Instant Pot kielbasa soup with beans is the ultimate comfort food. It is a hearty meal that is delicious and comes together quickly. It is perfect for a busy night.
This kielbasa soup is based on a soup I found years ago. I had come across a soup online (actually in my Facebook feed) and decided it looked pretty amazing and I had to try it. We made it once from the original and then we went to make it again and it was no longer online, an error page came up.
I could only remember the basics to the soup when we made it the second time so I made it how we would like it. It has been one of our favorite kielbasa dinner recipes for a couple years!
The original was not in the Instant Pot, but we think it turns out amazing in it.
Cheesy garlic biscuits are always a nice treat to go with it as well. They are quick to put together and delicious.
Ingredients and substitutes
Pasta - We like to use a vegetable rotini for this. You can use other pasta, but the vegetable rotini does add a little more vegetables into it! Some boxes are 12 ounces and some are 16 ounces. Either is fine but with 16 ounces there will be a little less liquid in the soup.
Kielbasa - Use your favorite kielbasa. We like Hillshire Farms here, but many store brands are good too.
Oil - Olive oil is good here, but you can use your favorite. You will be using it to cook the onions,
Broth - We use low sodium, but you can use regular or unsalted. If you use no salt broth, you may want to add some salt to taste. This depends on the amount of salt you like to use.
Beans - This is flexible with the beans. We use cannellini and pinto, but you can use 2 cans of the same beans. You can try different beans in it as well.
Onion - We prefer yellow or white onions in our kielbasa soup. You can use a sweet onion or even leeks, but I don't recommend a red onion in it. Leeks are a bit more mild but can work as a substitute for the onion.
Spinach - You can use frozen or fresh. We usually use fresh, but frozen is good too. Just be sure to thaw it before adding because you add it after the soup has been cooked and if frozen it will cool the soup too much.
Garlic - Garlic cloves give a great flavor, but you can substitute with garlic powder. Use 1 teaspoon garlic powder in place of the cloves if using the powder.
Thyme - We use dried thyme in this soup recipe, but you can use fresh as well. You want to add an extra teaspoon if using fresh.
Italian seasoning - Can use 1 third teaspoon of each if you do not have Italian seasoning - parsley, oregano and basil.
Salt - Salt is optional and will vary based on your taste along with which broth you use. Add to taste.
Deglazing the Instant Pot
This is very important for you to know now before making the Instant Pot kielbasa soup with beans. I added the graphic to show you what WILL happen (not might happen) so you do not freak out and panic. It will be ok as long as you deglaze the inner pot.
The kielbasa needs to be removed very quickly with a large spoon or spatula when it's time. Be sure to have your oil, onions and broth ready before cooking the kielbasa.
Now, you inner pot WILL have burned stuff on the bottom. Do not panic. It's the stuff from the kielbasa combined with no liquid. See how burnt it looks in the picture above? Yeah I panicked the first time but it's ok. It actually is good because it adds flavor.
After cooking the onions in the oil, you will still have some burnt stuff on the bottom of the inner pot. Slowly pour about a quarter cup of broth into the inner pot while using a wood spoon or gently use a metal spoon to remove the burnt mess off the bottom.
You will find with the liquid added in the hot pot that you don't need to scrape hard, just gently scrape the bottom until all the burnt stuff is off. Add more liquid if needed, just a few splashes at a time. It works best with just a little liquid.
Note that you will get a burn warning if you do not deglaze, but it is quick and easy to do.
Making the kielbasa soup
This Instant Pot soup is quick and easy to make, here are a few tips to help you make it without any problems.
First you want to cut the kielbasa into small bite sized pieces. As you can see in the picture above, I like to slice it thin and then cut the slices into 4s. Be sure to have your onions, oil and broth ready. Also have a plate lined with a couple paper towels ready to put your kielbasa on.
Turn the Instant Pot onto sauté and wait for it to read hot. Once it reads hot, add the kielbasa to the inner pot. Cook stirring often for 2-3 minutes. The kielbasa will start to get browned and the bottom of the pot will start to get browned. Remove the kielbasa as quickly as possible and place on the paper towel lined plate.
Pour the oil into the inner pot and quickly add the onions. Sauté the onions for about 2 minutes stirring often. Add in the chopped garlic (only if using fresh garlic) and cook for another minute stirring often. If using garlic powder, continue cooking the onions another minute without adding the garlic powder.
Deglaze the pot with a little broth - see above for more details. Hit cancel.
The Instant Pot kielbasa soup doesn't cook for long, it takes longer to build pressure then it does to cook at high pressure.
Be sure your inner pot is deglazed - sorry I know I am repeating myself but it is that important. Add in the rest of the broth, pasta, Italian seasoning, thyme and if you are using garlic powder you would add it now as well. Salt is optional and depends on your taste along with the amount of sodium in the broth you use. If you are adding it, you can add it now or wait until after cooking to taste it before adding.
