Minestrone soup is loaded with vegetables, beans, and pasta in a delicious tomato broth. This classic soup is hearty and nourishing, easy to make, and makes amazing leftovers!
Addicted to restaurant-style Italian soups? Try this Chicken Gnocchi Soup, Zuppa Toscana, or my Pasta e Fagioli recipe.
What is minestrone soup?
Minestrone is an insanely tasty Italian vegetable soup that usually has pasta, beans, and a tomato-based broth. I think of it as the ultimate vegetable soup! You've maybe tried Olive Garden minestrone soup, but I'm here to convince you that my version is so much better.
It's one of those soups you can make on a lazy Sunday in chilly weather, and you'll actually look forward to eating it for the rest of the week. It's also easy to make. There's nothing complicated about it!
Want to make it in your pressure cooker instead? Try this Easy Instant Pot Minestrone Soup Recipe.
What you'll need to make it
- Olive oil and butter - the foundation for sautéing the aromatics
- Onion, celery, and carrots - this is a classic savory base for many Italian and French soups
- Garlic cloves - I love adding garlic to most soups for even more dimension
- Zucchini - the taste and texture of zucchini in soups can't be beat
- Fresh green beans - for some more green veggie goodness
- Tomatoes - here we're using crushed tomatoes rather than diced to give the broth a thick and rich quality
- Broth - chicken or vegetable broth is fine. Either way, it adds so much more taste than using water would.
- Italian seasoning - a wonderful blend of dried herbs like rosemary and thyme. You'll find it in a jar in the spice aisle of your grocery store.
- Cannellini and red kidney beans - I like to use both varieties to pack this soup with protein
- Pasta - I used elbow macaroni, but any pasta variety that's fairly small like ditalini will work
- Basil - optional, but it adds a burst of freshness and flavor
- Parmesan - use lots and lots of freshly grated parmesan. Don't skimp since it takes this soup to the next level!
- If you happen to have a parmesan rind, throw it into the pot while cooking the soup to infuse extra flavor! It really makes a difference. Sometimes if you ask at the cheese counter, they'll give you an extra rind if your parmesan block didn't come with one. Don't forget to take it out of the soup when it's ready, though, since you can't really eat it.
How to make minestrone soup
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Prep your veggies. Sauté the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic for 7-10 minutes. Add in the crushed tomatoes, broth, zucchini, beans, and seasoning. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the macaroni and cook for another 20 minutes or until the pasta and veggies are tender. Season the soup with salt & pepper as needed. Stir in the basil if using, and top each bowl with plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese!
Substitutions and variations
- If you want to add a non-vegetarian twist to this soup, try sautéing some bacon or pancetta with the veggies at the beginning. It'll be incredible!
- You could include other vegetables like cabbage or peas. Feel free to add/swap veggies based on personal preference, what's in season, and what's in your fridge.
- If you want it to be extra hearty, go ahead and throw in a potato as well.
- You can swap the crushed tomatoes for diced tomatoes, but I like the thickness and body that the crushed tomatoes give to the soup. If going the more traditional route and using diced tomatoes, I would probably add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the soup as well at the end of step 1.
What to serve with it
- A slice of crusty bread like sourdough or French bread would be perfect.
- You could serve this soup as an appetizer before your main course.
- Or make it a soup and salad kind of dinner! Try a side salad with Italian Dressing, homemade Creamy Balsamic Dressing, or go all-out with Caesar Salad.
Leftovers and storage
- Minestrone soup will keep for about five days in the fridge in an airtight container.
- The pasta will soak up the broth the longer you leave it, so you may need to add some more chicken or vegetable broth when reheating leftovers.
- If you're planning on freezing the bulk of the soup, I suggest adding the pasta when you've thawed it.
Questions about this minestrone recipe, or did you make it? Leave me a comment below! As always, tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram so I can see your creations. 🙂
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 sticks celery chopped
- 3 medium carrots peeled & sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 (28 fluid ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken broth or veggie broth
- 1 small zucchini chopped
- 1 cup fresh green beans chopped
- 1 (14 fluid ounce) can red kidney beans drained
- 1 (14 fluid ounce) can white kidney (cannellini) beans drained
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Fresh basil optional, to taste
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste
- Add the oil, butter, onion, celery, carrots, and garlic to a large soup pot. Sauté for 7-10 minutes.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, broth, zucchini, green beans, red kidney beans, white kidney beans, and Italian seasoning. Increase the heat to high, and bring it to a boil.
- Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat so it's simmering and cover the pot with the lid slightly open and cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the pasta. Continue simmering the soup (I leave the lid off) for another 15-20 minutes or until the pasta and veggies are tender. Stir occasionally to stop the pasta from sticking to the bottom.
- Before serving, season to taste with salt & pepper (I am generous with both), stir in the basil (if using), and serve each bowl with some parmesan cheese grated/shaved over top. This minestrone is fairly thick. If you find it too thick, add a splash more broth to thin it out (especially leftovers).
- The pasta will soak up the broth the longer you leave it. You may need to add more chicken/veg broth to leftovers. If you're freezing the bulk of this soup, I recommend adding pasta when you thaw and reheat it.
- Want to make this soup in your Instant Pot? Check out that version here.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
This recipe was originally published on January 29, 2020. It's been tweaked to be even easier, tastier, and has new photos!
Patsy Eliason says
I made the soup and was really very good will make it often.
Wonderful! Thank you! 😀
Can’t wait to try this! It’s currently on the stovetop simmering away! Is it ok to freeze even though I cooked it with the pasta? Sadly I read your notes afterwards. 🤦🏻♀️
Hi! You can... but the pasta will go a bit soft when you thaw it. Not a huge deal. 🙂
I rated this 5 based on ingredients, betting this is delicious without any adjustments. However being diabetic I had to lower beans by half, carrots by a third, increase zucchini and celery and add extra broth…sadly not as rich or thick but still tasty. Thanks for recipe base.
You are welcome!
Awesome recipe! Easy to make. The only thing I did different is I used Better Than Bullion paste and 6 cups of water. I only had green beans in the freezer so i used that one.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Elaine!
Wendy leonard says
Very delicious, I followed all your suggestions, and added some left over Italian meat loaf. So dang good seriously, both my husband and I are in love with this hearty cozy delicious soup!
That's so great to hear, Wendy!! 😀 Thanks for your review!
Ms Sunshine says
It came out Perfectly Delicious❣️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thank you 🙏🏼
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Thanks so much!!
I made this today following the recipe as written (served with Italian bread on the side), and it was absolutely delicious! Very easy to make and had plenty for leftovers. Will definitely be making this again.
I'm so glad to hear it!!
Very easy to make. I do not like kidney beans so I used two cans of white beans.
Family enjoyed the soup. Served with a salad and fresh bread
So glad it was a hit!
I just love this recipe! I used fire roasted tomatoes and bone broth for some protein. I add the noodles as it’s served so they’re not mushy. This is a repeat in my house!
So glad to hear it! 😀
Hi Natasha! If adding a potato, what step should it be added? Thanks!
Hi! Hmmm... probably step 4. Depending on how small you dice it, I find potatoes usually take about 15-20 minutes. Add a bit earlier if you really want it to be fall-apart tender.
Can you substitute rice for pasta? If so how does that change the cooking time?
Hi! I don't know as I've only made it with pasta. Perhaps use cooked rice?
Vicky Chin says
Great recipe! I’ve made twice using my homegrown tomatoes, zucchini, beans, and herbs plus a couple of my chili peppers to add a little spice. Wonderful! Last batch I ate for dinner with hubby and then enjoyed for lunch until finished.
Thank you!! So glad it was a hit. Thanks for your review!
Donna L says
I made this for the first time and it turned out wonderfully. I did add a small round steak cut up small and two small potatoes chopped small as well. I will be making this again. My husband loved it.😊😊👍👍
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
So happy it was a hit for you both, Donna! Thank you for your review!
Rebecca D says
I’ve made this twice already! It’s way better than I thought it could be! I’m so happy that I found this recipe, thank you so much!!! 😍
Yay!! You're very welcome! 🙂 Thanks for your 5-star review!
Isaiah E. says
It’s delicious!!! Dangerously comforting! It’s got medicinal properties.
So glad you enjoyed it, Isaiah! 🙂 Thanks for your review!!
I made this recently as I had veggies in the fridge to use up and a small amount of macaroni in a box that I had no idea what to use it in. This was a major hit with my family. I used store bought chicken stock instead of broth. I also added fresh basil and Locatelli grated pecorino cheese to finish when plating. I served it with garlic toast. This is a must make hearty recipe in these times when meat is so expensive. My family never missed the meat and I never mentioned it! 😉👍
I'm so happy to hear that it was a hit! Really appreciate your review, Mary! 🙂
Omg best minestrone I’ve ever had! Added Italian sausage and it was out of this world! Thank you so much for sharing! ❤️
Wonderful! You're very welcome, Kim!
