Instant Pot Smoky Ham and Pinto Bean Soup

I love this easy ham and bean soup. It makes the perfect comfort food dinner. And with an Instant Pot (get yours here:, you can achieve a depth of flavor that usually takes all day to achieve. And let’s face it, there is nothing better than a bowl of warm, smoky bean soup on a cold day!

And best of all? Cooking in the Instant Pot means NO SOAKING THE BEANS! Of course you *can* still soak the beans, and if you have a particularly sensitive digestive system, you may still choose to do so. But for most, pressure cooking beans breaks them down sufficiently and fast enough that you can forget about soaking!

This recipe makes great use of leftover ham–goodbye holiday leftovers, hello delicious dinner! Not only do you get the smokiness from the ham hock, but adding extra ham makes sure there’s meat in every spoonful. Yum!

Pro Tip: For a creamier soup, remove about a cup of the cooked beans, mash with a fork or potato masher, return to the pot and stir well.

There is nothing better than a bowl of warm, smoky bean soup on a cold day!


  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs smoked pork hocks, rinsed
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp celery seed (or 2 ribs celery, diced)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb dried pinto beans, rinsed (you do not need to soak)
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1/4 cup diced cilantro
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh tomatoes


  1. Add all ingredients except the Toppings to the Instant Pot, then secure the lid, making sure the vent is closed.
  2. Using the display panel select the MANUAL function*. Use the +/- keys and program the Instant Pot for 50 minutes.
  3. When the time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure.
  4. Remove pork hock, slice any remaining meat from the bone and return to the pot.
  5. Serve warm topped with cilantro and tomatoes alongside cornbread or biscuits.

*The MANUAL and PRESSURE COOK buttons are interchangeable.