See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This Minestrone Soup is hearty, healthy and full of flavor. With vegetables, pasta and beans in a rich broth, this comforting soup is one of our all-time favorites!
I’ve been sharing a lot of soup recipes this season, and this minestrone soup might just be my favorite of the bunch. This recipe is my take on a classic minestrone, and I think you’ll agree that it’s better than any restaurant version out there. It’s richly flavored and packed with good-for-you ingredients. It’s hearty and filling, but won’t weigh you down. This minestrone is one of our favorite cold weather dinners, and the leftovers are even better for lunches the next few days.
I based this recipe off of my Instant Pot Minestrone Soup, which always gets rave reviews. This stove top version is just as easy, with the same satisfying flavor. While there is a bit of chopping required to make this minestrone, it’s overall a quick and easy recipe to prepare. I always find chopping vegetables for soup to be relaxing, anyways. As the soup simmers on the stove, you’ll be free to prepare a salad or slice up a loaf of crusty bread to serve on the side.
Minestrone Soup Ingredients
The basic ingredients needed to make minestrone are vegetables, seasonings, tomatoes, vegetable broth, beans and pasta. Here are some notes on what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Olive Oil: I use a generous amount of olive oil to sauté the veggies and add richness to the soup.
- Onion, Carrots & Celery: These three vegetables create the first layer of flavor in many soup recipes, including this homemade minestrone.
- Potatoes: Yukon gold potatoes work best here because they hold their shape without falling apart, and their rich, buttery flavor is delicious in this soup. You don’t need to peel them, since their skins are tender and thin.
- Garlic: Plenty of fresh garlic brings delicious flavor to this Italian soup.
- Seasonings: This soup is seasoned with dried oregano, dried basil, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper.
- Tomato Paste: Adding tomato paste gives you the rich, thick broth that is typical of a classic minestrone soup.
- Vegetable Broth: I recommend using low sodium broth so that you can better control the amount of salt in your meal. If you don’t need the soup to be vegetarian, chicken broth can be substituted.
- Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes: For more rich tomato flavor. Using canned fire roasted diced tomatoes makes the soup extra flavorful.
- Zucchini: I love zucchini in this minestrone soup, but other vegetables also work well. See my suggestions in the recipe variations section below.
- Pasta: Any short pasta shape will work, such as ditalini, small shells, elbow pasta or orecchiette. Both white and whole wheat pasta work well here.
- Beans: Use kidney beans, cannellini beans, or other small white beans.
How to Make Minestrone Soup
Some chopping, a bit of stirring, and then let it simmer on the stove… these are the easy steps to making minestrone soup! Find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
- In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, sauté the onion, carrot and celery in olive oil.
- Add the potatoes, seasonings and tomato paste. Cook, while stirring, for 2 minutes to cook off some of the raw tomato flavor. This step is key for developing a soup with deep, rich flavor, so don’t skip it!
- Stir in the broth, diced tomatoes and zucchini. Then bring the soup to a boil.
- Cover the pot and cook at a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the pasta and beans. Then cover the pot again and simmer until the pasta is cooked to al dente and the vegetables are tender. Stir the soup every few minutes to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Taste the soup and season it with additional salt and pepper if needed. Then serve and enjoy!
I like to serve this soup with some grated Parmesan cheese on top. You can also stir in a squeeze of lemon juice or a pinch of red pepper flakes to make the flavors pop. Round out the meal with an Italian Salad and Garlic Knots or Garlic Bread. Everyone at the table is sure to go back for seconds!
Minestrone Soup Recipe Variations
This recipe is easily adaptable to use what you have on hand in your fridge and pantry! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- This is a great clean out your fridge/freezer recipe, and you can toss in whatever veggies you need to use up. Try green beans (fresh or frozen), spinach, cabbage, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, yellow squash or peas. If using spinach, stir it into the soup after the soup simmers. Frozen peas can be stirred in along with the pasta and beans.
- Try adding barley or farro instead of pasta. I recommend cooking barley or farro in a separate pot and then stirring the cooked grains into the finished soup.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, omit the pasta or substitute it with brown rice. Since brown rice takes longer to cook than pasta, add it to the soup along with the broth, tomatoes and zucchini.
- This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free, as long as you don’t serve it with Parmesan cheese.
Storage & Reheating Tips
The flavors of this soup are even better on the second day, after they’ve had time to meld. The pasta will soak up a bit more broth over time, which creates a deliciously thick and hearty soup. I love it this way, but feel free to stir in a little more broth when reheating leftovers if you prefer a more brothy soup.
- Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: Let cool completely and then freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. The texture of the pasta and vegetables will be softer after freezing and reheating.
- To Reheat: Reheat in a pot on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Or reheat in the microwave.
More Favorite Soup Recipes
- Vegetable Soup
- Cabbage Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Lentil Soup
- Tomato Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Split Pea Soup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds or half rounds
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, chopped into ½-inch pieces, approximately ½ pound of potatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 28 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- ¾ cup dry short pasta shapes, such as ditalini, small shells or elbow pasta
- 15 ounces cannellini beans, kidney beans or small white beans, rinsed and drained
- grated Parmesan cheese, optional, for serving
- In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring often, for about 8 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Add the broth, fire roasted diced tomatoes and zucchini. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the pasta and beans. Simmer, covered, stirring every few minutes (to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot), until the pasta is cooked to al dente and the vegetables are tender, about 8-12 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- This recipe is easily adaptable to use other vegetables. Try green beans (fresh or frozen), spinach, cabbage, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, yellow squash or peas. If using spinach, stir it in at the end, once the soup is done cooking. Frozen peas can be stirred in along with the pasta and beans.
- You can add brown rice, barley or farro instead of pasta. Since brown rice takes longer to cook than pasta, add it to the soup along with the broth, tomatoes and zucchini. Cook barley or farro in a separate pot and then stir into the cooked soup.