Minestrone Soup

5 from 11 votes

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This flavorful classic Minestrone Soup recipe is warm, satisfying, and packed full of nutrition. Perfect for the colder months and even more perfect in a homemade bread bowl.

ladling minestrone soup out of pot

What is Minestrone Soup?

Minestrone Soup is a hearty Italian soup that includes vegetables, broth, and pasta (or rice). It’s one of those great soups that are delicious, vegetarian, and packed full of nutrition. I personally love the stuff and could eat the entire pot. It’s warm, satisfying and one bowl will fill you up! Like lots of other dishes, the longer it cooks the better it tastes. I’d recommend lightly simmering this soup for as long as you can and then 10 minutes before serving, put in the pasta to cook OR just cook it separately and serve it alongside. Top the whole dish with some parmesan cheese and crusty bread and that’s dinner!

Main Ingredients Needed

Overall, Minestrone Soup is a pretty healthy meal! If you don’t like certain vegetables in the recipe then you can omit them or substitute them for other ones. Here’s what you need:

  • Olive Oil – this is used to saute the veggies that need a little more cooking time than the rest.
  • Onion, Carrots + Celery – these three form the base of this soup. Lots of vitamins and minerals here.
  • Chicken Broth – use a high-quality chicken broth for the best results. If you are looking to keep this recipe vegetarian, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
  • Dark Kidney Beans + Garbanzo Beans – rinsed and drained. I used these to add in some protein to make this meal more filling.
  • Tomato Sauce + Diced Tomatoes – these are added to help make and flavor the broth.
  • Cabbage – if you don’t like cabbage then substitute it for zucchini. Zucchini is a pretty traditional ingredient for Minestrone–I didn’t have any on hand but feel free to add it in.
  • Basil, Oregano, Salt + Pepper – don’t forget the salt and pepper when it comes to the seasonings.
  • Short Cut Pasta – I used mini shells but you could use whatever short cut pasta you have, or even use rice or couscous!
beans in colander getting poured into minestrone soup


I am a firm believer that you should use ingredients that you have on hand or ingredients that you like. Because of this I encourage my reader’s to make variations to my recipes if they want to. Here are a couple ideas for Minestrone Soup:

  • Add Meat: I made a meatless soup but you can easily add in ground beef, chicken, Italian sausage or another type of protein.
  • More Vegetables to Use: you could sub out any of the vegetables listed about to make this soup your own. Some ideas include: spinach, potatoes, corn, zucchini, kale, green beans, peas, butternut squash, or collard greans.
  • Flavor Enhancing Ingredients: this could be anything from adding garlic to adding lemon juice/zest. There are a lot of variations out there so go crazy and experiment away.

How to Make Minestrone Soup

For full details on how to make Minestrone Soup, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Saute Veggies

In a large pot, sauté onions, carrots and celery in olive oil over medium heat until slightly softened (the rest of the cooking will continue later in the recipe)

Add Broth + Other Ingredients

Stir in broth, beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, seasonings and cabbage.

Simmer + Cook Pasta

Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. The longer it cooks the better the flavor becomes. 10 minutes before serving, pour in pasta to cook or boil it separately.

Top with Parmesan

Serve with parmesan cheese and good quality crusty bread.

close up of minestrone soup

Storing Minestrone Soup

Any leftover Minestrone Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. If the soup seems too thick after storing it, just add some more broth when you are heating it back up in the microwave or on the stove top.

Freezing Instructions

Because this is a broth-based soup it freezes beautifully! Cool completely then simply store in a freezer-safe container, leaving an inch or two of space at the top to account for expansion, for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight then heat over the stovetop.

close up of minestrone soup

More Italian Soups to Try!

If you liked this Minestrone Soup you are bound to like my other Italian soup recipes!

The printable recipe card is down below, enjoy 🙂

ladling minestrone soup out of pot
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5 from 11 votes

Minestrone Soup

This flavorful classic Minestrone Soup recipe is warm, satisfying, and packed full of nutrition. Perfect for the colder months!
servings 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 large carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery washed and chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 15 oz dark kidney beans 1 can, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz garbanzo beans 1 can, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz tomato sauce 1 can
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes 1 can
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano or marjoram
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup short cut pasta such as shells


  • In a large pot, sauté onions, carrots, and celery in butter and oil over medium heat for 7-10 minutes.
    sauteed vegetables in big pot
  • Stir in water, chicken broth, beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, seasonings, and cabbage.
    cabbage and spices in minestrone
  • Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. 10 minutes before serving, pour in pasta to cook or boil it separately.
    adding pasta to soup
  • Serve with parmesan cheese and good quality crusty bread.
    ladling minestrone soup out of pot



Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 949mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 905IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: minestrone soup

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Recipe Rating

16 Responses
  1. Soups That Freeze Well for Postpartum – Purposeful Mama

    […] Soup – You can find the recipe here. Don’t forget to leave out the noodles before […]

  2. My Favorite Soup Recipes – Purposeful Mama

    […] Minestrone Soup – This healthy soup is packed full of vegetables but also delicious. You can find it here. […]

  3. Leeta Vinson

    It says in the instructions to add water.But in the ingredients ,it doesnt say anything about water or how much? Could you tell me how much water to add

  4. kristal Ailakis

    Silly question from an Australian would tomato passata be an equivalent option for a can of tomato sauce?
    Thanks Kristal x

    1. Melissa Whittaker

      They are super similar but not the same. Tomato Sauce in America contains flavorings like added salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper. You probably could get away with tomato passata though, just season with onion and/or garlic powder to your liking.

  5. DeAnna

    5 stars
    Lauren, we loved this soup! Made according to recipe except for one thing .. added zucchini and fresh kale instead of cabbage .. yum. This is a keeper! Thank you

  6. Ali Nikolai

    If chicken soup is one of your favorite meals, it pays to keep an eye on which restaurants feature real homemade soup. Many are generally adding additional ethnic tastes now, so you should find a new favorite that features spicy Mexican flavors, and also subtle Asian tastes. For those who have issues with additives such as MSG, it is imperative that you really ask the staff about the soup preparation. The last thing you want is an allergic reaction to the food.

  7. zgirl-46

    5 stars
    I just made this and it was perfect! I made it exactly like the recipe but next time I might add garlic and zucchini too. i will keep this recipe as one of my go-to’s!
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Laura

    5 stars
    Yum! Thanks for the delish recipe Lauren. Made this two nights ago and it just keeps tasting better each day. I didn’t have broth so I used one packet of boullion and a can of cream of chicken soup. Totally hit the spot 🙂

  9. Klearbon

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner last night and everybody gobbled it up! I also made some homemade french bread to go along with it and it was a hit! I didn't use bouillon since we didn't have any, so I just used a whole thing of chicken broth and it was fabulous! I also added the zucchini and cabbage and fresh garlic, thanks for the yummy recipe!