Slow Cooker 15 Bean Soup

Bowl of 15 bean soup with carrots and spinach

5 from 8 reviews

Use your slow cooker to turn 15 bean soup mix into a flavorful, budget-friendly family meal.  See the notes below for Instant Pot instructions. 

Read the blog post above for suggestions about:

For the best results, don't forget to soak the beans for at least 6 hours before making this soup in a slow cooker. Un-soaked beans might take longer to cook.

This recipe was originally posted in Dec 2020 and updated in Sept. 2021. 


Units Scale
  • 1 bag (13 to 20 ounces) of dried 15 bean soup
  • 8 to 10 cups water*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 sprigs of parsley or thyme
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons coriander or cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste after the soup is cooked
  • 2 cups frozen spinach or kale (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

*8 cups of water makes a thicker soup, 10 cups makes soup with more broth. You can use vegetable or chicken broth instead of water. Add less salt if using broth.

**Some dried bean blends come with a seasoning packet. You can use the seasoning packet or discard it and use the spices in this ingredient list.


Soak the beans overnight (or at least 6 hours)

In a large bowl, cover the dried beans with approximately 6 to 8 cups water (cover by 2-inches).  Add 1 tablespoon salt (or 2 tablespoons kosher salt). Soak overnight (or at least 6 hours). Drain and rinse the beans before cooking. 

Make the Soup

  1. In the slow cooker, combine beans, water, olive oil, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, parsley or thyme, paprika, coriander and salt. *Read the blog post above for suggestions about adding more vegetables or meat to the soup
  2. Cook on high for 5 to 8 hours. After 5 hours the beans will likely be cooked and tender but still have some firmness. Cooking the soup for 6 hours or longer makes the beans softer and creamier.  If cooking the soup on low, it will probably take closer to 8 hours. 
  3. When the soup is done, add frozen spinach or kale. It will only take a few minutes to defrost in the soup. 
  4. Taste the soup and add more salt as needed. You will almost definitely need to add more. Don't be shy about adding salt! 
  5. Add a splash of vinegar to brighten up the flavor. 
  6. You can serve 15 bean soup with toppings such as hot sauce, sour cream or grated cheese. 


I prefer to cook this soup on high because it ensures that the beans will become tender within 5 hours. You can cook this bean soup on low, but the cooking time becomes longer and more variable. 

15 Bean Soup - Instant Pot

You don't need to pre-soak the beans to make pressure cooker bean soup. Simply combine the dried beans with the other ingredients listed above: 8 cups water, olive oil, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, parsley or thyme, spices and salt.  Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes, with a natural release. Let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes, or you can wait until the float valve drops on its own. 

If you have a 6-quart Instant Pot, don't add more than 8 cups water or the pot will be too full. 

If you want to add meat, you can add a ham hock or smoked sausage before cooking the soup. Other types of meat will get overcooked. 

Total Instant Pot cooking time = 20 minutes to reach pressure + 40 minutes cooking time + 20 minute natural release

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