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Thursday, December 29, 2016

15 Bean Soup with Ham [Instant Pot Pressure Cooker]

15 Bean Soup with Ham

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Don’t know what to do with a leftover ham bone, or just some left over ham in any form? Use it to make hearty, savory 15 Bean Soup!

I personally LOVE 15 Bean Soup. The variety of beans make for a great textured soup, and it gets nice and thick and hearty. It’s perfect accompanied by Pressure Cooker Cornbread, or any other bread of your choice.

This recipe for 15 Bean Soup with Ham is incredibly easy, yet definitely does NOT lack in flavor! It could easily feed 8 people, maybe even more. I love preparing this, serving it to my family of 3 (soon to be 4!) and freezing the rest to serve again in a couple weeks.

The BEST part: it takes 1/4 of the time in my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker than it does on the stove! No soaking of the beans, no having to babysit a stove. Total #momwin!

This is a GREAT freeze-for-later meal! Pressure Cooker Cornbread does well in the freezer, too!

15 Bean Soup with Ham


2 T oil (I use olive oil)
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
7-8 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 t dried thyme
2 Bay leaves
1/2 t salt (the ham and bone give plenty of salt)
1 t black pepper
1/2 t paprika
1 package Mixed or 15 Beans (discard any seasoning packet), not soaked
1 ham bone* with some ham remaining
*make sure it will fit in your pressure cooker - my ham was almost 8 lbs, and the bone barely fit
6-7 cups water**
**The amount of water depends on how thick or thin you like your soup - I use 6 cups because I like mine nice and thick!

Essential Tools

Kitchen spoon
Silicone Mitts or other oven mitt


Dice all veggies, mince garlic.

Press “sauté” button on Instant Pot (or browning setting on other pressure cookers). Add olive oil to inner pot of pressure cooker, then add onion, celery, carrots and garlic along with salt, pepper and paprika. Stir and Sauté for 2-3 minutes while holding the inner pot in place with your silicone mitts, or other oven mitt.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leave and thyme. Stir to combine.

Rinse beans using mesh strainer - you may lose some of the small beans down your sink in other colanders with larger holes. And NO - NO need to soak beans - woohoo!).

Add beans and ham bone to pot.

Add water - no need for broth or stock here. The ham bone gives flavor o’ plenty!

Close lid of pressure cooker and ensure vent knob is closed - for Instant Pot, turn to “Sealing”

Press manual (high pressure) and adjust cook time to 35 minutes.

Your pressure cooker will take about 15 minutes or so to come to pressure - there’s a lot of liquid in there! The more liquid, the longer it takes to come to pressure typically.

Once pressure cooker comes to pressure, cook time countdown will begin.

When cook time completes, Instant Pot will beep and automatically change to Keep Warm setting.


Allow your Pressure Cooker to naturally release pressure (NPR) for at least 15 minutes. It will probably take 20-25 minutes to release all pressure naturally. At 15 minutes, you can opt to start quickly releasing pressure (QPR) by turning vent knob to “Venting” - I always place a towel over vent knob.

Why am I emphasizing these pressure release stuff? Because if you don’t allow the pressure to release manually, and you try to do it right away, you will likely have a mess on your hands (and cabinets). With soups or stews, you need to allow some of the pressure to come down on it’s own.

Open lid and remove ham bone, thyme springs and bay leaves. 

Take your time, and look VERY carefully through your soup to make sure you get all the bone; sometimes pieces break off, so don’t assume you have it all just by removing the large piece.

I also fish out any fatty pieces of ham and skim the top of the soup for any fat that has sort of gathered on the top with a large spoon.

No - you don’t have to empty this stuff out into a bundt pan 🙈
My bundt pan happened to already be dirty from making my Banana Bread Cake (super YUM!) in my Instant Pot prior to this 15 Bean Soup with Ham!

Stir soup and allow it to cool slightly before serving - it will thicken as it cools (and if you have leftovers to serve the next day, it will be even thicker and even MORE delicious!)

Remember, this is a GREAT freezer meal if you have leftovers, too!

15 Bean Soup with Ham

I recommend serving with my Pressure Cooker Semi-Homemade Cornbread which you could make in advance before the 15 Bean Soup (just make sure you hide it before ready to serve - in my house I have to do those types of things, anyone feel me?). 

I meant to take a picture of my bowl with cornbread in it - but I started eating and forgot because this soup is just THAT good! Sorry (not sorry)!

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  1. I made this basic recipe an hour before your post. The anxiety you could have saved me! (It turned out well, though.) Thanks for your clearly-written recipes and explanations. They really help us newbies.

    1. Ah man! Sorry I didn't get it to you sooner! Thanks so much for the kind words and feedback - truly appreciated! Thanks for visiting & taking the time to leave a comment! -Jessica

  2. Another option is to use smoked turkey wings instead of the ham = for us solo people who never get their hands on a ham bone... I find the wings in the frozen meat bins at my local supermarket. I like to cook them up ahead of time & make a broth so it's easier to pick the meat from the bones. Very little fat on them so don't need to defat the stock. Note, this is what I do when I make split pea soup on the stove. I've only had my IP for a couple of weeks so I haven't tried it in there yet.

    1. Absolutely wonderful suggestion! I use these when cooking collard greens! Thanks so much for the thoughtful feedback. I appreciate it! FYI: new website coming soon! Follow us on Facebook to keep up with us and get announcements about new website release coming soon -

    2. Just an can also get hambones from the butcher at your local grocery store. Mine just has them in their freezer in the back.

  3. Hi there. I am going to attempt this recipe as my first ever Instant Pot recipe... My ham bone is currently in the freezer... Do I need to thaw it? I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks for your detailed isntructions.

    1. Hi there! Judgement tells me the Ham bone frozen should be just fine because of the cook time on this. However, I haven't tried it that way, with a frozen bone. Perhaps thaw as much as you can before ready to throw it all in the pot. Let me know how it turns out! -Jessica

  4. Making this tonight! My ham bone is pretty clean, but still have some leftover ham. Can I add more ham to it? If so, how much and when do you suggest it be added?

    1. Sorry if I missed you before you started cooking! You can definitely add more Ham - I would add it with the Ham bone and cook with everything else. Enjoy! -Jessica

  5. I wish I didn't see this recipe, because I love ham and bean soup, but it's April here in Arizona and it's already 80 degrees. This is my fall and winter soup, but I did save the recipe. Thanks.

  6. I cannot wait to try this!!

    1. Have you tried it yet? If so, hope it turned out delish!

  7. This is the first recipe I have tried in my Instant Pot. What a great success! Thanks so much. It was wonderful.

  8. I just made this with a Honeybaked ham bone and it was amazing!! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!!

    1. Yummy! Love saving my honey baked ham bones!

  9. Was looking for something warm and comforting for dinner tonight and this was it. Thanks. I used ground sweet Italian sausage instead of the Ham. very good

  10. I just made this tonight. The broth is so good (I didn’t have a ham bone so I used chopped ham pieces and chicken broth). My beans were not cooked through. What do you suggest as a remedy for that? I closed the lid back and put it on manual setting for another 15 minutes. Hoping that works! Thanks!