The Best Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

The Best Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup
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Make homemade Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup filled with hearty vegetables, broth, and shell pasta. It tastes just as good or maybe even better than Olive Garden’s Minestrone Soup.

We love copycat Olive garden recipes! We also make Olive garden chicken pasta, Chicken Scampi, and Zuppa Toscana in our crockpot!

Minestrone soup on a spoon

What is Minestrone Soup?

Minestrone is a vegan Italian soup filled with tomatoes, beans, vegetables, and vegetable broth. You won’t miss the meat in this easy recipe. There are no exact recipes for minestrone soup, for you can use whatever vegetables are in season or your garden.

Recipe Ingredients

ingredients for minestrone on table with text labels
  • vegetable broth – Veggie broth is traditional for minestrone soup, since there is no meat in the recipe.
  • vegetables – Minestrone soup is loaded with vegetables; carrots, celery, onion, green beans, zucchini and spinach.
  • Tomatoes – Canned diced tomatoes and tomato paste are used in this recipe. It brightens the flavor of the broth.
  • Beans – Cannellini beans and red kidney beans, we used canned in this recipe.
  • Seasonings – Onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste after the cooking time is up.
  • optional topping – You can top this soup with parmesan cheese if you choose, though without the cheese, the recipe is vegan.

Step-by-Step Directions

ingredients for minestrone in slow cooker before cooking

StepOne – Add the onions, carrots, celery, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves to your slow cooker.

StepTwo – Next, for in the broth and stir. DO NOT ADD ANY OTHER INGREDIENTS YET. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours without opening the lid.

4 images on how to add zucchini, green beans, pasta, parsley and spinach to minestrone

StepThree – Add the zucchini and green beans after the cooking time is up. And cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Step Four – While cooking, cook the shell pasta on the stovetop according to the package directions, don’t overcook. Drain, but save some of the pasta water in case you want more liquid in your soup.

Step Five – Add the pasta to the slow cooker along with the beans and parsley. Stir.

step six – Next, add the spinach and stir. Remove the bay leaves. Add some of the pasta water if you feel your soup needs a touch more liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!

done cooking minestrone soup in slow cooker

What do I serve with Minestrone Soup?

  • Grilled cheese sandwiches – Move over tomato soup! Serve grilled cheese with hearty minestrone instead.
  • bruschetta – Serve bruschetta as a side or an appetizer to this soup.
  • Garlic bread – Can’t go wrong with a big loaf of piping hot garlic bread as a side for soup.
  • caesar salad – I love a homemade caesar salad with this soup. Try this recipe for homemade caesar dressing from Once Upon a Chef; I’ve made it dozens of times! SO good.
side view of minestone

variations

  • Parmesan cheese – Add the rind of a parmesan wedge to your soup at the beginning of the cooking time. It will flavor the soup with parmesan and salty flavor.
  • Pesto – Add 2-3 tablespoons of basil or sundried tomato pesto to the pot right before serving for a bright and flavorful variation.
  • Pasta free – Add potatoes at the beginning of the cooking time, or cooked rice before serving if you have someone that can’t have gluten.
overhead shot of minestrone soup in slow cooker and 2 bowls

Recipes FAQs

Can I add meat?

Yes! You can either add one pound of raw chicken breasts or one pound of cooked and crumbled ground beef or turkey at the beginning of the cooking time. Shred the chicken breasts before serving.

Can I use tortellini instead of shell pasta?

Yes! Precook the tortellini before adding it to the slow cooker. I recommend 2-3 cups of refrigerated tortellini. Add right before serving.

What other vegetables can be added?

Other vegetables that can be tossed in minestrone soup are mushrooms, corn fresh off the cob, sugar snap peas. You can even use kale or cabbage instead of spinach (add cabbage at the beginning of cooking).

Can I freeze the leftovers?

Minestrone freezes well! Place in freezer ziplock bags or airtight containers. Frieza for no longer than three months for best flavor.

How to reheat?

The best way to reheat the soup is to place it in a small saucepan on the stovetop and cook it until it is piping hot. You can use the microwave to reheat, but be sure to place a paper towel over your bowl for it will splatter.

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2 bowls of minestrone in front of slow cooker

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minestrone soup in the slow cooker, cooked

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup Recipe

Homemade minestrone soup made in the slow cooker. This is a vegeatrain soup but still has plenty of flavor.

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Pine
Missed

Race: soup

Kitchen: American

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes

Services: 10

calories: 136calories

Ingredients:

Add towards the end of cooking time (see recipe)

Instructions:

  • Add the carrots, celery, onions, garlic, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, seasonings and chicken stock to the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours.

  • Add the green beans and zucchini and cook another 30 minutes on high.

  • While that’s cooking prepare the noodles on the stove, per the package instructions, to al dente. Then drain, reserving some of the pasta water.

  • Add to the slow cooker along with the parsley and canned beans. Allow a few minutes to warm through.

  • Stir in the spinach and when wilted, serve immediately (about 2 minutes). If you feel more fluid is needed add some of the reserved pasta water.

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Recipe Notes:

variations

  • Parmesan cheese – Add the rind of a parmesan wedge to your soup at the beginning of the cooking time. It will flavor the soup with parmesan and salty flavor.
  • Pesto – Add 2-3 tablespoons of basil or sundried tomato pesto to the pot right before serving for a bright and flavorful variation.
  • Pasta free – Add potatoes at the beginning of the cooking time, or cooked rice before serving if you have someone that can’t have gluten.

Why do I use pasta water?
It has the flavor and the starch of the pasta in there.
Can I add meat?
Yes! You can either add one pound of raw chicken breasts or one pound of cooked and crumbled ground beef or turkey at the beginning of the cooking time. Shred the chicken breasts before serving.
Can I use tortellini?
Yes! Precook the tortellini before adding it to the slow cooker. I recommend 2-3 cups of refrigerated tortellini. Add right before serving.
What other vegetables can be used?
Other vegetables that can be tossed in minestrone soup are mushrooms, corn fresh off the cob, sugar snap peas. You can even use kale or cabbage instead of spinach (add cabbage at the beginning of cooking).
Can I freeze the leftovers?
Minestrone freezes well! Place in freezer ziplock bags or airtight containers. Frieza for no longer than three months for best flavor.
How to reheat?
The best way to reheat the soup is to place it in a small saucepan on the stovetop and cook it until it is piping hot. You can use the microwave to reheat, but be sure to place a paper towel over your bowl for it will splatter.

Nutrition Information:

calories: 136calories | Carbohydrates: 28g | protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 701mg | Potassium: 537mg | fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3294UI | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

More slow cooker soup recipes:

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