Jennifer Bradt says
Can this also be made in a crockpot? What would we need to do differently to make this in the crockpot?
I haven't tested it, but I think 3-4 hours on high should work or 6-8 on low. You may still want to do the searing step in a skillet, though, for more flavor... but you probably could just add it all in at once. I'd add the pasta in the last 30 min or so on high.
I just made this and Omggg, so good! Thank you for the recipe. The only thing I did differently was doubled up on the spices listed. But 10/10.
You're very welcome!! 🙂
Hi! I’d love to try this recipe. I see your nutritional facts, but I am missing serving size. What would you estimate the serving size to be, please? I am trying to lose a few of my Covid pounds 😂
Hi! I really don't know, unfortunately. It's 1/6 of the recipe. I just plug it into my nutrition program. Honestly, with this soup I really wouldn't worry about the calories too much unless you eat a LOT at once haha.
This recipe is amazing and so easy! Thank you for such a great veggie option!
You're very welcome, Tiffany! 🙂
This was so delicious! The Parmesan on top really made it! I added a little more pasta than recommended because I love pasta, but it turned out to be just a little too much. I might add in some mushrooms next time. I’ll definitely be saving this one for later. Thanks! ❤️
I'm so happy you enjoyed it, Brianna! 🙂
This soup is amazing, we loved it! I took your advice and kept the pasta separate so as not to soak up all that delicious broth. Lots of leftovers to tuck in the freezer for those cold winter days ahead. Thank you for this new family favorite!!
You're welcome! I'm so happy you enjoyed it and that you've got some leftovers. Thanks so much for taking the time to write me a comment.
nancy cook says
Love this soup make it sometimes once per week or once per fortnight it is good that you can add your own little bits and pieces I have put some cabbage in some turnip some potatoes but it does not matter what I put in it is always fantastic thanks this is only one of your recipes that I make I do a lot of your chicken as well siperb
I'm so happy you enjoy it, Nancy!! 🙂 I appreciate you following along and making my recipes.
Solid recipe but 1/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning was so small for the amount of soup. I had to add quite a bit more otherwise it’s a pretty one-note soup. I would also recommend for anyone who prefers their veggies a little more cooked to simmer the soup for a bit before adding the pasta. As the recipe says, “tender-crisp” is how mine turned out after simmering for 20 min. I’ll be adding a splash of broth in my leftovers throughout the week because it does soak up a lot of liquid but that was to be expected with pasta involved. Overall satisfied my craving for minestrone!
I'm glad you liked it, Lauren! Yup, with any recipe feel free to adjust seasonings to your taste. I usually go a bit more conservative in the measurements on the blog these days since if I add more I get people complaining it's too much lol. Can't win 'em all.
Doug Barton says
This is fabulous! Another instant family favourite. Well worth spending the two seconds it took to scroll down. Keep up the brilliant work Natasha, your website and the recipes are fantastic!
Thanks so much, Doug! I really appreciate your support more than you know! 🙂
Delicious and super easy! I added some bay leaves for extra savory flavor. As usual, the tips up top were super helpful!
Thank you so much, Julia! 🙂
Would be GREAT, AWESOME, FAB if you didn’t have to scroll through so much to get to the recipes!!! Why do you do that?!
Well, Cynthia, if you actually read the post, you'll see that it's filled with tips on how not to screw up the recipe. It also contains info that tells Google what this post is about. Ranking well for recipes is highly competitive, and so we can't just slap a recipe up online and assume anyone will be able to find it unless we provide a good amount of information. I know it's a HILARIOUS thing these days to make fun of food bloggers telling their life story on every recipe, but as you can see, there's zero commentary on my life in this post. And the ads that appear are what allows me to provide you with FREE recipes (this website is my full-time job and a sh*tload of work). I know scrolling is extremely tough, though. Have a great day!
That’s true, but my ad company doesn’t recommend that button. It’s a choice every food blog makes, and I prefer not to have one. If I lose some viewers then so be it... I work hard on the recipe and the write up, and scrolling is not difficult.
Your mom says
Shut up Cynthia. Great recipe Natasha!