The Best Minestrone Soup Recipe | Ambitious Kitchen (2024)

Who else remembers the delicious endless bowls of soup and the buttery breadsticks from Olive Garden? So freakin’ good, right?

Today’s minestrone soup recipe is inspired by a little dose of nostalgia. When I was in high school my mom and I would frequent Olive Garden on a monthly basis just to find ourselves skipping the pasta and diving into their unbelievably delicious salad, warm breadsticks and of course, cozy bowls of minestrone soup.

I’ve made this vegetarian version of minestrone soup countless times over the past few months — each time switching up the recipe to make it unique. Sometimes I add ground turkey or beef and other times I skip the green beans and opt for spinach. However you do it, it’s going to be delicious and oh-so-easy.

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Everything you’ll need to make minestrone soup

Traditional minestrone soup recipes are filled with plenty of nutrition; you get a variety of yummy vegetables, protein, fiber, incredible seasonings and of course, pasta. What’s not to love? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Veggies: we’re packing this pot of minestrone soup with onion, celery, carrots, green beans (or sub zucchini or corn!), spinach and potatoes for extra bulk.
  • Broth: the veggies are simmered in a broth made with fire roasted crushed tomatoes and regular vegetable broth.
  • Protein: I love adding kidney beans for an extra boost of fiber and protein. Plus they have the BEST flavor in this soup.
  • Flavor: add a wonderful flavor boost with Italian seasoning and somered pepper flakes (if you like a little heat).
  • Noodles: what’s a minestrone soup without noodles? I like to use elbow noodles or shells, but feel free to use your favorite shape, gluten free if you’d like.
  • Optional: a delicious sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan and a side of toasted garlic bread.

All of these ingredients are simmered together in this super cozy minestrone soup that just happens to be vegetarian, vegan & gluten free friendly.

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How do you make minestrone soup from scratch?

  1. Cook down your veggies. First, sauté your onion, celery, carrots and potato in a large pot for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. You’ll add the green beans later on.
  2. Add the broth. Add in the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, kidney beans and seasonings, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the greens & pasta. Stir in the green beans, spinach and noodles, and cook for another 8-12 or so minutes until the pasta is al dente. Easy!

Looking to add a boost of protein?

This minestrone soup recipe is incredibly easy to make and great for customizing! I’ve actually made it with ground turkey and ground beef for a hearty soup that packs even more protein. To add more heartiness and protein with meat, simply cook down 1 pound of ground turkey or beef with the onions, carrots and potatoes until meat is broken up and nice and browned, then continue the recipe as written.

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How to make slow cooker minestrone soup

  1. Add all of your ingredients besides the spinach and noodles to your slow cooker.
  2. Cook this on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours until the carrots and potatoes are fork-tender.
  3. Once done cooking, add the noodles and spinach, cover again and cook on high for 15-20 minutes or until noodles are al dente.

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

Minestrone soup is essentially just a heartier version of vegetable soup. Instead of only having vegetables, herbs and broth, this easy minestrone soup recipe packs extra nutrients from the potatoes, pasta and kidney beans. It’s a delicious lunch or dinner that will keep you full and satisfied.

The Best Minestrone Soup Recipe | Ambitious Kitchen (4)

What to eat with minestrone soup

Besides topping your delicious bowl with freshly grated parmesan, I love serving it with:

  1. The Best Garlic Bread You’ll Ever Eat
  2. Balsamic Herb Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables
  3. Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins
  4. Pat’s 4-Ingredient Paleo Crackers

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How to store & freeze minestrone soup

Store this minestrone soup in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

  • To freeze: I’d recommend freezing this soup without the added noodles, as they can become mushy while reheating. Let the soup completely cool, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat: first let the soup thaw in the refrigerator. While it’s thawing you can make the 4oz of pasta on the stovetop. Heat the soup in the microwave or on the stovetop, and then add the cooked noodles.

