Minestrone soup is so hearty it can stand on its own as the main dish! I fell in love with minestrone at the Olive Garden, so this is a pretty darn close attempt at copying the classic Italian soup.
If you want a few more Olive garden Copycats, here is the Best Alfredo Sauce and Zuppa Toscana recipe.
Minestrone soup is not just tasty, it’s healthy as well! The delicious tomato-y broth is chock-full of vegetables and beans. It’s the perfect dish to serve to kids who are finicky with eating produce.
Made in one-pot, healthy minestrone is a great option for a quick weeknight dinner as the weather starts to cool off and the kids gear up to go back to school. Sometimes knowing that I will have a quick clean-up is enough to motivate me to make a homemade dinner… just sayin’.
What is Minestrone Soup?
Minestrone is an Italian soup known for its thick tomato-based broth. It can be made with pasta or rice, and typically contains carrots, tomato chunks, kidney beans, celery, onions and potatoes. However, the creation of this soup came from a need to use up leftover vegetables. So, feel free to use any veggies that are taking up space in your refrigerator. Or, alter the recipe to whatever is fresh and in season. Seriously, you can’t go wrong!
Tips for Minestrone Soup
- Make Gluten-Free Minestrone Soup – Have gluten allergy? No problem! Substitute the pasta for wild or white rice.
- Make Minestrone Soup Spicy – Like it spicy? Add some red pepper flakes to your minestrone for the perfect touch of heat.
- Make Minestrone Soup Vegan – Easily make your minestrone vegan by using egg-free noodles (or rice!) and a vegetable-based broth. One of my new favorite products is Better Than Bouillon’s No Beef Base broth concentrate.
- Switch up the Vegetables You Use – Minestrone is extremely versatile. If you don’t have the exact ingredients this recipe calls for, don’t worry! You can use red or yellow zucchini, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, butternut squash, broccoli, cauliflower… I mean, anything! The broth compliments any vegetable. Use what you have and don’t let anything go to waste.
- Noodles Make Broth Disappear! – Noodles are notorious for sucking up liquid. As your leftover minestrone sits in the fridge, you may notice that your noodles are slowly absorbing your broth. If this is a problem for you, add more broth to the soup.
Storing Minestrone Soup
- Keeping Minestrone Soup Fresh – Store your minestrone soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. The kicker? Minestrone gets tastier as it marinates in the fridge. That’s right…each bowl you reheat will taste richer and richer.
- Freezing Minestrone Soup – You probably know by now that I am the queen of having frozen, homemade food on hand. However, I would discourage you from freezing minestrone. The reason is that this soup contains fresh vegetables.
Serving the Minestrone Soup
Some freshly grated parmesan cheese is the perfect garnish for minestrone. After all, that’s what they do at Olive Garden! It wouldn’t hurt to add some chopped basil or cracked pepper to the mix.
Like I said before, minestrone is a stand-alone kind of soup. However, there is nothing like sopping up that hearty broth with nice piece of bread. Try making my Parmesan Garlic Flatbread Recipe or No Knead Bread.
Other Soup Recipes to Make
- 2 medium carrots (diced into small cubes)
- 2 small zucchinis (diced into small cubes)
- 1/2 large onion (diced into small cubes)
- 6 celery stalks (diced into small cubes)
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 32 oz vegetable broth
- 15 oz canned great Northen beans (drained)
- 15 oz canned Kidney beans (drained)
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp dry basil
- 1/2 cup noodles
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups water
- Preheat the pot with olive oil, add zucchini, carrots, celery and onions. Sautee for about 10 minutes, until vegetables soften.
- To the pot, add canned diced tomatoes. Season with Italian seasoning and dry basil.
- Add vegetable broth, noodles, kidney and Great Northen beans. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Depending on the thickness of the soup, you can add 2 more cups of water to the mix.
- Press garlic into the mixture and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Serve while the minestrone soup is still warm.
Too good, just adjusted salt to tast!
Glad to hear this. Thanks for the feedback.
Love this, added smoked farmers sausage. Will defiantly make this again. Thank you.
Oh yum! I love smoked sausage. Sounds like a great addition to the soup. I need to try this next time I make it.
I have added a smocked hock and turned out excellent.
Paul, that sounds delicious. Where do you get smocked hock?
In the pork section of your grocery store or butcher. Look for 'smoked ham hock'. Delicious seasoning for greens and dried beans.
Thank you for sharing this!
Very thick soup but a lot of fflavor.
Its all about the flavor 🙂
The best minestrone soup I've ever made. Thank you!
Hi Regina, this is so wonderful to hear. Thank you so mush for letting us know your feedback.
Have you made in crockpot?
Hi Angella, I Have not personally, but there have been people that have used this recipe in a crock pot and they said It turned out very well! I hope this helps.
How much soup is in a serving? A cup?
Hi Taylor. This soup makes about 1.5 cups per serving. Thank you for reaching out. Enjoy!!
Absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing.
Hi Jacintha, I am thrilled that you loved this recipe! Enjoy it dear!
Delicious. I added green beans and spinach to mine. 🙂
Hi Kattie that sounds amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your process and feedback. Enjoy!!
In the picture of ingredients, there looks to be some tomato sauce or paste...is that supposed to be in this?
