One of my most favorite soup recipes I’ve shared is my White Bean Soup with Garlic and Kale.
A reader suggested that I try it with sausage, which I thought was a fantastic idea!
I also want to use my Instant Pot more, since the only way to really know how to use my new Instant Pot well is to actually USE it. So I’ve combined both ideas to create Instant Pot White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale!
Although “garlic” isn’t in the title, there’s still PLENTY of garlic in the recipe. Actually, I think the quantity of garlic in the soup, and the fact that the garlic is SMASHED and not minced, is one of the reasons why I like it so much!
Instant Pot White Bean Soup with Sausage & Kale
My original recipe calls for two pots – one to get the beans cooking in chicken stock and another to simmer the tomato paste. This second pot is really what gives an AMAZING aroma in the house.
One time though when I was short on time (aren’t we all!!), I just dumped it all in the same pot and let it simmer until the beans were done.
That batch was good, but it wasn’t nearly as good as the two-pot method.
I didn’t really want to use the Instant Pot AND a second pot, because to me, that defeats the purpose of using the Instant Pot to cook dinner in the first place.
BUT… I’ve made a few batches of chicken stock in the Instant Pot and every single time the stock is so rich and flavorful. I’m not a scientist, but I really think it’s how the food is cooked in the pot that intensifies the flavors.
So with that said, I took a gamble that tossing everything into the Instant Pot would make for a super easy dinner AND one that tasted just as good as the original recipe.
Guess what – I was right!
The beauty of using the Instant Pot to make this soup is that you don’t have to soak or precook the beans beforehand. You literally can put ALL of the ingredients into the Instant Pot, set the timer and walk away.
- The beans will come out perfectly tender.
- The sausage will be cooked perfectly though.
- The kale will be sufficiently wilted, and yet not mushy.
- The broth will be flavorful and absolutely delicious.
All in all, you really can’t go wrong with this recipe for Instant Pot white bean soup with sausage and kale!
Another perk of this recipe, is that you probably have everything you need to make it already in your kitchen.
Any kind of sausage will work here, and I have some tips depending on what you use:
If you want to use sausage links: place in the pot with all the other ingredients and cook as directed. Pull the sausage links out, slice on a cutting board and place back in the soup.
If you want to use ground sausage: use the sauté function on the Instant Pot to brown the sausage with a tsp or so of olive oil. Crumble the sausage as it cooks, and when it’s done, turn the Instant Pot off to add the remaining ingredients. Then cook according to the recipe!
I really, REALLY like navy beans in this recipe because of their mild and muted flavor. If you can’t find navy beans, great northern beans would also work well. I usually have them on hand because I love great northern bean and ham soup (with cast iron skillet cornbread!) in the winter.
If you can’t find navy beans or great northern beans, substitute with another small white bean. I wouldn’t choose white kidney beans though, simply because it will change the overall flavor of the soup.
By the way, if you ever wondered if cooking dry beans from scratch was really cheaper than buying canned beans, here’s the answer!
Kale is the perfect dark green to use in this soup because it’s hardy. It can stand up to being in the Instant Pot for awhile without turning to mush.
If you don’t have kale, Swiss chard makes a great substitute. If you like the flavor of mustard greens, turnip greens or beet greens, then by all means, use them!
The only exception to substituting for greens would be using spinach. You can certainly use spinach, but don’t add it to the soup at the very beginning. Instead, cook the soup as written (minus the greens) and add the spinach at the end. Give it a quick stir and close the lid. Let the soup sit for 5 minutes and the residual heat from the soup will wilt the greens all by itself!
This soup freezes and reheats beautifully, so feel free to make a double batch. Or make a big batch for a very inexpensive way to feed a crowd on just one pound of meat!
One more note on the Instant Pot – I have the 8 quart Instant Pot DUO and LOVE that it can hold so much food! If you have a 6 quart Instant Pot, just make sure you don’t go past the fill line (you should be fine in this recipe though!)
If you’re new to cooking with an Instant Pot or aren’t sure if it’s worth the investment check out my post 20+ Things to Know BEFORE You Buy an Instant Pot.
- 1 cup dry navy beans
- 2 quarts chicken stock (I used homemade chicken stock)
- 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- ½ lb sausage (I used spicy turkey sausage links)
- salt & pepper, to season to taste
- Rinse and sort beans, discarding any misshapen or discolored beans.
- Place all ingredients in the Instant Pot.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, lock it and make sure the steam release valve is sealed.
- Press “soup” and using the “-“ or “+” button until you reach 45 minutes.
- When the Instant Pot is done, use an oven mitt to turn the steam release valve to “quick release.” When the steam stops venting, carefully open the lid.
- Serve hot.