Classic Ham and Bean Soup (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker recipe)

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 min
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x


Classic Ham and Bean Soup made in the Instant Pot with ham, dry great northern beans, vegetables, and a few other simple ingredients and cooked in less than an hour thanks to use a pressure cooker.



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 34 carrots, diced
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bag Hurst’s Hambeens Great Northern Beans (20 ounces), rinsed and sorted
  • Seasoning packet that comes with the Great Northern Beans
  • 8 cups broth (chicken or vegetable is best)
  • 2 pounds ham hocks, shanks, or leftover ham bone
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Select browning/saute to preheat the pressure cooker. Add the olive oil or butter and onion, celery, and carrots. Saute until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add washed and sorted Great Northern beans to the pot, add the seasoning packet, and the broth. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the ham hocks, shanks, or ham bone to the pot.
  5. Lock the lid in place, make sure the vent is set to seal, and select high pressure and 40 minute cook time.
  6. When the cooking time ends, use the quick pressure release. When the valve drops, remove the lid carefully.
  7. Remove the ham pieces and bones and place them on a plate. Remove any extra meat and discard the non-edible pieces. Return the ham meat to the pot and stir to combine.
  8. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve hot


  • The 40 minute cook time lends to beans that are still “toothsome” with plenty of structure and chew. If you like a softer cooked bean, cook for 50 minutes.
  • This is the fastest way to make this recipe. If you have the time, feel free to let the Instant Pot do a “natural pressure release” at the end of the cooking time.
  • I tried this recipe with and without the included seasoning packet, and I really liked using the seasoning packets. It adds a great smoky flavor. It’s gluten-free, too. If you are sensitive to salt though, try adding only half and adjusting additional salt to your liking.
  • You are free to use the pork/ham product of your choice – using a leftover ham bone works great. I just toss my ham bone in a zipper-topped freezer bag after dinner and keep it there until I’m ready to make soup.
  • If you’d like to thicken the soup just a bit, you can blend it for just a few seconds with your immersion blender or you can blend 2 cups of the soup in a traditional blender and then return it to the pot. Blended beans are a great natural thickener.
  • See the post on cooking times for the slow cooker and stove top.
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: ham, beans, soup, Instant Pot, gluten free

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