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Minestrone Soup

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This is the best minestrone soup recipe, a hearty, vegetable-rich Italian soup made from scratch with plenty of fiber from the beans and vegetables. Perfect for serving with crusty bread.

Minestrone Soup with crusty bread

Minestrone Soup

This healthy soup is a classic vegetarian minestrone soup made with white beans, vegetables, fresh herbs, and pasta. Pureeing the beans in the blender thickens the soup, making it great for picky kids who don’t care for beans. I love adding a parmesan rind for extra flavor, but it’s totally optional. If you want a slow cooker minestrone soup recipe or an Instant Pot one, check out my version here. More soup recipes you may also like, Pasta Fagioli or my popular Acini di Pepe Soup.

Why You’ll Love This Soup

  • Healthy – the beans add fiber and it’s packed with veggies.
  • Freezer Friendly – perfect for meal prep!
  • Cozy – comfort food you can feel good about eating.
  • Vegetarian – if using vegetable broth and vegetarian Parmesan.
  • Easy to make gluten-free – just use your favorite gluten-free pasta, or make it low carb and skip the pasta.
  • Homemade tastes better! This is not your Olive Garden soup, it’s made from scratch with wholesome ingredients.
Minestrone Soup

What is Minestrone Soup

Traditional Italian minestrone soup is a hearty vegetable soup with pasta and beans.

Minestrone Soup Ingredients

  • Beans: Drain and rinse one can of white beans, like cannellini or navy beans.
  • Broth: Get reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth for vegetarian minestrone.
  • Vegetables: Sauté diced carrots, onion, and celery in olive oil.
  • Garlic: Mince two cloves of garlic.
  • Tomatoes: Canned petite diced tomatoes – regular-size tomatoes are also fine.
  • Parmesan Cheese: The parmesan is optional, but I recommend using it. I always store leftover rinds in my fridge to use later in soups and stews. Let the rind simmer in the broth, and sprinkle grated cheese on your soup before eating.
  • Herbs: Fresh rosemary sprig, chopped basil, Italian parsley, bay leaves
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Zucchini: You can swap the zucchini with yellow squash.
  • Leafy Greens: Fresh or frozen, defrosted spinach or baby kale will work.
  • Pasta: Choose a small pasta, like ditalini or orzo.

How to Make Minestrone Soup

  1. Beans: Puree the beans with a cup of broth in a blender.
  2. Sauté: Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and sauté the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic for about 15 minutes.
  3. Simmer: Add the remaining broth, tomatoes, pureed beans, parmesan cheese rind (if using), salt, pepper, and all the herbs. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pot, and cook on low for 40 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini and spinach, cover the pot, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Cook pasta: While the soup cooks, cook pasta in a large pot according to package directions. You can also cook it in the soup if you prefer.
  6. Serve: Remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprig, and parmesan rind, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls with pasta and top with extra parmesan if desired.

How to Freeze Minestrone Soup

I like to cook and store the pasta separately so that it stays al dente and doesn’t soak up the broth. You can keep the leftover pasta and soup together or separate. The minestrone will last in the fridge up to 4 days and in the freezer for 3 months.

To freeze the soup, let it cool and then transfer it to freezer-safe containers. Thaw it the night before in the fridge, and microwave or reheat on the stove.

Variations:

  • No Pasta: If you want to make minestrone without the pasta, you can omit it and add diced potatoes or another can of beans.
  • Beans: If you want to add more beans, try a mix, like red kidney beans, along with the white beans.
  • Veggies: If you want more vegetables in the soup, add chopped broccoli, cauliflower, and/or green beans.
  • Herbs: Feel free to use any herbs you like. Oregano or thyme would also be lovely.
  • Add meat: Some turkey sausage or chicken sausage links would be great.
Pot of Minestrone Soup

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The Best Minestrone Soup Recipe

4.99 from 57 votes
2
Cals:175
Protein:8
Carbs:31.5
Fat:2
This is the best minestrone soup recipe, a hearty, vegetable-rich Italian soup made from scratch with plenty of fiber from the beans and vegetables. Perfect for serving with crusty bread.
Course: Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Minestrone Soup with crusty bread
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 15 ounce can white beans, drained, rinsed (cannellini beans or navy beans)
  • 32 oz container reduced sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth for vegan
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • Parmesan cheese rind, optional
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh black pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, about 8 oz each, diced
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped fresh, if frozen defrosted
  • 2 cups cooked small pasta such as ditalini or orzo, al dente (or gluten-free pasta)*
  • extra parmesan cheese for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • Puree beans with 1 cup of the broth in a blender.
  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and stir, saute until tender and fragrant, about 15 minutes.
  • Add the remaining broth, tomatoes, pureed beans, parmesan cheese rind if using, salt and pepper. Add the rosemary, bay leaves, basil and parsley, bring to a boil, then cover and cook on low 40 minutes.
  • Add the zucchini and spinach, cover and simmer until the zucchini is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprig, Parmesan rind and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  • Ladle 1-1/4 cups soup into 8 bowls with 1/4 cup pasta in each and top with extra parmesan cheese if desired.

