This copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup is a hearty Italian vegetable soup with a tomato base, vegetables, beans and pasta. Seasoned to perfection it’s the perfect soup recipe to warm up. Pair it with a side salad and crusty bread for a easy dinner.
Sometimes, getting up the energy to get out of the house is just not what I want to do. But then a craving for something I can only get at a restaurant hits! So being able to make that exact thing in the comfort of my own home is always a win. This copycat minestrone soup is one of my favorite recipes to make since it’s so incredibly easy and perfect for a freezing cold night.
This classic minestrone soup recipe has also come in handy when I realize I didn’t thaw any meat from the freezer to cook for dinner! With just some cans of beans and tons a fresh veggies, I can make a filling soup loaded with flavor. Throw in some homemade breadsticks for the best addition to an already amazing meal!
Why You’ll Love Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup
- This dish is naturally gluten free, vegetarian and vegan, and loaded with tons of health benefits. If you’re looking for a simple healthy recipe, this is it.
- Minestrone soup is fabulous for meal prep. It reheats well and will last for a while if stored properly.
- My easy minestrone soup recipe makes 6 hearty servings. You can have your own endless soup right in the comfort of your own kitchen!
Ingredients for Minestrone Soup
- Vegetable broth – You can use chicken broth or beef broth if you prefer, but this veggie soup does great with vegetable broth.
- Water – A little water helps bring the broth for the soup together.
- Carrots – I prefer to use fresh carrots, but you could use frozen or canned.
- Diced petite tomatoes – While fresh tomatoes would work as well, I like canned diced tomatoes in minestrone soup.
- Small shell pasta – You can use any pasta you want, but small shell pasta tends to work best.
- White beans – Also called great northern beans! You could use Cannellini beans for a subsitute.
- Kidney beans – A can of red kidney beans will add lots of protein to this dish.
- Yellow onion – The flavor of yellow onion is really great in minestrone soup. You can use white onion if you prefer.
- Celery – I know celery can be a make or break ingredient for some. Feel free to leave it out if you do not like celery!
- Baby spinach – I think the baby spinach may be my favorite part of this soup!
- Italian seasoning – The best way to add plenty of flavor to minestrone soup. Includes a mixture of dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram.
- Zucchini – Dice up your zucchini into even pieces so it all finishes cooking at the same time.
- Fine sea salt and black pepper – A little salt and pepper helps add depth to this yummy veggie soup.
- Extra virgin olive oil – Use olive oil to sauté the onions, garlic, fresh carrots and zucchini before making the soup.
- Tomato paste – This is the key ingredient to making the broth of minestrone soup have that quintessential flavor you know and love!
- Minced garlic – Freshly minced garlic is probably one of my favorite ways to add flavor to dishes.
- Frozen cut green beans – Trust me on this, the frozen green beans are best!
How to Make Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup
Begin by heating the olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or a large pot then add the diced onions, celery, carrots and zucchini to the pot.
Cook the veggies until tender, about 7-8 minutes. Then add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, broth, water, tomato paste, and seasonings to the pot and bring it to a simmer.
Then add in the kidney beans, white beans, frozen green beans and pasta shells. Simmer everything together for 10-15 minutes until the pasta is soft and veggies are tender.
Stir in the spinach leaves and cook for 2-3 more minutes to wilt the spinach.
Serve immediately with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top of each bowl of soup!
What to Serve with Minestrone Soup
Soup and a sandwich is a fun combo too. Air fryer grilled cheese goes wonderfully with minestrone soup! You could also make a Rachel sandwich or even crock pot pulled pork sandwiches. Have fun with the combination!
How to Store Leftover Minestrone Soup
FRIDGE: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
FREEZER: Leftovers stored in an airtight container can be frozen for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw before reheating.
How to Reheat Leftover Minestrone Soup
Let your soup completely cool before transferring it to the fridge or freezer! To reheat, place on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.
What else can I add to minestrone soup?
This unique vegetable soup is already loaded with so many goodies, but there’s definitely more you can add to it or things you can swap out! Some people love green peas in their minestrone, and you can even add things like diced potatoes. Feel free to add meat if you want. Ground beef, ground pork, and even bacon would go nicely in a minestrone soup.
Pro Tips for the Best Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup
- Don’t overcook the spinach or it will become really soggy and stringy! Just add it in the last few minutes that the soup is simmering, that’s all it needs.
- Try to keep all veggies cut into the same shapes and sizes. This will allow them to all cook evenly.
- When storing leftovers, be sure to divide fillings and broth evenly amongst containers. Since this is a chunky soup, it can be easy to have too many beans and veggies in one container and too much broth in the other.
I hope you love this hearty and classic Italian soup! It’s sure to keep you warm on a chilly day.
More Soup Recipes You’ll Love
- Loving this copycat recipe? Then check out my recipe for Chicken Gnocchi Soup!
- My Chicken Pot Pie Soup is the coziest and most homey soup ever. So yummy for winter!
- Change things up on taco night and serve this delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup instead.
- If you love a big juicy burger, then you are going to swoon over this Cheeseburger Soup!
- 4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 medium ribs celery chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 zucchini quartered and sliced
- 14 ounces canned petite diced tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 15 ounces canned small white beans rinsed and drained
- 15 ounces canned kidney beans rinsed and drained
- ½ cup frozen cut green beans
- 1 cup small shell pasta
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnishing (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots and zucchini to the pot.
- Cook until the vegetables are tender, 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add the zucchini, tomatoes, vegetable broth, water, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the pot. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the white beans, kidney beans, green beans and pasta to the pot. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the spinach leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes or until wilted.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the soup and serve.