Nothing’s better than making a big pot of homemade soup for the family!
Minestrone Soup is an Italian classic packed with vegetables, pasta, kidney beans, and tomatoes in a richly seasoned tomato broth.
This soup is easy to make and reheats well for lunches or quick dinners throughout the week. It’s simple but warm and cozy when everyone’s craving a belly-warming meal!
What is Minestrone Soup?
Minestrone soup is an Italian favorite. A flavorful tomato-based broth is packed with hearty goodness from vegetables, beans, and pasta or rice. It’s often served as a first course but makes a great hearty meal too. While you may have tried this soup at Olive Garden, it’s even better made at home.
Make it into a vegetarian Minestrone by substituting the broth. Serve with a chunk of homemade bread or French bread.
Why You’ll Love It!
- It’s fast, easy, and is on the table in about 30 minutes.
- It’s versatile: You can mix and match your veggies as you wish. Keep it meatless or add in your own favorite protein like cooked Italian sausage.
- It’s Healthy: This Minestrone Soup is packed with flavor but is also full of good-for-you ingredients for a healthy weeknight dinner.
- It’s Budget-friendly: Soup is great way to stretch the budget, especially if you’re serving with a good loaf of bread to fill hungry tummies. Vegetables in minestrone soup are easy to find and pasta won’t break the bank.
- It’s Hearty and delicious! Most importantly, this hearty Minestrone Soup recipe is so delicious and the beans and pasta make it nice and hearty!
Ingredients in Minestrone Soup
VEGETABLES: Homemade minestrone soup starts with carrots, celery, onions cooked in a little bit of olive oil. We add in zucchini, spinach (or kale), and a can of diced tomatoes.
This is a good soup for using up leftover veggies like green beans or roasted cauliflower (or if time is short, simply toss in a bag of mixed frozen vegetables).
BROTH: While this soup doesn’t contain meat, we do prefer chicken broth as the base (although vegetable broth works too). The juices from the tomatoes, seasonings, and garlic cloves add flavor. To give it a boost, add a parmesan rind or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the simmering soup.
If using fresh herbs, they should be stirred in at the end just before serving.
BEANS: Red or white kidney beans (cannellini) beans are firm and hold up well in this recipe. Swap them out for garbanzos if needed. Always rinse canned beans in cold water to rinse off any preservatives and extra sodium.
PASTA OR RICE: Minestrone soup can have one or more types of pasta or rice added to the pot to make it thicker and heartier. Rotini, penne, shells, ditalini, or orzo are good choices. Rice choices can range from plain white rice to brown to long-grain, again, any kind will do!
How to Make Minestrone Soup
For a hot lunch or even for “soup as a meal,” minestrone is always a great choice!
- Cook the carrots, celery, and onion in a large dutch oven or soup pot until tender.
- Add remaining ingredients per the recipe below except for the pasta and spinach and simmer until tender.
- Add pasta and cook until tender. Stir in spinach and serve with parmesan cheese.
Plan for Leftovers
If you’re planning for leftovers, cook the pasta separately and add it to each bowl individually. If pasta is cooked with the soup, it will get mushy if it sits in the fridge overnight or is frozen so drain it and store it separately.
If cooking the pasta separately, be sure to salt the pasta water or cook it in broth for the best flavor.
Cooking Option: Crock-Pot
- Follow steps 1 and 2 (as per the recipe below).
- Place sautéed vegetables in a Crockpot and cover with remaining ingredients except for pasta and spinach.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. Stir in the spinach.
- Cook the pasta on the side and add to each serving.
Storing Leftover Soup
Keep leftover Minestrone soup in a covered container for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove. Freeze portions in zippered bags with the date labeled on the outside for up to 8 weeks. Thaw in a pot on low heat until ready to serve.
Savory & Satisfying Soups
- Easy Taco Soup – so fast!
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup – a classic fave
- Ham and Bean Soup – so hearty!
- Vegetable Beef Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortellini Soup – a complete meal in a bowl
- Italian Sausage Soup – perfect for a crowd
- Chicken Rice Soup
- Turkey Tetrazzini Soup – rich & creamy
Did your family love this Minestrone Soup? Leave us a comment and a rating below!
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 large carrots finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- ½ medium onion finely diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juice
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 540 ml canned red kidney beans rinsed (about 2 cups)
- 1 ½ cups Rotini pasta dry
- 2 cups fresh spinach finely chopped
- Parmesan for serving, shredded or grated
- In a large pot cook and stir the oil, carrots, celery and onion over medium-high heat until the onion has softened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, broth, and beans. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until carrots are tender.
- Add the pasta and stir, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta reaches desired tenderness. Stir in spinach and let sit for 2 minutes.
- Serve with shredded Parmesan cheese as desired.
- You can substitute rice for pasta, you'll need about 2/3 cup uncooked rice.
- You can mix and match your veggies as you wish. Keep it meatless or add in your own favorite protein like cooked Italian sausage.
- This is a good soup for using up leftover veggies or, if time is short, use mixed frozen vegetables.
