Italian Minestrone Soup

Indulge in a warm and comforting bowl of traditional Italian flavours with this delicious minestrone soup recipe! With a tasty blend of fresh vegetables, herbs and pasta, this classic soup is the perfect way to warm up on a chilly day. Enjoy a hearty minestrone soup recipe for lunch or supper, perhaps paired with some crusty bread for a well-rounded meal.

A bowl of homemade minestrone soup with some crusty bread slices. Parmesan cheese is being sprinkled on top. There is the pot of soup in the background.

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An authentic Italian minestrone soup recipe is always worth knowing. The nutrient-packed combination of beans, pasta and seasonal vegetables means every spoonful is a great flavour experience.

A bowl of homemade minestrone soup with some crusty bread slices and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Why You’ll Love this Italian Vegetable Soup

  • Straightforward:  Nonna’s minestrone soup recipe is really simple. As is the case with many favorite soups, a large part of making this is just adding ingredients to a pot and stirring it now and then.
  • Healthy:  Fresh vegetables are the backbone of classic minestrone soup. But as well as the nutrients from them, the best minestrone soup offers vitamins and minerals from the beans and broth.
  • Tweak-able:  Since it was traditionally made to use up leftover vegetables, minestrone can be endlessly varied by switching up everything from the broth to the vegetables and beans used, to the pasta type and garnishes.
Overhead view of a bowl of homemade Italian minestrone soup with some crusty bread slices and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Minestrone Soup Ingredients

This traditional minestrone soup recipe boasts plenty of vegetables, such as onion, carrot, celery, tomatoes and tomato paste, potatoes, and spinach.

Ingredients on a marble counter to make a classic Italian minestrone soup.

In addition, you’ll need ditalini pasta, cannellini beans and kidney beans. The other ingredients are parmesan cheese, garlic and onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, bay leaves, parsley, and butter. You can use vegetable broth, bone broth or even chicken broth.

Overhead view of a pot of homemade Italian minestrone soup with some crusty bread slices and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

How to Make Minestrone Soup

Sauté the vegetables:  Cook them in oil until golden.
Season the minestrone:  Add the spices and seasonings and cook briefly.
Add more ingredients:  Mix in the broth, tomato juice and bay leaves, followed by the beans and potatoes.
And some more ingredients:  The pasta (cooked al dente), spinach and parsley go in next.
The finishing touches:  Add butter and grated parmesan cheese, then serve hot.

Overhead view of a bowl of homemade Italian minestrone soup with some crusty bread slices and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Substitutions and Variations

As mentioned above, this Italian soup recipe is wide open to experimentation. Use any fresh seasonal vegetables you like, such as yellow squash, butternut squash, fresh green beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli or other fresh vegetables lurking in your crisper drawer that needs using up. Making minestrone soup is great for cleaning out leftover vegetables.

A spoon scooping minestrone soup out of a bowl.

Swap the ditalini pasta for elbow macaroni or any small pasta shape. Perhaps you want to use gluten-free pasta in this hearty soup.

A ladle scooping Italian minestrone soup out of a pot.

Feel free to use green beans, white beans, cannellini beans, or any other kind you have. If you do have a lot of beans, save some for this ribollita soup which is another bean-based option.

Closeup of a bowl of homemade Italian minestrone soup with some crusty bread slices and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Parmesan Cheese Rind

Parmesan rind is optional in this recipe but many think it is the secret ingredient to the best soup! The parmesan rind will dissolve into the broth and also slightly thicken the broth. This will impart an amazing rich flavour to the soup. Remove whatever is left of the rind just before serving.

A bowl of minestrone soup with some crusty bread slices and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

The next time you finish up a wedge of cheese, place the leftover rind into your freezer in plastic wrap or in an airtight container. It will keep indefinitely. Just remember to add it the next time you are making soup or stew. Even if you put the rind in while it cooks, you can still top with freshly grated parmesan, too.

Overhead view of a bowl of homemade Italian minestrone soup. The pot of soup is beside the bowl.

What to Serve with this Minestrone Recipe

As a one pot meal, you don’t have to serve anything with with this classic Italian minestrone soup. However, personally I love some crusty bread to soak up every last delicious bit. You could also serve this cozy soup in small bowls as an appetizer, followed up by an Italian main course, such as meatball marinara subs (omit the crusty bread with the soup if so) or beef braciole.

A spoon scooping out homemade minestrone out of a bowl. The pot of soup is in the background.

Storage Instructions

  • Store:  Refrigerate minestrone leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Leftovers taste even better the next day!
  • Freeze:  Freeze in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat:  Warm it back up gently in a pan on the stove or microwave it until hot.
A close up of a spoon of minestrone soup over a full bowl.
Overhead view of a pot of Italian minestrone soup.

