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10 tips for making soup in your Instant Pot

by Kristen

Cooking soup in your pressure cooker is a game changer!  Most soups in your Instant Pot call for a high-pressure cooking time of 10 minutes or less and produce a HUGE flavor!  Plus, you can use the sauté function on most electric pressure cookers to sauté onions or garlic.  If you prefer cooking off the cuff, you should follow these tips to cook the best soup in your electric pressure cooker! 

I have owned my Instant Pot for over six years and have written an Instant Pot Cookbook.  If I had to choose one thing to make in my Instant Pot for the rest of my life, I would choose soup.  Once you get the hang of cooking soup in your Instant Pot, you won’t cook soup on the stove anymore.

I love making soup out of leftovers that I have on hand.   Leftover chicken, rice, beans, veggies, potatoes, turkey, sausage, kale,  squash, onion, beef, or ham can all contribute to amazing Instant Pot soup.

Because I have tried and tested so many soup recipes over the past few years, I now consider myself an expert on the Instant Pot soup-making process.

 Ten tips for making fantastic soup in your Instant Pot.

Before I get into the list, I want to go over just a few frequently asked questions I get from readers.

What do I need for fantastic soup in the Instant Pot?

  1. If you want to make blended soups in your Instant Pot, think of butternut squash or other blended vegetable soups, you will wish to an Immersion Blender.
  2. I also keep many vegetables, chicken, and beef stocks on hand.  I love making soup out of leftovers, and most soup recipes call for a stock of some sort.
  3. Other pantry items I like to keep on hand for “cooking off the cuff” include canned tomatoes, celery, white rice, wild rice, brown rice, pasta, tomato sauce, bacon, sweet potatoes, Instant mashed potatoes, seasonings, olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper.
  4. You will also need an Instant Pot.

What is the Instant Pot Soup Setting?  If you own an Instant Pot, you probably have noticed some “shortcut buttons” on the front of your pot.  Each button is designed to make each item the way it is intended to be best.   Using the “soup” function on your Instant Pot will heat your soup to 230 degrees, so it doesn’t burn.  Also, when you use the “soup” function on your Instant Pot, it does not heat the bottom as much because it knows that nobody is stirring the soup during the cooking process.   Your Instant Pot is such an intelligent machine!

How do you reheat soup in your Instant Pot?  If you have a soup already cooked and you want to warm the soup in your Instant Pot, you can hit the ” sauté ” button to heat the soup.  Your Instant Pot can make a great serving vessel!

Making soup with noodles:  This may be an unpopular opinion, but when I made minestrone soup or chicken noodle soup using my Instant pot, I made the noodles separately on the stove and add them to the bowl.  soup right before I eat.

Ten Tips for Cooking Soup in your Instant Pot

1. You can make bone broth in advance and freeze it  – I love making homemade broth in my Instant Pot.  I made homemade broth in my slow cooker, but I was not too fond of it when my whole house would smell like chicken broth all day.  Making homemade beef, ham, chicken, or veggie stock in your Instant Pot is easy and hardly takes time.  I have been very mindful of food waste these past few years, so I often make homemade stock out of my leftovers after a meal.

2. Vegetables, pasta, and beans can turn to mush if you cook them for too long- Because high-pressure cooking is such a fast process, it is essential to understand how it can overcook food.  Vegetables, pasta, and canned beans can become overcooked quickly.  I add the pasta and beans after the pressure cooking process in my Instant Pot Minestrone and Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli recipes.

3. Don’t add any ingredients for thicking the soup until the pressure cooking process has been completed, if you are making a soup or a stew that calls for a thickening agent, such as cornstarch or flour.  Don’t add it until the pressure cooking process has been completed.  Instead, it would be best if you turned on the sauté button after the pressure cooking process and added the thickening agent.

4. Make sure dense ingredients aren’t sitting on the bottom of the Instant Pot – Many Instant Pot soups might call for whole chicken breasts or significant cuts of potatoes.  Ensure your dense ingredients are not at the bottom of the Instant Pot.   Your soup is much less likely to burn.

