Fall is just around the corner which means it's soup season! You won't need to slave over this one all day though, this quick and easy minestrone soup is packed with veggies and flavor and can be made in under half an hour. This classic soup is hearty and satisfying.
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2017 Update: This minestrone soup is something I first shared back in 2015 but decided that the photos needed an update. And I'm so glad that that forced me to make this soup again because I had forgotten how much I love it!
2022 Update: I added some new tips and tricks to this recipe. It's such a good weeknight meal for us and I wanted to make sure you had all the tools in your toolbox. I'm so glad this recipe is still popular — now the great thing is that my kids love it as well. It's such a great soup for any occasion, too.
I've mentioned before that I think lunch is the worst meal of the day. I don't know why but every day it's a complete struggle to figure out what to eat for lunch.
Making a pot of soup at the beginning of the week is the perfect solution for me because it means I don't have to think about what to eat for lunch every day. Soup also makes the perfect leftover lunch for Steven to take to work and reheat in the break room!
This Quick and Easy Minestrone Soup is even easier than most soups because it has a secret ingredient, and I bet you already have it in your pantry.
Easy Minestrone Soup Recipe
I took a cooking class recently and the instructor made a comment about "simple" recipes. She said that recipes with five ingredients are good because of technique, not because of the ingredients themselves.
While this recipe has a few more ingredients than five, I think the "technique" used to make the soup is what makes it great.
My favorite ingredient is the thing that makes this soup so special. The secret sauce to this soup is pasta sauce!
I know some like the crunch of croutons with soup. If that's you, add these homemade croutons for a great added texture.
Pasta sauce is the perfect addition for making this soup flavorful AND easy.
Because you're using pasta sauce, there's no need to let the soup simmer for hours and hours. You don't even need a slow cooker or pressure cooker.
In fact, it's ready as soon as the veggies and noodles are cooked. It only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
What is minestrone soup?
Minestrone soup is a thick, Italian vegetable soup. It's common for pasta or rice to be added, sometimes both. The typical ingredients are beans, onions, celery, carrots, and tomatoes.
Olive Garden minestrone soup is famous, and is made with fresh vegetables, beans and pasta in a light tomato broth. A vegan classic, they call it.
Panera minestrone soup adds in chickpeas and kale, plus beans, pasta, fire-roasted tomatoes and autumn vegetables.
Minestrone soup can be enjoyed all year long. It makes a great meal to share with friends — I especially love making it for anyone who needs a helping hand.
Easy Minestrone Soup Ingredients
A classic minestrone soup has a lot more ingredients and it will take longer to make. They usually involve making a tomato base with tomato paste, canned tomatoes and vegetable broth, plus lots of veggies and seasonings.
My recipe cuts the time in half because of the pasta sauce. Here's what you will need to make my quick and easy minestrone soup:
- ½ jar pasta sauce (most jars are 24 ounces, so you'll need about 12 ounces worth)
- a small onion
- a can of kidney beans
- uncooked pasta, such as ditalini, orecchiette, elbow or small shells
- dried oregano
- dried basil
- grated parmesan
This soup is vegetarian as it is. Make it into vegan minestrone soup if you skip the parmesan cheese (or use vegan parmesan) and make sure your pasta sauce is vegan too.
A note about minestrone soup: I'm sure there's a "classic" way to make it and maybe my Italian study abroad didn't teach me the proper way. To me, minestrone is a perfect soup to use up whatever veggies you have on hand.
I've seen minestrone soup recipes with green beans, onions, meat, kidney beans, zucchini and squash. The options are quite limitless!
Feel free to tailor this to what you have on hand, and don't be afraid to toss in some leftover veggies you have in the fridge.
Minestrone Soup with Pasta Sauce
Whenever we make pasta, we don't use a ton of sauce, so it's pretty common for me to have a half-used jar of tomato sauce in the fridge.
This easy soup recipe is the perfect solution to use up that last bit of sauce without feeling like you have to eat pasta again.
Some flavors of pasta sauce that would be delicious in this recipe:
- traditional marinara sauce
- garlic and herb tomato sauce
- garlic and onion tomato sauce
- tomato and basil sauce
- parmesan and romano tomato sauce
- rosa sauce
- four cheese pasta sauce
(If you're making this into vegan soup, make sure to check the ingredients on the pasta sauce jar.)
Pasta for Minestrone Soup
You can also totally vary the pasta in this soup.
I've used larger pasta shapes before but this time I loved using ditalini which is the perfect size for a soup like this! I love the little small circle shapes — they are fun to eat!
If you can't find ditalini, use smaller shapes like orecchiette, orzo, elbow or small shells.
Have I convinced you to try it? Scroll down to get the recipe!
What to serve with minestrone soup
You can enjoy this quick minestrone soup as a meal by itself, but you can also use it as part of a meal, too.
Make a salad like this Strawberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad. Soup and salad always go well together!
I'd love to know what you think of this soup. Leave a comment, rating and review below!
Quick and Easy Minestrone Soup
- 12 ounces jarred pasta sauce
- 7 cups of water
- ½ cup chopped carrots
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup diced onions
- ½ can of kidney beans drained
- 1 cups pasta uncooked
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons basil
- ½ cup spinach ripped or cut into small pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh grated parmesan
- Combine ingredients (except parmesan and spinach) in large stock pot, bring to a boil.
- Allow to boil and cook until vegetables and pasta are cooked (about 30-40 minutes).
- Place spinach in pot for 2-3 minutes before serving.
- Top with freshly grated parmesan, if desired.
- Serve immediately.