This Minestrone Soup recipe features tons of fresh vegetables, hearty beans, and pasta in a flavorful tomato broth. It’s comforting, nutritious, and ready in about 30 minutes!
During this time of year, I really appreciate the simplicity of soups and other one-pan meals. I can make a well-balanced dinner that tastes amazing without spending all my time cooking or cleaning dishes. I especially love Minestrone soup because it’s SO easy to make and full of healthy, filling ingredients.
This recipe is incredibly versatile since all you need are fresh vegetables and basic pantry staples. I have made gluten-free and vegan versions of this recipe, and they’re both equally delicious! You can also switch up the veggies depending on your family’s preferences or to use what’s in season.
How To Make Minestrone Soup
- Olive oil — I recommend a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Aromatics — A combination of chopped onion, celery, carrots, and garlic.
- Tomatoes — I love the robust flavor the crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes add to the broth.
- Chicken broth — I like to use chicken bone broth for the flavor and nutrients.
- Green vegetables — Zucchini and green beans add a nice, vibrant color.
- Beans — I use a blend of red kidney beans and cannellini beans.
- Seasonings — This soup is already very flavorful, so I keep the seasonings simple with Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. You can also use herbs like basil, oregano or bay leaves.
- Pasta — The elbow macaroni cooks right in the soup!
- Garnish — I like to garnish with chopped fresh parsley and freshly grated or sliced parmesan cheese.
Sauté aromatics, add tomatoes and broth:
- First, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent.
- Then, stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute or two until the garlic is fragrant.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth, then stir everything well.
Add zucchini, beans, and macaroni:
- Next, add the chopped zucchini, fresh green beans, red kidney beans, white kidney beans, and Italian seasoning. Stir well to combine.
- Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the Dutch oven and allow the soup to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- At this point, add the uncooked elbow macaroni and continue to simmer for an additional 15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Season and simmer:
- Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer for 5 more minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Serve minestrone soup hot, garnished with fresh chopped parsley and a sprinkle of freshly grated or sliced parmesan cheese.
- I suggest cutting the vegetables the same size, so they cook evenly.
- If you can’t get fresh green beans, I recommend using frozen green beans over canned. The taste and texture are much better.
- Whenever I make soup, I always go with a high-quality store-bought broth or homemade chicken broth for the best flavor.
- To make this recipe vegan, I recommend using a flavorful vegetable broth and a vegan-friendly alternative for the parmesan garnish.
- For perfectly cooked pasta, be sure to add it during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Any sooner and it’ll be overcooked; any later and it’ll be undercooked.
How To Store Leftovers
- To Store: You can store leftover minestrone soup with or without the pasta in it. If you know you’ll have leftovers, I recommend cooking and storing the pasta separately, so it doesn’t get mushy in the fridge. Once the soup cools, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To Freeze: Store the soup in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Remember to leave extra room for the liquid to expand as it freezes. I recommend freezing the soup without the pasta and cooking the pasta fresh when you’re ready to enjoy it.
- To Reheat: If the soup is frozen, thaw it in the fridge overnight. Then, reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally. If it doesn’t already have pasta in it, cook the pasta separately and add it in once the soup is hot.
What To Serve with Minestrone Soup
- Crusty bread: Whenever I make this recipe, I always make crusty garlic bread with homemade garlic butter to go with it. It’s my favorite cold-weather combo!
- Grilled cheese sandwich: A classic grilled cheese sandwich isn’t just for tomato soup! It’s also great with a cozy bowl of minestrone soup.
- Simple salad: This soup is already packed with veggies, so I’ll usually pair it with a simple arugula salad and easy homemade vinaigrette for balance.
- Crunchy crackers: I like to sprinkle oyster crackers or low-carb almond flour crackers on top for even more texture and flavor!
- Add protein: Minestrone soup is hearty enough to enjoy on its own, but feel free to add extra protein if you’d like. I recommend adding cooked Italian sausage or extra-lean ground turkey, similar to my ground turkey soup with vegetables.
- Seasonal vegetables: I like to switch up the vegetables in this recipe depending on what’s in season. In the summer, I’ll use veggies like spinach, squash, corn, and cherry tomatoes. In the winter, I’ll go with hearty greens and root vegetables.
- Gluten-free: If you need this vegetarian minestrone soup recipe to be gluten-free, I suggest subbing the macaroni with your preferred gluten-free pasta. You can also omit the pasta altogether and add another can of beans, diced potatoes, or chickpeas.
- Dutch oven: I prefer to make this recipe in my Dutch oven, but a large stockpot works just as well.
- Cutting board: This recipe does require some prep work, so I like to use a large wooden cutting board as my work surface.
- Sharp knife: A good, sharp knife will make chopping the veggies easier and safer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Minestrone is a hearty soup that typically features beans, pasta, and seasonal vegetables, like carrots, green beans, zucchini, or leafy greens. Even though vegetable soup is also made with veggies, it doesn’t include beans or pasta and has a lighter profile compared to minestrone.
Yes! Minestrone is one of my favorite healthy soups. It’s full of colorful veggies and beans that provide essential nutrients like protein, fiber, and vitamins. Plus, you can easily adapt the recipe to accommodate different dietary or allergy needs.
This soup comes together pretty quickly on the stovetop, but it’s just as easy in the slow cooker too! I recommend sautéing the aromatics according to the recipe, though you can skip this step if you prefer. Then, add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, except for the pasta, and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours. At this point, stir in the pasta and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 2 sticks celery chopped
- 1 cup carrots peeled & chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can (28 oz)crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 small zucchini chopped
- ½ cup fresh green beans chopped
- 1 can (14 oz) red kidney beans drained
- 1 can (14 oz) white kidney (cannellini) beans drained
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3/4 cup elbow macaroni
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh chopped parsley for garnish
- Freshly grated and sliced parmesan cheese to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onions, celery, and carrots to the pot. Sauté them for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and the onions become translucent.
- Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Stir to combine all the ingredients in the pot.
- Add the chopped zucchini, fresh green beans, red kidney beans, white kidney beans, and Italian seasoning. Stir well.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the uncooked elbow macaroni to the soup. Continue to simmer the soup for an additional 15 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Let the soup simmer for an additional 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Serve the Minestrone soup hot, garnished with fresh chopped parsley and a sprinkle of freshly grated or sliced Parmesan cheese.
- Cut the vegetables into the same size so they cook evenly.
- If fresh green beans aren’t available, frozen green beans will also work.
- Use a high-quality store-bought or homemade chicken broth for the best flavor.
- To make this recipe vegan, use vegetable broth and sub the parmesan for a vegan-friendly garnish.
- Be careful not to overcook the pasta. Wait until the last 15 minutes to add it in.
- To Store: Allow the soup to cool, then transfer it to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can store the leftover soup with or without the pasta in it.
- To Freeze: Store the soup without the pasta in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Be sure to leave room for the liquid to expand as it freezes.
- To Reheat: If frozen, thaw the soup in the fridge overnight. Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally. If necessary, cook the pasta separately and add it to the soup once it’s ready.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.