Minestrone Soup

This minestrone soup recipe is a delicious version of the classic Italian vegetable soup. Serve it with crusty bread for an easy vegetarian meal!

Minestrone soup

Today, I have two goals: to bake a batch of Christmas cookies and to make a pot of minestrone soup. To me, the two go hand-in-hand. After I spend an afternoon baking (and eating!) something sweet, I want nothing more than a warming, nourishing pot of soup for dinner at night.

I love this minestrone soup recipe in particular because it’s so satisfying, but still light and fresh. Onions, carrots, and celery add depth of flavor to its herb-flecked tomato broth, and starchy beans and pasta make it nice and thick. I toss in green beans for texture, and, as a final finishing touch, I top it off with fresh parsley and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. It’s super easy and flavorful, and all you need is crusty bread to make it a meal. Cookies for dessert are optional, but highly recommended.

Minestrone soup recipe ingredients

Minestrone Soup Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this minestrone soup recipe:

  • Onion, carrot, and celery – These vegetables create the aromatic base of the soup, known as a soffritto in Italian. You’ll sauté them in olive oil before adding the other ingredients.
  • Garlic – It adds additional depth of flavor to the soup. You’ll stir it in after cooking the onions, carrots, and celery so that it doesn’t burn.
  • Diced tomatoes – For sweet, tangy flavor.
  • Green beans – They add vibrant color and crisp-tender texture to the soup.
  • White or kidney beans – Navy beans, cannellini beans, and red kidney beans all work great!
  • Vegetable broth – Use store-bought, or make your own.
  • Bay leaves, oregano, and thyme – My easy version of a homemade Italian seasoning! These dried herbs add so much complexity to this simple minestrone soup.
  • Small pasta – Think elbows, little shells, orecchiette, or ditalini. I like to cook it right in the soup so that it releases its starches into the broth.
  • Fresh parsley – For garnish! Fresh basil would be excellent here too.
  • Red pepper flakes – Optional, for heat.
  • And Parmesan cheese – This salty, umami garnish takes the soup over the top.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Onions, carrots, and celery in a Dutch oven with wooden spatula


If you don’t have these exact ingredients on hand, don’t worry. As Alice Waters writes in The Art of Simple Food, minestrone soup is endlessly customizable. Part of the beauty of this recipe is that you can change it up to use what’s in season or what you have on hand. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Substitute chopped fennel for the celery.
  • Replace the green beans with diced zucchini or yellow squash, or use a mix of all three.
  • In the summer, use diced fresh Roma tomatoes instead of canned ones.
  • Stir in fresh greens, like spinach or kale, near the end of the cooking time.
  • No pasta? Swap in a quick-cooking grain like pearled farro or barley.
  • Instead of using canned beans, cook your own! Then, use the aromatic cooking liquid in place of some or all of the vegetable broth in this soup.

Let me know what variations you try!

Vegetarian minestrone soup with crusty bread

Minestrone Soup Serving Suggestions

This recipe is best right after it’s made, as the pasta absorbs the broth as it sits in the leftover soup. If you want to make it ahead of time, I recommend cooking the pasta separately and stirring it into the soup as you’re ready to eat. Alternatively, you can skip the pasta and add an extra cup of beans to the soup. Prepared this way, the soup will keep well for up to four days in the fridge.

When you’re ready to eat, top each bowl with a sprinkle of parsley, red pepper flakes, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. If you’re vegan, feel free to skip the cheese, or garnish your bowl with a scoop of vegan pesto instead. (Non-vegans take note: regular pesto is also a great topping for minestrone soup!).

Serve the soup with good crusty bread and call it a day, or round out the meal with a side salad. This arugula salad, this beet salad, and this pear salad would all be fantastic with this minestrone soup. Enjoy!

Minestrone soup recipe

More Favorite Soup Recipes

If you love this minestrone soup, try one of these delicious soup recipes next:

Minestrone Soup

rate this recipe:
5 from 264 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
This vegetarian minestrone soup recipe is my take on the classic Italian vegetable soup. It's hearty, fresh, and flavorful - just add crusty bread to make it a meal!



  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, salt, and several grinds of black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add the garlic, tomatoes, beans, green beans, broth, bay leaves, oregano, and thyme. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the pasta and cook, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, until the pasta is cooked through.
  • Season to taste and serve with parsley, red pepper flakes, and parmesan, if desired.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Erin

    5 stars
    This soup is delicious!! I made a double batch and I’m so glad I did. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I can’t wait to have it again tomorrow.

