This hearty Crockpot Minestrone Soup is packed full of Italian flavors from the fresh veggies, rich tomato broth, parmesan rind and hidden bites of tender noodles. It’s the perfect dinner solution for a cold night with a hunk of warm bread!
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Minestrone Soup Recipe
Minestrone is a hearty vegetable soup in a rich red tomato broth that came from Italy in 1871. This minestrone soup is a classic Italian soup that is packed with kidney beans, tomatoes, fresh veggies, tender noodles, and then slow cooked to perfection.
What makes this soup so special is the parmesan rind. I always stash them in my fridge or freezer to throw into my soups. As your soup cooks the parmesan rind softens and flavors the broth making it a creamier soup.
I like to make this soup as a main course with salad and a hunk of fresh warm bread, but you can make it as an appetizer or a side as well. It’s so easy to make in your crockpot — just add everything in the morning and let your crockpot do the work!
If you love this rich Italian vegetable soup, you will also love our Detox Vegetable Soup that is LOADED with vegetables!
Minestrone Soup Ingredients
This soup is packed with hearty ingredients, so get out that shopping list and head to the produce section for your main ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Canned tomatoes: You will need both a can of crushed tomatoes and a can of diced tomatoes.
- Kidney beans: I use a can of dark red kidney beans for this soup, but you can use white beans as well.
- Fresh vegetables: Head to the produce section and grab some carrots, celery, zucchini, green beans, onion and baby spinach. Chop and dice them into bite size pieces.
- Seasonings: You’ll also need to season your soup with minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Bay leaves: You can find bay leaves in the spice aisle at your local grocery store.
- Parmesan rind: Check the cheese counter or section of your local grocery store for parmesan rind.
- Broth: You can use vegetable or chicken broth for this recipe. You will need 4 cups so make sure you grab enough.
- Pasta: I use Barilla Ditalini Pasta, but you can use any brand or small noodle you prefer. Ditalini noodles are shaped like small tubes, so anything similar in size will work well.
How to Make Crockpot Minestrone Soup
Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients and chopped and diced your veggies, this soup is a breeze! It’s literally a dump and dash style recipe, you will loving having it in your easy dinner recipe arsenal.
Add the first 14 ingredients: First, put your crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, carrots, onion, garlic, celery, bay leaves, parmesan rind, broth, water, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper into your slow cooker.
Cook your soup: Then, turn your crockpot on low and let the soup cook for 6 to 8 hours. Or, you can set it on high and let it cook for 4 to 6 hours.
Add everything else: 30 minutes before you are ready to serve your soup, add the zucchini, green beans, and pasta to your soup. Turn the crockpot on high and let it cook until the pasta is tender.
Add the spinach: Right before you are ready to serve the soup and stir in your baby spinach. It will wilt quickly!
Serve: To serve, we love to top ours with a little freshly grated parmesan and croutons or a hunk of fresh warm bread.
Tips for the Best Minestrone Soup
- Cut your veggies thin. Be sure to cut your carrots and zucchini thin. If they are too thick, they will remain slightly crunchy after the soup is done.
- Parmesan Rind: Don’t skip the parmesan rind, it adds a great depth of flavor to your soup!
- Cook the pasta separately. If you want the soup to have more broth, you can cook the pasta separately and add it in at the end. This will leave more broth for leftovers and reheating.
- Add more cheese. Add more parmesan just before serving. It really amplifies the flavors of the soup!
Can You Overcook the Soup in the Crockpot?
That depends! Yes and No!
Because a slow cooker uses very low cooking temperatures, it is safe to leave your soup in the crock pot unattended. And it can stay in the crockpot longer than the recommended time, unless you have added the pasta.
Once you have added the pasta, the broth will eventually evaporate and the pasta can become very mushy and over cooked. So be mindful once you add the pasta to try not to leave it for too long.
Is Minestrone Soup Healthy?
As long as you don’t need to steer clear of salt, minestrone soup is a healthy dish! It’s rich in fiber and low in fat and it’s loaded with vegetables. Additionally, it’s packed with healthy protein from the beans and tons of vitamins and nutrients from the veggies.
If you have to watch your salt intake, use a sodium free broth to keep the overall amount of sodium to a minimum.
This soup is perfectly delicious all on it’s own, but it never hurts to have a few add-ons. Here are some serving suggestions!
- Crusty French Bread. Nothing is better than dipping buttery, crusty french bread in your soup. It’s a perfect addition.
- Add some croutons. For a little carb-y crunch, you can add croutons into your soup.
- Garlic bread. If you don’t have any french bread, this soup is just as delicious with quick and easy garlic bread.
- Salad. Soup and salad go together like PB&J. If you want a side, this is the perfect one to add.
How to Store Leftovers
This soup can easily be made and stored for later. In fact, it can be even better the next day after the flavors rest overnight! Simply place your soup in a tupperware bowl with a lid and place it in the refrigerator. Be sure to eat it within 5 days.
Can I Freeze It?
Absolutely! Soup of all kinds make perfect freezer meals. I cook the soup then let it cool completely. Once the soup is cooled, I pour it into a Ziploc freezer bag. You can store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Crockpot Minestrone Soup
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 15.5 oz dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- Parmesan rind
- 4 cups 32 oz broth vegetable or chicken
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup ditalini pasta, elbow noodles or small shells also work
- 1 cup zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup green beans, cut in bite size
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Add the first 14 ingredients: crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, carrots, onion, garlic, celery, bay leaves, Parmesan rind, broth, water, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to a large (6 quart or more) slow cooker.
- Stir to combine and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or high for 4 to 6 hours.
- 30 minutes before serving soup, add zucchini, green beans and pasta. Cook on high for 30 more minutes, till pasta is tender.
- When ready to serve, stir in the spinach. Serve with crusty French bread, croutons, Parmesan cheese or garlic bread!
- Thinly cut the carrots and zucchini. Too thick of cuts can remain slightly crunchy.
- You can also cook the pasta separately and add cooked pasta to your bowl of soup when serving. This will help the soup to have more broth. If you do add the noodles to crockpot and you have leftovers, you can add more broth when reheating as needed.
More Easy Soup Recipes to Try
Looking for more easy soup recipes? Here are a few of our favorites: