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A white bowl filled with navy bean soup.
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4.63 from 8 votes

Instant Pot Navy Bean Soup

There is plenty of old-fashioned flavor in this Instant Pot Navy Bean Soup. The pressure cook method results in a creamy, satisfying and super wholesome soup without the need to soak the beans in advance.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Pressure Release15 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Diet: Low Calorie, Low Fat
Keyword: instant pot navy bean soup
Servings: 6
Calories: 332kcal
Author: Valerie Brunmeier


  • 1 pound dry navy beans
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne optional it will add a nice kick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ham shank or meaty ham bone I used a Cook's Ham Shank


  • Place navy beans in a colander, rinse them well with cold water and allow to drain. Pick through the beans and remove and discard any debris.
  • Add oil to the Instant Pot and press the SAUTE button. When display reads "Hot" add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion and veggies begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute then press CANCEL.
  • Add beans, broth, water, thyme, cumin, cayenne, and the bay leaves. Stir well to combine. Tuck the ham shank (or meaty ham bone) down into the mixture. Lock the lid in place and make sure vent is sealed (on older models). Press the MANUAL or the PRESSURE COOK button, select HIGH, and cook for 40 minutes.
  • When time is up, allow the steam pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes then manually release any remaining pressure. Unlock and remove the lid. Transfer ham shank (or bone) to a cutting board. Use a fork to remove the ham from the bone and stir it into the soup. Discard the bone.
  • If a creamier (less brothy) texture is desired, pulse the mixture with an immersion blender 3 or 4 times, just to break up some of the beans. Don't go overboard, you want lots of whole beans and a few pulses will yield a nice and creamy result. I highly recommend not skipping this step.


Ingredient Notes
You can use a meaty leftover ham bone, a ham shank, or a ham hock in this recipe. If you happen to have a leftover ham bone from a holiday ham, great! If not, head to the meat department in your grocery store and you should be able to find a ham hock or shank in the packaged meats section (ask your Butcher if you don't see it).
If I'm going with the store-bought variety, I prefer a ham shank over the hock because they tend to be meatier. In addition to the flavor the bone is going to impart to your soup, you want a little meat on that bone. 
If using a leftover ham bone, be sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any glaze you might have used when cooking you ham. Sweet ham glazes are great for the ham, but not so great for your Navy Bean Soup!
Cayenne pepper adds a very slight kick. It’s not super spicy but you can leave it out if you're feeding kiddos or sensitive folks. You can also add more if you want a more prominent spicy flavor.
If you're thinking about adding salt, only do it at the end of the cooking time and definitely taste it first. There is salt in the seasoning ham (shank or bone) and broth. I don't add any additional salt and it is perfection.
Freezer Instructions
  • Use a ladle to transfer the completely cooled soup into freezer-safe plastic storage bags. Remove as much air as necessary and seal. You can place it all in one gallon sized bag or portion it out into several quart size bags for individual servings.
  • Lay the bags flat in your freezer until frozen solid. I recommend laying them on a rimmed baking sheet for this task in the rare case that a bag might open up or leak while freezing.
  • Once they are frozen solid they can be stacked and stored in your freezer. Be sure to label the bags with the date. I recommend using the soup within 4 months for the best quality.
  • Thaw the bags of soup completely in your refrigerator before reheating in the microwave or on the stove.
Reheating Instructions
Reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove. The soup will thicken as it rests so just add a little water to reach the desired consistency.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 1199mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3458IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 5mg