This simple recipe for minestrone soup is cooked in the slow cooker for an easy weeknight dinner. This hearty vegetarian soup is chalked full of pasta, beans and zucchini for a delicious dinner for the whole family.
This post was originally published in October 2020 and has been updated for content.
As a busy mom, I try to make things easier on myself when it comes to dinnertime. I love to create intricate dishes, but sometimes you just need to get dinner on the table! This easy slow cooker dinner is perfect for a busy weeknight or when it's cold outside with cheddar chive biscuits or homemade honey wheat bread.
🥘 Ingredient notes
- Pasta - Minestrone soup is typically made with a smaller type pasta. This recipe uses ditalini pasta which is a small tubular shaped pasta. Small shells or elbow macaroni can be used as a substitute.
- Vegetables - This recipe uses garlic, onions, celery, carrots and zucchini. Fresh tomatoes, yellow squash, green beans, spinach and/or kale can be used as well!
- Beans - I like using cannellini beans and kidney beans in this recipe. Garbanzo beans or black beans could also be used!
📋 Substitutions and variations
- Meat - If you prefer meat in your minestrone soup, cooked ground beef, italian sausage or even diced cooked chicken can be added at the end with the pasta and zucchini.
- Spicy - Add ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes with the other seasonings to spice this soup up a bit!
- Cheese - This soup can be garnished with fresh parmesan cheese before serving for extra flavor if desired.
- Gluten Free - Switch out the pasta and zucchini for some zucchini noodles to make this minestrone soup gluten free. Gluten free pasta can be used as well, however, I recommend cooking it ahead of time and adding it right before serving.
- Vegan - This soup is naturally vegan as long as the pasta you are using does not contain animal products such as eggs. Check the package instructions to verify.
🔪 Step by step instructions
Combine the garlic, onions, celery, carrots, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, seasonings and stock all into the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
Add in beans, zucchini and pasta and cook for an additional hour on high until pasta is cooked through.
Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper before serving.
⭐ Expert tips
- Serve this soup with a warm loaf of Italian bread from the bakery. It's great for dipping!
- Buy or make bread bowls for an extra special way to serve this delicious soup!
🥘 Alternative cooking methods
Stovetop - This soup can be made on the stovetop instead of the slow cooker. In a large pot or dutch oven heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and then saute the garlic, onions, carrots and celery for 3-5 minutes until softened. Add in the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are completely softened and pasta is cooked through.
⏲️ Make ahead instructions
This soup can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time and reheated on the stovetop or in the slow cooker. Additional broth may need to be added as the pasta will continue to soak up the liquid as it sits.
🥡 Storage suggestions
This soup will keep up to 5 day in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer when stored in an airtight container. If frozen, allow the soup to thaw completely before heating. Additional broth may need to be added during reheating.
🥘 More slow cooker recipes
If you loved this recipe for slow cooker minestrone soup, check out these other slow cooker recipes that I know you will love too!
Don't forget! If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and give it a rating. I love to hear from each and every one of you! Tag me on Facebook and Instagram as well! It makes my day to see all of your photos of the food you have made.Print