You are going to love this pressure cooker meatball minestrone! It takes minutes to prepare and it’s hearty, delicious and kid friendly too. Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan and fresh basil leaves or swirl some pesto over the top. Yum!
You know that your pressure cooker has become indispensable when you bring it along with you on your holidays! It may sound slightly nutty, but that’s exactly what we did during our recent family holiday in Cornwall. We also brought our coffee machine – priorities people!
I have to admit we didn’t actually use the Instant Pot during our holiday, other than to make a meal for our poorly dog. But I think, had we stayed any longer, we would have definitely relied on it. And, from what I can tell, this behaviour is far from unusual among IP fanatics.
I have been experimenting with many new pressure cooker recipes lately which I hope to roll out over the next few months. First up is this pressure cooker sausage meatball minestrone – the perfect recipe for the currently undecided weather!
This is sort of a cheat’s recipe as the meatballs are nothing more than rolled up sausage meat. I used spicy beef sausages here but Italian pork sausages would also work really well. All you have to do is remove the casings and roll the meat with slightly damp hands to create the little meatballs.
Thanks to the pressure cooker, this minestrone soup only needs two minutes cooking at high pressure and a couple minutes bubbling away to cook the green beans and courgette.
Minestrone soup usually also contains beans, but I realised I had none while making this recipe and I didn’t really miss them in the end. Feel free to add some cannellini or kidney beans if you prefer. Leave the meatballs out for a vegetarian version and leave both meatballs and Parmesan out for a vegan version.
You have three options when adding pasta to this soup. You can cook the pasta separately on the hob and add it after the soup has finished cooking in the pressure cooker. This ensures the pasta won’t get too mushy or overcooked, but it adds more work and more washing up (boooo!).
You can add the pasta, as I have done here, in the Instant Pot and cook for 2 minutes. This is long enough for the pasta to be al dente – it will continue to cook a bit longer while pressure is released and with the beans and courgette. Make sure you don’t use quick-cook pasta though!
Finally, you can add small pasta shapes after you release the pressure and let it cook with the beans and courgette for 2-3 minutes. Quick-cook elbow macaroni is a good option for this method.
Serving your pressure cooker meatball minestrone
This minestrone is best eaten soon after it is made – it will thicken considerably if left for too long or reheated. Serve with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan and fresh basil. Or stir some green pesto over the top to add some colour and extra flavour. If you like this soup, make sure to check my Pressure Cooker Italian chicken soup too – the first recipe I made in my Instant Pot and a firm favourite!
- 450g | 1 lb Italian sausages
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 2 carrots finely diced
- 2 celery stalks finely diced
- 135 g | 1 cup macaroni or other small pasta
- 1300 ml | 5 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 450 | 1 lb Passata
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 medium courgette/zucchini finely diced
- 100 g | 3 1/2oz fine green beans diced
- Grated Parmesan to serve
- Fresh basil leaves to garnish
- Remove the casing from the sausages. Roll the sausage meat into mini meatballs using slightly damp hands. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker and fry the meatballs for 2 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add a splash more oil if needed and then stir in the onion, celery and carrots. Fry for 4 minutes.
- Add the stock, passata, macaroni, salt and meatballs and stir together.
- Cover, set vent to sealing and cook at high pressure for 2 minutes then release the pressure manually.
- Press the ‘sauté’ button and add the green beans and courgette. Cook for 2-3 minutes until just cooked.
- Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan and fresh basil leaves or swirl some pesto over the top. Yum!
If you would like to add beans, you can drain a 400g (14oz) can of cannellini, borlotti or kidney beans and stir them in at the end, together with the green beans. Make sure the pasta you use is not quick-cook as it will turn to mush. If you do want to use quick-cook pasta stir it in at the end and cook until al dente.
This is a fairly thick soup - bit like a stew. If you prefer it with more liquid, add 1-2 cups water in addition to the vegetable stock.
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