The Best Minestrone Soup
The best minestrone soup recipe you’ll ever make, the hearty flavors of this classic comfort food rival that of Olive Garden’s most popular soup. Pair it with a side of crusty bread for a comfort food dinner that will have people coming back for more!
In This Article
Why This is the Best Minestrone Soup Recipe
- It cooks in a single pot on the stove in less than an hour.
- Made with pantry staple ingredients, it’s budget-friendly and loaded with flavor.
- One batch makes 8 servings, meaning this minestrone soup is perfect for feeding a crowd.
- Leftovers store well to enjoy throughout the week.
- A vegetarian recipe, it’s so hearty even meat eaters won’t be able to resist!
Key Ingredients For Homemade Minestrone soup
The best minestrone soup recipe, this classic comfort food comes together with simple pantry staples for a nutritious meal that will satisfy your tastebuds without breaking the bank. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Olive Oil – This is used to sauté the veggies, adding depth to their flavor along with a boost of healthy fats.
- Vegetables – Onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, celery, carrots, green beans, and zucchini combine adding bulk, vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and flavor to this minestrone soup recipe.
- Broth – We use vegetable broth, but chicken broth would work, too. For the best results, look for low-sodium varieties.
- Red Wine – Light red wines such as Chianti are best.
- Beans – Kidney and white beans provide extra texture and plant-based protein.
- Seasonings – Dried oregano, dried basil, fresh parsley, salt, and pepper help enhance the savoriness of the soup, taking it from good to great.
- Pasta – Any small shell-shaped or elbow pasta will do.
- Parmesan Cheese – Technically optional, but we all know everything tastes better with parmesan!
Flavor Variations for the Best Minestrone Soup Recipe
This minestrone soup is a great way to use up those leftover veggies you have on hand from recipes like our easy roasted vegetables and pasta primavera. Feel free to mix and match different ingredients to make it your own! For instance, some of our favorite variations include:
- Adding More Veggies. Add or swap out the vegetables with whatever you have on hand such as cauliflower, leeks, parsnips, potatoes, broccoli, spinach, and more.
- Replacing the Pasta. For a different texture, swap out the pasta with different shapes like cavatappi, ditali, or orecchiette. Or, remove it completely and go with gluten-free pastas, quinoa, or rice instead!
- Include Protein. If you aren’t following a vegetarian diet, feel free to bulk this soup up with protein like cooked sausage, shredded chicken/turkey, or cooked ground beef.
Minestrone Soup Serving Suggestions
Inspired by Olive Garden minestrone soup, this recipe can be served on its own for a completely satisfying meal. Or, serve it as a side or appetizer with main courses like Parmesan bruschetta chicken bake or mussels with garlic and tomatoes. For a lighter option, it also pairs well with all your favorite sides such as:
- Rosemary Garlic Bread – this artisan style bread is easy enough for beginners, and has become a reader-favorite.
- Homemade Dinner Rolls – you can have soft, fluffy dinner rolls in 1 hour.
- Creamy Caesar Salad – once you taste this homemade caesar dressing, you won’t look at a store-bought bottle the same again.
- Bruschetta – it’s super easy to make perfectly crispy, tender bruschetta.
Minestrone Soup Common Questions
Minestrone can technically be considered a type of vegetable soup. However, the primary difference between the two is that minestrone is made with pasta whereas most vegetable soup is made with just vegetables!
Once fully cooled and transferred to an airtight container, minestrone soup will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Yes, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Though the word minestrone means thick vegetable soup, there is no hard and fast rule for whether or not to add meat to it. In fact, you can make minestrone soup with vegetable broth or chicken broth, and you can make it vegetarian or add proteins such as chicken or sausage.
More to Cook and Eat
- The Best Lentil Soup (Vegan) – This vegan recipe is so scrumptious, it’ll have all your guests coming back for seconds and thirds.
- Easy Lasagna Soup Recipe – This easy soup boasts all the flavor of lasagna with half the work!
- Pasta e Fagioli (Olive Garden Copycat) – Every bit as delicious as Olive Garden’s version, this robust soup is guaranteed to become your new favorite weeknight dinner.
- Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat) – One bite is all it takes to fall head over heels for this comforting recipe.
- Roasted Tomato Basil Soup – Chock full of nutrients and big, bold flavors, this nutritious soup is a light meal you won’t be able to wait to sink your spoon into.
Also Try Chicken Madeira (Cheesecake Factory Copycat)
The Best Minestrone Soup
- 3 TB olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 14 oz diced tomatoes, from a can, with juices
- ½ cup light red wine, such as Chianti
- 2 TB tomato paste
- 1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
- 1 cup green beans, cut
- 15 oz kidney beans, from a can, rinsed and drained
- 15 oz white beans, from a can, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 TB fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ cup elbow pasta, or shell pasta, dry
- kosher salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Optional: freshly grated Parmesan to serve
- In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Cook until translucent, stirring frequently.
- Add the broth, tomatoes with juices, wine, tomato paste, celery, and carrots. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring the ingredients to a boil for 15 minutes.
- Add the green beans, kidney beans, white beans, zucchini, herbs, and pasta. Bring the mixture back to a boil, cooking for 10 minutes or until the pasta reaches the desired tenderness.
- Season with additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired. Serve with bread.
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