Hi Katie, Thank you for bringing that to my attention. That is Tomato paste. It is optional, I tested the recipe again and the soup tasted great without it.
Just made a pot and it’s delicious! I thought it needed salt, but then I decided the the parmesan added just enough saltiness!
Hi Carla, I am thrilled that the recipe was a success! Thank you for sharing your feedback. Enjoy!!
I made this soup for the first time ever. My family loved it. So did the neighbors. I made way too much. Also detracted a bit from the vegan version and added one pound each of ground beef and sausage. My meat-eating husband loved it so much he wouldn't stop praising it.
PS, I will be making the vegan, gluten free version this Saturday, for a fundraiser at my church to help the local food bank.
Hi Debb, your comment made me smile! I love that you shared with your neighbors and that the recipe was a success! I am confident that the vegan and gluten free version will also be a hit! Thank you for your feedback, enjoy!!
Here's a tip cook the pasta separately and the add to recipe the pasta turns out soggy at that length of time other than that it's great.
Hi Tony, Thats a great tip! Thank you for sharing that and leaving feedback, enjoy!
Absolutely DELICIOUS! So easy, so healthy. Wonderful vegan recipe. a new staple in our house! Tastes so good.
Hi Allie, that warms my hear to hear this! Thank you for your feedback. Enjoy!
5th time making this, thanks for the recipe!
Hi Bob, I am so thrilled that you love this recipe! Its also one of our favorites. Thank you for your feedback. Enjoy!
I tried this soup Yesterday, It was so tasty and loved this dish so much . What kind of vegetable broth is good for to buy it in stores in case if I can't find the vegetable broth as shown in the recipe?
Hi Jyothi, Any organic vegetable broth is going to work just fine. Thank you for reaching out!
We love this recipe. I always add Italian meatballs. Such a hearty meal.
Hi Michele, I love the added meatball idea! Thank you so much for sharing! Enjoy!
Wow! That’s really a easy recipe, I will definitely try it. Thanks.
Hi Kaniz, I hope you love it as much as we do! Good luck!
I love minestone! I cook my pasta separately & add to my bowl of soup. If I have spinach handy, I will throw a handful in my bowl as well. The hot soup wilts it right down. Good recipe!
Hi Cindy! A lot of people do the same thing with the pasta. I think it's a great idea! Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback. Enjoy!
Could this be made in an instant pot?
Hi, I think it can but I have never tested it. I would think noodles may need to be added in later or they will be overcooked. If you try it, please share your feedback. Thank you!
Didnt seem like it had any flavor
Hi Marlene, I am sorry to hear that the recipe wasn't to your liking. Soups are so versatile. You are welcome to add the spices that you like, to fit your needs better. Thank you for your feedback.
I know this doesn't have meat in it, but I had left over goulash and turned it into soup I just had to add the carrots, beans and more liquid. Turned out great.
Hi Diane! That is such a brilliant idea!! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! I love a good, easy, left over meal idea. I am thrilled you were able to use this soup and really made it your own.
Delicious!!! Made as per recipe. I will cook noodles as I eat since I plan to freeze most in 2 people portions. Thank you.
Hi Katie, I am so thrilled to hear the recipe was a success! That's a great idea with the noodles! Thank you for sharing. Enjoy!
Really great recipe! I added a rind of fresh parmesan and added some onion and garlic powder, too. I did have to add more broth, so buy extra. Today, I am doing the recipe again and doubling it for my dad.
Hey there! I am so thrilled to hear this recipe was a success! Thank you for sharing your process. Your dad is going to love this soup! Enjoy!
I am excited to try this recipe. I am planning on making it for a family pot luck, but wanted to know do the noodles hold up for awhile? It will more than likely be about an hour from the stove top to dinner with travel time. Curios if you have done it ahead of time. Thank you!
Hi Pam- I think the noodles would be okay for an hour. They would get mushy only after several hours. Enjoy!
Thank you the noodles did hold up and it was a hit. I made 2 batches. I made one with spicy chicken broth (my store stopped selling the spicy vegetable broth) and one just how you wrote the recipe. Definitely a keeper both ways.
Thanks for sharing this, so happy to hear!
Can you do this recipe in a slow cooker?
Hi Marilyn, I have not done it in a slow cooker myself, But I have had people tell me that they have tried that and it was amazing! I would love to hear how it went, if you give it a try.
thank you for the great soup recipes. I am a senior citizen and a pretty good cook and I needed some diversification in my menus. These recipes are like main dishes.
Hi Don, I am so delighted you were able to find recipes that you love! Thank you for your feedback! Enjoy!
Way too much basil IMHO.
Hey Kelly, thank you for sharing your feedback. Hope you loved the recipe otherwise. Thanks
Excellent Recipe! It was thick but instead of adding water that would water down the soup I added 2 12oz cand of V8. I also added some rind off of some Parmesan cheese while simmering.
Hi Homero, That sounds so delicious! Thank you for sharing that! I am glad you were able to really make this recipe your own! Enjoy!
Loved this recipe! Used your suggestions and added a pinch of red pepper flakes and some spinach at the end. Might add more pasta next time. Thank you!
Hi Lauren, I am so glad to hear this recipe was a success! Thank you for the feedback, Enjoy!