Minestrone Soup

LAST UPDATED: Dec 30, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Oct 15, 2016 | By:

This minestrone soup recipe is hearty, filling, and oh-so-delicious. It’s the perfect family friendly soup that will warm you through and through!

Minestrone starts with a delicious tomato sauce and ends with the happiest tummies! Packed with nutritious veggies and full of delicious flavor, don’t skip this incredible traditional Italian soup recipe.

A white bowl of minestrone soup.

This soup is a robust mix of vegetables, beans, and pasta. It’s so flexible and delicious with a variety of additions, and it can be made in the Instant Pot or stove top.

While we don’t make a lot of soups in our house, there are a couple tried and true favorites we return to often. Minestrone is one of them… it’s just packed with flavor and everything good!

We also love this easy homemade chili and my own personal favorites… apple cheddar soup and bacon cheddar soup – both so perfect for the cold months.

One of the best things about this minestrone soup recipe is that you can throw it together with virtually anything you have on hand. It really is that flexible! It’s perfect for any veggies you’ve got in your fridge drawers that just need to be used up before they go bad.

A white bowl of minestrone soup.

Serve it with my homemade dinner rolls and you’ve got the coziest family-friendly dinner. Let’s get started!

A white bowl of minestrone soup with herbs and a slice of bread on the surface.

What is Minestrone Soup?

Minestrone is a thick soup historically hailing from Italy. It’s made with vegetables, and usually has added pasta (or rice) for an extra filling touch. The most popular ingredients are beans, celery, onions, carrots, stock, and tomatoes.

There’s no official, hard and fast rules for minestrone. That’s because it’s often thrown together with any vegetables that are in the fridge. While it can easily be made vegetarian, some versions do have meat, or a bone-based stock.

Why You’ll Love this Minestrone Recipe

  • Fast and easy to make
  • So flexible- use any veggies you have lying around
  • Perfect for leftovers
  • Family friendly
  • A great cozy fall and winter meal
  • Healthy, packed with veggies… which means fiber and nutrients
  • Even better on the second day after the flavors have marinated
  • Freezes beautifully
A white bowl of minestrone soup, another bowl in the background with herbs and a slice of bread on the surface.

Minestrone Soup Recipe Ingredients

  • Onion – diced
  • Zucchini – diced
  • Carrot – diced
  • Shell pasta – or pasta of choice
  • Celery – diced
  • Tomato sauce – canned
  • Medium tomatoes – diced, or a can of diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • Low sodium vegetable broth – any kind of broth or stock you have on hand will work.
  • Kidney beans – you can use any kind of kidney beans you have on hand.
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Parsley – chopped
  • Italian seasoning – so easy to make your own!
  • Paprika
  • Red chili powder – (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper – to taste

Variations

  • To Make Gluten Free: Substitute your favorite sturdy gluten-free pasta. You can also substitute with rice!
  • Lower the carbs to make it Keto or Whole 30 friendly by simply eliminating the pasta.
  • Switch any of the vegetables for your family preferences or whatever you have on hand! Minestrone is the ultimate soup to use up “leftovers”.
  • You can add potatoes or rice to minestrone too, either in addition to pasta or in place of!
  • Add protein with crumbled sausage, mini meatballs and more!
A white bowl of minestrone soup, another bowl in the background with herbs and a slice of bread on the surface.

How to Make Minestrone Soup

On the Stove

  1. Warm olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, and garlic, sauteing for two minutes.
  2. Add the celery, tomatoes, carrots, tomato sauce, and zucchini into the pot as well as the salt, pepper, and paprika or red chili flakes. Saute until onions are translucent, around 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the kidney beans, pasta, and vegetable broth and mix well.
  4. If you want to cook the pasta in the soup itself, add it now and cook over medium (with lid on) for approximately 20 minutes, until pasta is al dente. However, you can also add pasta that is already cooked during the last two minutes of time, when you add the spinach.
  5. Open the lid and add the spinach. Stir for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the parsley and serve!

In an Instant Pot

  1. Press the sauté mode and add the olive oil. After it gets hot add the garlic and onions and saute for 2-3 minutes as it softens. Looking into a silver stovetop pot full of warmed olive oil. A pot full of sliced onions, garlic and olive oil for an instant pot minestrone soup recipe.
  2. Add the celery, tomatoes, carrots, tomato sauce, and zucchini into the pot as well as the salt, pepper, and paprika or red chili flakes. Looking into a pot full of cut vegetables for a minestrone soup recipe. Looking into a pot full of cut vegetables for a minestrone soup recipe.
  3. Add the kidney beans, pasta, and vegetable broth and mix well. Looking into a pot full of a minestrone soup recipe.
  4. Press the “cancel” button on the Instant Pot, close the lid and seal the release valve. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Use the “quick release” method after the timer beeps. Looking into a pot full of a minestrone soup recipe.
  5. Open the lid and add the spinach. Stir for 2 minutes. Looking into a pot full of a minestrone soup recipe.
  6. Add the parsley and serve!

