5 from 9 votes
Home » Recipes » Slow Cooker Recipes » Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup (Best Crockpot Recipe)

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup (Best Crockpot Recipe)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for details.

The Best Classic Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup Recipe – A simple slow cooker minestrone soup that can be prepared in just five minutes using common ingredients like white beans, zucchini, canned tomatoes, and fragrant Italian spices. Serve with some crusty bread and salad, and it makes the perfect wintertime meal.

A bowl of minestrone soup with pasta garnished with parmesan.

Want To Save This Recipe?

Enter your information below, and I’ll send it straight to your inbox! Plus, you’ll get complimentary gifts!

Save Recipe

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Kim Schob.

If you’re looking for a hearty, healthy Italian soup to make with your slow cooker this winter season, then look no further than my classic minestrone soup! Crockpot Minestrone Soup is one of the best winter meals on a cold day. 

This recipe is so delicious and simple. All you need is some vegetables, beans, pasta, and broth–you can whip up a pot of it in no time flat! Plus, the best part about making a meal in the slow cooker is its hands-off cooking. You just have to put all of the ingredients into the pot and let them cook themselves into one fantastic dish.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe…

  • Customizable Ingredients: Whether you’re a carnivore or a vegetarian, you can tailor this easy recipe to fit your dietary preferences by adding your choice of proteins or sticking to the abundance of veggies and legumes.
  • Nutrient-Rich Meal: This minestrone soup packs a punch with its variety of fresh vegetables and legumes, offering a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and fiber in each bite, making it a complete meal.
  • Effortless Cooking: Once all components are in the slow cooker, you can set it and forget it, freeing up your time to focus on other tasks while your meal cooks to perfection without the need for constant supervision or stirring, making it great on a busy weeknight.
  • Leftovers for Days: The great thing is this minestrone recipe yields generous portions, perfect for meal prepping or feeding a large family, with leftovers that taste even better the next day as the flavors meld together in the fridge.

Origin Of Minestrone Soup

If you’re a bit of a food nerd, then you may be interested to know that Minestrone soup dates all the way back to the 2nd century BC Rome. While it is an Italian dish, it took Rome conquering Italy to blossom it into what it is today. 

According to Wikipedia, the word Minestrone is Italian and is derived from the word minestra, which means “soup” when translated loosely. The literal meaning of the word is “that which is served.” And now you know more about minestrone soup than you ever probably wanted to!

Ingredients For Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

Ingredients for minestrone soup sitting on a marble countertop.
  • Butter: Adding a rich depth of flavor, butter is used to sauté the vegetables, creating a base that imparts a silky texture to the soup.
  • White Onions: Aromatic white onions are a cornerstone of flavor, and their natural sweetness intensifies as they cook down in the soup.
  • Garlic: With its distinctive taste, garlic is a crucial ingredient that adds a robust layer of flavor, enhancing the overall savoriness of the dish.
  • Celery: Known for its crisp texture and mild, peppery taste, celery contributes a subtle freshness to the soup.
  • Carrots: Not only do carrots add a splash of color, but their inherent sweetness balances the savory notes of the minestrone.
  • Bay Leaves: These aromatic leaves infuse the soup with a unique fragrance and a slightly floral hint that underscores the Italian herbs.
  • Dry Thyme: Earthy and slightly minty, dry thyme complements the other herbs and adds complexity to the flavor profile.
  • Dry Sage: Dry sage brings a pine-like aroma and a woodsy earthiness, which pairs well with creamy beans and hearty vegetables.
  • Chicken Broth: The chicken broth acts as a liquid canvas, enveloping the ingredients and marrying the flavors into a harmonious broth.
  • Diced Tomatoes: The acidity and juiciness of diced tomatoes cut through the richness, bringing a bright and tangy counterpoint to the soup.
  • White Beans: Creamy white beans are not just a source of protein; they absorb the medley of flavors and add heartiness to the soup.
  • Zucchini: Zucchini lends a tender texture and a light, almost buttery flavor that complements the other vegetables.
  • Baby Spinach: Baby spinach adds a burst of color and a touch of earthiness. It is packed with nutrients that wilt into the soup beautifully.
  • Ditalini Pasta: A tube-shaped small pasta, ditalini pasta doesn’t overpower the soup and offers a pleasing bite amidst the spoonfuls of veggies.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Grated over the top before serving, Parmesan cheese adds a salty, nutty final note that elevates the entire dish.