5. Better than Bullion will take your soup to the next level- Besides keeping a large abundance of stock around, whether homemade or store-bought stock.  I also recommend Better than Bullion.  You’ll understand why when you try it 🙂

6. Sauté your onions before cooking soup in your Instant Pot – I am pretty sure 95% of soup recipes call for onions.  Your soup will turn out much more flavorful if you sauté the onions and other aromatics, using the sauté setting before adding the rest of the ingredients.  This is something I have learned with experience.

7. Make sure you use the soup button – As discussed above, use your soup button.  Your machine is designed to make the best possible soup when you use the button.

8. Always let the pressure naturally release –  I have at least one Instant Pot cooking video where I got splattered with soup spitting out of my Instant Pot pressure release valve using the quick-release function after making a large pot of soup.   If your pot is filled over 1/2 way, you will want to let your soup naturally release before opening up the lid.   I always advise natural release on my Instant Pot Soup recipes for this very reason.   When you vent your Instant Pot right away, the steam and liquid can be scorching and can burn and make a huge mess

9. Your Immersion Blender is your BFF when making delicious thick soups in your Instant Pot – If you love making soup in your Instant Pot, please get an immersion blender.  You can blend soups in a traditional blender, but an immersion blender is so much easier.  I like to ensure the soup has cooled down before starting the blending process because the soup can be boiling and might splatter.

10. If your soup recipe contains dairy, you should add it after the pressure cooking process – If you are making a soup or a chili using cream cheese, go ahead and add it before the pressure cooking process starts. But if you are adding milk or cream, wait until the cooking process is done before adding it.  Milk might curdle if you mix it with broth or lemon juice beforehand.

There are so many delicious Instant Pot soup recipes on the interwebs to try!  I have a few on this site that has worked well for me.   Please let me know how these tips help you!  Please let me know if you have any more great information you would like me to add!

Here are a few simple soup recipes to get you started

Beef Stew

Beef and Barley Soup

Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Homemade Tomato Soup 

Pasta e Fagioli 

20 Soups to make in your electric pressure cooker


Store soup in an airtight container. Most soups will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to five days.  Or you can store soups in an airtight container in your freezer for up to four months.

I would love to know if you used these tips while cooking soup in your Instant Pot!  Please comment below this blog post and let me know!  You can also tag me on social media.  You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.


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[…] 2. Vegetables, pasta, and beans can turn to mush if you cook them for too long- Because pressure cooking is such a fast process, it is essential to understand how it is capable of overcooking food. Vegetables, pasta, and canned beans can become overcooked quickly. via […]

Robin April 13, 2021 - 9:03 pm

Thank you so much for these tips! Going to try it today! 🙂

KJ February 8, 2021 - 11:12 pm

Thank you, this was very helpful. I forgot my instapot had this feature!

Sharon Spicer February 1, 2021 - 4:20 pm

I want to just cook my soup not pressure it. If I use soup function what lid do I use

Kristen February 1, 2021 - 7:04 pm

if you don’t want to pressure cook it. then hit the saute function and cook it similar to how you would cook it on the stove.

Bambi June 14, 2023 - 7:09 pm

How can I make the soup using instant pot on slow cook? Pressure or no.

Kristen June 14, 2023 - 7:36 pm

I wouldn’t suggest it. I would pressure cook it then maybe put it on slow cook to keep it warm.

Jodie January 1, 2021 - 11:46 pm

BUT HOW do I use the soup function? Simply plug it in and press soup? What do I do with the valve? Do I need to press any other buttons? I am completely brand new to using my instant pot and I have cabbage soup ingredients in it right now, lol. But I’m standing here not sure what exactly to do next.

Sarah October 16, 2020 - 2:57 am

I have a couple of questions.

1. How long do you let the soup to naturally release when you use the Soup setting (default is 30 minutes)

2. I like my chili to be rich and thick. The Instant Pot likes to create “soup” from the beans so what do you suggest and how to make the chili really nice and thick that you can almost eat it with a fork?

Lemon Basil Chicken Noodle Soup – Make the Best of Everything October 14, 2020 - 3:08 pm

[…] make this soup in my Instant Pot.   Check out my tips on how to make delicious soups in your Instant Pot.  I will include instructions for making this soup with a leftover rotisserie chicken AND how to […]

Bonnie Wilson October 1, 2020 - 1:41 am

I want to make cannelloni bean soup, with onions and rosemary. The beans are dry so do I use the soup button. It says the beans take 20 minutes on their own.


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