Kale and Quinoa Minestrone {Vegan and Gluten Free}


Quinoa and Kale Minestrone {Vegan and Gluten Free} | Cooking Classy

So this is me, I eat really healthy half of the time so I can eat all the other junk food I post the rest of the time :). But really, I think balance is important. I’ve said it before, all the healthy food is definitely good for your physical health but I say the sweet stuff is good for my emotional health because how could I survive without sugar (especially chocolate)? Addicted? Maybe. Content with that, definitely.

This soup has got to be one of the healthiest I’ve ever made. It is packed with nutrition and it really does taste amazingly delicious. I’m learning that with light and healthy recipes they just need to have the right flavors and seasonings and it makes such a big difference.

I love how this soup is unbelievably filling without all the fats or empty carbs. It’s nice how it makes a big pot-full so you can have some for lunch for the next few days. It does call for quite a few ingredients but don’t shy away from this recipe because of that. It’s worth it. Enjoy!

Quinoa and Kale Minestrone {Vegan and Gluten Free} | Cooking Classy

Quinoa and Kale Minestrone {Vegan and Gluten Free} | Cooking Classy

Kale and Quinoa Minestrone {Vegan and Gluten Free}

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Yield: About 6 - 8 servings

Kale and Quinoa Minestrone {Vegan and Gluten Free}


  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (2 cups)
  • 3 medium carrots, diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups diced, fresh zucchini (from about 2 small)
  • 2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch segments
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (32 oz) carton unsalted or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can chick peas, drained and rinsed (aka garbanzo beans)
  • 2 (heaping) cups chopped fresh kale, thick ribs removed
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Shredded parmesan cheese, for garnish (omit or use vegan parmesan if making vegan)


  • In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, carrots and celery and saute about 5 minutes, until softened. Add in zucchini, green beans, red bell pepper and saute 2 minutes, then add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
  • Add in vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, water, parsley, rosemary, thyme, granulated sugar, season with salt and pepper to taste and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and allow soup to gently boil, uncovered for about 20 minutes.
  • Add in dry quinoa then cover and cook 15 - 20 minutes longer.
  • Add cannellini beans, chick peas, kale and lemon juice and cook, uncovered, until kale has wilted, about 5 minutes. Serve warm garnished with parmesan cheese.
  • Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Mind Body Green


  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar: This truly sounds perfect. I love the recipe! February 11, 2014 at 10:01am Reply

  • Jo: Oh nice. Can it be frozen and reheated? February 11, 2014 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Probably. The quinoa absorbs more liquid as it rests (probably not while freezing at least) but it should still taste good. February 11, 2014 at 8:52pm Reply

  • Laura @ Laura’s Culinary Adventures: A cold front is coming my way, and a big bowl of this soup would make it more bearable! February 11, 2014 at 1:32pm Reply

  • alana: looks like the healthiest soup ive ever seen! Need to pick up some zucchini and veg stock and will make this asap!!!! Thanks again for a fab post Jaclyn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:))))) February 11, 2014 at 1:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome Alana! I hope you love it :)! February 11, 2014 at 10:59pm Reply

  • Mindy Delano: This looks delicious….and after comparing the original recipe, I think your version is right up my alley. It really is a healthy soup with 200 to 300 cals. All of your hard work in testing and experimenting with recipes is appreciated. I’ll try this one out on the weekend. :)) February 11, 2014 at 2:46pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love it Mindy :)! February 18, 2014 at 10:36pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: Gorgeous! I love that you shot it in the stock pot! It’s a beautiful pot and and I love the rustic yet super super classy look the photos have! You’re such a pro :) February 11, 2014 at 8:16pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Averie you’re too kind :)! February 11, 2014 at 8:51pm Reply

  • Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe: I’m all about warm soups during the cold winter months and this one sounds new and interesting to me! I have to admit I’ve never used kale in soups. I’ll be trying this out for sure!

    xo, Elisa February 12, 2014 at 5:13am Reply

  • Deborah: This looks like the ultimate comfort food!! February 12, 2014 at 8:22am Reply

  • Stuff I’ve Gotta Share and You’ve Gotta See | Recipe Girl: […] COOKING CLASSY:  Jaclyn blogs from Utah (so many bloggers live in Utah!)  She is a huge talent- she shares delicious, family-friendly meals and mouthwatering baked goods.  The photography is amazing.  I find myself pinning often from Jaclyn’s site and wanting to share all of her recipes on my Facebook page!  Her latest post:  Kale and Quinoa Minestrone. […] February 12, 2014 at 9:34am Reply