Substitutions and Variations

While this classic Minestrone Soup recipe is delightful as is, it’s also incredibly versatile. Here are some suggestions for substitutions and variations to help you tailor the dish to your taste and pantry availability:

  • Vegetable Broth: For a vegetarian version, you can easily swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth without losing any flavor.
  • Gluten-Free Pasta: If you’re avoiding gluten, choose a gluten-free pasta alternative to make this soup suitable for your dietary needs.
  • Different Beans: Try using different kinds of beans, such as, red kidney beans, cannellini beans, or chickpeas for a different texture and flavor profile.
  • Add Proteins: For meat lovers, adding diced chicken, ground turkey, or even Italian sausage can make for a heartier meal.
  • More Greens: Feel free to throw in additional greens like kale or collard greens for an extra nutritional boost.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Replace carrots with sweet potatoes to add a unique sweetness and lovely orange hue.
  • Herbs: For a more intense and fresh flavor, experiment with fresh herbs like rosemary, fresh basil, or Italian seasoning.
  • Cheesy Twist: Mix in some creamy ricotta or dollops of pesto before serving for an Italian cheesy twist.

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

How To Make Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

Collage of mixing the ingredients for minestrone soup.
  1. Cook onion, garlic, celery, carrots, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper in butter until softened. (Photos 1 & 2)
  2. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add broth, tomatoes, and beans, and give it a good stir. (Photos 3 & 4) 
  3. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  4. Stir in zucchini, spinach, and pasta in the last 30 minutes. (Photo 5)
Collage of cooking minestrone soup in a slow cooker.
  1. Continue cooking until the pasta is tender.
  2. Serve with parmesan cheese on top. (Photo 6)
A bowl of minestrone soup sitting on a gray tablecloth.

Expert Tips 

  • Herbs Introduction: When cooking with dry herbs such as thyme and sage, it’s best to add them early in the cooking process. This allows their flavors to permeate the broth and vegetables for maximum impact.
  • Sautéing: Taking the time to sauté your onions, garlic, celery, and carrots until they are softened not only enhances their individual flavors but also contributes to a well-developed soup base.
  • Bean Preparation: If using canned beans, be sure to rinse and drain them thoroughly to remove excess sodium and to prevent the soup from becoming too thick.
  • Pasta Pointers: To avoid overcooked pasta, make sure to add it at the end of the cooking time as indicated—pasta that sits too long in the heat can become mushy.
  • Leafy Greens: Add greens like baby spinach just before the soup is done to retain its vibrant color and delicate texture.
  • Season to Taste: Always do a final taste test and adjust seasonings as necessary before serving—sometimes, a pinch of salt or a dash of acid (like lemon juice) can make all the difference.
  • Parmesan Pairing: Use freshly grated Parmesan for garnishing—it melts better and offers a superior taste over pre-packaged shredded cheese.

Alternative Cooking Methods

This Minestrone Soup recipe is adaptable to various cooking methods, including the Instant Pot. To use an Instant Pot, follow these modified steps:

  1. Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function and cook the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper in butter until softened.
  2. Add the broth, tomatoes, and beans to the pot.
  3. Seal the Instant Pot lid and set it to the manual high-pressure setting for 7 minutes.
  4. After the cooking time has elapsed, use a quick-release to depressurize.
  5. Stir in the zucchini, spinach, and pasta, and then use the sauté function again for an additional 4-5 minutes until the pasta is tender.
  6. Serve the soup with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Remember that converting a slow cooker recipe to an Instant Pot may require adjusting liquid quantities, and cooking times will be significantly reduced.

Storing Tips 

To ensure your Minestrone Soup retains its fresh flavor and texture, proper storage is key. Leftover soup can be cooled to room temperature and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. 

Minestrone soup can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. This is great if you like to do freezer prep meals you are cooking ahead of time or want leftovers! Be sure to allow your minestrone soup to cool fully before storing it away in a freezer-safe container by leaving it on the crockpot and letting it come down to room temp.

A spoon full of minestrone soup.

What To Serve With Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

Minestrone soup is versatile. It can be served as an appetizer with your favorite pasta dish or on its own as the main course. If you’re making this recipe as your main course, then a simple side salad and crusty bread pair wonderfully! You can always do a classic soup and sandwich combo as well!

For dessert, a refreshing banana cream frozen yogurt or gluten-free chocolate chip cookies!

