This classic Minestrone Soup recipe is packed with all the traditional ingredients you would expect from this Italian-inspired soup. It has a tomato-based broth, fresh vegetables, canned beans, pancetta, fresh herbs, pasta, and topped with a dollop of basil pesto and parmesan shavings! Everyone is going to love this cozy bowl of soup!
The Best Minestrone Soup Recipe
We have always loved Olive Garden’s minestrone soup and knew we needed to make a copycat version that we can cook at home. The recipe definitely knocked it out of the park! We have packed ALL the vegetables into this easy soup recipe, along with so much great flavor that keeps it light but still hearty and satisfying. It will definitely become the new family favorite!
Looking for more delicious soup recipes? Checkout our list of 31+ Soup Recipes!
What You Will Need
- butter – just a little bit in the dutch oven to help with sautéing. Option to sub for olive oil.
- pancetta – always a great choice, perfect for adding so much flavor to the soup.
- garlic & sweet yellow onion – classic aromatic additions to any homemade soup recipe.
- carrots, celery, russet potato, & green beans – so many fresh vegetables to bring flavor and color to this delicious soup!
- crushed tomatoes – a traditional ingredient for this Italian soup base, option to use diced tomatoes.
- chicken broth – just grab your favorite from the grocery store or use some homemade chicken broth.
- cannellini beans – a very common ingredient in minestrone soup, feel free to use any white beans. We also like great northern beans for this soup!
- white wine – great for some added flavor, but feel free to omit if you want.
- fresh thyme & bay leaf – love both of these for any soup recipe!
- lemon zest – a touch of acidity to help amplify all of the flavors.
- basil pesto – trust us that adding a dollop of pesto on top is always a good idea!
- parmesan rind – this is optional but amazing if you have one.
- fresh spinach – another great vegetable to add or swap it for some fresh kale.
- kosher salt – a simple seasoning that can’t be skipped.
- pasta – we used ditalini pasta, but feel free to use any of your favorite varieties.
What Is Minestrone Soup
It’s a hearty soup that’s originates in Italy. Typically it will have a tomato-based broth and is full of traditional soup vegetables (i.e. carrots, celery, etc.) and some leafy vegetables. Most are topped with some parmesan and/or served with some crusty bread.
How To Make Minestrone Soup
To start this classic minestrone soup recipe, grab your favorite dutch oven and bring it to a medium heat. Add the butter to melt, then the pancetta to render a bit, and the garlic and chopped onions to sauté.
Next, add the carrots, celery, and potatoes. Mix fully and continue cooking for about 4-5 minutes.
Now add the green beans, crushed tomatoes, beans, spinach (or kale), bay leaf, fresh thyme, parmesan rind (if using), lemon zest, and basil pesto.
Pour the white wine and chicken broth over everything and give it a good stir.
Cover the large pot, drop to a lower heat, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Serve this easy minestrone soup over some cooked pasta with some fresh parsley, extra basil and parmesan cheese on top!
Pro tip: keep the soup and the pasta separate until you are ready to place in a bowl to eat. This will keep the pasta from soaking up too much broth and becoming mushy.
How Should I Serve Minestrone Soup
We absolutely love enjoying this minestrone recipe with some buttered sourdough bread or grilled bread for dipping! They are perfect for soaking up all that brothy goodness. Of course, make sure you top the soup with the added pesto and a very generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese!
- pasta: we used a classic ditalini pasta, but you could use any small pasta like elbows, small shells, or farfalle. Just make sure you cook the pasta separately according to the box directions so that it doesn’t soak up all the broth of the soup.
- vegetables: our recipe card calls for some classic soup vegetables but they could easily be switched out for any fresh or frozen vegetable! Peas, fennel, or even a little corn would also make great additions.
- beans: we love keeping it simple with canned beans, but you could also cook up some dry beans for this soup!
- spicy: adding red pepper flakes are a great way to give your soup a touch of spice!
- leftovers: any leftover soup can be placed in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Highly recommend storing the soup and pasta separate!
- freezing: this would be a great soup to freeze! Simply place in freezer-safe containers (leave some room for expansion) and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Do NOT freeze with the pasta in it. It would turn to mush in the thawing and reheating process. Cook the pasta when you are ready to reheat the soup to serve.
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Minestrone Soup – a delicious and flavorful minestrone soup recipe that is packed with flavor and makes amazing leftovers!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4oz pancetta, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 1 1/2 cup celery, sliced
- 1 russet potato, diced
- 1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4–5 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth works)
- 15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2–3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoons basil pesto
- (optional) parmesan rind (if you have one)*
- 1–2 handfuls fresh spinach
- kosher salt to taste
- (optional) pasta: ditalini pasta, cooked al dente**
- serving: additional pesto, shaved parmesan cheese and side of crusty bread
- Bring a large Dutch oven to medium-high heat (I used a 5.5qt). Add butter and let melt, swirl to coat the pan. Add pancetta and move around pan until the fat renders, approx. 2-5 minutes. Add garlic and onion to pan, saute for 2-3 minutes or until garlic becomes fragrant and onion softens a bit. Season lightly with a little salt and pepper.
- Add carrots, celery and potatoes – move those around the pan and let cook 4-5 minutes.
- Add green beans, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, cannellini beans, white wine, thyme, bay leaf, lemon zest, basil pesto and parmesan rind. Stir to combine. Cover and let simmer 15-20 minutes. Uncover and add in spinach leaves, stir to combine as they wilt.
- Taste and add any salt (I added 1/4 teaspoon), pepper or other seasoning – as desired.
- Serve over some ditalini pasta (cooked al dente), extra basil pesto, shaved parmesan cheese and some grilled bread!
- *Parmesan Rind: don’t fret about this one if you don’t happen to have a parmesan rind laying around – if you have one – great! If not, recipe will still turn out, but you might need a to add a bit more salt.
- **Ditalini Pasta: you can also use elbows, small shells or even a farfalle if you want – I would just choose a smaller pasta. Also, we recommend cooking the pasta separate and serving the soup over the noodles. If you cook the pasta in the soup it will soak up a lot of the liquid.
- *** Salt: as written, I only added an additional 1/4 teaspoon salt, but if you omit the parmesan rind you will need to add a bit more and if you use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth you will also need to add a bit more – so just be sure and taste and adjust as you go!
- Gluten-Free: to make this gluten-free use a gluten-free pasta and serve with gluten-free bread.
- Dairy-Free: to make this dairy-free use a plant-based butter, a dairy-free pesto and omit the parmesan cheese.
- Storage: store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days – store pasta and soup separate so pasta doesn’t get mushy and soak up all the liquid.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 179
- Sugar: 3.8 g
- Sodium: 753.8 mg
- Fat: 7.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 21.8 g
- Protein: 6.9 g
- Cholesterol: 12.8 mg
Keywords: minestrone soup