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, 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

What Ingredients You Will Need

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 shells
  • Zucchini – halved and sliced into half-moon shapes
  • Baby spinach – fresh, washed and dried
  • Fresh – chopped
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. Lastly, add in the sliced zucchini, spinach leaves, and parsley.

stirring in the beans and pasta into the soup

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

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 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.

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 7 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.

Video

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.

Did you make this recipe? Rate it!




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

  1. Made this soup yesterday, doubled the recipe LOVE it. Thank you so much for this and all the other recipes you share, by all means yours are my favorite!

  2. This looks delicious. Have to use gluten free pasta for my celiac husband. I find pasta just gets soggy if cooked and left in the soup for a day. I cook my pasta separately and add it as needed to the soup. Should I then reduce the amount of liquid used in the recipe? Thanks.

  3. Pingback: 10 Plant-Based Soup Recipes We Absolutely Love | Clean Plates

  4. This is the best soup I’ve ever made!  I substituted fresh fennel for celery. Forgot to buy a zucchini but will definitely add one next time.  Delicious and nutritious. Thank you so much.

  5. Hi Sommer, thank you so much for this recipe. Been looking for a nice minestrone. Going to try this week. Quick question (probably basic), but is the pasta cooked then added or dry when adding with beans? Thank you, David!

  6. Made it just as the recipe said except all I had were fire roasted tomatoes. It was PHENOMENAL! 
    Thank you so much 

    • Hi Stacey, hope you don’t mind the message. I want to try this but have what may seem a basic question (it was not clear in the recipe). Is the pasta cooked, then added or dry when adding with beans and let cook that way? Thank you, David!

  7. 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!

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

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

  10. 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

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