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Minestrone Soup

A hearty and flavorful minestrone soup packed full of fresh veggies. This healthy soup recipe is easily made in one pot in just 30 minutes!

Minestrone soup in a white bowl.
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Classic Minestrone Soup

Whenever we go to Olive Garden, we love to get the unlimited soup and Olive Garden breadsticks. Minestrone is always my first pick because it’s loaded with vegetables and bold Italian flavor. I decided to recreate this soup recipe at home, as well as their chicken gnocchi soup, pasta e fagioli and zuppa toscana.

This traditional minestrone soup is easy to whip up, hearty and delicious! It makes the perfect easy and comforting meal on a chilly, fall day. I love minestrone because it’s packed with fresh vegetables like your classic chicken noodle soup. Both these soups are a great way to sneak some extra veggies into your kid’s dinner. My kids gobbled this minestrone up (even my picky eaters).

Minestrone also makes a great vegetarian dish for meatless Monday, however if you wanted to add some protein you could easily mix in some shredded chicken, crumbled sausage or mini meatballs. And don’t forget to serve the soup with a warm dinner roll, breadstick or piece of cornbread. Seriously so delicious!

Recipe Ingredients

Chopping veggies for minestrone soup.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Tomato broth: The base of minestrone is a mix of diced tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken broth. Feel free to use vegetable broth if vegetarian.
  • Veggies: This soup is loaded with veggies! Any type will work, but my favorites are diced onions, celery, potatoes, zucchini, squash, green beans and carrots.
  • Spices: Don’t forget to add spices to help give the soup extra flavor! This recipe calls for Italian seasoning, garlic and salt and pepper.
  • Beans: We love to add beans for extra protein. Kidney beans are our favorite, but white beans, like cannellini beans or garbanzo beans, taste delicious, too.
  • Pasta: I love using mini shells, but you could also substitute for ditilini or elbow noodles. If you want to make it even more filling, a cheese tortellini would be delicious.

How to Make Minestrone Soup

Adding spices into pot of minestrone soup on the stove.
  1. Sauté. Start by sautéing the onions in a pot until translucent for about 3 minutes. Then add in the chopped celery and garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  2. Boil. Next stir in the broth, 1 cup of water, vegetables, tomatoes, tomato paste and spices. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and then simmer an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Cook. Mix in the beans and pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente (about 8-10 minutes). If the soup is too thick, add in another 1/2 to 1 cup hot water to thin it out a little. Then remove the pot from the heat.
  4. Serve. If adding spinach, mix it in right before serving. It will wilt quickly from the heat of the soup. Then ladle the minestrone into bowls and top with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Instant Pot Version

If the Instant Pot is your favorite kitchen gadget, try making this easy variation of Instant Pot minestrone soup. It’s quick, delicious and requires hardly any clean up!

Cooking Tips

  • This recipe is super customizable. Use any type of veggies or pasta that you have in the fridge and pantry.
  • Use prechopped or frozen veggies to save on time.
  • You can omit the pasta and double up on beans if preferred.
  • For more protein, add in ground turkey, shredded chicken, meatballs or Italian sausage.
  • Add the spinach (or kale) in right before serving. It only takes a few seconds to wilt.
Scooping minestrone soup with a silver ladle.

Recipe FAQs

What should I serve with this soup?

There are so many great sides for minestrone soup, but I love to serve it with a salad, like Olive Garden salad or easy Greek salad, and some type of bread, such as easy garlic cheese rolls or Olive Garden breadsticks.

Can I make this minestrone soup recipe vegan?

Yes! It’s so easy to make this vegan. Simply use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth and skip using parmesan as a garnish.

Can I make this gluten-free?

Absolutely! Use your favorite type of gluten-free pasta in place of the pasta shells and you should be all set.

Freezing + Reheating

This minestrone soup makes a great freezer meal. I’d recommend omitting the pasta if freezing, as it tends to get mushy when frozen.

  1. To freeze: Let soup cool completely. Ladle into a freezer bag or container, leaving room for the soup to expand. Label the bag with the date so that you easily know the expiration. Then store in freezer for up to 3 months.
  2. To reheat: Thaw in microwave or in fridge overnight. Add soup to a large pot and simmer over low heat. While the soup is warming, cook the pasta in a separate pot until al dente. Add pasta to the pot with the soup and mix together. Ladle into bowls and serve with desired toppings!

TIP: When reheating minestrone, I like to add a splash of chicken broth to thin it out a little.

Bowl of Italian minestrone soup with fresh parmesan.

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minestrone soup in a white bowl

Minestrone Soup

5 from 9 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
A hearty and flavorful minestrone soup packed full of fresh veggies. This healthy soup recipe is easily made in one pot in just 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion , plus more if desired
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 2-3 teaspoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 4 cups seasonal vegetables (potatoes, zuchinni, green beans, squash, carrots)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper , optional
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans or white beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup uncooked small pasta shells
  • 1-2 cups baby spinach , optional

Optional toppings: Freshly grated parmesan cheese or Fresh basil

    Instructions

    • In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add onion and cook 3 minutes, or until translucent. Mix in the celery and garlic and cook an additional minute.
    • Stir in the broth, 1 cup water, vegetables, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Add Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, if using. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
    • Add the beans and pasta. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. The pasta will continue to cook once off the heat, so don't overcook. If the soup is too thick, add 1/2 to 1 cup hot water. Salt and pepper, to taste.
    • Remove pot from heat and stir in spinach, if using, and cook until wilted. Ladle into bowls and serve topped with parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired.

    Notes

    This recipe is great because you can add any vegetables you have on hand. You can even buy pre-chopped veggies to save on time.
    Here are some of my favorite vegetables to add:
    • Potatoes
    • Carrots
    • Celery
    • Squash
    • Zucchini
    • Green beans
    • Peas
    • Corn
    • Bell peppers
    • Spinach or kale
    • Broccoli
    You could also add a protein if desired:
    • Shredded chicken
    • Mini meatballs 
    • Cooked Italian sausage 
    Freeze: Let soup cool completely. Ladle into a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container, leaving room for the soup to expand. Label the bag with the date so that you easily know the expiration. Store in freezer up to 3 months.
    Reheat: Thaw in microwave or in fridge overnight. Add soup to a large pot and simmer over low heat. While the soup is warming, cook the pasta in a separate pot until al dente. Add pasta to the pot with the soup and mix together. Ladle into bowls and serve with desired toppings!
    Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 1230mg | Potassium: 802mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 7114IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 5mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Italian

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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