This copycat Olive Garden minestrone soup recipe is easy to make and chock full of flavor with a fabulous blend of vegetables, beans, and a savory tomato broth. It's quite healthy, low in calories, and makes a great meatless option for dinner!
- What Makes This The Best Minestrone Soup Recipe
- What is Minestrone Soup?
- Minestrone Recipe Ingredients
- Recipe For Minestrone Soup Variations
- How To Make This Minestrone Soup
- How To Serve This Vegetarian Minestrone Soup Recipe
- How To Store Homemade Minestrone Soup
- Minestrone Soup FAQs
- Best Recipe for Minestrone Soup
- More Delicious Recipes to Make
What Makes This The Best Minestrone Soup Recipe
Loaded with Veggies! Minestrone soup is loaded with vegetables of all kinds, a variety of beans, broth, Italian spices, and pasta. Add more or less of veggies your family likes to make it your own.
Classic Minestrone. Minestrone is traditionally a hearty Italian soup that has a tomato base broth with loads of veggies, beans, and either pasta or rice in it. I love that you can make this soup with any veggies you have on hand or in your pantry.
Healthy. This recipe is low-calorie, packed full of plant based protein, vegetarian, dairy free (use a plant-based parmesan) and can be adjusted to be gluten free as well!
What is Minestrone Soup?
Minestrone soup is an Italian soup that is made with LOTS of veggies, tomato-based broth, beans, Italian herbs, and spices with either pasta or rice. You can adjust the vegetables that are in your soup, but the traditional veggies include carrots, onions, green beans, celery, zucchini, and tomatoes.
The correct minestrone pronunciation is mi-nuh-strow-nee, emphasizing the 'strow'.
Minestrone Recipe Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this classic minestrone soup recipe:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Onion: yellow, white, or sweet onion can be used in this recipe.
- Fresh Green Beans: you can substitute for canned if you don't have fresh.
- Carrot: fresh whole carrots cut down, or you can cut small baby carrots.
- Garlic: mince your own garlic or use store-bought pre-minced garlic to save time.
- Vegetable Broth: use regular, low-fat, or low-sodium options based on your preference.
- Canned Crushed Tomatoes
- Fresh Parsley
- Dried Oregano
- Kosher Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Dried Thyme
- Canned Small White Beans
- Canned Kidney Beans: use red kidney beans or dark red if desired.
- Fresh Baby Spinach and Kale: use a blend if you are able to find one, or you can use all spinach or kale if you would like.
- Small Shell Pasta: you can use shells, elbow, or other small noodle varieties.
- Optional: Finely shredded parmesan cheese.
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
Be sure to pin this pin to Pinterest for later! 😉
Recipe For Minestrone Soup Variations
Add browned Italian sausage for added protein and flavor.
Add fresh basil and then garnish with chopped fresh basil.
Add diced tomatoes or tomato sauce to your soup for a more forward tomato-based flavor.
Use rice in place of pasta--add at the same time you would the pasta.
Add diced potato or leeks to make it extra hearty!
Want to make it thicker? Add some tomato paste to help thicken the broth.
Add red pepper flakes to your soup to give it a little extra kick.
Add the juice of a small lemon for an added layer of flavor.
Use a large dutch oven to cook the soup; you can also use a slow cooker or instant pot!
How To Make This Minestrone Soup
- Preheat olive oil in a soup pot. Add green beans, celery, onion, carrots and zucchini. Saute until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and saute.
2. Add the remaining ingredients except the beans, pasta, and spinach. Bring to a boil.
3. Once boiling, add beans, spinach blend, and pasta. Reduce heat, cover, and gently simmer the soup until the flavors are blended.
How To Serve This Vegetarian Minestrone Soup Recipe
Serve hot, and sprinkle the soup with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, sliced green onion, or chives.
Pair with your favorite crusty bread or garlic breadsticks
Serve with a side salad and your favorite dressing and croutons.
How To Store Homemade Minestrone Soup
Once cooled, transfer your soup to an air-tight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freeze your leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Minestrone Soup FAQs
There are only a few differences between the two. Minestrone is thicker and heartier. There are beans, pasta, or rice, and the flavor is more Italian-based. Vegetable soup is a vegetable-based broth with just vegetables. Sometimes pasta or rice is added.
No, minestrone is a hearty Italian vegetable soup. It is high in protein from the beans; however, there isn't normally meat protein in the soup.
Yes! The beans and vegetables pack a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals in this soup. It is lower in calories but keeps you full from the fiber and protein.
Best Recipe for Minestrone Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- ½ cup fresh green beans (cut into 1" pieces)
- ½ cup celery (sliced)
- ½ cup carrot (peeled and sliced)
- 1 small zucchini (diced)
- 4 teaspoons garlic (minced)
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (finely chopped)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 (15-ounce) can small white beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach and kale blend
- ½ cup dry small shell pasta
- optional for serving: finely shredded parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley or basil.
- Preheat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add green beans, celery, onion, carrots, and zucchini. Saute until the onion is soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute.
- Add in the remaining ingredients except the beans, pasta, and spinach. Bring soup to a boil.
- Once boiling, add beans, spinach, and pasta. Gently simmer the soup for 20 minutes, reducing heat if needed. Stir occasionally.
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs such as parsley or basil.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- VARIATIONS: 1/2 pound of browned Italian sausage can be added for more protein.
- TIPS: Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Sprinkle soup with parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh Italian parsley. A salad and breadsticks or crusty bread pair well with this soup.
© 2023 Seeking Good Eats™