  • Rachel @ Bakerita: I love a good soup, and this one looks so warm and comforting! Such gorgeous photos as well. Pinned! February 12, 2014 at 1:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Rachel! February 18, 2014 at 10:51pm Reply

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci): Love the vibrant colors and textures of your minestrone, it looks so comforting! February 14, 2014 at 12:37am Reply

  • Lizzie: This looks really incredible! Can the green beans be frozen, and then thawed before cooking? February 15, 2014 at 2:49pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That should be just fine. I hope you love it! February 25, 2014 at 11:13pm Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: This is PURE comfort in a bowl, and it’s chockfull of veggies too, something that Jason and I desperately need around here! February 17, 2014 at 12:41am Reply

  • Mandy: I made this for dinner last night and it was FABULOUS! What’s better I think it was even more yummy for lunch today. Thanks so much for sharing! February 19, 2014 at 3:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Mandy! Thanks so much for leaving a comment! February 20, 2014 at 1:24am Reply

  • Micheline: I do that too (eat healthy so I can eat sweet treats). Salad before truffles right?? February 20, 2014 at 11:25am Reply

  • Laura: We tried this soup tonight and it was great! Thanks for posting this recipe :) February 23, 2014 at 7:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re very welcome Laura! I’m happy to hear you liked it, thanks for leaving a comment! February 24, 2014 at 5:23pm Reply

  • Sam: Made this tonight and what a delicious and healthy dinner! Yet another great recipe from you. February 28, 2014 at 1:26am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you liked this soup Sam! Thanks so much for leaving a review! March 11, 2014 at 8:10pm Reply

  • Leslie: This was very good. Looking forward to lunches and freezing some too. March 3, 2014 at 2:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for letting my know you liked it Leslie! So glad you did! March 3, 2014 at 6:01pm Reply

  • Kale & Quinoa Minestrone | Apollo & Co.: […] source:  Cooking Classy [Kale and Quinoa Minestrone] […] March 3, 2014 at 4:13pm Reply

  • Shari @ Simply Shari’s Gluten Free: Looks so delicious. Can’t wait to make this healthy soup! March 5, 2014 at 12:24pm Reply

  • Nicole: I’m so excited about this soup! Just wondering if I can maybe make it in the crockpot? Or will things get too soggy? March 18, 2014 at 6:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think it would be fine as long as you didn’t cook it too long. I hope you love it Nicole! March 18, 2014 at 7:59pm Reply

      • Miriam: how long in the crockpot? July 9, 2015 at 4:06pm Reply

  • snapshots. | girl meets life.: […] I made a big batch of delicious Kale and Quinoa Minestrone. Since the Northeast is apparently refusing to leave winter, I figured I’d at least embrace one […] March 27, 2014 at 1:43pm Reply

  • Nancy: looks good,have to try it April 16, 2014 at 8:28am Reply

  • Wisp | Minestrone Soup: […] recipe is fantastic.  My changes: 1)I added a smaller can of crushed tomatoes instead of the larger one […] April 21, 2014 at 5:02pm Reply

  • » What I’m Eating Now | Kellbot!: […] myself a salad if I happen to have spinach on hand. Every few weeks I’ll make a big batch of kale minestrone or sad vegetable soup and freeze it in individual portions for a lunch I can grab on the way out […] May 12, 2014 at 7:06pm Reply

  • Annie: Thank you so much for this recipe it was so delicious!! I didnt add sugar but added sweet potatoes and it was perfect! I will definitely be making this again! May 21, 2014 at 8:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback Annie! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it! June 22, 2014 at 10:46pm Reply

  • Kylie: My favourite winter soup! Tucking into a pot of it tonight Down Under August 6, 2014 at 9:09pm Reply

  • Brooke: This soup is incredibly delicious!!! I had it with oyster crackers instead of Parmesan cheese. Thank you for posting this recipe, it’s awesome!! August 11, 2014 at 4:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your review Brooke! So glad you liked it! August 13, 2014 at 8:55pm Reply

  • eats: kale & quinoa minestrone soup. | girl meets life.: […] make the soup I followed this recipe to a T. It took just about an hour from start to […] October 6, 2014 at 9:57am Reply

  • Brittany: I really dislike kale but when I found this recipe I was excited to try it. This recipe tasted sooo good…after I picked out the kale! :-) October 7, 2014 at 11:01am Reply