- Always rinse canned beans in cold water to rinse off any preservatives and extra sodium.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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I like the recipe. I would hold out the spinach as I dont eat it. All of my spices/herbs are home grown in my Kitchen/DR so thats a bonus with all fresh rather than store bought. I also grow cherry tomatoes in house so that will also be fresh. Add some corn, green beans, some peas & some home made bread & Im set for the weekend. I ave many of your recipes & have loved them all. TY for sharing.
I really want to try this wicked looking recipe. Just wondering why you would even bother doing this in a “slow cooker” if it only takes 30 minutes of cooking time? Don’t mean to sound like a smart a$$ but, what am I missing here ?
I hope you enjoy it Ron! Great question. Sometimes it’s nice to come home to a hot and ready meal after a long day or at the end of a busy day. When my kids were younger, we’d get home from practice or lessons around 6 pm, so it was nice just to be able to ladle into bowls and enjoy since it was late for them.
Delicious! My husband said my most flavorful soup recipe. I added browned chicken sausage. Thanks for the tasty new recipe.
Delicious!! I added zucchini and pasta at the same time and added some andouille sausage for a little kick and it was amazing, everyone loved it!! Love your recipes, definitely a keeper!! Thank you:)
O My God do you have some great recipes. The Banoffee Pie is to die for. I have tried many of your recipes and some I’ve not heard of and they are killers. Love them. Will keep trying and eating what you have posted. Thanks for letting us use them!!
We love the Banoffee Pie too! So happy you are enjoying them too!
It was a cool day today so I thought I’d try your minnestrone soup recipe- quick & easy! The best part-it was delicious. Thankyou for sharing!
You’re welcome Dana!
This recipe is outstanding! I made it exactly as listed above and am thrilled to find something this good!
Fantastic soup! Made one change only, added 1lb. of diced Turkey Italian sausage and omitted the pasta, as I was serving it with the delicious ham sliders, recipe from this website. I must say the left overs were yummy too. This will be in rotation in my kitchen.
Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you share, love them.
Those sound like delicious substitutions Ferryal, thanks for sharing!
Absolutely gorgeous xx
Thank you Angie, so glad you loved the recipe!
This is one of the best Minestrone soups I’ve ever tasted and I can’t believe how easy it was! As soon as I tasted it I texted the recipe to two friends before I even finished the bowl – it’s so good.
This is a very flavorful soup. I did add1 pound cooked and drained ground beef and left out the spinach. Because I end up freezing some of the soup I leave out the pasta. I will cook the pasta and add it to the bowls before serving the soup to the bowl. This is a fairly quick soup to make, even when I have browned the ground beef. I usually have all these ingredients on hand. You could always use frozen and thawed spinach, but I would only use half of a small box.
So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Bobbie Jean!
i love this recipe! i subbed the spinach for zucchini and the chicken broth for veggie broth. this is one of the best soup recipes i have tried!
LOVED IT! I’ve never made Minnestrone before, so this was a “new recipe” for us. My husband does not like kidney beans, or tomato-based soups, so….I didn’t tell him what was in it. He ate TWO huge bowls-full and said “This new recipe is a keeper!” I made it (almost) exactly as written. (The only adjustment: I only had frozen spinach, so I substituted one cup of frozen cut spinach for the two cups of fresh.) The veges were done to perfection – not too mushy or too crispy. The broth was sublime, with a perfect broth-to-vegetable ratio. It made enough for two meals for us, presuming he will once again have two bowls-full. THANK YOU! This is by far the best off-the-internet recipe I’ve tried.
Yay!! So happy to hear that Sharon! And that sounds like the perfect substitution. Enjoy your leftovers!
Do you think this soup would taste good if I substituted vegetable broth instead of chicken broth? I have 2 vegan kids and I’m always looking for something to serve to them.
We’ve only made this recipe as written Rebecca, but if you try please let us know! I imagine it will still be delicious though!
Just made this for a second time (had some tweaks each time and I prefer more of the spices and garlic) and it’s fantastic. Thank you for making it so easy!!
Hi Andy, I am so glad you liked the recipe and were able to tweak it to suit your preferences!
The recipe has really good flavor and it’s easy to make. I used gluten free noodles and they completely fell apart making it visually unappealing. Note to self – Use regular and more dense noodles next time. I also needed 2 extra, 14 oz cans of broth because it was very thick. I also added another 1/2 tsp of all herbs/spices because of the added liquid. I liked the flavor a lot but due to the noodles falling apart I didn’t serve it to anyone but me.
I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor of the soup and hope you’ll have bettr noodle success next time!
I made this for a group of 12 or so for an annual New Year’s party with friends. I’m the “soup man” every year at this event, and this was perhaps my biggest hit ever, with phrases like “this is absolutely perfect” tossed around freely. It is also very easy to make. Thanks for a real winner!
Ahh, so glad your crew loved it Jeff! Happy New year!
I made this in my slow cooker on low for 8hrs and the flavors were delish! However, my carrots and celery were still quite hard. I thought I sliced them pretty small. Any suggestions?
Hey Christina, so glad you loved it! Did you soften the carrots and celery with the onions before adding them to the slow cooker? This should definitely help!