Recipe FAQs

Can I Make This Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup Vegetarian?

Absolutely! To make this recipe vegetarian, just replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth, and you’re good to go. If you want to make this vegan, use vegan butter, vegetable broth, and vegan-friendly pasta.

Can I add chicken or beef to this recipe?

Sure! If you want, you can add some shredded roast chicken or ground beef to your minestrone soup after it’s cooked. Just add it on top of the soup, and you’re good to go! If you want to cook your chicken in with the soup, you can

Other Slow Cooker Recipes You’ll Love

More Soup Recipes

Did you make this recipe? Rate it!

Or any other delicious recipes on my site? If so, please leave a ★★★★★ star rating below and drop a 📝 comment sharing your thoughts!

Make sure you’re not missing the latest content. You can subscribe to my newsletter and join us In Kim Schob’s Kitchen. And follow along below!

Minestrone Soup with pasta in a bowl.
5 from 9 votes

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup (Best Crockpot Recipe)


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Slow Cooker & Crockpot
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
Yields 6 Servings
The Best Classic Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup Recipe – A simple slow cooker minestrone soup that can be prepared in just five minutes using common ingredients like white beans, zucchini, canned tomatoes, and fragrant Italian spices. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 small white onions chopped
  • 4 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 2 celery chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled & chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dry thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dry sage
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 cups (1 3/7 l) chicken broth
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes 14 oz cans
  • 1 white beans drained
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 1 cup (30 g) baby spinach
  • 1 ½ cups (252 g) ditalini pasta
  • ½ cup (50 g) parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions

  • Cook onion, garlic, celery, carrots, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper in butter until softened.
    1 tablespoon butter,2 small white onions,2 celery,2 carrots,2 bay leaves,2 teaspoons dry thyme,1 teaspoon dry sage,Salt & pepper to taste,4 tablespoons garlic
  • Transfer to a slow cooker. Add broth, tomatoes, and beans, and give it a good stir.
    6 cups chicken broth,2 cans diced tomatoes,1 white beans
  • Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  • Stir in zucchini, spinach, and pasta in the last 30 minutes.
    1 cup baby spinach,1 ½ cups ditalini pasta,1 zucchini
  • Continue cooking until the pasta is tender.
  • Serve with parmesan cheese on top.
    ½ cup parmesan cheese

Notes

  • Herbs Introduction: When cooking with dry herbs such as thyme and sage, it’s best to add them early in the cooking process. This allows their flavors to permeate the broth and vegetables for maximum impact.
  • Sautéing: Taking the time to sauté your onions, garlic, celery, and carrots until they are softened not only enhances their individual flavors but also contributes to a well-developed soup base.
  • Bean Preparation: If using canned beans, be sure to rinse and drain them thoroughly to remove excess sodium and to prevent the soup from becoming too thick.
  • Pasta Pointers: To avoid overcooked pasta, make sure to add it at the end of the cooking time as indicated—pasta that sits too long in the heat can become mushy.
  • Leafy Greens: Add greens like baby spinach just before the soup is done to retain its vibrant color and delicate texture.
  • Season to Taste: Always do a final taste test and adjust seasonings as necessary before serving—sometimes, a pinch of salt or a dash of acid (like lemon juice) can make all the difference.
  • Parmesan Pairing: Use freshly grated Parmesan for garnishing—it melts better and offers a superior taste over pre-packaged shredded cheese.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1Bowl Calories: 266kcal (13%) Carbohydrates: 47g (16%) Protein: 12g (24%) Fat: 4g (6%) Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 6mg (2%) Sodium: 1228mg (53%) Potassium: 845mg (24%) Fiber: 5g (21%) Sugar: 8g (9%) Vitamin A: 4260IU (85%) Vitamin C: 44mg (53%) Calcium: 213mg (21%) Iron: 3mg (17%)

Hungry for more?

Follow me on Pinterest and make sure to comment below!

Get 3 FREE Conversion charts + Bonus!

When you subscribe to the latest updates, recipes, and content.

Rate + Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love making soups in the slow cooker, and this one looks like a winner. I can’t wait to make it, thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I loved how easy it was to make minestrone soup in the slow cooker. This was the perfect cozy meal for a chilly weekend!

  3. 5 stars
    There were so many different textures and flavors in this soup, and the crockpot made it so easy to make! I’ll definitely be making it again.

You May Also Like...