Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup
The best, classic easy homemade slow cooker minestrone soup recipe that’s loaded with Italian flavors. Chock full of delicious beans and vegetables – it’s comfort food at its best!
This soup is hearty and a great recipe for any night of the week. It’s not a meal you have to stand over and follow a ton of steps to create. It’s a classic soup that’s been around for years and for good reason. If you’ve never had it, or this is your hundredth time having it, you’re still going to love it.
What is minestrone?
The word “minestrone” is an Italian word that literally translates into “big soup.” It stems from another Italian word meaning “to administer a cure.” A minestrone soup, specifically, has been passed down as a hearty, thick soup full of vegetables and pasta. It was first created to use up extra vegetables before they went bad. So, it’s a great soup to make once your garden starts producing.
How to make minestrone soup in crockpot (slow cooker)?
- Add first ingredients – In a large slow cooker, combine all the ingredients excluding all the beans, zucchini, green beans, spinach, and pasta.
- Cover and cook – Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
- Add in the beans – Add in the beans, zucchini, and pasta. Cover and cook again on high for 25 minutes or until pasta is soft.
- Add in the last ingredients – Finally, add in the spinach and green beans. Cover and cook on high for another 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
What sides to serve with minestrone soup?
Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup goes well with just about any classic soup side. Some of the best options are:
- Garlic bread
- Side Salad
- Veggie Sides such as corn, sliced carrots, etc.
Make it thicker – If you don’t want as much broth in your soup, you can reduce the amount of broth to make it a bit thicker.
Make it spicy – Add in some crushed red peppers or slice up a couple fresh jalapenos and toss them in during the first step.
Add in more vegetables – Since this soup was created to use up vegetables, add in one you have on hand or have an abundance of. You don’t have to stick just to the vegetables included.
Add meat – If you prefer, you can add in some cooked chicken, cooked ground beef, cooked ground turkey, etc. This will add a bit of protein and make the soup even heartier.
Make it creamy – If you would like your slow cooker minestrone soup to be a little creamier, you can add in more cheese or toss in some heavy cream.
Refrigerate – Store this soup in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freeze – When it comes to freezing cooked pasta, I do not recommend it. The pasta changes texture and turns very mushy. However, if you’re ok with this, you’ll want to store it in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Reheat – Reheat in the microwave or over the stove in a boiling pot.
Tips and Techniques
Don’t overcook the pasta – If you leave the pasta in the crockpot too long, it will get mushy. I do not suggest letting this soup sit on the warming option. Remove once finished.
How to store minestrone soup? – The best option for storing this soup is in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last up to 5 days.
Broth substitute – If you don’t have broth and need a substitute in a pinch, you can use the same amount of water. However, there will be a flavor component missing without the broth.
What type of pasta to use? – Tubular or ditalini pasta was used in this recipe. However, you can use another short pasta as a substitute such as elbow macaroni, penne, etc.
Do I need to cook the pasta first? – You don’t have to cook the pasta as it softens up during the cooking process in the slow cooker.
How to make it thinner? – Add in more broth or water.
How to make it thicker? – Let it cook a bit longer before adding in the pasta.
Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup
- 2 cans Diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz cans
- 3 tbsp Tomato paste
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 4 cups Vegetable broth, Or chicken broth
- 2 cups Water
- 1 cup Carrots , Diced
- 1 cup Celery, Diced
- 1.5 cups Onion, Diced
- 4 cloves Garlic, Finely minced
- 1 tbsp Ginger, Freshly grated
- 1 tsp Oregano, Dried
- 1 sprig Rosemary, Fresh
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 Bay leaf
- Salt, To taste
- Pepper, To taste
- 1 can Red kidney beans, 15 oz. can, Drained and rinsed
- 1 can Northern beans, 15 oz. can, Drained and rinsed
- 1 cup Zucchini, Diced
- 1.5 cups Tubular pasta, E.g. Ditalini pasta
- 2 cups Spinach, Roughly chopped
- 1 cup Green beans , Frozen
- In a slow cooker, add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, parmesan cheese, vegetable broth, water, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, ginger, oregano, rosemary, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
- Cook on Low heat for 6-8 hours or High heat for 3-4 hours.
- Add red kidney beans, Northern beans, zucchini, pasta and cook on High heat for an additional 20- 25 minutes until pasta is tender.
- Stir in the spinach, green beans and cook for an additional 10 minutes until cooked through. Enjoy!
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Since the pasta absorbs a lot of the liquid over time, you may have to add a little more water or broth to thin it out, when reheating.