  • tara: Made this tonight for my husband who loves minestrone, and now *I* love minestrone! It’s incredibly filling. We had it with fresh baked crusty bread. Mmm… Definitely going to be a regular this fall/ winter! Thank you :) October 7, 2014 at 9:39pm Reply

  • kelli: I made this for dinner tonight and I LOVE it! I plan to make this on Sundays this winter and take the leftovers in a thermos for lunches all week. Comfort and health! Great recipe! October 23, 2014 at 4:45pm Reply

  • Soup-er Sunday: Kale & Quinoa Minestrone | Breath of Sunshine: […] Kale and Quinoa Minestrone […] November 9, 2014 at 2:51pm Reply

  • Erica: im making this right now! Can’t wait to try it! Smells great and is super healthy! November 16, 2014 at 11:49am Reply

  • Suzie: Thank you so much for this recipe ! I made it
    Yesterday and it’s perfect! I know this will be
    A soup I make often ,not just cause it’s delicious
    But because it’s so healthy too ! November 18, 2014 at 1:02pm Reply

  • Lacey: Made this over the weekend… I LOVE it. Best Minestrone recipe I have found. Great job. December 23, 2014 at 7:08am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Lacey! December 24, 2014 at 5:00pm Reply

  • Kale and Quinoa Minestrone: […] Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Classy and originally Mind Body Green Nutrition Information Serving size: 2 cups […] January 1, 2015 at 8:25pm Reply

  • Amy: Made this tonight and wow, even my kids gobbled it up. I made lots – does it freeze well ?
    Thanks for sharing :) January 12, 2015 at 4:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It might but I can’t say since I haven’t tried, one thing is that the quinoa will get kind of mushy over time though. January 13, 2015 at 10:02pm Reply

  • stacey wachter: Did you use all fresh veggies? Would canned or frozen work? January 25, 2015 at 6:55am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Frozen should work fine but I wouldn’t recommend canned. January 29, 2015 at 9:13pm Reply

  • Laura: This soup is healthy, easy, tasty, hearty, and vegan! Who could ask for more! With all things, I added chopped avocado and coconut bacon to the top, because that’s how I roll. January 28, 2015 at 4:15pm Reply

  • Allison: Jaclyn, do you think lentils would work instead of quinoa? Great recipe! February 8, 2015 at 1:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I imagine it would, let me know if you try! February 17, 2015 at 11:14pm Reply

      • Allison: Yep lentils work great :) And I’m making this for the 3rd time in 3 weeks… might be in love with the stew! March 16, 2015 at 9:00am Reply

  • Kate: I made this the other day and it was fantastic! I did substitute spinach for the kale and asparagus for the green beans and still seriously delicious, filling and comforting. It may be spring in some places but here in maine it is still chilly and this was perfect after an evening snowshoe. will definitely add it to the favorite collection and pass it on to others! thanks so much March 13, 2015 at 4:56pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re very welcome Kate! I’m glad you liked it, thanks for your review and tips! March 15, 2015 at 1:17pm Reply

  • Shannon: I’ve made this twice and LOVE IT. The only addition I’ve made is Sriracha because frankly, I add it to everything :) . Bravo on this recipe! It makes me excited to eat vegan AND healthy! March 15, 2015 at 2:34pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for leaving a comment Shannon! Glad you liked it! March 15, 2015 at 2:42pm Reply

  • Denise Mathieu: Looks absolutely delicious, will definitely make, I love soups either for lunch or dinner. Thank you for recipe. March 16, 2015 at 3:24pm Reply

  • Anonymous: Made this and was good, used white kidney beans instead of cannellini and no chick peas to keep cal count down. Plus no sugar! Why would you even put that in, sugar is just empty calories for a recipe like this. June 1, 2015 at 3:28pm Reply

  • Rafaela: Whe

    When you said dried Quinoa do you mean cooked Quinoa? June 13, 2015 at 10:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: No, not cooked just the dry stuff because it will cook in the soup. June 14, 2015 at 12:02pm Reply

  • Charu: This soup is so full of aroma, colours, loaded with nutritious ingredients. I have made this 2nd time today, thanks so much for the recipe August 27, 2015 at 5:14pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re very welcome! Glad you liked it! August 27, 2015 at 7:18pm Reply

  • Mary: Hi Jaclyn, I was wondering if you can make this soup without the quinoa and if you still think it tastes as good? Thanks! September 16, 2015 at 1:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t tried it without but I think it would still be good. If it’s the quinoa you don’t like you could substitute a different kind of grain. September 16, 2015 at 9:04pm Reply

