This warm and hearty Minestrone Soup recipe is filled with loads of veggies, protein-rich beans and tender pasta noodles in a delicious tomato base broth.
Pair this vegetarian soup with my 2 Ingredient Dough Breadsticks for a delicious meal.
If you’re a fan of Olive Garden’s Minestrone Soup, you’re going to be blown away at with this flavorful recipe.
In fact, my mother in law claims this recipe is superior to Olive Garden, with much more delicious flavor in each and every bite.
Minestrone Soup Recipe
I love this comforting bowl of soup on a chilly evening. It’s filled with two types of beans, plenty of veggies and even twirly macaroni noodles.
What Is Minestrone Soup?
Minestrone Soup is an thick Italian soup, made with vegetables and often contains pasta or rice. It’s common to add beans, onion, celery, carrots and parmesan cheese.
Here’s the basic list of ingredients needed to make Minestrone Soup. As always, you can find the full list in the printable recipe card below.
- Zucchini – you can swap with yellow squash
- Carrots – adds a nice balance of flavor to the broth
- Celery – if you’re not a fan of celery, you can leave it out.
- Onion – essential for the building of flavor
- Italian Seasoning – try my homemade blend for the best flavor!
- Crushed Tomatoes – helps to achieve the thicker consistency for minestrone soup
- Tomato Paste – adds richness to the soup base
- Vegetable Broth – low sodium
- Cannellini Beans – drained and rinsed
- Kidney Beans – drained and rinsed
- Macaroni Noodles – you can use any small pasta
- Bay Leaves
- Parmesan Cheese – freshly shredded on top!
How To Make Minestrone Soup
This recipe is fairly similar to my American Goulash recipe in the fact that we’re cooking the dried noodles in the broth along with all the other ingredients.
By cooking everything together in one big pot, it makes this recipe so much easier and clean up is a breeze.
Start by cooking the zucchini, carrots, celery and onion in olive oil over medium-high heat.
Make sure you chop your veggies nice and small so they can cook quickly. I like to use this handy little chopper to make even cuts into my veggies.
Make Soup Base
Once the veggies are tender, you’ll add in the aromatics of the recipe – garlic and italian seasoning. Allow the garlic and seasoning to get fragrant and then pour in the soup base ingredients: crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth and water.
Add Beans and Pasta
Bring the soup mixture to a boil, then add in the beans and UNCOOKED pasta to the pot, as well as the bay leaves, salt and pepper.
Once the soup is back to a boil, reduce the heat so it’s at a low boil (small, frequent bubbles). Keep it at the heat, stirring occasionally until the pasta has become tender.
Remove Bay Leaves
When the pasta is tender, you can remove and discard the bay leaves from the soup.
Give the soup a taste and season with extra salt and pepper if desired.
Serve the minestrone soup with freshly chopped parsley on top and a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.
Does Minestrone Contain Meat?
No meat is in Minestrone Soup. Instead of meat, this soup contains protein-rich beans and tender pasta noodles to give it a hearty texture.
If you’re looking to add meat, try my American Goulash recipe instead!
What’s The Difference Between Minestrone and Vegetable Soup?
Minestrone Soup is essentially a vegetable soup, but it’s bulked up with two types of beans and twirly pasta noodles. The base broth of minestrone is also a little thicker in consistency than a thinner broth like vegetable soup.
My easy Vegetable Soup recipe is a great option for when you’re needing some extra veggies in your life.
Frequently Asked Questions
The short answer is no, but also yes. You can definitely add potatoes to this recipe, but it’s not a traditional ingredients in Italian Minestrone Soup. If you do wish to add potatoes, make sure they’re chopped nice and small. Add them to the soup when you add in the crushed tomatoes and broth. Cook until they’re nice and fork tender.
The classic ingredients for a minestrone soup are onion, celery and carrots. This is called a mirepoix (meer-pwaa) and it is the base for most soups and essential for a minestrone.
However, adding in seasonal veggies like zucchini, squash, spinach or green beans is also very acceptable.
Yes! My recipe uses vegetable broth as opposed to chicken broth, making it a complete vegetarian option.
Yes! You can definitely make this hearty Italian soup in the slow cooker. You’ll need to adjust a few things like the timing of when you add the pasta.
Add all the ingredients, except the pasta to a slow cooker and cook on LOW heat for 4 hours. Add in the pasta noodles and continue to cook an additional hour, until the pasta is tender. Remove the bay leaves and season to taste.
Make Ahead and Storage
My easy Minestrone Soup Recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
Minestrone soup also freezes very well! Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I can’t wait for you to give this hearty Italian soup recipe a try. I know you’re going to love it as much as we do!
Minestrone Soup Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large zucchini, chopped into small cubes, about 1 1/2 cups
- 2 medium carrots, diced into cubes, about 1 1/2 cups
- 4 ribs celery, chopped into small pieces, about 1 cup
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 32 oz vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 15 oz cannellini beans, drained
- 15 oz kidney beans, drained
- ¾ cup macaroni noodles, or small pasta (uncooked)
- 1 tsp salt, to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper, to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, finely grated
- Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add in the chopped zucchini, carrots, celery and onion. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, until the veggies are tender. Stir in the garlic and Italian Seasoning and cook an additional 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth and water. Stir to dissolve the tomato paste and then bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add in the drained beans, uncooked pasta, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Keep the mixture at a light boil and stir occasionally, until the pasta is tender.
- Remove the bay leaves from the soup and discard them. Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper to taste. Garnish the soup with freshly chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!