Classic Italian Minestrone Soup

Classic Italian Minestrone Soup is loaded with fresh vegetables, red and white beans, herbs, and mini pasta shells. This soup is delicious, comforting, and flavorful. Perfect for lunch or dinner on a cold winter’s day. 

A bowl of minestrone soup with a spoonful in the bowl.

Classic Italian Minestrone Soup…

Our mom’s classic Italian minestrone is always made with fresh vegetables, beans, and frozen peas. Cooked in one pot and simmered for 25 minutes, this minestrone is ready to serve in under 1 hour. For more delicious soup recipes, try our Easy Pasta Fagioli Soup, Tuscan Swiss Chard & Beans, Baby Lima Bean Soup, and Lemon Orzo Soup. And for more lighter soups, don’t miss our 10 Healthy Vegetable Soups.

Classic Italian Minestrone Soup by

Ingredients Overview for Classic Minestrone…

(*Full recipe card on the bottom!) For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: choose a good quality olive oil, it makes a difference with flavor.
  • Vegetables: you will need an onion, along with some garlic cloves, carrots, celery, tomato, and frozen peas.
  • Beans: you will need 1 can of red kidney beans and a can of white Northern beans. Be sure to rinse and drain them.
  • Herbs: you will need some fresh basil and Italian parsley, plus 2 bay leaves.
  • Broth: choose vegetable broth for this soup, and we prefer organic. Plus, 2 cups of filtered water, or bottled water is also added to make the broth.
  • Seasonings: some salt, and cayenne pepper are all you need to flavor this minestrone.
  • Rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano: we prefer 1 or 2 rinds of the cheese to toss into the pot. This will give the soup additional flavor, along with a light creamy texture.
  • Pasta: choose “mini” pasta, and 1 cup of mini pasta shells will suffice for this recipe (see our notes below).
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese: is optional for serving.

Our Mom’s Method To Make This Soup…

  • EQUIPMENT NEEDED: No need for any fancy equipment for this recipe.  Therefore, one-pot is all you need, and a good knife to chop the vegetables.  It is an effortless and straightforward soup to make once all the vegetables have been chopped.
  • COOK THE VEGETABLES: The vegetables need to be cooked all together before the liquid goes in.  This method allows them to infuse all their flavors before tossing in the other ingredients. 
  • FLAVOR THE BROTH: Her secret to making her minestrone flavorful broth is cooking all the vegetables together before anything else goes in.  Then the seasonings and herbs and all the liquid goes in to simmer with the veggies.
  • TOSS IN PASTA: Always toss in the little pasta when you know you are going to serve it.

Our mom’s method truly makes sense, and her broth always turns out so much more flavorful, making this the most delicious-tasting minestrone ever. 

Tossing in pasta shells into the pot cooking the minestrone. on stove top.

Frequent Questions & Answers…

  • What kind of pasta is best for Minestrone Soup? Minestrone is usually simmered with any “mini” pasta, like small shells, ditalini, mini wheels, and even orzo.
  • Can we make it ahead? Yes, you can make this soup ahead – but hold the pasta until you are ready to serve. Keep it covered. When ready, reheat the soup, toss in the pasta, and cook until al-dente. Then serve.
  • When is the best time to toss in the pasta? Only when the soup is at a boil, you can add the pasta, lower the heat, and simmer until the pasta is cooked.
  • Can we make it with “gluten-free” pasta? Yes, and any brand of GF small pasta you prefer.
  • Can we toss in a healthy grain instead of pasta?  Try it with quinoa, or cooked rice.
  • What if we need additional broth? Keep in mind, that when pasta is added, it will absorb some of the broth. Therefore, you can add additional broth or water to your preference.

Storing & Freezing…

To Store: Best to allow the soup to cool completely before storing it in a sealed container. Transfer to your refrigerator and chill. It will stay fresh for up to 4 days.

To Freeze: This soup will freeze well, and for up to 1 month.

A bowl of vegetable soup on the table with a red Dutch oven pot next to it, and a chunk of parmigiana cheese next to it.

Classic Italian Minestrone Soup is a very soothing, flavorful, and satisfying meal. 

Your family will love this recipe.  Guaranteed!  Serve it with a simple grilled cheese sandwich or our grilled cheese and pear sandwich on the side, and maybe a salad for a delicious dinner. 

Try it. .. and Buon Appetito! 

Yield: 6 servings

Classic Italian Minestrone Soup

A spoonful of soup with mini pasta shells with beans and veggies,
Classic Italian Minestrone Soup is loaded with fresh vegetables, red kidney beans, white beans, fresh and dried herbs, and mini pasta shells.  Delicious, comforting, and loaded with flavor!  Perfect for lunch or dinner on a cold winter's day.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 2 Tbps. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large-size onion - chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves- diced
  • 4 carrots - peeled and sliced
  • 4 to 6 stalks of celery - sliced
  • 1 ripe tomato - chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 (15.5 -ounces) can of red kidney beans - rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-5-ounces) can white Northern beans - rinsed and drained
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt.
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/ 4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 + 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup mini pasta shells
  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving


  1. In a large Dutch oven pot, or any large saucepan, heat olive oil on moderate heat. Toss in the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, tomato, and frozen peas and saute all the vegetables together until they are softened about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add in both beans, fresh and dried herbs and seasonings, water, vegetable broth, and 1 rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir to combine and cover with the lid of the pot.
  3. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer the soup, covered, for 20 minutes. The broth will thicken and reduce as it simmers. Then turn off the heat. Here is where you can leave the soup (without the pasta) on the stove until you are ready to serve it for dinner. The soup will slowly continue to cook, even though the heat has been turned off.
  4. When ready to serve this minestrone, remove the cover and fish out, and discard the cheese rind. Next, toss in the mini pasta shells, and continue to simmer for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Taste to see if the pasta is ready, and season with additional salt and black pepper, to taste. If ready, turn off the heat, and remove the pot over to the side - away from the heat.
  5. Then serve into individual soup bowls. Serve with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese at the table.
  6. Note: Keep in mind, when pasta is added to soups, it will absorb some of the broth. Therefore, if you prefer more brothy soup, you can add in a little more broth, or water, to your liking.
  7. Serves 8


To Store: Best to allow the soup to cool completely before storing it in a sealed container. Transfer to your refrigerator and chill. It will stay fresh for up to 4 days.

To Freeze: This soup will freeze well, and for up to 1 month.

Nutrition Information:


8 servings

Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 0.7gSaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 344mgCarbohydrates: 42.6gFiber: 11gSugar: 4.7gProtein: 14.2g

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Stay Healthy … and Happy Cooking! 🙂

anna and liz selfie

Welcome! From Anna and Liz

We believe the kitchen is the center and the heart of the home. It is where we cook, eat, and unwind with family and friends, creating memorable traditions! Read more…

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  1. This was SO delicious!!! I made it for me and my boyfriend during snowstorms and we LOVED it! Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much, Marie! So glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe. And, welcome to our blog! It’s so nice to meet you. Looking forward to hearing from you again. Have a great day! 🙂

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Varun. Welcome to our blog and it’s so to meet you! 🙂 …we totally agree with you, soups make healthy meals. Have a great day!

    1. Well, then Jeff….this is the perfect reason to make soup! Stay safe and warm today!

  2. Just made this minestrone soup and it was fabulous!!! I made mine with mini farfalle pasta, even my little guy loved it! I am going to add a side of kale salad and a warm crunchy piece of baguette, then dinner is compplete! So easy and best of all, tasty and filling!

    1. Thanks so much, Christine! It helps everyone who reads these comments! Thanks for your tips too!