Last Step:

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Notes

From around 4 or 5 ounces dry pasta. I like to cook the pasta separately so that it stays al dente and doesn’t soak up the broth. If you want to cook it in the soup, cook it in the end.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 1/2 cups, Calories: 175 kcal, Carbohydrates: 31.5 g, Protein: 8 g, Fat: 2 g, Sodium: 358 mg, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 5 g

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89 comments on “Minestrone Soup”

  1. This was delicious. I cooked the veggies with sausage to make it a meaty soup. The herbs and flavour was so comforting. My husband came home from work telling me that his lunch was outstanding!!!

  2. Made this tonight. I had cooked some white beans for another recipe and kept the broth and beans together.
    I think it will taste even better tomorrow. I followed the recipe as written, left out the pasta. Delious. I did cook it for over an hour and a half.

  3. I’m interested in packing in lots of veggies. The soup was delicious! I enjoyed the comments and made some of my own tweaks. I added – in addition to the carrots, celery, red onion, garlic, diced tomatoes- (without measuring)-jalapeño, cabbage, green beans, zucchini, fresh basil and parsley and spinach. I blended the white beans with the vegetable broth and added a can of kidney beans. On the side I cooked farro and used it like the pasta by adding into the bowl at the end with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. Flavor was wonderful. I’m going to make this a regular.

  4. Doing the purée with the beans made such a difference! Instead of being more broth based, it made it creamy and filling. I did add mild Italian sausage to please the carnivores. Served with some crusty bread and everyone was satisfied.

  5. Made it for the first time today. Fantastic! So easy! So flavorful! I wouldn’t recommend the pasta. I made the pasta noodles. For me I think it’s better without. I have my own homemade chicken stock. I used dried basil and rosemary. I didn’t have any thyme. Will definitely make this again.

  6. This is the best minestrone soup I have ever made. It was so good. The flavor is rich and the soup is hardy.

  7. Avatar photo
    Hélène Robert

    One of the best minestrone I’ve ever prepared. Some substitutions though: cabbage instead of zucchinis, replaced oignon with leeks. That will be great soup for my lunchs overs the week.

  8. I love taking this soup for lunches at the office I always keep a few bags of frozen chopped mirepoix blends in the freezer. For one, they’re often on sale for less than $1.50 per bag making it budget-friendly; and, two, it saves a LOT of time versus chopping veggies, making it so easy to toss veggie based soups together quickly. I often make extra pasta and keep bags in the freezer for these types of soups as well. Love these recipes and it makes it so easy to get plenty of vegetables into my diet. I also keep a batch of your turkey or chicken meatballs in the freezer for adding more protein for a meal for dinner.

  9. Made this soup for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Great for a snowy and cold winter day. Thank you!

  10. A very hearty soup!

    To speed things up a bit, I used store bought frozen onions and a zucchini/summer squash mix. And I used some frozen celery and spinach that I had leftover in the freezer. And to make things a bit cheaper, I used dried rosemary and basil.

    This was my first time using/eating ditalini. It’s perfect for soups! I’ll definitely be using it again.

  11. Cold,snowy day so this is prepped for supper. I had about 1/3 cup of jarred pizza sauce leftover so used it and then adjusted seasonings to taste. Also had brown rice leftover from meal prepping so used it in place of the pasta.

  12. Yummy, but I used defrosted chopped spinach and thought it was a little too much. I regretted putting 2 cups in because that flavor over powered the soup. Next time I’ll try fresh spinach (& less)

  13. Avatar photo
    Brigida Sullivan

    I loved this recipe as is. However, the next time I made this, I needed it to be heartier: family of seven, growing boys. I puréed the one can of beans and then added another can of beans plus a can of red kidney beans. I browned and drained 2 pounds of lean ground beef to add. Instead of pasta, I made a package of RightRice with a package of shirataki rice and then added it in. Additional beef stock as needed. Family loved this.

  14. Made this recipe 4 times in the past 2 months! Family loves it. Have made it without fresh basil and don’t puree the beans and it’s delicious!

  15. Great recipe! I don’t puree the beans. Instead, I add 3 tbsp of tomato paste, and 2 to 3 tbsp of sugar to take down the acidity.

  16. My ultimate favorite recipe. I’ve been making this minestrone soup for so many years. Thank you Skinnytaste.

  17. Delicious. Slightly more “sharp” than I like, so second time I increased the onions and carrots and it was perfect!

  18. This recipe is marvelous! I made it with less spinach because I didn’t have enough on hand and then added the rest of the spinach the following day. It is delicious either way. I’m having it again tonight but will add some cut up sausage links to make sure I get enough protein. Also adding some crusty bread. Such a great recipe!

  19. I’m in England visiting my stepdad. I wanted to make him something fresh and I mentioned minestrone which he said he loves. We shopped at a small Italian shop for most of the products. My stepdad said it was the best soup he’d ever had!! Thanks for the ideas Gina!!

  20. Great cold weather soup. Comes together quickly. Loaded with flavor.
    This is going into my winter soup rotation!

  21. This soup is one of my go-to soups to make all year round. It’s so tasty and I love that it’s packed with lots of veggies.

  22. Delicious! We added an extra can of white beans (accidentally) and some extra noodles (not accidentally) and my kids, including the baby, have devoured it now for 3 nights in a row! Unheard of! Thank you, Gina!! Have loved your recipes for years and have yet to be disappointed!

  23. Avatar photo
    Thoreen Burkhardt

    I made the recipe according to the directions, but did add one pound of Johnsonville mild italian sausage after I browned it separately. We LOVED it!!! I was able to use fresh herbs from my garden which was a bonus. I loved that the veggies didn’t get too soft and there was a pleasant texture to every bite. Thanks for posting your recipe!

  24. Such a great recipe! Wonderful texture and beautiful seasoning. I added my pasta and cooked it in the broth at the 30 minute mark during the simmer.

  25. This looks wonderful, I look forward to making it tomorrow,
    If using potatoes instead of pasta, when do they go in?
    Thank you,

  26. Avatar photo
    Kaitlyn Isherwood

    Delicious and Nutritious! Perfect for lunch meal prep. I love that it is packed with veggies! A wonderful recipe for soup season.

  27. I’ve made so many types of Minestrone soups and this one turned out amazing and is my fav. Easy, and you can add any veggies too! Toasted bread, and dinner is done!

  28. I made this for lunches this week and it is delicious. I only used a little bit of orzo and added one sweet and one hot Italian chicken sausage. Yum!

  29. I made this tonight and it was so good! Very flavorful. I will definitely be making this again and again. I made some sausage on the side for my husband to add to the soup and he loved it!

  30. Meal prepped this for the week and it is so, so good! The fresh herbs are spot on! Keeping the pasta separate so the liquid doesn’t disappear. Great recipe!

  31. Fabulous recipe. The entire family loved it. Really hits the spot on a rainy afternoon with a piece of garlic bread.

  32. I made this soup last night for supper and it really hit the spot! I doubled the recipe so I now have 3 qts to put in the freezer and another quart to enjoy this weekend. I added mild Italian turkey sausage as Gina suggested in her notes. I also added some oregano and thyme to the herb mix. A great recipe as always from Gina!

  33. My husband has major heart problems. He must stay away from salt as much as possible. How can I reduce the high sodium in this recipe to what is acceptable for cardiac patients?

  34. This is my go -to soup! It has so much flavor but is also light and full of vegetables. I leave out the pasta and never miss it. I like to make a batch of it and freeze it for future meals.

  35. Delicious! I love pureeing the beans. I also mixed the pasta in the last 10 minutes. It makes for a thicker soup. So tasty!

  36. I’ve been making this for several years, and it’s always a hit. I usually add a jar of green beans (drained) just because we like them. It’s delicious!

  37. Gina can you please explain why you prefer to cook the pasta separately instead of in the soup? Thanks.

    1. FYI…This info is in listed above under the heading Notes.
      I like and appreciate how Gina gives so much detailed information and tips for making her recipes. Here’ what it says.
      Notes
      From around 4 or 5 ounces dry pasta. I like to cook the pasta separately so that it stays al dente and doesn’t soak up the broth. If you want to cook it in the soup, cook it in the end.

    2. If you cook the pasta in the soup, it will absorb the stock and make it a much thicker and starchier base soup.

  38. I will not give this a review, but wanted to make a comment. I have used a similar recipe for years. My original recipe gave water or broth for the liquid, so I first used water to see if it would turn out okay. It definitely did. It doesn’t make that much of a difference, but water makes it a vegetarian soup which gives you a great option for vegetarians. People love this soup and yours is very close to my recipe.

    1. This is basically my slow cooker recipe, very old recipe here! Just made on the stove, but sure use water if you prefer.

  39. I love this soup. It is delicious and filling. I split the soup in two halves before adding the pasta, freezing the one half without the pasta for another night. It is just so yummy!

      1. Dip cherry or grape tomatoes in boiling water for abt. a minute. Transfer to Ice water. Skin can easily pulled right off.