This vegetarian Instant Pot navy bean soup combines white beans and mixed veggies in a veg broth for a warming, wholesome, nutritious, and utterly delicious vegan soup! It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, meat-free, oil-free, and naturally vegan!
Healthy, Hearty Vegan Navy Bean Soup with Vegetables
Flavorful soups can be very simple to make but usually not quickly. Instead, a low and slow simmer is needed to bring out all the flavors and create tons of depth in ways you didn’t even think capable of the modest ingredients. Luckily, an Instant Pot allows you to achieve the same depth in a fraction of the time. That is what I’ve done with this vegan Instant Pot navy bean soup!
This soup is hearty, wholesome, filling, and packed with flavor (even without the ham in traditional navy bean soup recipes) and nourishing ingredients. With the combination of beans and veggies, this vegan navy bean soup is packed full of plant-based protein, fiber, and an impressive amount of vitamins and minerals.
Even better, it’s made almost entirely from inexpensive pantry staples, just one pot, and in under 20 minutes, thanks to using canned beans. I’ve also included stovetop and crock pot (slow cooker) versions of this vegetarian navy bean soup.
Enjoy a bowl alone, with some bread, or even a side salad. It’s perfect for chilly evenings or as an impressive vegetarian appetizer or main when hosting! It’s also incredibly meal-prep friendly, both for fridge and freezer storage, so make a double batch when you can.
- Navy beans: I used canned beans that are drained and rinsed (use a reduced-sodium version if preferred). You could also use pre-cooked beans from dry.
Did you know that navy beans contain 15 grams of plant-based protein and 19 grams (!!) of fiber per cup of cooked beans?! That’s alongside several vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, folate, magnesium, iron, and more.
- Garlic cloves: Feel free to adjust the amount if preferred.
- Mire Poix: This classic soup trio of onion, carrot, and celery stalks is perfect for packing in tons of flavor to this Instant Pot bean soup.
- Potato: I recommend using Yukon Gold potatoes or Russets. There’s no need to peel the potato, but it’s up to you.
- Herbs: I used dried thyme and bay leaves.
- Veg bouillon: You can use either bouillon cubes or paste with water. Alternatively, use pre-prepared vegetable broth. Use a reduced-sodium option if preferred.
- Salt & black pepper: Season to taste.
Optional add-ins & Recipe Variations
This recipe for navy bean soup is fairly versatile. Here are a few simple add-ins and recipe adaptions you might enjoy.
- Vinegar: Add a splash of vinegar (red or white wine vinegar would be fantastic) to the vegetarian navy bean soup right at the end to add a subtle tang and umami.
- Lemon juice: This works similarly to the above, but it also brightens the soup, too.
- Spice: To add some heat, you could add a finely chopped chili, red pepper flakes, or chili powder/cayenne pepper. Adjust the amount to taste.
- Smokiness: Add some smokiness with smoked paprika, smoked salt, or liquid smoke. Add to taste.
- Cumin: A large pinch of warm, earthy ground cumin tastes lovely in the Instant Pot navy bean soup.
- Nutritional yeast: This will add a nutty, 'cheesy' depth. Add to taste.
- Fresh herbs: Some parsley would work wonderfully as a garnish.
- Spinach or Kale: Stir in spinach after the soup has cooked to naturally wilt. Add the kale before cooking the soup in the Instant Pot (or in the last 6-8 minutes on the stovetop). These will pack in a ton of nutrients.
- Other vegetables: Experiment with veggies like peas, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, corn, bell pepper, sweet potato (instead of potato), etc. Tomatoes (or canned tomatoes) would also taste delicious for a more tomatoey broth.
How to Make Vegetarian Instant Pot Navy Bean Soup?
You can enjoy this delicious, nutritious pressure cooker bean soup in just three simple steps.
- 1) First, prepare all the ingredients. Start by rinsing and finely dicing the onion and potato, then slicing the carrot and celery. Then, mince the garlic and drain and rinse the navy beans.
You can save the drained ‘aquafaba’ liquid from the cans for other recipes.
- 2) Then, add all the ingredients except the salt and pepper to your pressure cooker (it needs to be at least 6-quarts).
For more depth of flavor, start by sauteing the vegetables (onion, celery, carrot, potato, and garlic) with a swirl of oil using the sauté function in your Instant Pot. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until they begin to soften and lightly brown. Then continue with the recipe as written.
