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After a busy day of dentist appointments for all three kids and various errands to run, we finally have a short break of calm in our day. It’s kind of like the eye of the storm, and I know it won’t last long, so I set my sights on making dinner.
That is, until my 3-year old calls for my help in the bathroom. Then, my 2-year old starts melting into a full-fledged tantrum, dissolving into a puddle of tears because I committed the cardinal sin of giving him the blue snack cup instead of the yellow one. I realize the 5-year old is eerily quiet right now, so I wander into the next room, where I find my budding artist buried amidst her latest project, with bits of cut paper smeared with sticky glue littering the room.
This is just the norm for us…and I’ll bet you can relate.
So if there’s any hope of getting dinner on the table, quick and easy meals are a MUST.
That’s one reason why I’ve fallen in love with my Instant Pot pressure cooker! It has completely simplified my meal prep, and I use it all the time for making easy Instant Pot dinners!
I’ll admit, I was a little scared of using a pressure cooker, mainly because I have lingering memories of the jiggle of my mom’s stove top model, which always seemed just a little dangerous. But the newer electric models are so much safer.
Once I overcame my fear and got the hang of it, the Instant Pot has become my most-used kitchen appliance. If you’re new to pressure cooking, I think you’ll find this guide to getting started with easy pressure cooker recipes helpful.
In an effort to get dinner on the table faster during our chaotic evening, I recently converted my favorite minestrone recipe to be made in the Instant Pot. The result was a hit!
Reasons You’ll Love This Instant Pot Minestrone Soup:
It’s Easy to Prepare
This healthy yet hearty soup is a cinch to make! Chop up a few veggies (or shorten your time in the kitchen by using ready-cut veggies if you prefer!) and toss them into the Instant Pot to saute for a few minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and set your cook time. So easy.
As moms, we don’t have time to slave over a hot stove, constantly stirring, setting timers, and juggling multiple dishes. Once you’ve programmed the cook time, the Instant Pot does its thing and you can do yours.
It’s Incredibly Versatile
One of my favorite things about homemade soups is that you can make substitutions to suit your preferences or the ingredients you already have on hand.
Don’t have squash or zucchini? Leave them out and double-up on carrots. Have frozen peas instead of green beans? Swap them out! I had ditalini on hand from recently making pasta e fagioli in my Instant Pot, but you can simply use whatever pasta you already have in your pantry–shells, macaroni, rotini, penne, or even broken spaghetti.
It’s a Frugal Meal
When my husband and I were getting out of debt, I learned how to make frugal meals for our family and discovered that homemade soups are so much less expensive than store-bought!
This Instant Pot minestrone can stand on its own as a pretty well-rounded meal of veggies, pasta, and beans. You can always pair it with some crusty bread or grilled cheese sandwiches if you’d like.
Using the Instant Pot to whip up a quick and easy meal saves you from the dinner time panic! When your kids are bouncing off the walls and your to-do list is growing longer, this Instant Pot minestrone is a wonderful way to get a wholesome, frugal meal on the table without slaving away in the kitchen all afternoon. Enjoy!
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks (including leaves), sliced
- 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 summer squash, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 2 (14.5oz) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (15.5 oz) can beans, undrained (I used northern beans, but you can use any kind)
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
- 1 cup frozen cut green beans
- 1/2 cup ditalini pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add olive oil and onions, carrots, and celery to the insert pot of an Instant Pot, stirring to combine. Using the Saute function, cook until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the insert pot and stir to combine. Place lid on the Instant Pot and lock into place, setting the vent to the sealed position.
- Press the Cancel/Keep Warm button to turn off the Saute function. Then use the Manual/Pressure Cook button to select a 3 minute cook time at high pressure.
- Once the cook time is complete, allow a 10 minute natural release followed by a quick release of remaining pressure. Once the pressure has released and the valve has dropped, carefully remove the lid.
- Adjust seasonings to taste.
Chrysti is a wife, mom to three littles, and a nurse who loves using her Instant Pot to save money and simplify mealtime. She and her husband paid off over $130,000 of debt through a lot of hard work, frugal living, and intentional planning. She writes about finding margin in finances, life, and the kitchen at MarginMakingMom.com. Find her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.