Stir everything well. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and hit the pressure cook/manual button and adjust time to 4 minutes on high pressure. Different models have different buttons, some models have pressure cook and some have manual.
After pressure cooking
Once the time is up, do a manual release of pressure. Keep an eye on it because it may start to splatter out of the vent on the Instant Pot. If it does, you can either place a towel over the vent to catch the mess or you can stop the venting for a few seconds and then vent again. There is no harm in the splattering, but it is a mess you don't want to have to clean.
Stir in the beans, spinach (if using frozen be sure it is thawed first) and kielbasa. Stir well and place lid on without sealing for a couple of minutes before serving. This will warm the beans and wilt the spinach (or warm up the spinach if using frozen thawed spinach.)
Cooking the kielbasa soup on the stove top is very similar to cooking it in the Instant Pot.
Start by sautéing the kielbasa in a large pot for about 2-3 minutes over medium to medium high heat (stoves vary), stirring often. After it is starting to brown a little bit, remove from the pot and set on a paper towel lined plate. You can brown it a bit more if you prefer.
Add the oil and onions to the pot. Sauté for about 2 minutes before adding the minced garlic. After adding the garlic, cook for another minute stirring often.
Deglazing can be skipped when cooking on the stove, it is more for the Instant Pot. Pour in the broth, Italian seasoning, salt (if adding) and thyme. Bring to a gentle boil and stir in the pasta. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook until pasta is desired consistency, stirring occasionally.
Once pasta is done add in the beans (juices and all), spinach and kielbasa. Stir, cover and turn off the heat. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes with the lid on before serving.
As a note - You will lose more moisture cooking it on the stove then in the Instant Pot. It is important to keep it covered while cooking the pasta to reduce the amount of liquid lost.
Frequently asked questions
I recommend it for the best flavor and texture. If you don't cook it first, you will want to add it before pressure cooking and this will result in a very soft texture. It will also take away some of the flavor of the kielbasa if it is pressure cooked in the broth.
No I do not recommend it. Canned beans are already cooked and pressure cooking them will turn them to mush in the soup. You add them after because you just need them heated, but you want them to keep their shape and flavor.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Note that it may no longer be a soup consistency after sitting in the fridge. Pasta absorbs a lot of the liquid, but it is still a delicious dish leftover!
As a note:
Instant Pot kielbasa soup starts out as a soup when you first start to eat it, but the pasta does absorb the liquid quickly. Leftovers will be more like a pasta dish, but the leftovers are still delicious!
Most boxes of vegetable rotini comes in 12 ounces, but if you get one that is 16 ounces you can use it. Just note that there will be a little less liquid if you use a full 16 ounces of pasta.
Other great soups:
- Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Ham and bean soup
- Ham and potato soup
- Beef stew in the Instant Pot
- Chicken tortellini soup
Instant Pot Kielbasa Soup
- 14 ounces kielbasa cut in bite size pieces
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Salt to taste
- 12 ounces vegetable rotini pasta see notes
- 15.5 ounces can cannellini beans
- 15.5 ounces can pinto beans
- 8 ounces fresh spinach or frozen, see notes
- Turn on the Instant Pot to sauté. Once hot, add in the kielbasa and cook for about 2 minutes. Quickly remove the kielbasa and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. See notes your inner pot will have burnt stuff on it.14 ounces kielbasa
- Add in olive oil and onion as soon as you take the kielbasa out. Cook for about 2 minutes. Now add in the garlic. Stirring constantly, cook for about 1 minute.2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic
- Add about ¼ cup of the chicken broth while stirring to deglaze your pot. Hit cancel.
- Add in the rest of the chicken broth, thyme, Italian seasoning, salt (if adding) and the pasta. Stir to mix.1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 8 cups chicken broth, 12 ounces vegetable rotini pasta, Salt
- Place lid on and turn the vent to seal. Hit pressure cook/manual and set for 4 minutes.
- When done, do a manual quick release. Once the pin drops, carefully remove lid.
- Add in the cannellini and pinto beans, juice and all. Also add in the spinach and kielbasa. Stir to combine and put lid back on for about 2-3 minutes, until the beans are heated and the spinach is wilted.It is ready to serve.15.5 ounces can cannellini beans, 15.5 ounces can pinto beans, 8 ounces fresh spinach
- Cook the kielbasa over medium to medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes, until it is starting to brown. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel, set aside.14 ounces kielbasa
- Add in the oil and chopped onions. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring often. Add in the minced garlic and cook for another minute.2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic
- Pour in the broth, Italian seasoning, thyme and salt (if using). Bring to a gentle boil.8 cups chicken broth, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, Salt
- Add in pasta, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Stir occasionally and cook until the pasta is done, about 10-15 minutes depending on the pasta.12 ounces vegetable rotini pasta
- Once pasta is done add in the kielbasa, spinach and beans (juices and all.) Place the lid on and remove from heat. Allow to sit covered for 2-3 minutes before serving.15.5 ounces can cannellini beans, 15.5 ounces can pinto beans, 8 ounces fresh spinach