More soup recipes you’ll love

  • Vegan Curried Pumpkin Lentil Soup
  • Courtney’s Curry Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Easy Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup (using canned tomatoes)
  • Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Soup (whole 30, dairy free)
  • Classic French Onion Soup

Get all of my soup recipes here!

I know you’re going to love this minestrone soup recipe. Please let me know if you make it by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below. I’d love to hear from you and it helps encourage others to make the recipe too! Enjoy xo!

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Prep Time 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes minutes

Total Time 50 minutes minutes

ServesServes 6 servings

Vegetarian minestrone soup packed with veggies like celery, carrots, green beans and spinach and simmered in a flavorful, Italian seasoned tomato broth. Use your favorite noodles in this minestrone soup recipe and pack in the protein with kidney beans! Delicious with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a side of garlic bread.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 medium (or 2 small) yukon gold potatoes, diced into ½ inch cubes (about 1 cup diced potatoes)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 4 ounces elbow noodles, small shells or fusilli, gluten free if desired
  • For serving:
  • Freshly grated parmesan
  • Garlic bread or crostinis


  • Add olive oil to a large pot or dutch oven and place over medium high heat. Add in diced onion, celery, sliced carrots and potatoes. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until onions soften.

  • Next add in crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, vegetable broth, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Cover and cook on medium low for 10-15 minutes.

  • Next stir in the green beans, spinach and pasta. Cook uncovered for 8-12 more minutes or until pasta is al dente and green beans are tender. Pour into a bowl and serve with parmesan cheese on top. I also like to serve mine with garlic bread, crostinis or crackers. Personally I think soup makes amazing leftovers and is even more delicious the next day.

Recipe Notes

To make vegan: simply leave the cheese off the top or use your favorite vegan parmesan.

To add more heartiness and protein with meat: saute 1 pound ground turkey or beef with the onions and carrots until meat is nice and browned. Continue the recipe as written.

Make it in your slow cooker:

  1. Add all of your ingredients besides the spinach and noodles to your slow cooker.
  2. Cook this on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours until the carrots and potatoes are fork-tender.
  3. In the last 10 minutes of cooking add the noodles and spinach and leave soup uncovered until noodles are al dente.

If you'd like you can sub 1 cup diced zucchini or corn in place of the green beans, or skip the greens beans all together.

To freeze: I'd recommend freezing this soup without the added noodles, as they can become mushy while reheating. Let the soup completely cool, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, and store it in the fridge for up to 2 months.

To reheat: first let the soup thaw in the refrigerator. While it's thawing you can make the 4oz of pasta on the stovetop. Heat the soup in the microwave or on the stovetop, and then add the cooked noodles.


Serving: 1serving (based on 6)Calories: 260calCarbohydrates: 50.6gProtein: 11gFat: 3.5gSaturated Fat: 0.4gFiber: 12.8gSugar: 12.5g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by:Eat Love Eats

The Best Minestrone Soup Recipe | Ambitious Kitchen (2024)


How to make minestrone soup Gordon Ramsay? ›

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onions, carrots, celery and some seasoning. ...
  2. Add the thyme, bay leaf and bacon. ...
  3. Tip in the borlotti beans and cherry tomatoes, then pour in the chicken stock or water to cover. ...
  4. Add the spaghetti and cook for 10 minutes.
Nov 6, 2023

What is Olive Garden minestrone soup made of? ›

Ingredients- 2 Tbs olive oil; 1 onion diced (1 cup); 1 celery diced; 1 carrot, peeled & diced; 1 zucchini, chopped; 2 tsp minced garlic; 14 oz can diced tomato; 32 oz vegetable stock; 1 bay leaf; 1 1/2 Tbs Italian seasoning; 2 Tbs tomato paste; 15 oz canned small white beans, rinsed drained; 15 oz canned kidney beans ...

