Easy Minestrone Soup is just that – ridiculously easy, but also insanely delicious! Italian Minestrone soup is the perfect soup for beginners. It’s impossible to mess up – put everything into a big old pot and let it cook for a bit, mix in some pasta and there you go – a quick weeknight dinner. This can be made to be an easy vegetarian minestrone soup or bulk it up with some Italian sausage, pancetta, or ground meat.
Italian minestrone soup is probably one of the first meals I made all by myself. It’s one of those meals my mom made a lot, tossing in cans of things and scraggly bits from the produce drawer, pleasing my (then) vegetarian sensibilities and living in a very Italian household.
This post was originally posted on 11/1/2016 and has since been updated.
Here’s what I love about this easy minestrone soup: everything.
No, really. Mostly, though, it’s that I almost always have everything I need for it and it’s super flexible. Only have frozen veggies? That’s cool, throw ’em in. Want to make it vegetarian? Done that, it’s delicious. Fridge crisper overflowing with veggies starting to go bad? Perfect, chop ’em up and you’re golden.
Much like my Foolproof Chicken Soup, I truly believe you would have to try to make this bad – it’s the perfect soup for the beginner cook but also the perfect, easy meal for a pro in the kitchen. (Not that I would know, as I am definitely not one.) Let it simmer all day or for just an hour, either way, it’s going to be a crowd pleaser – also the perfect meal for the freezer.
Tips for making the best easy minestrone soup
- If you want to make it vegetarian, you can omit meat easily. Instead, add a can of chickpeas (or white beans) instead. Be sure to add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your veggies since the fat from the sausage is missing.
- Not a sausage fan? Bacon, pancetta, or plain ol’ ground meat also work wonderfully with this. Use what you have on hand/hanging out in your freezer.
- Use whatever veggies you have on hand – here I used 1 green and 1 yellow zucchini, and about a cup of chopped fresh green beans, but anything from frozen to fresh odds and ends in your veggie drawer work!
- I rarely have stock on hand since it’s kind of pricey so I usually use water. Stock will create a more flavorful soup, but water works just fine.
- If you’re planning on having leftovers, make sure you cook the pasta separately or the pasta will get mushy sitting in the soup.
Like my favorite easy recipes, this can be whipped together in 30 minutes or you can toss it into a crockpot and let it go all day while you go about your life. (brown any meat ahead of time). It’s packed full of veggies, but in an easy, approachable way that is super kid friendly.
Top it with a mound of freshly grated Parmesan cheese to up the ‘kid-friendly’ factor.
Veggies to add to easy minestrone soup
You can really use whatever veggies you have on hand – I typically use easy minestrone soup as a way to clear out my produce drawer – but here are some of my favorite veggies for Italian minestrone soup.
- Green beans
- Zucchini/yellow squash
Easy Minestrone Soup
Easy Minestrone Soup is just that - ridiculously easy, but also insanely delicious! Italian Minestrone soup is the perfect soup for beginners.
- 1-2 lbs of Italian Sausage*
- 1 large can of diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can of kidney beans
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 large carrots diced
- 2 celery stalks sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 cups assorted vegetables chopped
- 1 cup white wine
- water or unsalted stock****
- Salt pepper, Italian seasoning
- 4 oz Frozen spinach whole leaf
- ditalini pasta
In a large pot, brown sausage in the bottom of a soup pot until rendered and brown before transferring the cooked meat into a bowl and setting aside. Remove all but 2-3 tablespoons of fat.
On medium heat, cook down onions, carrots, and celery until soft. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add in remaining veggies. Cook 5 minutes before deglazing with the wine. Add meat back in and season with salt, pepper, and a few shakes of Italian seasoning to taste.
Top with water or stock, adding more as needed. Cover and cook on medium for at least 30 minutes until everything is soft, or simmer until you're ready to eat. Right before serving add in frozen spinach, stir to cook through.
If serving with pasta, cook separately.
You can omit meat easily. Add a can of chickpeas instead to bulk it up, but be sure to add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your veggies.
Bacon, pancetta, or even ground meat also work wonderfully with this. Use what you have on hand/hanging out in your freezer.
Use whatever veggies you have on hand - here I used 1 green and 1 yellow zucchini, and about a cup of chopped fresh green beans.
If you have stock on hand, feel free to substitute.
Looking for more easy ways to encourage your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables? Grab your FREE copy of Eat the Rainbow – 10 fun and easy fruit and vegetable snacks that will take less than 1 minute. Your kids will be begging to eat these fun fruits and vegetables.
So tell me – favorite fall food? Does cooler weather make you crave soup? Let me know in the comments!
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