Minestrone Soup (Slow Cooker or Stovetop)

01.14.2019

Minestrone Soup – this healthy hearty soup is brimming with fresh vegetables, protein rich beans and tender pasta and it has such a delicious flavor! I’ve included the how-to for slow cooker and stove-top, so go with whichever is more convenient for you.

Minestrone Soup

What is Minestrone Soup?

Chances are you already know what minestrone is, if not now is the time to try it! It’s an Italian soup made with veggies, pasta or rice and beans and seasoned with herbs.

I’ve been using this Minestrone soup recipe for 6 years now. Chances are it will become your favorite too!

Don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients in this recipe. Much of it is dried herbs that you likely have on hand and basic pantry items like canned beans and tomatoes. The easy prep makes up for the lengthy list of ingredients.

Plus much of it is vegetables so you’ve got to feel great about making this one (not to mention how low in fat it is).

This is one of those throw it in the slow cooker and go recipes, which I love. Who doesn’t love a recipe like that? The stovetop version is really easy too!

Want to see how easy it is? Watch the Minestrone video!

 

Minestrone after cooking

What Ingredients do I Need for Minestrone Soup?

  • Low-sodium vegetable stock
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Fresh vegetables – celery, carrots, yellow onion, zucchini, spinach, garlic, parsley
  • Dried herbs – basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme (or use 1 1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Frozen green beans (regular or Italian)
  • Shell pasta
  • Canned beans – kidney beans, navy beans (or cannelini)
  • Parmesan, for serving

Minestrone Ingredients shown here including carrots, onion, celery, zucchini, beans, garlic, parsley, basil, oregano, parmesan, vegetable broth, spinach, pasta shells, canned tomatoes, and kidney beans.

Can I Use Other Vegetables?

The great thing about this recipe is that you can use other vegetables you may already have on hand. Asparagus, kale, peas, yellow squash, or cauliflower are all good choices.

How do You Make Minestrone Soup?

Slow Cooker Method:

  • Add vegetable stock, water, tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion and herbs, S&P to a 6 or 7-quart slow cooker

Showing how to make minestrone soup. Adding vegetables to crockpot along with broth.

  • Cook on low heat 7 – 8 hours or high 3 1/2 – 4 hours.
  • Stir in zucchini, pasta, green beans, garlic, and cook on high heat and additional 30 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Adding zucchini, beans and pasta to slow cooker.

  • Stir in spinach, kidney beans and cannellini beans, and parsley and cook several minutes until heated through.

Adding beans, spinach and parsley to minestrone.

Stove Top Method:

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot. Saute carrots, celery and onions, then garlic.
  • Pour in broth, tomatoes, herbs, S&P.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Add zucchini, green beans and pasta, cover and simmer 10 – 15 minutes longer, or until pasta is tender.
  • Add kidney and cannelini beans and spinach and cook 2 minutes longer.

Minestrone soup in slow cooker

Can I Use Different Pasta?

Don’t have pasta shells? Use any short pasta shape you like. You can even omit it.

Is it Vegan?

Yes. This minestrone soup is vegan just serve with vegan parmesan or omit.

Can I Add Beef?

I really don’t think it needs it but you could add ground beef or Italian sausage.

Planning on Leftovers?

If you’re making this soup in advance and plan on storing it for later then DO NOT add the pasta. It will absorb excess broth and get mushy if it’s left in the soup for too long. Instead, make the soup as instructed but only add cooked pasta when serving.

Can I Freeze Minestrone Soup?

This soup freezes well without the pasta. You can freeze cooked pasta separately so it doesn’t get mushy (toss with a little olive oil so it’ doesn’t stick too much).

Minestrone Soup

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Minestrone Soup {Slow Cooker or Stovetop}

4.85 from 13 votes

This healthy, flavorful minestrone soup is packed full of hearty vegetables, beans and pasta and it couldn't be easier to make! 

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock, then more as desired
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced celery (3 stalks)
  • 1 cup diced carrots (2 carrots)
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion (1 small)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried basil*
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/3 cups zucchini sliced into half moons (1 small)
  • 1 1/3 cups frozen green beans (regular or Italian), thawed under warm water
  • 1 1/3 cups small or medium shell pasta
  • 2 cups packed chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can white navy beans or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Finely shredded parmesan or romano cheese, for serving

Instructions

  1. Slow Cooker Method: Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary to a 6 or 7-quart slow cooker. 

  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook on low heat 7 - 8 hours or high 3 1/2 - 4 hours.
  3. Stir in zucchini, pasta, green beans, and cook on high heat and additional 20 - 30 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  4. Stir in spinach, kidney beans and cannellini beans, and parsley and cook several minutes until heated through. 

  5. Stir in more vegetable broth to thin as desired. Serve warm topped with Romano cheese.

Recipe Notes

  • *If you don't have all of the dried herbs listed 1 1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning can be used instead.

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat
  2. Add carrots, celery and onions and saute 4 minutes adding in garlic during last minute of sauteing.
  3. Pour in broth, water and canned tomatoes. Add herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat slightly, allow to gently boil 10 minutes, then add zucchini, green beans and pasta, cover and gently boil 10 - 15 minutes longer, or until pasta is tender.
  5. Add kidney and cannelini beans and spinach and cook 2 minutes longer.
Nutrition Facts
Minestrone Soup {Slow Cooker or Stovetop}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 359 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Sodium 874mg 36%
Potassium 1312mg 37%
Total Carbohydrates 71g 24%
Dietary Fiber 18g 72%
Sugars 11g
Protein 18g 36%
Vitamin A 114.1%
Vitamin C 44.1%
Calcium 19.3%
Iron 39.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: minestrone soup
Calories: 359 kcal
Author: Jaclyn
Updates 12/29/18

  • Recipe originally listed 1/2 tsp sugar and 2 bay leaves added as well but I felt these aren’t necessary and omitted to cut down ingredients list.
  • Also listed was broth and water, it makes more sense to use more flavorful broth so omitted water and used only broth.
  • I found frozen Italian green beans so prefer those over canned (less salt, better flavor). Regular green beans will work great or even asparagus. If adding fresh green beans or asparagus chop and add with zucchini.

 

159 comments

  • BRENDA FROEHNER: Pictures show the garlic being added with the celery and other vegetables. However, the directions say to add garlic with pasta. I am making this tomorrow and think I will add garlic with vegetables March 6, 2019 at 9:33pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes sorry, garlic should be added at the beginning with vegetables. March 6, 2019 at 11:35pm Reply

  • Jeff: How long is this good for as leftovers ? February 4, 2019 at 7:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It makes delicious left overs. If you don’t like soggy pasta keep is cook separate and keep separate until ready to reheat. February 4, 2019 at 8:24pm Reply

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