Instant Pot Meatball Minestrone Soup is one of those one-pot wonder soups that is both easy to make and simply delicious to eat.
Once we purchased our Instant Pot, we started stocking up on ingredients that we use frequently. We love having plenty of chicken stock on hand to make our favorite soup recipes, as well as frozen bags of zesty tomato sauce, and cooked black beans.
We use all of those ingredients to make this minestrone soup, along with another favorite we often have in the freezer, par-cooked Italian Meatballs.
Not to worry if you haven’t been giving your Instant Pot a workout and stocking up your freezer. Using canned or pre-made ingredients will work just fine.
The important thing with this recipe is finding a way to cook the pasta and vegetables without having them come out mushy, while at the same time having perfectly cooked meatballs. After some failures in each of those area, we figured out a few tricks to make a full-proof noodle soup in the Instant Pot.
First, we mince vegetables and garlic to give a first layer of flavor to the soup. We add either frozen or par-cooked meatballs which both only require 5 minutes of cook time.
Then we use a pasta with a longer stovetop cooking time (12-14 minutes). Pastas which require this much cooking time will be done in 5 minutes in the Instant Pot.
Finally, we add grated carrots and zucchini, along with roughly chopped spinach immediately after releasing the pressure. The result is a perfectly cooked soup, complete with tender meatballs, perfectly done pasta, fresh vegetables that add some additional texture all in a soup that tastes like it has been simmering on the stove for hours.
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Note: If you decide to use freshly made meatballs, omit the noodles and cook the soup for 10 minutes. You can add in cooked pasta at the end, or omit the pasta from the recipe.
Here are some additional Instant Pot recipes you might enjoy:
- 8 Meatballs, frozen or par-cooked, about 1.5 inches in diameter, or 16 - 20 if you are using mini meatballs
- 1 Cup Tomato Sauce
- 4 Cups Chicken Stock
- 2 Stalks Celery
- 2 Carrots, Medium
- 3 Roma Tomatoes (diced)
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1/2 Sweet Onion
- Cooked Beans (any combination of black beans, chick peas, kidney beans or pinto beans) 1 cup
- 1/2 Cup Penne Pasta
- 1 Teaspoon Basil
- 2 Teaspoons Oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Thyme
- 1 Teaspoon Rosemary
- Generous Pinch Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Small Zucchini, Grated
- 1 Cup Fresh Spinach (packed, roughly chopped)
- 3 Tablespoons Parsley, diced
- Bouillon Cubes (1, optional, see notes)
- Parmesan Cheese
- Crusty Bread
Wash and roughly chop one peeled carrot and 2 stocks of celery and add them to the bowl of a food processor.
Roughy cut the onion and remove the peels from the garlic. Add them to the food processor and blend until the vegetables are minced.
Set the Instant Pot to "Sauté" and add the olive oil. Once the pot beeps to indicate that it has reached temperature, add all the minced vegetables. Sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the vegetables do not burn.
Add the diced tomatoes, salt and spices. Sauté for another 2 minutes, when the spices become aromatic.
Turn off the Instant Pot and add the beans, stock*, tomato sauce, frozen meatballs and dried pasta (see notes if using meatballs that are not frozen).
Seal the lid and make sure the venting knob is set to "Sealing."
Turn the pot onto "Manual" or "High" and set the time for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, grate the zucchini and the remaining carrot and wash and roughly chop the spinach.
Once the cooking is complete, turn off the pot and carefully perform a quick manual release.
Remove the lid and stir in the fresh grated carrots, zucchini, parsley and spinach.
Adjust the seasoning**, then allow the soup to sit for about 5 minutes.
Top the soup with fresh grated cheese and serve with crusty bread.
*This soup tends to be relatively thick. If you want a thinner soup, add an additional cup of stock at this point.
**Instead of adding additional salt at this point, you can add in 1/2 bouillon cube, which will add both salt and additional flavor.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 253 Total Fat: 11.3g Saturated Fat: 4.1g Sodium: 730mg Carbohydrates: 24,8g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 6.4g Protein: 17,8g