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Mouthwatering 15 Bean Soup Recipe (3 ways)

Craving a hearty meal? How about a soup stuffed with protein? Yes, I’m talking wholesome beans and savory meat crammed into one soup bowl. That is what you get with this colorful, scrumptious 15 bean soup recipe.

You gotta love a recipe developed out of necessity. Wondering what to do with a bunch of mismatched beans? Throw them all in the pot. Got some scraps of meat? Toss them in too. Sneak in a few veggies. Add some flavoring. You end up with an amazing soup packed with protein and brimming with nutrients.

What is it missing? Only tons of fat. This is a lean soup. A warm-you-up soup. A healthy soup you can eat without the guilt.

“But how long will it take to make?” you ask. Well friend, it does not take long to prep. The cooking time takes the longest time. But depending on your method, it isn’t too bad.

There are 3 main ways to make this 15 bean soup recipe:

  • Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker): Fast, hands-free, easy.

  • Slow cooker: Easy, hands-free, a bit more prep work, long cook time.

  • Pot on the stove: Medium cook time, high maintenance.

If you want a vegetarian bean soup, do not add any meat and use vegetable broth. Everything else in the recipe adapts to a vegetarian recipe.

In this article, you will learn:

  • All the ingredients in a great 15 bean soup mix recipe.

  • How to make the soup in an Instant Pot, a slow cooker, or on the stove.

  • The best side dishes to serve next to the soup.

  • How to store leftovers (including how to reheat those leftovers when you are ready to indulge again).

Ready? Let’s roll.

15 Bean Soup Mix Recipe Ingredients

  • 15 bean soup mix. You can buy a dried bean soup mix at the grocery store. Hurst’s Hambeens sells a popular 15 bean soup mix with a flavor packet. However, any mixed bag of beans will work.

    Alternately, you can use the dried bean odds and ends hiding in your pantry. Do you need exactly 15 types of beans? What if you have only 5?

    Always use what you have. The number of beans doesn’t matter. That is the great thing about this recipe. It is completely adaptable. Make your own mix of dried beans.

    What type of beans are in a typical 15 bean mix? Most 15 bean mixes have:
  • black beans
  • white beans
  • red beans
  • garbanzo beans
  • green lentils (brown lentils)
  • green split peas
  • yellow split peas
  • pinto beans
  • kidney beans
  • white kidney beans
  • large lima beans
  • baby lima beans
  • cranberry beans
  • navy beans
  • yellow eye beans
  • Ham bone, smoked ham hock, leftover ham, smoked sausage, or Canadian bacon. A ham bone adds the most flavor. Without a doubt. No question.


    But unless you buy a whole ham, you probably do not always have a ham bone lying around. We only buy ham two or three times a year. Usually for the holidays.


    Use the most convenient meat if you do not have a ham bone.
  • Chicken. Told you this was a high protein meal. Don’t just add ham, add chicken too. Leftover chicken is perfect for this recipe. One cup or one chicken breast is enough.

    If the chicken is already cooked, great. If not, each soup cooking method lasts long enough to cook raw chicken breasts.
  • Canned tomatoes. Use one (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes. Dump in the tomatoes, including the juice.

  • Fresh vegetables. Add a carrot, a celery stalk, a medium onion, garlic cloves, and red bell peppers.

  • Broth. Use chicken broth or vegetable broth.

  • Lemon juice. Juice one lemon to get 2 tablespoons of juice.

  • Seasonings. Season with salt, black pepper, oregano, thyme, chili powder, bay leaf, and fresh parsley.

15 Bean Soup Prep Work

Whether you make 15 bean soup in an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, or on the stove, the prep work is the same.

Step 1. Soak the Beans with salt.

There are two reasons to soak beans.

First, hydrating the beans reduces the cook time by about 30%. Pre-soaked beans cook up soft and creamy.

Second, soaking the beans can help reduce gastrointestinal symptoms often associated with eating beans. Does bloating and flatulence sound familiar? Soak to reduce that risk.

Beans contain complex sugars known as oligosaccharides (which our digestive enzymes cannot break down). As a result, the bacteria in our intestines ferment these complex sugars, causing gas and bloating.

Fortunately, oligosaccharides are water-soluble. This means if you soak the beans, discard the soak water, and then rinse the beans really well, you can wash away a lot of these complex sugars.