- 3) Fasten the lid and set the pressure cooker on manual HIGH for 3 minutes.
- 4) When ready, carefully release the quick-release valve and serve this vegetarian Instant Pot navy bean soup hot with extra salt and pepper to taste.
Stovetop Vegan White Bean Soup
- In a large Dutch oven or thick-based soup pot, add a swirl of oil and heat over medium heat.
- Once hot, add the garlic and sauté for a minute, stirring often. Then add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for a further few minutes until they begin to soften and brown.
- Then, add all the remaining ingredients (except the salt and pepper) and stir well.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Season and enjoy!
If you continue to simmer the soup, the potato and beans will continue to soften, making the soup thicker and creamier.
Refer to the FAQs for the crockpot version of this vegan navy bean soup.
While it is possible, I’d recommend pre-cooking the beans to follow this vegan/ vegetarian navy bean soup recipe.
If you want to use the beans from dry, it will require a significant increase in the cooking time, which I haven’t tested. You don’t need to pre-soak the beans when using an Instant Pot. However, you should soak them overnight in cold water if you plan to use a stovetop or slow cooker method.
Without having tested it myself, I’d estimate the rough cooking times for the soup with the soaked beans would be:
60-90 minutes on the stovetop
5-6 hours on HIGH or 10-12 hours on LOW in a crockpot
This versatile recipe will work well with other canned beans, too. For example, other white beans like cannellini beans or butter beans. It could also work with great northern beans, black beans, chickpeas, etc. Have fun experimenting.
Personally, I haven’t tried. However, I don’t see why not. Start by sauteing the veggies in a skillet (optional, for extra flavor) for a few minutes, until softened. Then transfer everything to the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or LOW for 5-7 hours. If you don’t want the beans to become overly mushy, add them an hour into the cooking process.
Top Recipe Tips and Notes
- For a creamier soup: Use an immersion blender or blender to blend a portion of the soup (about a cup) until creamy, then mix that back into the soup. Alternatively, use an immersion blender directly into the Instant Pot until you reach your desired consistency. If you want it creamy but not as thick, add more water/veg broth.
- For a thicker/thinner soup: For a thicker soup, follow the above instruction. For a thinner one, either reduce the cooking time or add more broth.
- For more flavor: Sauté the garlic and vegetables until softened and lightly browned. This will begin to caramelize them and add tons of depth to this vegan Instant Pot navy bean soup.
- Don’t overcook the beans: Otherwise, they may become overly mushy. Unless that’s what you’re going for, in which case, enjoy!
- Adjust the simmer time: Less time will mean a thinner, less ‘developed’ (in terms of flavor) soup. More time will mean a creamier, thicker soup with more flavor.
This vegetarian Instant Pot navy bean soup is hearty enough to enjoy alone as a main meal. However, you could also enjoy it with
- Bread or garlic bread for dipping
- Naan or another flatbread
- A sandwich
- Vegan grilled cheese
- A simple side salad like a garden salad
Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions
Make ahead: You can rinse and chop the various vegetables 2-3 days in advance and store them separately in containers in the refrigerator.
Store: Allow the navy bean soup to cool and then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Freeze: Separate the leftovers into portions and store them in the freezer for 4 months. You can store them in Ziplock/Stasher bags, a silicone muffin mold, or even jars with ½-inch headspace). Allow a portion to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Reheat: Use either the stovetop or microwave to reheat the vegetarian navy bean soup until warm. Add a splash of additional water or stock if the soup has thickened.
If you try this vegan/vegetarian navy bean soup recipe, I’d love to know what you think in the comments below. I’d also really appreciate a recipe card rating!
Photos by Alfonso Revilla
Vegetarian Instant Pot Navy Bean Soup
- pressure cooker
- cutting knives
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 3 ribs of celery sliced
- 3 carrots sliced
- 1 large russet potato chopped
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 3 (15-ounce) cans of white navy beans drained
- ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 7 cups of water
- 5 cubes of vegetable bouillon or paste equivalent
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a pressure cooker that’s at least 6-quarts, add the onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, garlic, beans, thyme, bay leaves, and water.
- Put the lid on the pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
- When it’s finished, do a quick release and serve hot. Garnish with salt and pepper.
Disclaimer: Although foodsharingvegan.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Foodsharingvegan.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.