  • Tina: This sounds so good, but I’m wondering if it would be possible to make it in a crockpot. It may not work, because of the different times you need to add various ingredients, but I thought I’d check and see what you thought. October 14, 2015 at 10:58am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think it would be fine in a slow cooker. I may wait until the last 30 minutes to add the quinoa and kale if you want it to have more body to it. October 19, 2015 at 11:06pm Reply

  • Sue: Made this for dinner tonight, and loved it! The lemon juice really brightened up the flavors. I did compromise with my kids and added 1 1/2 cup small seashell pasta instead of the quinoa. Worth the substitution in my opinion, they got lots of great veggies in this soup! October 20, 2015 at 10:11pm Reply

  • Laurel: Excellent! We made this soup for Thanksgiving weekend recovery and this was a hit with husband, teen and preteen (I did puree hers to lessen the chunks.) I used chicken bone broth but everything else was pretty much as written. So good! Those who wanted it spicy added some hot sauce. A side of fresh bread made it a perfect one-pot meal. Thank you! November 29, 2015 at 4:14pm Reply

  • Deb Phelps: This soup is DELICIOUS. My family has no problem with their veggies and love quinoa, and I’m always looking for new recipes. This is a keeper, so good!! I actually didn’t use the lemon juice as in the past they haven’t cared for it – but it was fantastic without it. Thanks for the recipe!! January 9, 2016 at 11:56pm Reply

  • cis: Why on earth add SUGAR?

    This is just a common Italian-type minestrone with a bit of quinoa in it. Glad you discovered it though… January 24, 2016 at 7:01am Reply

    • Em: Adding a tiny bit of sugar to some recipes with tomatoes (tomato sauce, pasta sauce, etc.) helps to cut the acidity. I imagine that is the purpose of the sugar in this recipe. October 8, 2016 at 7:09pm Reply

  • BG: I have vegetarian guests coming for dinner and this recipe looks great. Only they can’t have onions or garlic. Would this soup taste great without it? Thank you for a response. March 31, 2016 at 3:24pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: In my opinion it would be pretty bland, if they can have it I’d recommend onion and garlic powder. My brother and his wife don’t like either of those either so sometimes when they’re coming to eat and if I’m feeling nice :) I’ll use the powders instead since they are more mild. April 1, 2016 at 10:12am Reply

  • Gillian: Hi Jaclyn,
    This recipe looks great, perfect for after Easter overindulgences. I’ve linked to your recipe in my Weekly Meal Planner for next week – you an see it at http://gillianskitchen.com/weekly-meal-plan-week-14/
    Have a good Sunday.
    Gillian April 3, 2016 at 1:29am Reply

  • Kim: My 7 year old son and I made this for dinner tonight, and it was delicious! We served it with some organic whole grain bread, and it was a complete meal. We even have enough left over for another dinner and a few lunches! Thank you! April 4, 2016 at 8:39pm Reply

  • Chandler: Thank you so much for this recipe! I make a batch and freeze it in pint size mason jars for my lunches at work. June 13, 2016 at 4:48pm Reply

  • kalyani: hi Jaclyn:

    I made this Soup with some variations at my end and we loved it a lot :)

    Thanks for a keeper .. .here’s the linkback from my blog quoting the source to ur blog – http://www.sizzlingtastebuds.com/2016/06/quinoa-minestrone-soup-weekday-dinners.html

    Am your happy follower .. do visit me sometime :)
    Kalyani June 19, 2016 at 3:16am Reply

  • Angelica: What would the serving size be once the soup is already made? I’m measuring all of my meals out and soups are on the more difficult side since I can’t weigh out a whole pot of soup on my tiny scale. I looked up that most soup serving sizes are between 8-12 ounces but I wasn’t sure about this specific recipe. June 20, 2016 at 10:29am Reply

  • Danielle: I have a bowl in the fridge of already cooked quinoa I need to get rid of. Since it’s already cooked should I just throw it in at the very end? September 10, 2016 at 3:13pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes, that’s what I would do, then you’ll also want to reduce the water by 1 1/2 cups. I hope you love the soup! September 10, 2016 at 4:38pm Reply

  • Linda Slavin: I just made this soup. I changed a couple of the veggies that were from my garden what an awesome soup. Thanks I will make this soup all winter. September 28, 2016 at 6:01pm Reply

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