Why soak with salt?

Soaking beans with salt helps keep the beans from bursting. For more information, see my article on cooking garbanzo beans. It highlights the results of soaking beans in various ways.

Directions:

  • Measure 2 cups of the bean mix.

  • Sort the beans and remove any debris. Tip: pour the beans onto a cookie sheet so they are easier to sort.

  • Pour the beans into a large bowl and add at least 2 quarts (8 cups of water).

  • Add 1 tablespoon of table salt.

  • Soak for at least 6 hours, but preferably 10-12 hours.

Step 2. Drain and rinse beans.

  • Pour the beans and water into a strainer.

  • Rinse the beans.

  • Set aside.

Step 3. Cut the vegetables.

When you dice the carrot, celery, and onion, try to cut the pieces the same so they cook evenly.

  • Wash, peel, and chop the carrot.

  • Wash and chop the celery.

  • Dice 1 cup of white or yellow onions.

  • Dice the red pepper.

  • Peel and smash 2 cloves of garlic.

  • Wash and mince ¼ cup of parsley.

Step 4. Prepare the meat.

  • Have a ham bone? It should be mostly stripped of meat. If you are using ham, sausage, or Canadian bacon, cut the meat into pieces.

  • Adding chicken? If it is cooked chicken, chop it into bite-sized pieces.

    If you have a raw chicken breast, do not cut it yet. It is easier to shred after it has cooked in the soup.

    Now that you have done the prep work, choose whether to cook the soup in an Instant Pot, slow cooker, or soup pot on the stove. The instructions for each method are listed below.

Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup Mix Recipe

You will prefer cooking your soup in an electric pressure cooker if you are short on time and need a hands-free cooking method.

A pressure cooker is perfect for meal prepping in the morning before work because the pressure cooker has a “keep warm” function. This ensures that the soup is piping hot when you get home from work.

Step 1. After following the prep work instructions (listed above), cook the carrots, onion, and celery using the mirepoix method.

A mirepoix is a French cooking technique where onions, carrots, and celery are slow cooked to soften and sweeten them.  

mirepoix of carrots, celery, and onion
  • Turn the pressure cooker pot on to the sauté setting. Keep the lid off.

  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

  • Cook the onions and carrots for 10 minutes, until they begin to soften.

  • Add the celery and sauté for another 5 minutes until it softens.

Step 2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the parsley.

  • Pour in the broth, undrained can of tomatoes, beans, ham bone (ham, Canadian bacon, or sausage), chicken, smashed garlic, red pepper, lemon juice, and seasonings.

    If you used Hurst Hambeens 15 bean mix, a seasoning packet is included. You can add it if you want, but I never find it necessary. Especially if I add a ham bone or cubed ham.

    Soy is an ingredient in the seasoning packet, so if you are allergic to soy, throw the packet away.

Step 3. Pressure cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.

Because the pot is so full, it may take 20+ minutes for the Instant Pot to pressurize.

Step 4. When the soup has finished cooking, allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally if you have time. Short on time? Do a quick release.

Check that you have soft, tender beans. If so, you are ready for the final step.

Step 5. Do the finishing touches.

  • Remove bay leaves and discard.

  • Remove the ham bone (if using). Pull off pieces of ham and return them to the soup.

  • Remove the cooked chicken breast and shred it. Stir it back into to the soup.

  • Add the minced parsley.

  • Taste the broth and adjust seasonings. Usually, the soup needs a bit more salt.

  • Give the soup a final stir.

Step 6. Serve it hot.

Easy 15 Bean Soup Recipe in a Slow Cooker

Using a slow cooker might be the easiest method because you are skipping the mirepoix step. It is perfect for morning meal prep before work. Just dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and go.

Step 1. After following the prep work instructions (listed above), add everything to the slow cooker, except the lemon juice and fresh parsley.

Step 2. Cook on low 10 to 12 hours or on high 5 to 6 hours.

Step 3. When the soup has finished cooking, remove the ham bone (if using). Pull off pieces of ham and put these pieces back into the soup.

Step 4. Remove the chicken breast and shred. Return the shredded chicken to the soup.

Step 5. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Add the parsley and lemon juice. Cook for 10 more minutes.

Step 6. Stir, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Step 7. Serve it hot.

