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This minestrone soup recipe is loaded with vegetables, beans, and pasta in a delicious tomato broth. This classic soup is nourishing, easy to make, and makes amazing leftovers!

Love restaurant-style Italian soups? Try this Chicken Gnocchi Soup, Zuppa Toscana, or my Pasta e Fagioli recipe.

close-up of a ladle in a pot of minestrone soup

Why you’ll love it

Minestrone is a really 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 with everyday, wholesome ingredients. There’s nothing complicated about it!

What you’ll need

  • Olive oil and butter – for sautéing
  • Onion, celery, and carrots, and garlic – this is a classic savory base for soups
  • Zucchini and fresh green beans – for veggie goodness
  • Canned tomatoes – to give the broth a thick and rich quality
  • Broth – use either chicken or vegetable for more savory flavor
  • Italian seasoning – a wonderful blend of dried herbs like rosemary and thyme that comes in one jar
  • Cannellini and red kidney beans – for added 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
several bowls and plates on a marble surface with ingredients for making minestrone soup

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

How to make minestrone soup

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

sauteing aromatics for in a soup pot and adding broth for minestrone soup

Prep your veggies. Sauté the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic until softened. Add in the crushed tomatoes, broth, zucchini, beans, and seasoning. Bring the soup to a boil, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

adding in macaroni into minestrone soup and simmering

Stir in the macaroni, and cook 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!

Pro tip

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.

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.
  • Want to make it in your pressure cooker instead? Try this Easy Instant Pot Minestrone Soup Recipe.

What to serve with minestrone

Leftovers and storage

  • Minestrone soup will keep for about 5 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 cooked pasta when you’ve thawed it instead.
a bowl of minestrone soup with freshly grated parmesan and a spoon

Leave me a star rating and review below if you made this hearty minestrone soup recipe! As always, tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram so I can see your creations. 🙂

close-up of a ladle in a pot of minestrone soup
4.92 from 47 votes

Minestrone Soup

This minestrone soup recipe is loaded with vegetables, beans, and pasta in a delicious tomato broth. This classic soup is nourishing, easy to make, and makes amazing leftovers!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 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 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth or veggie broth
  • 1 small zucchini chopped
  • 1 cup fresh green beans chopped
  • 1 (14 ounce) can red kidney beans drained
  • 1 (14 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

Instructions 

  • 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).

Notes

  • 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 or planning on having lots of leftovers, I recommend cooking the pasta separately and adding it in when you reheat it.
  • I recommend chopping the vegetables quite small (see the ingredients photo in the blog post) so they cook properly in the timeframes I suggest in the recipe.
  • Want to make this soup in your Instant Pot? Check out that version here.

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 974mg, Potassium: 1272mg, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 5670IU, Vitamin C: 33mg, Calcium: 160mg, Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

This recipe was originally published on January 29, 2020. It’s been tweaked to be even easier, tastier, and has new photos!


Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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117 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe came out great! Healthy and delicious. I made it vegetarian. I added Lima beans because my daughter had never tried them and they fit right in. I did have to add more broth.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this minus pasta. Substituted garbanzo beans for white beans, added 1/2 can paste & decreased tomatoes to 15 ounces . Added spinach at end. Superb.

    1. Hi! I’m not sure. I wouldn’t slow cook the pasta for more than an hour as it could get very mushy… so add it in when the soup is close to being done. I’d probably try the usual 6-8 hours low or 3-4 high. Let me know if you try!

  3. 5 stars
    Yummy! I chopped the veggies small using a slap chopper, they turned out smaller than the beans. I cooked the pasta separately simply bc I didn’t have room in the pot, lol! Glad I did, everything cooked properly. Added an extra zucchini I needed to use up, an extra 1.5 cups chicken broth so it wouldn’t be too thick, and basil paste. Topped with parm. Perfect on this snow day! Even my toddler is having some.

  4. 5 stars
    Flavor is really nice. Her comment about the consistency being thicker is spot on! I’ll need to add some stock when we reheat the leftovers. I don’t mind a thicker soup however! Yum!

  5. 5 stars
    I was able to get my husband to eat and love a meal with no meat in it! Never thought I’d see that happen! My whole family loved this soup and I’ll definitely be making it again. I did cook the noodles separately as suggested above.

  6. After reading reviews I knew to not add the pasta so early. I cooked the vegetables for 30 minutes and then added the pasta. The veggies were still crunchie! Also the liquid became really thick. Flavours are good but disappointing.

    1. Hi Sue! How large did you chop your vegetables? 30 minutes is a long time and yes the liquids will definitely reduce during that time. You can always add a splash more broth to thin it out.

  7. 3 stars
    The vegetables didn’t cook in the time frame in the recipe so by the time that they did cook the pasta had fallen apart unfortunately. I did follow all the instructions to a T so I’m not sure what happened for me. But I will try this again and add in pasta once I know the veggies have been cooked for a long time and not at the same time.

    1. Hi Chelsea! You could try chopping them a bit smaller next time and/or add in the pasta a bit later as you suggest.

  8. 5 stars
    Fast, flavorful, and so delicious! I used crushed fire roasted tomatoes and acini di pepe pasta. Will make again!

      1. My Italian nana always recommended cooking the pasta separately and then adding to your soup so it didn’t one, becone too mushy and two, didn’t soak up all your broth. She did that with any of her soups.
        Great soup recipe!!

        1. Hi! Yes – I put that tip in the blog post if you want to freeze the bulk of the soup. Definitely a good idea if you don’t want to eat it right away too!

  9. 5 stars
    Very tasty and amazing soup, I swapped out the elbow macaroni for chickpea pasta for some extra protein. Highly recommend!