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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! 

Minestrone Soup in a white bowl with crackers
This minestrone soup recipe is hearty, flavorful, and budget-friendly.

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! 
Minestrone soup in a white bowl
This minestrone soup is fabulous as it is, but feel free to vary it up based on what you have on hand.

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 in a white dish
This Olive Garden minestrone soup is perfect for feeding a crowd.

Minestrone Soup Common Questions

What’s the difference between minestrone soup and vegetable soup? 

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! 

How long does this minestrone soup recipe last? 

Once fully cooled and transferred to an airtight container, minestrone soup will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Can I freeze leftovers? 

Yes, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Does minestrone soup traditionally have meat in it?

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.


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minestrone soup in a white dish

The Best Minestrone Soup

5 from 58 ratings
The best minestrone soup recipe you’ll ever make, the warm flavors and hearty texture of this classic comfort food rival that of Olive Garden’s infamous dish. Pair it with a side of crusty bread for a comfort food dinner that will have all your guests coming back for more!
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Equipment

Notes

Please see original article for variations and substitutions.
 
If you enjoyed this recipe, come back and give it a rating ♡
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 730mg | Potassium: 790mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 937IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Dinner, Main
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Low Fat, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Method: Stovetop

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Recipe Rating




20 comments

    • Jamie
    • 5 stars

    This soup recipe is an instant favorite! It looks so delicious and is very yummy! This is a perfect soup recipe for this cold weather! Totally love this, already!

    • Luke Ratford
    • 5 stars

    I recently had the pleasure of trying a delicious minestrone soup made with fresh vegetables and herbs. It was so flavourful and comforting, I couldn’t help but go back for seconds! If you’re looking for an easy yet satisfying meal, then this is the perfect dish – it’s sure to make your tastebuds happy!

    • Maggie
    • 5 stars

    My husband loves minestrone soup. He said this was the best he’s ever had next to him mom.

      • Amy Dong

      That’s an awesome compliment, Maggie ♡

    • Tracy
    • 5 stars

    This is such a comforting classic. I love how easy it is to make but still oh so delicious. A perfect meatless meal!

    • Kim
    • 5 stars

    @chewoutloud this soup is amazing and is on regular rotation at my house. I don’t often have fresh parsley and substituted with dried. I also added some bay leaves and used farrow instead of pasta. If you use farrow, put it in 25 min before your soup is finished. Tasty way to get veggies into people who don’t enjoy them (hand raised). One more tip, if you have a Parmesan rind add it with the broth. It adds even more dimension to the flavor.

      • Amy Dong

      Aww, Kim, that just makes my day 🙂 Thank you!

    • Barbara

    This sounds wonderful especially now in Lent for meatless Fridays! And the next day I could put meatballs in the leftovers!

    • Carina

    This soup was so yummy! Especially if you can make it with homemade vegetable stock. It was better the next day because the vegetables absorbed all the delicious flavors! Really yummy with sourdough bread and butter 🙂

      • chewoutloud

      Carina, I agree! It’s even better the next day!

    • Lea

    Do you have the nutrition information for this?

    • Elana Halvorson

    I have made this a few times now. We love it! We started leaving out the pasta after the first time though given there are only 3 of us and one batch lasts a while. I don’t think they put pasta in minestrone soup in Italy anyway.

      • chewoutloud

      Glad you guys like this, Elana! Thanks for coming over today, and happy holidays 🙂

    • Kristie

    I made this soup at the beginning of the week. It was super easy to do in the crockpot. I paired it with Cole’s frozen breadsticks and the family loved it. Thanks for sharing

      • chewoutloud

      So so happy to hear it! Happy fall

    • Willa

    I just made this, and it turned out FANTASTIC. Oh my god. So warm, so hearty, so flavorful. Thanks for the recipe!!

      • chewoutloud

      YAY, you’re so welcome, Willa 🙂 And thanks for taking the time to come over to let us know you enjoyed it 🙂 Happy fall!

      • Lisa
      • 4 stars

      Just made this for the family with grilled cheese on the side! It was a hit, will definitely make again, thank you for the recipe!

    • Christie Finch

    The biscuits are a nice touch! I suppose they are more salty than sweet.

      • Peter Fitzgerald

      “Once in awhile, we walk on the wild side and do a Meatless Monday gig.” This is sad commentary for a ‘cook’

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