Minestrone Soup FAQs

Can you add meat to homemade minestrone?

Yes, of course, anything from Italian sausage, ham or chicken to beef, pork or bacon would work. Cook the meat before adding it. You can also use beef broth or another meaty option rather than chicken or vegetable. Don’t be scared to experiment – pretty much anything goes!

What does the word “minestrone” actually mean?

Pronounced as min-ah-STROH-nee, the word minestrone is derived from the Italian word “minestra” which simply means soup.

Can you make this minestrone recipe gluten free?

Yes! Just use gluten free pasta in it.

A bowl of homemade Italian minestrone soup with some crusty bread slices and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Italian Minestrone Soup Recipe

A bowl of homemade minestrone soup with some crusty bread slices. Parmesan cheese is being sprinkled on top. There is the pot of soup in the background.

Italian Minestrone Soup

5 from 46 votes
Course: Main Course, Meals
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 263kcal
Author: Bella Bucchiotti
Indulge in a warm and comforting bowl of traditional Italian flavours with this delicious minestrone soup recipe! Enjoy a hearty minestrone soup recipe for lunch or supper, perhaps paired with some crusty bread for a well-rounded meal.
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup onion diced
  • ¾ cup carrots shredded or chopped
  • ½ Cup celery chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Can stewed tomatoes 15 Ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1 Rind parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 Teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¾ Teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 Cups vegetable broth or chicken broth or beef broth
  • 1 Can dark red kidney beans 15 Ounce can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Can cannellini beans 15 Ounce can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Cup potatoes diced
  • ¾ Cup pasta dry ditalini
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves dried
  • 3 Cups baby spinach roughly chopped
  • ¼ Cup parsley chopped
  • ¼ Cup parmesan cheese freshly shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

For Serving (Optional):

  • parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • parsley fresh
  • red pepper flakes
  • black pepper

Instructions

  • In a large soup pot, saute the onions, celery, and carrots with the olive oil until they begin to gain some color.
  • Add the tomatoes to the pot one at a time, crushing each one by hand as you drop them in, reserve the tomato juices. Add the tomato paste, parmesan rind, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Saute together for just a couple minutes.
  • Add the juices from the tomatoes, broth, and bay leaves, bring to a light boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Carefully, give the soup a taste, add additional salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes as preferred.
  • Add both of the beans, and the potatoes, let simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • Add the pasta and cook until the potatoes are soft and pasta is al-dente.
  • Add the spinach and parsley, stir.
  • Add the butter and parmesan, stir. Once the butter and parmesan have melted the soup is ready to serve. Garnish with options grated parmesan, black pepper, red pepper flakes or fresh parsley.

Nutrition

Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 1839mg | Potassium: 843mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 5237IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 188mg | Iron: 5mg
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The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Way better than the Olive Garden or store-bought varieties, this homemade Italian minestrone soup is fast and healthy, bursting with nutritious vegetables and fresh flavours. Italian minestrone soup is a great choice for this time of year. The whole family will love this soup.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.

Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.

Welcome to xoxoBella! I am Bella Bucchiotti and I am a recipe developer, content creator and writer. Here you will find delicious recipes, travel inspiration, crafts, pet tips and more.

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Recipe Rating




  1. Kyle wrote:

    5 stars
    This is delicious! Was even tastier for lunch the next day.

    Posted 2.3.23 Reply
  2. Glenda wrote:

    5 stars
    Delicious minestrone! I used gluten free pasta and it turned out scrumptious! That Parmesan rind trick is SO smart. The broth was sup favorful.

    Posted 2.5.23 Reply
  3. Amanda Dixon wrote:

    5 stars
    I’ve been on a soup kick, and this was everything I wanted. It was so cozy and hearty and perfectly seasoned. I’ll definitely make this again for the winter.

    Posted 2.5.23 Reply
  4. Shilpa wrote:

    5 stars
    This soup is so hearty and comforting. I’m so glad I have leftovers as I can’t get enough of it. My entire family loved it.

    Posted 2.5.23 Reply
  5. Hilda wrote:

    5 stars
    Your photos are gorgeous, I can almost taste it! I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you!

    Posted 2.5.23 Reply
  6. Healing Tomato wrote:

    5 stars
    I am in love with this minestrone soup! It was really easy to make and I already had the ingredients on hand. It’s easy and delicious winter soup that I just can’t get enough of. Thanks for great recipe.

    Posted 2.5.23 Reply
  7. Sharon K. wrote:

    5 stars
    This is about a million times better than the canned kind. Make it! You won’t regret it.

    Posted 10.24.23 Reply
  8. Rachel C wrote:

    5 stars
    Tested out this recipe tonight and it was a hit with the family. Definitely making it again!

    Posted 2.8.24 Reply