15 Bean Soup Mix Recipe On the Stove

Cooking the soup in a large pot on the stove requires the most hands-on work. You can never be too far away from the stove.

However, if you do not have an instant pot or need the soup finished sooner than 10 hours, try cooking the soup on the stove.

Step 1. After following the prep work instructions (listed above), cook the carrots, onion, and celery using the mirepoix method.

  • Turn the stove on to medium-high heat.

  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil, onions, and carrots to a Dutch oven soup pan.

  • Cook the onions and carrots for 10 minutes, until they begin to soften.

  • Add the celery and sauté for another 5 minutes until it softens.

Step 2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the parsley and lemon juice.

  • Pour in the broth, undrained can of tomatoes, beans, smashed garlic, red pepper, ham bone (ham, Canadian bacon, or sausage), chicken, lemon juice, and seasonings.

  • Place the lid on the pot.

Step 3. Bring the soup to a boil over medium high heat. When it begins to boil, turn heat to low.

Step 4. Cook, covered on low for 1½ to 2 hours. You will know it is done when the beans are soft.

Step 5. When the soup has finished cooking, remove the ham bone. Pull off pieces of ham and put these pieces back into the soup.

Step 6. Remove the chicken breast and shred. Return the shredded chicken to the soup.

Step 7. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Add the parsley and lemon juice. Cook for 10 more minutes.

Step 8. Stir, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

What to Serve with 15 Bean Soup

Now that the savory aroma of your bean soup engulfs your kitchen, all you need is a complimentary side. Here’s a list of some favorite side dishes to serve with 15 bean soup.

bruschetta with diced tomatoes, basil, and mozarella
  • Cornbread. Smear with butter and drizzle with honey and you have a popular side bread for your 15 bean soup recipe.
  • Dinner roll. Almost nothing is more tempting than warm dinner rolls, fresh out of the oven. Rolls may take a little bit longer to make, but they are worth the effort.
  • Breadsticks. Warm and perfectly shaped to dip in soup.
  • Buttermilk biscuits: Serve plain or cheesy buttermilk biscuits, made with pancake mix. Quick, easy, delicious.
  • Crusty bread. Hard, crisp outside, a soft feathery inside. Break it apart and dip it in olive oil. Slather with butter. Spread it with homemade ricotta.
  • Garlic bread. Not just for pasta. Slice a long, thin loaf of French or Italian bread. Butter each slice and place it on a large sheet pan. Season with garlic powder, and oregano. Broil in the oven until the bread is toasted.
  • Avocado toast. Simple, healthy, refreshing, delicious. Avocado lightens up a heavy soup. The perfect partner for bean soup.
  • Bruschetta. Start with toasted bread brushed with olive oil and roasted garlic cloves. Once you have your foundation, top with diced tomatoes, shredded basil, and caramelized onions. Lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar (optional).
  • Quesadilla. A quesadilla is a stunning side for almost any dish. It only needs a couple of ingredients, it toasts in minutes, and it can be customized to fit any picky taste buds.
  • Serve over rice. Choose white rice, brown rice, or seasoned rice to cover with thick 15 bean soup. Soup feels like a complete meal when served over rice.

How to Store 15 Bean Soup Leftovers

It is easy to store soup leftovers. As the flavors marinate overnight, the soup always tastes better the next day.

Store 15 Bean Soup in the Refrigerator

  1. Cool the soup.

  2. Place the soup in an airtight container.

  3. Place the soup container in the refrigerator. Use the soup within 2 or 3 days. If you need to store in longer, freeze it.

Store 15 Bean Soup in the Freezer

  1. Cool the soup.

  2. Place the soup in a freezer-safe airtight container or a freezer bag. If you use a freezer bag, double bag it. Label the container or bag. Don’t forget to include the date.

  3. Store the soup in the freezer for up to 6 months.

How to Reheat Leftover 15 Bean Soup

You can reheat the soup in the microwave, on the stove, or in an electric pressure cooker.

If the soup has been in the freezer, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours.

Microwave Method

This is the best method to reheat a single serving.

  1. Ladle out the soup into a microwave safe bowl.

  2. Heat on full power for 1 minute.

  3. Stir and check temperature. The FDA recommends reheating leftovers to 165° F. Use a thermometer to be safe.

  4. If the soup is not hot enough, continue to heat in 30-second intervals until it is hot enough.

  5. Eat with your favorite side dish.

Pressure Cooker Method

This is the easiest method to reheat all the leftover soup to feed your whole family. It is easy and hands-free.

