Slow Cooker Vegetarian Minestrone Soup could be your busy weeknight dinner lifesaver! It is healthy, hearty, and loaded with fresh vegetables, green beans, vegetable broth, pasta, and herbs. The perfect low fat dish packed with proteins and fiber!
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 a healthy and hearty soup to enjoy during the winter months. Our whole family loves this dish because it is loaded with veggies, fresh herbs, spinach, and aromas.
This recipe is very similar to the original Olive Garden minestrone soup. It has the same mix of vegetables that Olive Garden uses. Also, I love that it is versatile and I can add whatever veggies or pasta is available. Using the crock pot 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. A warm bowl of soup 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 included in this post contains the key vegetables that an ideal minestrone soup should have.
Serve it with a green salad or garlic bread on the side.
What is Minestrone Soup?
This is a tomato-based soup that originated in Italy. It includes pasta and beans along with vegetables like celery and carrots as the key ingredients.
This dish 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! It is also a healthy and nutritious soup loaded with vitamin C, fiber, and proteins!
What vegetables go into it?
This slow cooker minestrone soup recipe call for healthy ingredients. Diced tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, celery, fresh spinach, and aromatics like garlic and onion are the typical ones.
In addition, I use zucchini, butternut squash, green, and pink beans.
You can vary this line-up as long as you have the basic ones. Also, you could use any vegetables that you have on hand like potatoes or those in season.
How to make Slow Cooker Vegetarian Minestrone Soup?
- Sauté: First, heat up the olive oil and sauté the garlic and onions.
- Combine: Next, add the remaining ingredients to the bottom of the crockpot except for the baby spinach and parsley.
- Add broth: Then, pour the vegetable stock along with the spices and seasonings.
- Cook: Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.
- Add the pasta and spinach: During the last thirty minutes of cooking, add the pasta and spinach. Then continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes.
- Serve: Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese if you like. Then, serve warm!
Variations and substitution:
- Other veggies: The veggies for this Italian minestrone soup can be easily changed based on preference and seasonality. Therefore, feel free to add your variety of vegetables such as sweet corn, peas, parsnips, kale, broccoli, winter squash, etc.
- Beans: Swap the green beans with cannellini beans, great northern beans, white beans, or red kidney beans.
- Meat: For meat lovers, add some ground beef, ground turkey, Italian sausage, etc.
- Gluten-free: Simply substitute the regular pasta with gluten free pasta.
- Pasta: Go with whatever type you like the most. Whole wheat pasta, macaroni pasta, small pasta, are all great here.
- Seasoning: For extra flavor, add some fresh herbs, homemade Italian seasoning, ranch seasoning, etc.
- Add vegan sausage: Alternatively, a great addition would be a vegan sausage.
Stove top minestrone vegetable soup:
Looking for a stovetop version? Then, try this Stovetop Vegan Minestrone Soup recipe. It is an equally delicious and hearty meal.
How to make it in the Instant Pot?
Here is the link to Instant Pot Minestrone Soup. Making it in the Instant Pot is convenient and very simple.
Also, it is ready in less than 20 minutes, just ideal for busy weekdays!
I like to keep it on a healthier side, and simply garnish it with chopped parsley or simply squeeze some lemon on top. However, feel free to serve it with the following:
- Toppings: Sprinkle it with some shredded cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, croutons, crackers, or chives.
- Bread: Pair it with homemade dinner rolls, beer bread, crusty bread, breadsticks, or a French baguette.
- Salad: This delicious soup goes well with salads like Caesar salad, Mexican salad, etc.
How to store leftovers:
- Refrigerate: First, cool leftover soup completely at room temperature. Then, 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 it for up to 6 months. In addition, you can freeze larger portions in a large ziplock bag or larger size container.
- Reheat: Transfer the bag from the freezer to the fridge the night before you intend to serve it. Then, reheat on the stove over low heat until warm.
More delicious Slow Cooker soup Recipes:
- The best way to cook keep the pasta al dente is to cook it separately. Then, simply add it to the bowl when serving the soup. But this is totally up to you.
- Also, you can use cooked pasta for this recipe as well. Just add it towards the end of the cooking, just enough to heat it through.
- If you do not have shells or an elbow for the pasta, go with penne or the traditional ditalini.
- For deeper flavors, I love using a few bay leaves and garlic cloves. However, you could omit them if not a fan!
- For extra flavor, add one spoon of sun-dried tomato pesto along with the rest of the ingredients to the pot.
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
- 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.
- Next, add to the crockpot the sauteed onion with garlic and the rest of the veggies, beans along with the spices and seasonings. Do not add the spinach and pasta at this point.
- 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.
- Then, discard the bay leaves, adjust for salt and pepper.
- Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese and serve.