  2. Stacey

    Great recipe and super easy to make. The only change I made was using italian seasoning blend instead of the oregano and thyme, and I added a little bit of parmesan rind during cooking.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  3. Allison

    I am excited to make this, but I want to add ground beef. What do you think? Can I add ground beef and substitute the veg broth for beef broth?

    Also how would you go about freezing this soup?

  4. mary kocian

    well my hubby loved it but I thought it was missing something. that particular
    spice that screams minestroni.

  5. Leslie

    5 stars
    I love this soup. I received so many compliments from family, friends and neighbors. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I will definitely make this again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Leslie, I’m so happy to hear that!

  6. A@4U

    5 stars
    Great Recipe! Wanted an easy soup for dinner tonight and this fit the bill. I had everything on hand plus a bit of red cabbage that I shredded and about 1/2 of red bell pepper that I chopped and added to the soup. Garnished with freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano and a splash of EVOO. Served with cheese toast. Will make again and again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Yum! I’m glad you enjoyed!

  7. Maureen Flaherty

    5 stars
    This was very tasty ! Try big to incorporate more meatless meals & this was a hit ! Thanks

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Maureen, I’m so glad you loved the soup!

  8. Rebecca Hart

    mmmmmmm. cozy season. made this at the end of a day when I was ‘a little bit all over the place’. Cooking usually grounds me anyway but the fact that it was easy and very delicious and warm = aces. I admit I used chicken broth and chopped the garlic instead of grating. Oh and I had fresh thyme around so used that. Anyway itsdelicious.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Rebecca, I’m so glad you loved it!

    • Lanie

      Same reason I made this soup as well, it was exactly what i needed.!

      • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

        So glad you loved it!

  9. Donna Riedemann

    5 stars
    I made this soup yesterday a cool rainy day in New Jersey. It was so delicious. I always add extra broth whenever I make soup. I just add little more spices. I also added about a tsp. of store bought pesto even though I used pasta. I noticed Ina Garten uses it in her minestrone soup. This was very easy recipe for beginners. I also made your pear salad to go with it. Another great dish.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Donna, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Chanel

    5 stars
    I loved this soup, it cooks up so fast & is filled with veggie goodness. I topped mine with cotija cheese so good

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  11. SH

    5 stars
    I just made this and it was really good! I forgot the green beans so I threw in asparagus and it was great 🙂
    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  12. Shaheen

    5 stars
    i am waiting for more new recipe.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi, we share new recipes every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Sign up for our email list to be the first to know when a new post goes up!

  13. Candice G.

    5 stars
    I have never made a soup that I was in love with until now. I am OBSESSED with this delicious soup. I’ve made it twice now and the combo of spices is just perfect. I took another’s suggestion and cooked it with a Parmesan rind and wow, great tip. I also sub out the green beans for zucchini. It’s just totally perfect as is but also easy to customize with what you have on hand. Thank you for sharing!! I’ll be making this again and again.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Candice, thank you for your comment! I’m so glad you love the soup. A Parm rind is such a great addition!

  14. DianneLovesToCook

    5 stars
    Totally delicious and so healthy. I’m on a special diet to try and help with tummy issues and these are all of the ingredients I CAN have (except garlic…which I must forgo, for now). Nom! Nom! Nom! Thank you for sharing this with us!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  15. Deborah

    5 stars
    Delicious! I followed the recipe , but used fire roasted diced tomatoes, and add pinch of sugar . I did not use the Parmesan cheese . I will make it again , and next time just use canned navy beans instead of pasta , just because perhaps it is a little healthier that way . Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  16. Grace

    Can I use beef broth instead of vegetable broth?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Grace, yes, you can.

  17. Barbara

    This looks so good and simple. I’ve always thought minestrone would be high calorie, but I can see with thr options you mention, it can be extremely low calorie and healthy. I’ve always wondered which spiced. Thank you for sharing this.

  18. Angel

    How many calories per serving? And how much would constitute one serving?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Angel, we don’t calculate nutrition info for our recipes, but you could use an online nutrition calculator like MyFitnessPal to get the nutrition facts for this one. We estimate that this soup would serve 4 to 6. The exact serving size is up to you.

    • Barbara

      Hi Angel
      It seems you could estimate calories by checking calories of ingredients. The raw vegetables are extremely low calorie, really the only ingredient that might pose a problem is the pasta. You could leave it out or opt for a healthier whole grain or chick pea pasta. I can’t wait to try it. I’m pretty confident that the bulk of calories will come from added optional cheese and the sourdough bread that I will serve. Good luck!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.