Slow Cooker Vegetarian Minestrone Soup could be your busy weeknight dinner lifesaver! It is healthy, hearty, and the perfect way to use up leftover veggies!
This dish is an easy soup recipe from the Italians. Don’t you just love Italian cuisine? I love their Chicken Alfredo, Penne Alla Vodka, and Lemon Chicken Piccata among others. Try them all, too, and let me know what you think!
Crockpot Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Minestrone Soup is highly versatile with its ingredients, but the regular ones in the list are pasta or grains and beans. Using the crockpot for this recipe is just apt for a no-fuss dinner on a cold night!
There is nothing more comfortable than sipping warm soup when the temperature is lowered down. It warms you up and uplifts your mood instantly. And this time of the year is the perfect time to upgrade your regular menu rotation at home to include this minestrone soup recipe.
My family just loves this dish with its rich flavors and colors! It looks appetizing with all the different veggies and the flavors turn out amazing each time.
Depending on the leftovers for the day, you can make variations of this recipe. But the ingredient list I included in this post is the most complete of the key vegetables that an ideal minestrone soup should have.
What is Minestrone Soup?
It is a tomato-based dish that originated in Italy, which includes pasta and beans and vegetables like celery and carrots as the key ingredients. It initially started as a staple food that utilizes leftover veggies and was somehow regarded as a poor man’s food.
But throughout the centuries, it remained to be a favorite not only among the Italians but people all over the world. And you may use fresh vegetables, of course!
What vegetables go into it?
Tomato, carrots, celery, and aromatics like garlic and onion are the typical ones. This recipe calls for an addition of zucchini, butternut squash, and baby spinach. The beans are green and pink. Aside from the diced tomato, tomato paste is also added.
You can vary this line-up as long as you have the basic ones. Then, you can add in any vegetables that you have on hand like potatoes or those in season.
How to make Slow Cooker Vegetarian Minestrone Soup:
- Sauté: Heat up the olive oil and sauté the garlic and onions.
- Combine: In the crockpot, put the rest of the veggies along with the spices and seasonings except for the spinach and parsley.
- Cook: Cook for 6 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high.
- Add the pasta and other veggies: In the last thirty minutes or so, add in the pasta and spinach and cook on high.
- Serve: Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese if you like. Then, serve warm!
How to make Olive Garden Copycat Minestrone Soup:
This recipe somehow is already an Olive Garden Copycat of their minestrone soup. It has the same mix of vegetables that Olive Garden uses.
How to store:
- Refrigerate: Cool it completely and transfer it into an airtight container. Put it in the fridge and it will stay good for 4 days.
- Freeze: To freeze it, put it in a freezer bag. Squeeze out air and seal. Lay the freezer bag flat in the freezer, keep for up to 6 months. To reheat, transfer the bag from the freezer to the fridge a night before you intend to serve it. Then, reheat on the stove.
- You can use cooked pasta for this recipe, too. Simply add it towards the end of the cooking, just enough to heat it through.
- Serve it with a baguette, some breadsticks, dinner rolls, or pizza.
- If you do not have shells or elbow for the pasta, you can use penne or the traditional ditalini.
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 10 hours Total time: 8 hrs 30 mins
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion (chopped)
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 medium carrot (peeled and chopped)
- 1 cup celery (chopped)
- 1 medium zucchini (chopped)
- 2 cups butternut squash (cubed)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can 28 ounces diced tomatoes (with juice)
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup green beans
- 1 can (15 ounces pink beans, rinsed and drained)
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup small shell pasta (ditalini or elbow)
- 2 cups baby spinach (fresh)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated - optional)
- Chopped parsley
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat up the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic.
- Add to the crockpot the sauteed onion with garlic and the rest of the veggies, beans along with the spices and seasonings except for the spinach and pasta.
- Stir to combine.
- Cook for 6 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high.
- Add the pasta and spinach during the last thirty minutes changing the setting to cook on high.
- Discard the bay leaves, adjust for salt and pepper.
- Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese and serve.