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!
Why You’ll Love This 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.
If you’ve never had the minestrone soup from the Olive Garden, you are in for a treat! 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, 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!
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!
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 oil – or preferred high-heat cooking oil
- Onion – peeled and chopped
- Carrots – sliced into discs
- Celery – thinly sliced
- Garlic – minced
- Vegetable broth – or bouillon and water
- Tomatoes – canned or fresh, diced
- Tomato paste – the secret ingredient for the best Minestrone Soup recipe
- Italian seasoning – store-bought or homemade
- Crushed red pepper – optional for some yummy heat
- Canned kidney beans – rinsed and drained
- Canned great northern beans – rinsed and drained
- Green beans – frozen
- Dried pasta – small shape like ditalini (what we use here), macaroni, or small shell pasta
- Zucchini – halved and sliced into half-moon shapes
- Baby spinach – fresh, washed and dried
- Fresh – chopped
How to Make Minestrone Soup
…Better Than Olive Garden!
Like just about any and every great soup recipe, this 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.
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. Lastly, add in the sliced zucchini, spinach leaves, and parsley.
Get the Complete (Printable) Minestrone Soup Below. Enjoy!
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.
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.
Minestrone soup can be served on its own or with a variety of savory side dishes to make it a complete meal! Here’s what I like to pair with it:
Tips & Recipe Variations
- Replace the celery with chopped fresh fennel instead!
- Stir in some fresh greens like spinach or chopped kale near the end of the cooking time for some added veggies.
- Replace the pasta with barley or farro!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Make This Recipe Ahead Of Time?
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 it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat on the stovetop or microwave.
Is The Pasta Cooked And Then Added In?
Add the dried pasta to the soup base and it will cook as the soup simmers. There’s no need to boil it separately.
Can I Add Meat For A Non-Vegetarian Version?
Sure you can! You can use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth if you prefer. You can also through in sliced Italian sausage or leftover shredded chicken for additional protein.
Looking for More Satisfying Soup Recipes?
- Chicken Minestrone Soup
- Rustic Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Soup)
- Hungarian Mushroom Soup Recipe (Vegan or Gluten-Free)
- Mexican Sopa de Fideo (Soup with Noodles)
- Tomato Potato White Bean Soup
- Vegetarian Navy Bean Soup
- Rustic White Bean and Kale Soup (Vegan)
- The Best Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Healthy Butternut Squash Soup
- Healthy Tomato Basil Bisque
- Italian Chicken Orzo Soup with Parmesan Cheese Shavings
- Chunky Vegan Chili with Sweet Potatoes
Olive Garden Minestrone Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- ¾ cup sliced carrots
- ½ cup sliced celery
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 32 ounces vegetable broth
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper optional
- 15 ounces canned kidney beans drained
- 15 ounces canned great northern beans drained
- ¾ cup frozen cut green beans
- ½ cup small dried pasta shells, ditalini, macaroni
- 1 small zucchini halved and sliced
- 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 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.