Classic Minestrone Soup Recipe | Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Healthy and flavorful, this classic minestrone soup is chock full of veggies and makes an easy and delicious weeknight dinner!

minestrone soup in two stacked white bowls with parmesan cheese

Classic minestrone soup can’t be beat. It’s hearty, wholesome, and perfect for a simple weeknight meal. 

If I’m being honest, it’s not a soup I necessarily crave, but every time I make it, I remember how delicious it is and vow to make minestrone happen more often. 

Chock full of veggies, beans and cute little pasta, it’s fantastic served with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a loaf of crusty bread. 

This tried-and-true minestrone soup recipe comes together fast (just another reason to join the minestrone fan club).

ladle of minestrone soup being poured into ceramic bowl

What is minestrone soup?

A quick google search will tell you that minestrone soup is a thick and hearty Italian vegetable soup with beans and pasta. 

There are a lot of versions of minestrone out there, including a few in my archives: Autumn Minestrone Soup and Winter Minestrone with Pesto and Garlic Bruschetta. Both are undeniably delicious, but it was high time to get a good ol’ classic minestrone soup posted. 

Quick. Easy. Staple pantry ingredients. All of the reasons I love minestrone.

This recipe is not fussy, not in the least. It starts with a quick saute of simple veggies and a smattering of dried herbs.

pan of green beans, carrots and onions; another pan of crushed tomatoes in pan with vegetables
ditalini pasta in pan of broth, tomatoes and vegetables

Family friendly soup

The rest of the ingredients are simple:

  • crushed tomatoes (you can use half diced tomatoes if your family isn’t opposed to chunky tomatoes in their minestrone like mine, sigh)
  • broth (veggie or chicken)
  • beans (I prefer white beans, like Great Northern or cannellini)
  • small pasta (shells, ditalini or elbow pasta)
ladle of minestrone soup

Change things up

The great thing about this classic minestrone soup is that it can be changed up depending on what you like and what you have on hand. 

Throw in more veggies (like zucchini, butternut squash, potatoes, etc) or swap them in and out as you please.

Green beans are one of the reasons minestrone calls to me, so I almost always keep them in the lineup. And it’s why I have frozen green beans hanging out in the freezer at all times. But really, the vegetables are very customizable.

Same goes for the beans and pasta. Try different types. Shapes. Colors. Brands. Go crazy.

There’s no right way to minestrone. If you ask ten people to make this recipe and bring it to a potluck (do those even exist anymore?), you could very well end up with ten soups that barely resemble each other.

That’s the beauty of minestrone. 

spoon in bowl of classic minestrone soup in two stacked white bowls

FAQs for Classic Minestrone Soup

Can this soup be doubled (or halved)?

Yes and yes. For a doubled batch, just make sure you are using a large enough pot. For a half batch, use a 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes and either refrigerate the unused half can of beans or add them all for a thicker, bean-ier soup.

Does this soup freeze well?

It freezes *ok* – the pasta tends to get a bit softer/mushier upon thawing and reheating and the soup is much thicker since the liquid absorbs after cooling (both in the fridge and the freezer). Adding additional broth and under cooking the pasta by a minute or so (if you know you are freezing all of it) can help with that.

Can I sub in different vegetables (or pasta or beans)?

For sure! Read through the post for ideas. In short, most of the ingredients in this soup are customizable.

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6-8 servings

Prep Time:
20 minutes

Cook Time:
25 minutes

Total Time:
45 minutes

minestrone soup in two stacked white bowls with parmesan cheese


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery, about 2-3 ribs celery
  • 3/4 to 1 cup chopped carrots, about 2-3 medium carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh chopped green beans
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I use low-sodium)
  • 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained (see note)
  • 1 cup small pasta, like shells, ditalini or elbow
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. In a large 6-quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the green beans, garlic, basil, salt, oregano and black pepper. Cook for another minute or so, stirring often.
  3. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables have softened a bit (they’ll cook more in the next step).
  4. Stir in the beans and pasta and cook for 10-11 minutes until the pasta and vegetables are tender.
  5. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired.


Tomatoes: You can change up the tomatoes by using half crushed tomatoes and half diced tomatoes. My family prefers non chunky tomatoes in this soup, so I stick with all crushed tomatoes.

Beans: I use Great Northern or white kidney beans. Light or dark kidney beans can be substituted for white beans.

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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Posted on February 15, 2021 by Mel

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