increase the cooking time another 10 minutes. If you still find that they are hard, you can put the lid back on, and move the valve to ‘Sealing’ and add another 5-10 minutes. Hope this helps.

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