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You’re going to love this Olive Garden minestrone soup. Loaded with tender veggies, hearty beans, and al dente pasta all swimming in a flavorful, tomato-y broth, it’s the perfect vegetarian main or hearty side dish.

A bowl of minestrone soup with a spoon in it.
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I can’t get enough of this classic minestrone soup. It’s just like the one from Olive Garden but better because you get the satisfaction of making it from scratch. It’s exploding with a variety of fresh, tender veggies, and the broth is loaded with herbaceous, tomato-y flavor. White and kidney beans come into the mix to add some extra substance along with perfectly al dente pasta. Whether you enjoy it as a vegetarian main with a crusty piece of bread or as a hearty, warming side dish, you’re not going want to put your spoon down.

Why You’ll Love This Olive Garden Minestrone Soup Recipe

So many soups to choose from and so little time! Here’s why you need to prioritize making this one. It really is unmissable.

  • Customizable. There is a ton of room to play here. Try different veggies. Use rice (or even lentils) instead of pasta. Try adding a protein. Let your imagination run wild! Check out the section below titled “Tips & Variations” for inspiration.
  • Hearty and filling. This minestrone is a substantial soup. Loaded with veggies, beans, and pasta, it can be a hearty side or a complete meal in and of itself. Perfect for lunch or a light dinner.
  • Great for meal prep. I love making a big batch of Olive Garden minestrone and enjoying it throughout the week. It keeps and reheats super well. Heck, it even freezes well!

What Is Minestrone Soup?

Minestrone is a classic Italian soup usually comprising an array of vegetables, some sort of pasta or rice, and often white beans in a clear or tomato-based broth. People go in all sorts of different directions when it comes to the veggies they use, but a typical minestrone usually includes at least onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes. The rest is kind of up to you and what the season has to offer.

Ingredients for minestrone soup.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this olive garden minestrone soup recipe. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

  • Olive oil
  • Veggies – Yellow onion, celery, carrots, zucchini, and garlic. Don’t be afraid to throw a few other veggies into the mix here.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fire-roasted diced tomatoes – You could use plain diced tomatoes instead.
  • Vegetable broth – Chicken broth would also work.
  • Tomato paste
  • Italian seasoning – Italian seasoning is usually made up of a combination of dried basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram. Grab a store-bought version or make your own.
  • Beans – I used great northern beans (any white bean will do), red kidney beans, and frozen cut green beans.
  • Small shell pasta – Ditalini or elbow macaroni would also work.
  • Baby spinach leaves – Feel free to use a different leafy green. Spinach would do great here.
  • Fresh parsley
  • Grated parmesan cheese – Grate your own. The flavor is so much better than the pre-grated stuff. Plus it melts into the soup in a lovely way that preservative-loaded pre-grated cheeses can’t compare to.

How to Make Olive Garden Minestrone Soup

Here’s a quick look at how to make this heartwarming, veggie-loaded soup. For more thorough instructions, scroll to the recipe card below.

  • Saute the veggies. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add veggies and sauté until softened. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Make it soup. Stir in the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning and bring the soup to a boil.
  • Cook the pasta. Stir in the beans and pasta and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Wilt the spinach. Stir in the baby spinach leaves and stir until wilted.
  • Serve. Serve garnished with fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese.
Overhead shot of a bowl of minestrone soup with bread.

Tips & Variations

Before diving headfirst into this recipe, have a quick read through these simple tips and tricks that will help you achieve the best results for your taste buds.

  • Don’t overcook the vegetables. Overcooking the veggies can cause them to lose their vibrant colors and textures and turn them mushy. So keep an eye on them and don’t let this soup simmer for longer than it has to.
  • Use fresh produce. This minestrone celebrates vegetables. So you want to make sure you pick the best, freshest veggies possible. I suggest going to your local farmers market the day you plan to make this soup and picking out vibrant seasonal produce.
  • Stir. Once you add the pasta, you will want to stir the soup every couple of minutes to make sure the pasta doesn’t stick to the pot.
  • Grate your own cheese. Seriously. The pre-grated stuff is loaded with preservatives that make it melt (and taste) funny.
  • Use homemade broth. While you could use store-bought broth, making your own will yield far superior flavor. It takes a little extra time, but it’s worth it.
  • Add a protein. I’ve been loving adding cooked, crumbled Italian sausage to my minestrone. Cooked, shredded chicken or turkey would also be delicious.
  • Try different veggies. You’ll want to keep the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic (they build a beautiful flavor base that you don’t want to miss out on), but otherwise, feel free to experiment. Try adding summer squash, butternut squash, corn, asparagus, leeks, bell peppers, or broccoli. The possibilities are practically endless.
  • Swap the pasta for rice. Instead of adding pasta to the soup, try rice. Just note that it will take a bit longer to cook so you may want to add it to the pot earlier.
  • Low on time? Try my Instant Pot minestrone soup to save you some time!

What to Serve with Minestrone Soup

The best way to serve Minestrone soup, in my opinion, is with a hunk of crusty bread (or a delicious Garlic Herb Parker House Roll) and a nice green salad. I have been loving this Vegan Caesar Salad. In the mood for a heartier meal? Replace the salad with a nice big sandwich. My Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich is out of this world.

Overhead shot of a bowl of 3 bowls of minestrone soup with bread.

Proper Storage

  • To store. Once the soup has cooled completely, seal it in an airtight container. You can store minestrone soup in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat. Allow the soup to thaw (if applicable) before reheating over medium heat in a pot on the stovetop. You could also microwave a bowl of soup in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until warm.

More Soup Recipes To Try

It’s soup season and I’ve got you covered with some delicious, hearty, heartwarming bowls of goodness. Here are a few of my favorites.

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5 from 3 votes

Olive Garden Minestrone Soup

Loaded with tender veggies, hearty beans, and al dente pasta all swimming in a flavorful, tomato-y broth, the minestrone soup is the perfect vegetarian main or hearty side dish.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 ribs of celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, quartered and sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 14 ounce (397 g) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups (946 ml) vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup (66 g) tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 15 ounce (425 g) can great northern beans, or any white bean, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce (425 g) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup (55 g) frozen cut green beans, or fresh
  • ½ cup (84 g) small shell pasta or ditalini pasta or even elbow macaroni, preference would be to shell or ditalini
  • 2 cups (60 g) baby spinach leaves
  • Chopped fresh parsley, garnish
  • Grated parmesan cheese, garnish

Instructions 

  • Heat a large dutch oven (6-8 quart) over medium-high heat. When pot is hot, add oil.
  • Add in the vegetables: onion, celery, carrots, zucchini, and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    Sauteing onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and zucchini in soup pot.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning. Stir and bring to a boil.
    Stirring diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning into minestrone soup.
  • Once it is at a boil, add in the beans and pasta. Allow to simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes, or until pasta is tender and cooked through. Stir the soup every 2-3 minutes to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
    Stirring beans, green beans, and pasta into minestrone soup.
  • When the soup is done, stir in the baby spinach leaves and stir until wilted.
  • Serve with some crusty bread and garnish with fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl (314 grams), Calories: 235kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 848mg, Potassium: 665mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 7g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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Photographs by Eat Love Eat

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