This classic Minestrone Soup is an easy Italian recipe loaded with vegetables, beans, and pasta. It’s a quick hearty weeknight dinner, perfect for those busy nights!
We love a good soup recipe around here and Minestrone is a winter favorite the whole family loves. This Italian classic is perfect for throwing together a quick healthy dinner using what you have on hand.
Endlessly customizable and a great way to use leftover vegetables we will add zucchini and red peppers instead of green beans or swap the pasta for potatoes. Sometimes you just need to make a quick hearty meal with what you have on hand and Minestrone Soup is great for those nights.
The secret ingredient to making a flavorful Minestrone Soup quickly is using a wedge of parmesan rind to create a rich tomato broth. I always keep a bag of leftover Parmesan rinds in the freezer to add to soups and stews!
- Mirepoix: As with many soups this classic mix of fresh carrots, celery and onion is the flavor base for a good Italian minestrone. Simply sauté in butter or olive oil until softened and fragrant to create a delicious depth of flavor in this easy Minestrone Soup
- Garlic : Garlic adds so much flavor to the soup.
- Spices: Your favorite Italian seasoning blend and bay leaves are all you need!
- Stock: Any low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth will both work great for this easy minestrone recipe.
- Diced tomatoes : regular or fire roasted canned diced tomatoes. I love the flavor of fire roasted but will typically use whatever we have on hand.
- Canned beans: I use white beans also known as cannellini beans**,** or great northern beans in this recipe, but red kidney beans, navy beans, or even black beans also work great. Just make sure to drain and rinse your canned beans well.
- Pasta: We like to use elbow macaroni for minestrone but you can use any small pasta such as small shells or ditalini pasta.
- Green beans : You can use frozen, fresh, or canned just make sure you rinse canned ones really well before adding them to the soup.
- Parmesan rind: If you have a piece of leftover parmesan rind it is a great way to really enhances the flavor of this classic Italian soup. Leave out for a vegan Minestrone soup.
Supplies for making a Classic Minestrone Soup
A dutch oven: or large soup pot for cooking the soup in.
Cutting board: to prep your vegetables on.
Knife: if you are using fresh vegetables they will need to be chopped.
Peeler: for prepping carrots.
Wooden spoon: for sautéing the vegetables
Souper cubes: for freezing leftovers
Soup thermos: for bringing leftovers for lunch. Bringing leftovers for lunch is one of my kid’s favorite things and this is the best soup thermos for keeping leftovers warm without any spills!
How to Make Easy Minestrone Soup
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, salt, and black pepper. Cook the vegetables stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are fragrant and begin to soften.
Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, tomatoes, rinsed and drained canned beans, green beans, broth, bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in the pasta and cook, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through.
Adjust seasoning to taste.
Top with a generous amount of fresh black pepper or red pepper flakes, parmesan, and fresh herbs like thyme.
Storing leftover soup
Allow any leftover soup to come down to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container. Minestrone soup is good in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Separate into individual portions for an easy lunch!
Making Minestrone Soup ahead
To make a classic minestrone soup ahead I recommend keeping the pasta separate. Make the soup following the instructions up until it is time to add the pasta.
When you are ready to serve the soup warm on the stove in a large pot over medium heat.
Bring soup to a simmer. Stir in the pasta and cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked to al dente.
Can you freeze classic minestrone soup?
I never recommend freezing soup with the noodles in it as they tend to become mushy. when I prep minestrone ahead I always store the broth in a freezer-safe containers and wait to add the noodles until we reheat the soup.
Fun Recipe Variations:
- Add more veggies such as zucchini, summer squash, or red bell peppers.
- Swap the pasta for diced russet or yukon gold potatoes.
- Add chopped fresh spinach or kale just before serving.
- Add leftover Italian sausage, ground beef, or pancetta.
- For an even richer tomato flavor add tomato paste
Pasta Fagiolo Vs Minestrone:
Pasta fagioli and Minestrone are both delicious Italian soups with a similar flavor profile. Both are famous for being very flexible humble dishes designed to use of whatever vegetables you happen have on hand. The main difference is that while both soups have beans the beans in the pasta fagioli are usually mashed or blended into the broth which makes for a thicker soup with a more velvety texture compared to a minestrone which is a more traditional broth based soup.
What to Serve with classic Minestrone Soup:
Simple: Keep it simple and serve this classic Italian vegetarian soup with thick slices of good crusty bread.
Kid Friendly: My kids love a bowl of delicious soup with grilled cheese cut into strips to dunk into their soup!
Healthy: Pair your healthy minestrone soup with a simple salad.
Our Favorite: My personal favorite is to cut Skillet Focaccia Bread into strips perfect for dunking into that rick tomato broth !