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. However you do it, it’s going to be delicious and oh so easy.
Ingredients in minestrone soup
Traditional minestrone soup recipes are filled with tons of goodness and 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:
- green beans (or sub zucchini or corn!)
- fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- vegetable broth
- kidney beans
- Italian seasoning
- red pepper flakes (if you like a little heat)
- elbow noodles or shells, gluten free if you’d like
- Optional, but delicious: fresh parmesan and 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.
How do you make minestrone soup from scratch?
- First, sauté your onion, celery and carrots in a large pot for a few minutes until the onion is translucent.
- Add in the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, kidney beans and seasonings, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the green beans, spinach and noodles, and cook for another 8 or so minutes until the pasta is al dente.
How to add ground turkey or beef to your minestrone soup
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: saute 1 pound ground turkey or beef with the onions and carrots until meat is broken up and nice and browned, then continue the recipe as written. Feel free to omit whatever you don’t have on hand, such as potatoes or green beans.
What’s the difference between vegetable soup and minestrone soup?
Minestrone soup is essentially just a heartier version of a vegetable soup. Instead of only have 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.
What to eat with minestrone soup
Besides topping your delicious bowl with freshly grated parmesan, I love serving it with:
- The Best Garlic Bread You’ll Ever Eat
- Balsamic Herb Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables
- Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins
- Pat’s 4-Ingredient Paleo Crackers
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad with Apple, Gorgonzola & Candied Pecans
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 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.
See how to make Minestrone Soup
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!
The Best Minestrone Soup
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.
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.
If you'd like you can sub 1 cup diced zucchini or corn in place of the green beans.
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.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats