Classic Italian Minestrone Soup Recipe (Authentic)

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This is a comforting, fresh, and tasty Classic Italian Minestrone Soup Recipe— a recipe that everyone needs! You will want to tuck this recipe in your recipe file and pull it out when you need a nourishing, healing, and comforting meal.

Serve with your favorite Italian crusty bread.

Minestrone soup with pasta in it.
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BEST Minestrone Soup

The best part about minestrone soup is you can adapt it to use your favorite veggies or the ones you have on hand. This is a light yet hearty Italian vegetable soup that defines la ‘cucina povera’, a ‘poor kitchen’ meal that feeds the heart and soul in a simple way. This is one of my all-time favorite soups.

Simple meals and wholesome meals are the best and this is one that exemplifies the delicious taste of a SIMPLY SCRUMPTIOUS RECIPE. Cozy up with a bowl of hot soup and homemade bread. This soup is incredibly healing.

cooked minestrone soup stir with a wooden spoon. Wooden spoon holding some of the minestrone soup.

Simple Ingredients

Fresh vegetables and basic ingredients make this classic Italian minestrone soup next-level delicious.

Recipe ingredients
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Red bell pepper
  • Green beans
  • Spinach
  • Diced tomatoes, canned
  • Cannellini beans, 15 oz
  • Water or broth (chicken stock or vegetable broth)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: pasta
  • Toppings: fresh basil, parsley, and grated Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese)

How to Make Minestrone Soup

The recipe is so simple and easy to make. The longest part is chopping the fresh vegetables. The rest of the cooking process is the time it takes to cook on the stove. An occasional stir with your wooden spoon and that’s it! See bottom of this post for printable recipe card with the complete amounts and instrcutions.

How to make Classic Minestrone Soup Recipe Instructions- place all the veggies in a pot with olive oil.
How to make Classic Minestrone Soup Recipe Instructions- cook the veggies until soft.

Add all the veggies to a pot with olive oil and cook until tender.

How to make Classic Minestrone Soup Recipe Instructions- add the crushed tomatoes. Stir with wooden spoon.
How to make Classic Minestrone Soup Recipe Instructions- add the cannellini beans.

Next, add the crushed tomatoes, cannellini beans, and water.

How to make Classic Minestrone Soup Recipe Instructions- add the green beans and spinach.
cooked minestrone soup stir with a wooden spoon.

Add the green beans and chopped spinach. Cook until all the veggies are soft and tender.

cooked minestrone soup stir with a wooden spoon.

Drizzle with a little olive oil after it is cooked to add an extra tasty flavor! Serve this delicious meal to your family and friends. It is simple and satisfying your family will surely love you for making this minestrone recipe! 

Minestrone soup in a beautiful old fashioned serving bowl with a spoon in the bowl ready to eat. Parmigiano cheese on top. Crusty bread on the side.

Authentic Italian Minestrone

Every Italian family makes classic minestrone with its own twist, depending on what vegetables are in season, what is currently in the fridge, the region of the country, and family preferences.

In the winter it’s served hot or warm and in the summer room temperature or even slightly cool. It’s a staple all year round in our home. Growing up, my mother usually served minestrone on Sundays and cleared the fridge of most veggie odds and ends.

This recipe is adapted from my mamma and nonna. The smell and taste always remind me of “home” no matter where I am.

How to Cut Vegetables for this Soup

Basically, cut them however you prefer! I cut them either chunky or dice them very small. When I make a meal for my family and I want my children to eat it, I cut the veggies smaller so they are easier for little children to bite and eat.

When I make it for an adult crowd, I like to leave it more chunky and regular bite-size. Either way, it tastes delicious and you can’t go wrong! Although, my nonna would argue, that you must cut the veggies small :). If you know anything about Italian women you will know that we have an opinion about everything!  

Minestrone soup with pasta in it.

Minestrone Soup with Pasta

You can leave out the addition of pasta entirely if you wish. If you do add it- I find that small pasta shells or Ditalini. Ditalini means ‘little thimbles’ in Italian. Its small shape holds its ‘al dente’ texture in many dishes, especially soups. This is the pasta variety I used in this soup.

Names of pasta options for Italian minestrone soup recipe:

  • Ditalini pasta
  • Small Shells
  • Small macaroni tubes

My kids love it as well! They are more likely to eat all their veggies if there is pasta involved, naturally, and it makes the dish a little more complete. This dish is rustic, hearty, inexpensive, and perfect for any time of year.

In the photo above I made the soup without the spinach and beans to lighten it up and then added the pasta. See, even I change my own recipe from time to time!

Variations to Minestrone

You can try the classic Italian minestrone recipe the way my family makes it the first time and always try a variation the next time you make it!

  • Spicy – add red pepper flakes to level up the heat in the soup.
  • Deluxe – add cooked Italian sausage to up the protein.
  • Garnish – add a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley, or fresh basil before serving. Cook with a bay leaf to add an aromatic note to the vegetable soup.

Vegetable Variety

Feel free to adjust the vegetables and beans to your personal taste and please your taste buds. You can add or substitute any of these ideas and many more! It is a wonderful vegetarian dish that

  • Fava beans
  • Borlotti beans
  • Red kidney beans
  • White beans
  • Yellow Squash
  • Fresh or frozen peas
  • Any variety of hearty vegetables
  • Butternut squash
Minestrone soup in a beautiful old fashioned serving bowl with a spoon in the bowl ready to eat. Parmigiano cheese on top. Crusty bread on the side.

Storage and Reheating


Bonus: this soup is even better the next day! If stored in an airtight container, it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Minestrone soup is a freezer-friendly recipe—except for the pasta! Pasta doesn’t freeze well and gets mushy when thawed and reheated. Yuck.

If you must freeze, do it before adding the pasta. Then, add the cooked pasta directly to the reheated soup and serve!


The pasta will absorb the liquid as it sits, so when you are ready to reheat, make sure to add extra broth, or extra water. Gently warm over medium-low heat, adding the liquid until the soup is warm and back to its original consistency.

This is also a great recipe to deliver when someone needs a meal, AND also a great recipe to freeze for a meal prep idea.

It is naturally gluten-free and vegetarian for all the different dietary needs in the world today. I like to make a huge pot of minestrone and freeze half for another week when I need a quick soup on hand. So, make and DELIVER or make and FREEZE for later! This Classic Italian Minestrone Soup Recipe is one of the ultimate comforting meal.

What to serve with Minestrone Soup

You will want plenty of bread to serve with this delicious soup. What’s a savory hot soup without bread dunking action? Here are achievable and delicious options for you. We make these types of bread weekly in our home and love them!

More delicious soup recipes: Italian Pastina Soup Recipe (with Chicken broth), Tuscan Ribollita- Vegetable Bread Soup, Simple Artichoke Soup Italian Recipe, Classic Italian Style Lentils (New Year Tradition), BEST Bacon, Potato, and Kale Zuppa Toscana, Easy Greek Lemon Chicken Rice, and Authentic Italian Pasta e Fagioli Recipe (soup).

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Classic Italian Minestrone Soup Recipe

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5 from 4 reviews

Delicious and fresh Minestrone soup recipe! Full of vegetables in a light broth that will leave you feeling nourished and satisfied. 

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 bunch of celery, diced
  • 3 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup of cut green beans, may use frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups cut leaf spinach, may use frozen
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes, 28 oz
  • 1 can cannellini beans, 15 oz
  • 7 cups of water (or fill the tomato can twice with water, or broth)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Optional: 2 cups of your favorite pasta variety- cooked to al dente texture
  • Toppings: fresh basil, parsley, and grated parmigiano reggiano


1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add garlic, onion, carrots, celery, red pepper, zucchini and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turn golden, 5 to 8 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes; cook until some of the liquid evaporates, 1 minute. Add cannellini beans, and 7 cups water; bring to a low boil. Stir in green beans and spinach.*

3. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; and basil. Serve sprinkled with parmigiano and, if using, torn basil and parsley. Drizzle with more oil, if desired.

4. If adding pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions (undercook 1-2 minutes) and add to the minestrone. 


*omit any vegetables you do not like and add any that you do! Such as: potato, cabbage, or a different variety of beans.

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Category: Salty Savory Recipe
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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  1. My mom (not Italian) has made minestrone soup for years on Christmas Eve. She always used homemade beef stock as the base–but no meat in the soup. Thoughts on that? Is that pretty untraditional?

  2. This soup was fantastic! I did add ground beef as my husband loves meat in soup lol! I did up the spices a little and added ditalini at the end. Definitely keeping this in my soup rotation!!

  3. I just fixed this tonight. it was delicious! With a Mediterranean type meal in mind, this worked just great. I have to admit a little hamburger in it was good too:)