This Vegetarian Minestrone Soup is an incredibly hearty soup, loaded with a variety of fresh veggies, protein-rich beans, and red lentil pasta. This soup is wholesome, extremely flavorful, and appropriate for various dietary needs.
Enjoy a warm bowl of this vegetarian minestrone soup with your favorite gluten-free croutons, stuffed mushrooms, crusty bread or crackers.
This is not very important anyway as this veggie loaded soup is very fulfilling on it's own!
There is a skip-to-recipe button in the top left corner along with a clickable table of contents list (just below) that will quickly take you to the part you are more interested in. Enjoy!
Table Of Contents
My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
- Vegetables - carrot, spinach, brown onion, green peas (or green beans), zucchini, celery, and diced tomatoes are all common vegetarian minestrone soup ingredients but feel free to add in any other vegetables that you love the most. Seasonal vegetables will always taste the best and provide you with a bunch of nutrients (whenever possible, please buy local and organic).
- Beans - I’ve used white beans (such as cannellini beans and Great Northern beans) and red kidney beans (light or dark red kidney beans) in this minestrone soup. The canned beans add convenience but you can use dried beans that will need to be soaked in water overnight.
- Vegetable broth - If possible, use a low sodium broth or vegetable stock for less salt content. I like to cook my own sometimes with a prepacked soup vegetable mixed from the store. Well, that is a fresh flavor right there! For non-vegetarian dishes, use chicken broth instead.
- Vegetable juice - V8 juice works very well here but you can also use a good quality tomato juice instead (more affordable and available). And also great flavor!
- Pasta - To make this soup gluten-free, I’ve used red lentil fusilli pasta (for an extra boost of protein) but you can also use other gluten-free pasta instead. Red lentil pasta has no gluten and cooks very fast, it will also turn yellow after cooking, almost like your regular pasta. I find that small pasta works better for this soup without interfering with any other ingredient's flavor.
- Italian seasoning - I love to use a premixed blend of various herbs, but you can use whatever 1-2 dried herbs you have on hand (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, cilantro).
- Red chili flakes - Add more for an extra kick of spicy flavor.
- Brown sugar - Adds depth of flavor and intensifies all the flavors. You only need a little here, white sugar will not work as good as brown sugar.
- Bay leaves - Add the bay leaves whole, not crushed. 2 medium leaves is enough.
- Water - Add as much liquid as you need depending on the consistency of soup you desire.
- For Non vegetarian/vegan option - add parmesan cheese or try my Vegan Parmesan recipe!
This soup is very fulfilling and you don't need a large portion of it, especially if served with bread. This recipe will serve 6 portions.
Heat up a medium dutch oven or heavy bottom large pot over medium heat.
Add oil and once it's hot saute celery, carrots, and onion. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Saute 2-3 minutes and add garlic. Saute for 3 minutes more.
Follow with zucchini, Italian seasonings, red pepper flakes. Saute for 2 minutes.
Follow with red and white beans, crushed tomatoes, pasta, bay leaves, vegetable juice, veggie broth and water. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
Stir in the fresh spinach and peas (or fresh green beans).
Remove from heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serve it with fresh herbs (rosemary or fresh basil), parmesan cheese (for non veg) or sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top.
- Common sense but don’t overcook the pasta. It should be cooked al dente otherwise you risk it becoming a mushy consistency. Pasta should go in with the beans, but if not sure add it even later and simmer until it's cooked al dente.
- Not all lentil pasta will work because they cook very fast and will become too mushy in the soup. Use your trusted brands. To be on the safe side with this one, cook the pasta separately and rinse under cold water before adding to soup. You'll have to use less liquid for the soup then too.
- Turn this vegetarian minestrone soup into a meaty dish by adding some cubed beef, cooked crumbled bacon, shredded chicken, shredded turkey, pulled pork, or chopped ham to the mixture.
- While possible to use frozen vegetables for this minestrone soup, try to use fresh ingredients as they will always provide a better flavor to the soup.
- The soup is very versatile! Pumpkin, squashes, potatoes and sweet potatoes - all will work, you name it! Just use whatever veggies you have left in the fridge for too long.
- This soup can be made in an Instant Pot. First saute the onion, carrot, celery, and zucchini with garlic in the Instant Pot for about 5 minutes, and then add in the broth, tomatoes, beans, peas, and seasoning. Add the dried pasta and spinach on top and cook on HIGH for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, apply the Quick Release.
📋 JULIA'S TIP If you are not experienced in cooking pasta in soup, I recommend cooking it separately and rinsing it under cold water before adding it to the soup.
Freezing And Storing Instructions
Storing. As with any of my recipes, I recommend making as much as you'd consume within 1-2 days maximum. The first day is better of course and you get the most nutrients out of the ingredients you use.
However, I do understand it is not possible with many people so please keep the soup refrigerated and tightly sealed for a maximum of 3-4 days.
Freezing. If you need to freeze the soup, it will become very thick and you can loosen it up with vegetable broth, vegetable juice, or water when reheating (after thawing at room temperature or in the fridge).
More Olive Garden Copycat Recipes
If you love this recipe, be sure to try these copycat recipes next and let me know what you think.
Healthy Olive Garden's Baked Ziti - Layers of penne pasta and ground meat smothered in ultra-rich marinara sauce topped with plenty of cheeses.
Pasta Fagioli Soup - Rich and dense tomato soup simmered with beef, healthy veggies, spices, beans, and ditalini pasta are sure to become one of the most requested recipes in your family.
Minestrone is a traditional Italian soup that’s thick and packed with wholesome vegetables, often including a starch such as rice, pasta, or both! Minestrone soup is extremely versatile, making it very easy to adapt to suit your family’s preferences.
Vegetable soup merely contains vegetables whereas a minestrone soup is much more hearty, usually including beans and pasta.
Yes, it is. This soup is vegan-friendly, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Absolutely! Simply omit the pasta and serve this soup alongside a leafy green salad. You may also want to reduce the beans (white and red kidney beans) and increase the low-carb vegetables in this dish.
Easy Soup Recipes
ALL SOUP recipes.
I hope you'll enjoy this Vegetarian Minestrone Soup recipe, please leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo of your food and tag me on Instagram @theyummy_bowl. I love seeing your creations!
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Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
- 1 large carrot (sliced)
- 3 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 small brown onion (medium diced)
- ½ cup green peas (or green beans (fresh or frozen))
- 1 small zucchini (diced)
- 1 can (15 oz crushed or fire roasted tomatoes)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 ½ teaspoons italian seasonings
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes or more for added spicy flavor
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 ½ cup white beans
- 1 can 15 oz red kidney beans
- 1 cup gluten free noodles/pasta (i used red lentil fusilli pasta)
- 2-3 stalks fresh celery
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ cup vegetable juice or good quality tomato juice
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 or more cups of water depending on the consistency you like
- 2-3 tablespoon cooking oil
- Heat up a medium dutch oven or heavy bottom large pot over medium heat. Add oil and once it's hot saute celery, carrots, and onion. Season generously with salt and pepper. Saute 2-3 minutes and add garlic. Saute for 3 minutes more.
- Follow with zucchini, Italian seasonings, red pepper flakes. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Follow with red and white beans, crushed tomatoes, pasta, bay leaves, vegetable juice, veggie broth and water. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Stir in the fresh spinach and peas (or fresh green beans). Remove from heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Serve as is or with fresh herbs like fresh rosemary or fresh basil, and parmesan cheese for the non vegetarian version or sprinkle on some nutritional yeast.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)