Classic Minestrone Soup

VG

This classic recipe for minestrone soup combines loads of fresh vegetables with beans and pasta in a delicious tomato broth. It’s healthy, hearty, comforting and sure to become a new family favorite! Skip the parmesan to make this recipe vegan.

This classic minestrone soup recipe is perfect for a chilly winter night. Clean out the fridge and throw a bunch of fresh veggies in this soup for the ultimate fiber-packed soup.

An overhead photo looking at a bowl of minestrone soup. There are two additional bowls cut out of the frame.

Why You’ll Love This Soup

  • It’s loaded with vegetables and flavor and is super satisfying for a vegetable soup!
  • The perfect vegetarian (or vegan if you skip the cheese) meal that the whole family will love.
  • Make one pot of soup and eat healthy all week long!
Ingredients measured out in bowls for making minestrone soup: broth, diced tomatoes, pasta, green beans, parsley, red pepper, zucchini, kidney beans, salt, pepper, bay leaf, olive oil, herbs, spinach, lemon, garlic, onion, carrots, celery and potato.

Here’s What You Need

  • olive oil – to sauté the vegetables in and mix in at the end of cooking for additional flavor.
  • vegetables – this soup has a mixture of chopped yellow onion, carrots, celery, gold potatoes, garlic, green beans, zucchini and spinach. It’s a great way to clean out the fridge!
  • seasonings and spices – a combination of dried basil, thyme, oregano, a bay leaf, sea salt and pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes add a ton of flavor to this soup!
  • fire roasted tomatoes – I used diced, canned fire-roasted tomatoes. You could also use regular diced tomatoes but I like the added flavor the roasted tomatoes add!
  • vegetable broth – I recommend using low sodium vegetable broth so you can control the amount of sodium that goes into the soup!
  • kidney beans – I used canned kidney beans for a shortcut but you can make your own as well. If using canned, just make sure you drain and rinse them well before using.
  • pasta – I used ditalini pasta but any small shell pasta works great. If you need gluten-free pasta, I love lentil pasta for extra fiber and protein.
  • lemon juice – a squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds acidity to the dish which makes all of the flavors pop!
  • fresh parsley – I love adding fresh herbs right before serving for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese – optional but I recommend grating Parmesan cheese as a topping for added flavor and texture.
Four photos showing the cooking process of minestrone soup.

How to Make Minestrone Soup

While it seems like there are a ton of ingredients in this soup, the majority of them are veggies! For the most efficient soup, I recommend chopping all of the veggies first so you can assemble this soup quickly.

Start by heating the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Next, add the onion, carrots, celery and potato and cook until the onions are translucent and fragrant. Stir in the garlic, basil, thyme and oregano and sauté for 2-3 more minutes.

Add in the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the green beans, zucchini, kidney beans and pasta and continue simmering, uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is al dente and all of the vegetables are tender.

Remove the pot from the heat, remove the bay leaf and stir in the spinach, lemon juice, remaining oil and fresh parsley. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Pour the soup into bowls and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top.

pro tip!
try to cut all the veggies the same size so they cook at the same rate.
An overhead photo looking down into a large pot of minestrone soup. A ladle is holding up a scoop of the soup close to the lense.

Variations

  • Dairy-free – Make this soup dairy free by skipping the parmesan for topping or try using a dairy-free or vegan parmesan.
  • Swap noodles – Ditalini noodles are classic in minestrone soup, but elbow, small shells or orecchiette would all be great options. You could also mix in cooked grains if you’d like! I think rice or quinoa would be delicious. If you’re looking for a pasta-free minestrone try my slow cooker minestrone soup instead.
  • More protein – I made a batch with 1 can of kidney beans and 1 can of white beans and liked having the variety of beans. So, feel free to add in more beans for an added protein boost if you want! Adding in ground turkey or beef when you sauté the onions and veggies would be another delicious option for added protein. I’ve actually made it with ground turkey and ground beef for a hearty soup that packs even more protein.
  • Use what you have – This is a great “clean out the fridge” soup! Have different vegetables you want to get rid of? Throw them in!

How to Make in the Slow Cooker

To make this soup in your slow cooker, add all of the ingredients except for the pasta, spinach, parsley, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil and parmesan to your slow cooker.

Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours or until veggies and beans are fork-tender. Next, stir in the pasta and spinach cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.

Remove bay leaf and stir in lemon juice, remaining oil and fresh parsley. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and additional spices, to taste.

An overhead photo looking down at a bowl of minestrone soup. A spoon rests in the bowl and there are two small bowls with lemon wedges and fresh herbs next to the bowl of soup.

