A Spicy Perspective

(Better Than) Olive Garden Minestrone Soup Recipe

Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup – An easy recipe for classic vegetarian (and vegan!) soup brimming with seasonal veggies and hearty beans. This flavorful dish is quick to prepare in 40 minutes, and is excellent to make ahead!

overhead view of large pot with homemade olive garden minestrone soup

Mmmminestrone soup… With a thin tomato broth, fresh veggies, pasta, and beans, minestrone soup is one of those magical dishes that manages to be both light and hearty at the same time.

The classic restaurant chain Olive Garden is most well-known for its Italian-esque pasta dishes. However, they also offer a great minestrone soup that is incredibly popular! Who else gets torn between starting with a small bowl before the entree or going big and having a large bowl as the entree?

Today we’re sharing with you our version of Olive Garden Minestrone Soup that we think you’re going to like it even more than the OG goodness. It’s an easy vegetarian and vegan recipe that is sure to satisfy, and of course, pairs perfectly with breadsticks and salad!

two bowls of olive garden minestrone soup in front of a large pot

Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup

This Olive Garden-inspired Minestrone Soup recipe is wonderfully simple and doesn’t deviate too far from the classic dish you know and love. Ours has the same iconic small ditalini pasta, fresh veggies like zucchini and spinach, and a savory tomato broth.

But we also include tomato paste in addition to canned diced tomatoes to really bring that deliciously bright tomato flavor to this vegan soup. Plus, a pinch of red pepper flakes for a kick of delightful heat! (Don’t worry, the red pepper is optional if you’re not a fan.)

From prep to serving you only need about 40 minutes, and everything is cooked together in one pot. So it’s terrific to make it as a quick yet comforting dinner even on a busy weeknight. Get ready to fall innamorato with the easiest, tastiest, and most authentic copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup recipe!

spoon scooping copycat olive garden minestrone soup loaded with pasta and veggies

Ingredients

This is one of those recipes that has just the right balance of fresh ingredients and pantry staples. To make our copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup from scratch you need:

  • Olive oilor preferred high heat cooking oil
  • Onionpeeled and chopped
  • Carrotssliced into discs
  • Celerythinly sliced
  • Garlicminced
  • Vegetable brothor bouillon and water
  • Tomatoescanned or fresh, diced
  • Tomato paste the secret ingredient for the best Minestrone Soup recipe
  • Italian seasoningstore bought or homemade
  • Crushed red pepperoptional for some yummy heat
  • Canned kidney beansrinsed and drained
  • Canned great northern beansrinsed and drained
  • Green beansfrozen
  • Dried pastasmall shape like ditalini (what we use here), macaroni, or shells
  • Zucchinihalved and sliced into half moon shapes
  • Baby spinachfresh, washed and dried
  • Freshchopped
cutting board with carrots, zucchini, onion, celery

How to Make Minestrone Soup (Better Than Olive Garden!)

Like just about any and every great soup recipe, this here is a one-pot wonder dish.

After you chop and prepare all of the ingredients, set a large 6-8 quart saucepot over medium heat.

Add the olive oil to the pot. Once hot, add the chopped onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Generously salt and pepper to taste. Then sauté for 4-6 minutes just to soften. You don’t want them to get burned or mushy!

Next add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper.

large pot with cooked carrots, onions, and tomatoes

Increase the heat if necessary and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, stir in the kidney beans, great northern beans, green beans, and pasta. Stir well and lower the heat if needed back to medium or medium-low. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, partially covered.

Make sure to stir every 2 minutes, so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom.

stirring in the beans and pasta into the soup

Lastly, add in the sliced zucchini, spinach leaves, and parsley.

Get the Complete (Printable) Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup Below. Enjoy!

adding zucchini, fresh spinach and herbs to the soup pot

Stir and simmer for 2 more minutes.

If the soup seems extra thick, add 1-2 cups of water and bring it back up to a simmer. Cook for another minute or so, then salt and pepper again if needed.

overhead side view of homemade minestrone soup with vegetables and pasta

Remove from the heat and ladle the minestrone soup into bowls with a sprinkling of more fresh parsley.

Serve warm with your favorite savory side dishes.

overhead view pot of olive garden minestrone soup with two full bowls

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you serve with homemade minestrone soup?

For the full Olive Garden experience, you of course need a basket of warm homemade breadsticks and a fresh green salad on the side. Yum! You also can enjoy bowlfuls with other carb-a-licious sides like garlic knots or cheesy garlic pull-apart bread.

How can I make this a gluten-free soup recipe?

Simply use your fave GF-friendly pasta to easily make this a vegan and gluten-free minestrone soup recipe! Just remember, gluten-free pasta doesn’t usually hold its shape as long as wheat pasta, so serve it immediately.

Can I prepare this recipe as a non-vegan or vegetarian dish?

Sure! Check out our recipe for Chicken Minestrone Soup for another version of this traditional Italian soup. Or feel free to use chicken broth in this recipe.

How long does copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup last?

This soup recipe is great to make ahead and keep in the fridge or freezer! Once the soup has cooled, transfer it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To freeze, wrap the container in a layer of aluminum foil and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat on the stovetop or microwave.

close up view of olive garden minestrone soup with tomatoes, zucchini, beans, pasta, and spinach

Looking for More Satisfying Soup Recipes?

Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes
Leave a Review »

(Better Than) Olive Garden Minestrone Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
An easy copycat Olive Garden minestrone soup recipe for that hearty, flavorful vegetarian (and vegan!) soup you know and love. Serve with breadsticks and salad to get the full restaurant experience!
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Chop and prepare all necessary ingredients. Set a large 6-8 quart saucepot over medium heat.
  • Add the olive oil to the pot. Once hot, add the chopped onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Generously salt and pepper. Sauté for 4-6 minutes to soften.
  • Add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, stir in the kidney beans, great northern beans, green beans, and pasta. Stir well and simmer for 8-10 minutes, partially covered. Make sure to stir every 2 minutes, so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  • Finally, add in the sliced zucchini, spinach leaves, and parsley. Stir and simmer for 2 minutes. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.

Notes

This soup recipe is great to make ahead and keep in the fridge or freezer! Once the soup has cooled, transfer it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To freeze, wrap the container in a layer of aluminum foil and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat on the stovetop or microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cups, Calories: 192kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 680mg, Potassium: 686mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 2649IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 93mg, Iron: 3mg
Course: Appetizer, Main, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Sommer Collier

Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!

Share This Recipe With Friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Did you make this recipe? Rate it!




5 comments on “(Better Than) Olive Garden Minestrone Soup Recipe”

  1. This is such a delicious and very tasty recipe! My son loves this more than Olive Garden and I can’t wait to make this again! Such a hit!

  2. I love that now fall is getting closer we can make more soups! This one has all the flavors I love.

  3. This soup is so cozy! It’s packed with delicious ingredients and so easy to make. We really enjoy it!

  4. thank you, have never tried the Olive Garden version but I really like how many vegetables are in this minestrone soup, and it’s getting to be that time of year – even though I don’t mind soup in the middle of summer, much appreciated

  5. This soup, to me, really is much better than the one at Olive Garden. I love this so much!!