Serving Suggestions

  • Top with fresh grated Parmesan
  • A little fresh chopped parsley on top goes a long way for colorful serving.
  • My everything bagel seasoning is perfect for a little crunch on top of soup!

Tips

  • For an even thicker soup, puree half of your beans (or an extra can entirely) to add to the broth.
  • Add fresh herbs instead of dried if you prefer. For every teaspoon of dried herbs, replace with one tablespoon of fresh.
  • Feeding a crowd? Use the 1x2x3x tab on the printable recipe card to double or even triple this minestrone soup recipe.

Shortcuts

  • The most time-consuming part of this soup is all the chopping! I like to chop all my veggies earlier in the day (or up to three days in advance) so they are ready to go when it’s time to make this minestrone.
  • You can cut down on time by using pre-cooked pasta or rice, vs. cooking it directly in the soup itself.
A white bowl of minestrone soup with herbs and a slice of bread on the surface.
Why is it called minestrone soup?

The word minestrone, which translates to a “thick vegetable soup”, dates in English to 1871. The English word comes from the Italian minestrone, which loosely translates from “soup which is served”.

Is minestrone soup healthy for you?

Absolutely! Minestrone is a hearty and filling soup option for those who prefer a low calorie, low fat or low carbohydrate diet. There’s so much fiber in this soup from all those delicious veggies, which helps keep you full for longer.

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – This soup can be left out for no more than two hours at room temp.
  • Refrigerate – refrigerate your minestrone soup in an airtight container for up to five days.
  • Freeze – minestrone freezes well! Store in an airtight container with an inch of space at the top, leaving room for expansion. Store in freezer for up to six months, de-thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

How to Serve Minestrone Soup

A white bowl of minestrone soup, another bowl in the background with herbs and a slice of bread on the surface.

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free – choose a gluten free pasta or rice for your minestrone
  • Dairy Free – skip a topping or garnish of Parmesan and this soup is dairy free
  • Nut Free
  • Vegetarian – Use a vegetable stock to keep this recipe vegetarian

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More Easy Family-Friendly Dinner Recipes

A white bowl of minestrone soup.

Minestrone Soup Recipe

Author: Julie Blanner
This minestrone soup recipe is hearty, filling, and oh-so-delicious. It's the perfect family friendly soup that will warm you through and through!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8
Calories 143 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 onion medium, diced
  • 1 zucchini medium, diced
  • 1 carrot medium, diced
  • ¾ cup shell pasta or pasta of choice
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce can
  • 4 tomatoes medium-sized, diced, or 1 can of 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth low sodium
  • 15 ounces kidney beans one can, drained
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley chopped
  • 2 Teaspoons Italian seasoning dried
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Warm olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, and garlic, sauteing for two minutes.
  • Add the celery, tomatoes, carrots, tomato sauce, and zucchini into the pot as well as the salt, pepper, and paprika or red chili flakes. Saute until onions are translucent, around 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the kidney beans, pasta, and vegetable broth and mix well.
  • If you want to cook the pasta in the soup itself, add it now and cook over medium (with lid on) for approximately 20 minutes, until pasta is al dente. However, you can also add pasta that is already cooked during the last two minutes of time, when you add the spinach.
  • Open the lid and add the spinach. Stir for 2 minutes.
  • Add the parsley and serve!

Notes

Make in Instant Pot

  1. Press the sauté mode and add the olive oil. After it gets hot add the garlic and onions and saute’ for 2-3 minutes as it softens.
  2. Add the celery, tomatoes, carrots, tomato sauce, and zucchini into the pot as well as the salt, pepper, and paprika or red chili flakes.
  3. Add the kidney beans, pasta, and vegetable broth and mix well.
  4. Press the “cancel” button on the Instant Pot, close the lid and seal the release valve. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Use the “quick release” method after the timer beeps.
  5. Open the lid and add the spinach. Stir for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the parsley and serve!

Variations

  • To Make Gluten Free: Substitute your favorite sturdy gluten-free pasta. You can also substitute with rice!
  • Lower the carbs to make it Keto or Whole 30 friendly by simply eliminating the pasta.
  • Switch any of the vegetables for your family preferences or whatever you have on hand! Minestrone is the ultimate soup to use up “leftovers”.
  • You can add potatoes or rice to minestrone too, either in addition to pasta or in place of!
  • Add protein with crumbled sausage, mini meatballs and more!

To Store

  • At Room Temperature – This soup can be left out for no more than two hours at room temp.
  • Refrigerate – refrigerate your minestrone soup in an airtight container for up to five days.
  • Freeze – minestrone freezes well! Store in an airtight container with an inch of space at the top, leaving room for expansion. Store in freezer for up to six months, de-thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Nutrition

Calories:143kcalCarbohydrates:28gProtein:8gFat:1gSaturated Fat:1gSodium:646mgPotassium:642mgFiber:7gSugar:6gVitamin A:3078IUVitamin C:20mgCalcium:53mgIron:3mg
5 from 1 vote
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner
Disclosure

mini loaves of bread gift wrapped