How to Serve Minestrone Soup

This soup is a meal in one thanks to all of the veggies and pasta! I do like to add bread or crackers to dip in the brothy soup – it would be delicious with fresh sourdough or my homemade almond crackers. If you’re looking. to serve this soup with a side salad this garlicky kale salad or spinach salad are great options.

How to Store Leftovers

Like I mentioned, I love making soup for meal prep because you can make one pot and enjoy it all week long. Allow the soup to cool slightly before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. I don’t recommend freezing this soup as the vegetables, bean and pasta texture will change.

note!
the pasta will soak up more liquid as it sits, so when serving leftovers you might need to add more broth or water to the soup. 
A bowl of minestrone soup. A spoon is holding up a bite of soup.

More Soup Recipes to Try

Be sure to check out all of the soup recipes here on EBF!

Minestrone Soup

5 from 11 votes
This classic recipe for minestrone soup combines loads of fresh vegetables with beans and pasta in a delicious tomato broth. It's healthy, hearty, comforting and sure to become a new family favorite! Skip the parmesan to make this recipe vegan.
An overhead photo looking at a bowl of minestrone soup. There are two additional bowls cut out of the frame.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium gold potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 28 ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 15 ounce can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta or small shell pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for serving
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and potato and cook until onions are translucent and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Add in garlic, basil, thyme and oregano and sauté for 2-3 minutes more.
    Chopped veggies for minestrone soup in a large pot.
  • Next add in diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium low, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
    A large pot with veggies for minestrone soup, vegetable broth has just been added to the pot.
  • Remove lid and stir in green beans, zucchini, kidney beans and pasta. Continue simmering uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is al dente and vegetables are tender.
    Additional minestrone soup ingredients added to a large pot, including green beans, zucchini, kidney beans and pasta.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, remove bay leaf and stir in spinach, lemon juice, remaining oil and fresh parsley. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and additional spices, to taste.
    Spinach added to a large pot containing ingredients for minestrone soup.
  • Pour soup into bowls and serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Notes

  • Note: Pasta will soak up some of the liquid so if serving leftovers you might need to add more broth or water to the soup. 
  • Want more protein? Add in another 15 ounce can of beans or ground turkey or beef. Cook ground turkey or beef along with onions, carrots and celery in the first step.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of recipe without parmesan Calories: 317kcal Carbohydrates: 55g Protein: 11g Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Sodium: 875mg Potassium: 808mg Fiber: 9g Sugar: 10g
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: minestrone soup

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    9 comments
    1. Julie
      May 17, 2022 AT 2:57 pm

      5 stars
      This soup came out beautifully and was so delicious. It was great with the Parmesan but also very flavorful without it. Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 17, 2022 AT 6:29 pm

        Yay! So glad this recipe was a success for you, Julie! Thanks for sharing your review, I really appreciate it.

    2. Pamela
      January 10, 2022 AT 9:35 am

      5 stars
      I use my instant pot to make this soup, and it turns out delicious every time (cook manual pressure for 8 minutes then add the pasta, zucchini and beans for 3 minutes, then spinach and peas at the end) … so, so yummy!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 10, 2022 AT 11:00 am

        Woo!! So happy to hear this, Pamela. Thanks so much for trying out this sup and coming back to leave a review :).

    3. Jessica Woodcock
      January 2, 2022 AT 9:25 am

      5 stars
      Love this recipe as it is easy for someone like me who doesn’t cook all that often to follow. The only thing I would say is make sure to use small noodles as I substituted a larger kind and they fell apart.

    4. Alex M
      December 3, 2021 AT 7:25 pm

      5 stars
      My husband and I loved this soup! I added ground turkey and used Banza macaroni to make it gluten-free (I added the shells pre-cooked to to the soup and it worked fine). My husband added the cheese at the end, but I’m dairy-free and enjoyed it without. It was a true nutrient powerhouse and delicious! Hoping it freezes well so we can continue to enjoy leftovers over the winter.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 6, 2021 AT 10:56 am

        Ah yay! So happy to hear this soup was a hit, Alex. Love the addition of ground turkey and banza macaroni. Thanks for trying it out and coming back to leave a review. It means so much to me!

    5. Katie K
      November 30, 2021 AT 2:21 pm

      So delicious! I’m plant-based so no parm for me but I didn’t miss it! I did add a can of cannellini beans in addition to the kidney beans. Brown rice macaroni worked well. Very flavorful and yes, it’s a great way to clear out some produce from your fridge! I will definitely make this again. Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 1, 2021 AT 11:39 am

        Woo!! Happy to hear this minestrone soup was a success. Thanks for the review, Katie! I really appreciate it.

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