Instant Pot Bean & Escarole Soup

Before one sneers at the though of a soup loaded with beans & greens, let me assure them that not only is this one of the tastiest soups they’ll ever know, it’s also one of the most comforting and satisfying. The sausage & Parmesan are optional, but I’m all for them to add some additional deep, rich flavor to this Italian classic known as Bean & Escarole Soup. Oh – and it’s done with 9 simple ingredients (or less).

If you loved my Sausage & Spinach Soup, this is basically its lighter (yet equally scrumptious) cousin.

Bean & Escarole Soup
Head of escarole
Begin with one of the co-stars of this soup: a head of escarole…
Chopped escarole
…and chop it up, discarding the tougher stalky, white bottom.
Add some olive oil to the pot and give it some heat.
Add some olive oil to the pot and give it some heat.
Adding ground sausage to pot
Now this is totally optional, but I love to add some ground Italian sausage to this soup (if you can’t find it ground, get links and remove the casing).
Sautéing sausage
Sauté until crumbled.
Adding escarole to pot
Then, add the escarole (or, once the oil’s heated, start with the escarole if you opted not to add the sausage)…
Adding garlic to pot
…and some garlic.
Sautéing
Sauté it all together in the pot…
Wilted escarole
…and the escarole will quickly wilt down into nothing.
Adding more escarole to pot
Sometimes two heads are better than one. Since the wilted escarole gives us more room in the pot and if you wish to add more it, grab a second chopped head and add it now.
Wilted escarole
And after another moment of sautéing, you’ll see it will have also wilted. That’s a lot of escarole without feeling like too much!
Adding broth to pot
Add a broth of your choice to the pot…
Adding black pepper to pot
…along with some black pepper.
Stirring Pot.
Give the pot a good stir.
Adding beans to pot
Lastly, we’ll add the other star ingredient: beans! Typically this soup features a white bean, but you can use any you wish.
Smoothing beans out in pot.
But like most pasta dishes made in the Instant Pot, do not stir. Just smooth it out with a mixing spoon or wooden spatula. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
Stirring pot
When the soup’s done cooking, give it a stir.
Adding Parmesan to pot.
And for our last (optional) touch, add in some grated Parmesan.
Stirring pot
Stir until fully incorporated into the soup.
Finsihed Soup
And finito! You’ve just made some seriously easy and spectacular Bean & Escarole Soup! (NOTE: By the way, this is where you’d add some seasoned salt, if desired – but if you used the sausage and/or Parmesan, you likely won’t need any. All of this is explained in the recipe card below).
Soup in bowl
Bowl up that bean & green masterpiece…
Man with soup
…grab a spoonful…
…slurp it up…
Man staring at spoon
…and have a moment.
Man looking happy.
Folks, if things were always this easy and delicious, we’d start dancing our way through life.
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Bean & Escarole Soup

Instant Pot Bean & Escarole Soup

Before one sneers at the though of a soup loaded with beans & greens, let me assure them that not only is this one of the tastiest soups they'll ever know, it's also one of the most comforting and satisfying. The sausage & Parmesan are optional, but I'm all for them to add some additional deep, rich flavor to this Italian classic known as Bean & Escarole Soup. Oh - and it's done with 9 simple ingredients (or less).

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 6 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (sweet or hot or a mix of the two), casings removed (optional)
  • 1-2 bunches escarole, roughly chopped with tougher white bottom discarded (see Step 1)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 6 cups of chicken or garlic broth (e.g. Garlic Better Than Bouillon)
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, plus more for topping (freshly ground is best here)
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini, navy or great northern beans, drained and rinsed (see Jeff's Tips)
  • ¼-½ cup grated Parmesan (optional)
  • Seasoned salt, to taste (optional, see Jeff’s Tips)

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to the Instant Pot and hit Sauté and Adjust so it’s on the More or High Setting. After 2-3 minutes of heating, add the sausage (if using) and sauté for 3 minutes, until crumbled and lightly browned. Then, add the escarole and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until the escarole is wilted. (NOTE: If using 2 bunches of escarole, add them in two batches. Otherwise, it can get crowded in the pot. Once the first batch wilts, add the second and sauté another 1-2 minutes until wilted).
  2. Add the broth and pepper and stir well. Top with the beans but do not stir. Just smooth them out with a mixing spoon. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Cancel and then hit Pressure Cook or Manual at High Pressure for 3 minutes. Quick release when done.
  3. Stir in the Parmesan (if using, start with ¼ cup and add up to ½ cup if desired). Taste the soup. If at this point you feel it needs seasoned salt, start by adding 1 teaspoon, stir, taste and increase from there up to 1 tablespoon. Ladle into bowls and serve topped with freshly ground pepper, if desired. Goes great with a side of garlic bread.

Jeffrey's Tips

AVOID OVERSALTING: The seasoned salt is subjective on whether or not you added the sausage and/or Parmesan to the soup. Both emit salt so they’ll likely satisfy the soup’s savory capacity. If you added one or both, make sure you really taste the broth in Step 3. You can always add more salt to recipes but not really retract it once it’s in there (unless you add water, which can throw off the ratio of the goodies in the soup). To that point, if you didn’t add the sausage nor Parmesan, you’ll likely want to add 1-3 teaspoons of seasoned salt in Step 3. Regardless, all taste buds are different so do it to your (and your loved ones) personal preference.

If you feel like using a darker bean, by all means, mix it up and add whatever kind you wish. Just make sure they’re drained and rinsed from the can before adding in Step 2.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Guy Colerick

    Hey Jeff….thanks for the tip on the salt in your bean and escarole recipe. I use the Knorr granulated bullion and it had more than enough salt. I also used spicy sausage….gave it a nice kick. I’ve sent a lot of subscribers your way. You and Sam The Cooking Guy are my go to guys…..love your recipes. My favorite from you is your Zuppa Toscano and your Guacamole recipe. Everyone tells me to bring my quac when we have get togethers. The roasted garlic is the bomb!

  2. Randy Zinkus

    Hi! Love your videos. Question – can you use a Parmesan rind when making this recipe? I saw another stovetop escarole soup recipe that uses one. Thoughts?

  3. Pete Osborn

    Over here in western NY, greens and beans are a common entree or appetizer in our numerous family owned Italian restaurants. Not as a soup however.
    I got a recipe for it several years ago and made it, experimented with it and since I love most soups, modified it to almost your recipe but I always use cut up and sautéed sausage without removing the casing.
    After cooking the sausage I mop out any excess grease with a paper towel then add everything to the same pot and cook for a couple of hours.
    I’m retired so I have time to do this.

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