Easy, Healthy Minestrone Soup Recipe

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I'm a Certified Health Coach, longtime blogger, and host of Elizabeth Eats on YouTube. In addition to writing recipes (I love to eat!), I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life.


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Easy Healthy Minestrone Recipe Elizabeth Rider

Minestrone soup has a timeless flavor that never goes out of style—it’s a recipe that everyone should know how to make!

It’s not only affordable and packed with nutrition, but it’s also almost foolproof. And on top of all that, it feels like a warm hug, especially on a chilly fall day.

The other day, I walked past a charming little shop and glanced at their lunch board as I approached the entrance. Don’t get me wrong, their food looked amazing. However, what caught my attention first was the price of a cup of minestrone soup—around $7 plus tax. I suppose that’s just the cost of living in the city. My initial reaction was, “Mmm, minestrone sounds delicious right now!” But then I thought to myself, “Wow, for around $12, I could make a huge pot of healthy and flavorful minestrone that would easily feed eight people.”

Easy, Healthy Minestrone Soup Tips

Minestrone is an Italian soup that combines vegetables, pasta or rice, and often beans.

Its versatility allows you to incorporate whatever veggies are in season or available to you. You have the freedom to add any chopped vegetables you prefer or have on hand. Additionally, you can choose any type of beans to include or omit them altogether.

A note about the proportions: In the accompanying image above, I used two small purple carrots and a large orange carrot, which created a visually appealing presentation. However, I may have gone overboard with the noodles and added too many. While it made for a beautiful image, it’s important to note that noodles release starch and can cause the soup to become bloated. Therefore, it’s advisable to exercise moderation and follow the suggested proportions below.

For this recipe, I utilized one can of beans; however, feel free to add two cans if you wish to stretch your soup further. Minestrone is one of those dishes where you can increase the amount of stock and vegetables as needed to extend your meal.

Gluten-free minestrone recipe elizabeth rider

I love adding small noodles to my easy healthy minestrone—you can use any small noodle you have on hand, and brown rice noodles work great if you’re looking for something gluten-free. However, if you prefer, you can substitute quinoa, rice, potatoes or sweet potatoes to suit your needs and preferences.

If you plan on cooking your noodles or rice directly in the soup, make sure to add an extra two cups of liquid (for a total of 8 cups of liquid—either water or stock). Only add 1/2 cup of uncooked noodles, quinoa, or rice since they will expand during cooking. It’s important to note that if you’re using brown rice, it should be cooked separately as it won’t fully cook in the soup. If your noodles, rice, or potatoes are already cooked, use a total of 6 cups of liquid in the soup and add them at the end.

To enhance both the nutrition and texture of my minestrone, I always finish it off with a few handfuls of freshly chopped greens—or sometimes even a cup of frozen greens. In the image above, I used a cup of the 365 brand frozen chopped kale and it definitely lived up to expectations.

Why not give this minestrone recipe a try? It’s nearly impossible to mess up!

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Easy, Healthy Minestrone Soup Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Chop, Simmer
  • Cuisine: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Healthy


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, chopped small
  • 2 large carrots, chopped small
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped small
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons mixed Italian herbs, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil + 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 28ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes (including juices), preferably San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas) or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 quart (4 cups) organic chicken stock, bone broth, veggie stock or water
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup small (uncooked) noodles, such as shells (or 1 cup cooked noodles)
  • 2 big handfuls fresh spinach or chard, (or 1 cup frozen greens)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (we like Real Salt)
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, a large pinch of sea salt and pinch of black pepper, and sauté for 5–6 minutes, until the veggies are soft.
  2. Reduce heat to low, add the garlic, bay leaf and Italian herbs, and continue to sauté for another 2–3 minutes, until very fragrant. Garlic burns easily, so watch it carefully, or reduce the heat until you add the liquid.
  3. After the garlic is cooked and very fragrant, add the tomatoes with their juices and cook another minute. Next, add the beans, stock, plus 3 cups of filtered water (you’ll need 7-8 cups of liquid total; any combo of stock and/or water works). Add 2 teaspoons of sea salt and a few big pinches or turns of your black pepper grinder. Adjust the salt as needed depending on your liquid—add another teaspoon or two to taste if using no-salt-added stock.
  4. Turn the heat to high to let it come to a boil for one minute. If using uncooked noodles, add the 1/2 cup uncooked noodles now and cook at a high simmer/low boil until the noodles are cooked through, usually about 8 minutes. If your noodles are already cooked, add them now and reduce the soup to a simmer. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat, stir in 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar and add the greens. Fresh or frozen greens both work well. Allow the greens to heat through the hot soup for about 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Adjust the salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Serve immediately, or cool to room temperature to refrigerate or freeze. Will keep in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.


Tips and substitutions:
– Use gluten-free noodles if gluten-free is desired.
– Use veggie stock instead of chicken stock or bone broth to make this recipe vegan.
– Use 1/2 of a chopped potato or sweet potato in place of the rice or noodles to make this dish grain-free if desired.


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  1. Virginia says:

    Lovely soup recipe! I did not have chick peas so I replaced with cooked ground beef. I also added a zucchini when cooking the onions, celery, & carrots. Very good!

  2. Nicole says:

    Love the soup! May i ask, what exactly does such a minimal amount of Red Wine Vinegar do for an entire pot of soup?? Could it be omitted? Or more added? Thank you! 🙂

    • Hi! I always start with 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice (or any citrus, all of these things are acids and balance the flavors), then add more from there if needed. Too much will be overpowering. So, start with 2 teaspoons and add more as needed. 🙂

  3. Sami Flick says:

    This recipe is fabulous. I did organic stock (currently out of bone broth) and organic black bean rotini from Trader Joe’s. Halved the recipe based on the amount of chicken stock I had. Thank you, thank you!

  4. Shera Eddy says:

    Elizabeth: I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful soup recipes you provide. Every one of them are spectacular. Recently my husband had a hospital stay. Since he came home all he wants for lunch is soup and he enjoys the ones you provide. Thank you so much for making 2 senior’s lives easier these days!! Best to you! s

Hi, I'm Elizabeth

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