What are all the ingredients in minestrone soup? ›

Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes. There is no set recipe for minestrone, since it is usually made out of whatever vegetables are in season. It can be vegetarian, contain meat, or contain a meat-based soup base (such as chicken stock).

What is the thickening agent for minestrone? ›

Use tomato paste for a hearty, thick minestrone

Tomato paste is commonly used as a thickening agent for soups, sauces, stews, and chilis. Think of it as a concentrated tomato sauce that imparts a savory flavor to dishes. You can prepare it at home or buy it in a tube and mix it with other food ingredients as needed.

Why is minestrone soup so good? ›

Made with lots of vegetables, greens and various beans, this dish can provide you with super nutrients that slow aging and help you stay fit. Minestrone has always been a symbol of traditional Italian cuisine and the Mediterranean diet. Made with vegetables, greens and beans, it is a super-healthy mixture.

What is the difference between minestrone and pasta fa*gioli? ›

Pasta fa*gioli and minestrone are both Italian soups with similar flavors that make use of whatever vegetables you have on hand. The main difference is the beans in the pasta fa*gioli that result in a thicker soup than minestrone, which is traditionally very brothy.

What's the difference between minestrone and vegetable soup? ›

Minestrone soup is unique because it typically includes beans, pasta, or rice, as well as vegetables, and the ingredients are always left chunky (it's never blended), making it a heartier option. Vegetable soups are usually simpler and don't typically include beans or pasta, and you could have a blended vegetable soup.

What's the difference between minestrone and zuppa? ›

In modern Italian, there are three words corresponding to the English word soup: zuppa, which is used in the sense of tomato soup, or fish soup; minestra, which is used in the sense of a more substantial soup such as a vegetable soup, and also for "dry" soups, namely pasta dishes; and minestrone, which means a very ...

How to thicken up minestrone soup? ›

You can thicken minestrone soup by adding 2-4 tablespoons of tomato paste. A larger amount of beans, cheese or other veggies can also help thicken the soup up.

Can you eat minestrone everyday? ›

A Longevity Expert Swears By Eating Minestrone Soup Every Day—Here's Why. Plus, tips to make your own. Jill Schildhouse is an award-winning writer and editor with 23 years of experience in print and digital publishing. Maria Laura is EatingWell's senior nutrition & news editor.

What is a fun fact about minestrone soup? ›

The word minestrone, meaning a thick vegetable soup, is attested in English from 1871. It is from Italian minestrone, the augmentative form of minestra, "soup", or more literally, "that which is served", from minestrare, "to serve" and cognate with administer as in "to administer a remedy".

Is minestrone soup supposed to be thick? ›

Minestrone Soup is the sort of soup that keeps life interesting – it's filled to the brim with a variety of vegetables, potato, beans and pasta, in a thick tomato broth that's full of savoury flavour.

How do you make Progresso minestrone soup taste better? ›

5 Ways to Make Canned Soup Taste Better
  1. ADD AROMATICS. Aromatics are the combination of vegetables and herbs heated in fat (like oil or coconut milk) at the beginning of the dish to add flavor. ...
  2. SPICE IT UP. ...
  4. ADD ACID. ...
Apr 27, 2020

What does minestrone mean in Italian? ›

yes, you can translate minestra as soup. It is a generic term and, as we know, there are many different types of soup. Minestrone is not an augmentative suffix but it refers to a specific recipe: a soup made with lots of different types of vegetables cut in bits, nice and healthy.

Does minestrone soup contain potatoes? ›

Hearty and filling vegetarian soup with potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, beans and pasta. Make sure you have the storage for the left-overs.

How do you make James Martin minestrone soup? ›

  1. In a large non-stick frying pan, cook the bacon lardons in the oil for 1-2 mins. ...
  2. Add spaghetti and the remaining vegetables, then the water cook for 5 mins.
  3. To make the pesto, put everything into a food processor and blitz.
  4. To finish the soup season, stir in the pesto and top with radish.


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