  1. Pour the soup into the Instant Pot container. Place the lid on the cooker.

  2. Cook on high pressure for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how much leftover soup is in the pot.

  3. Naturally or manually release the pressure.

Stove Top Method

Use this method to reheat the whole batch of soup.

  1. Pour the soup into a pan. Put the lid on the pan.

  2. Heat on the stove over medium heat until it comes to a boil.

  3. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes.

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Yield: 10 cups

15 Bean Soup Recipe

bowl of 15 bean soup mix recipe

Craving a hearty meal? How about a soup stuffed with protein? Beans and meat crammed into one soup bowl. That is what you get with this colorful, scrumptious 15 bean soup recipe.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Instant Pot Cook Time 15 minutes
Soak Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry 15 bean mix
  • 2 cups ham, Canadian bacon, or sausage (or use ham bone)
  • 1 cup cooked chicken (or 1 raw chicken breast)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 cup diced yellow or white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus 1 tablespoon of salt for bean soak water)
  • ¼  teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dry thyme

Instructions

PREP THE INGREDIENTS

  1. SORT beans and remove any debris or foreign objects.
  2. SOAK beans overnight in a large bowl with 2 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Beans should soak for a minimum of 6 hours, but 10 to 12 hours is better.
  3. DRAIN the beans in a mesh strainer and rinse them under running water. Set aside.
  4. CHOP ham (or Canadian bacon or sausage if substituting).
  5. WASH carrot, celery, red bell pepper, and parsley.
  6. PEEL the carrot and dice it.
  7. DICE the celery and red bell pepper.
  8. PAT DRY the parsley and mince it.
  9. PEEL AND SMASH the garlic cloves.
  10. JUICE the lemon.

MIREPOIX DIRECTIONS

Only make the mirepoix if you are cooking the 15 bean soup in an Instant Pot or on the stove. Eliminate this step if cooking the soup in a slow cooker.

  1. HEAT the olive oil in an Instant Pot on "sauté" setting OR on the stove in a large pot.
  1. ADD the carrots and onion. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and start to turn brown.
  2. ADD the celery. Stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS

  1. After making the mirepoix, POUR in the rest of the ingredients, except the parsley. Stir.
  2. PLACE the lid on the pressure cooker.
  3. COOK on high for 15 minutes. Let the Instant Pot release naturally if you have time. Otherwise, do a quick release.
  4. REMOVE the ham bone (if using) and pull off the meat. Return the meat to the pot.
  5. REMOVE the cooked chicken breast and shred it. Return the chicken to the pot.
  6. DISCARD the bay leaves.
  7. ADD the parsley.
  8. TASTE and adjust seasonings, if needed.
  9. STIR and SERVE.

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS

  1. POUR in all the ingredients, except the parsley. Stir.
  2. PLACE the lid on the slow cooker.
  3. COOK on low for 10 to 12 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours.
  4. REMOVE the ham bone (if using) and pull off the meat. Return the meat to the pot.
  5. REMOVE the cooked chicken breast and shred it. Return the chicken to the pot.
  6. DISCARD the bay leaves.
  7. ADD the parsley.
  8. TASTE and adjust seasonings, if needed.
  9. STIR and SERVE.

STOVE TOP DIRECTIONS

  1. After making the mirepoix, POUR all the ingredients, except the parsley into the pot. Stir.
  2. PLACE the lid on the pan. Heat over medium heat until the soup begins to boil.
  3. REDUCE HEAT to low and simmer for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the beans are soft.
  4. REMOVE the ham bone (if using) and pull off the meat. Return the meat to the pot.
  5. REMOVE the cooked chicken breast and shred it. Return the chicken to the pot.
  6. DISCARD the bay leaves.
  7. ADD the parsley.
  8. TASTE and adjust seasonings, if needed.
  9. STIR and SERVE.

Notes

All images and content are © TheTastyTip.com. If you want to use this recipe and techniques, please take your own photos, write your own description, and link back to this page. Thank you.

Nutrition Information

Yield

20

Serving Size

½ cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 103Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 18mgSodium 676mgCarbohydrates 11gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 7g

Nutrition information is an estimate only and may vary based on individual ingredients added and cooking methods used.


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