Not your Grandma's Minestrone Soup

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It's about time we put a Loaded Minestrone Soup on WGC! We've got every other soup under the sun but for some reason this classic loaded Italian vegetable soup, commonly known as Minestrone, was missing! Well not anymore...

Loaded Minestrone Soup from (@whatsgabycookin)


Minestrone is basically an Italian version of a vegetable soup that's loaded with just about every vegetable under the sun, a handful or so of pasta, a tomato broth and parmesan cheese. It has everything you could possibly want / need and it really required very little effort other than chopping all the veggies to prep. It's a one pot wonder that you're going to love!

And it feed a crowd! There's a total of 12 cups of liquid in this recipe so don't be afraid to invite people over for dinner. Just serve this up with a loaf of great crusty bread and call it a day!

Loaded Minestrone Soup from (@whatsgabycookin)

The recipe is pretty straight forward - but a few notes if you want to make alterations!

  • If you omit the pancetta then this is totally vegetarian friendly
  • Omitting the pancetta and the parmesan will make this vegan!
  • If you'd rather use rice rather than pasta, that's fine! Use the same amount of dried rice to dried pasta
Loaded Minestrone Soup from (@whatsgabycookin)

Minestrone Soup

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 23 votes
This classic Italian version of a vegetable soup is loaded with just about every vegetable under the sun, a handful or so of pasta, a tomato broth and parmesan cheese to make the perfect Minestrone!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 people


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta diced (can also use bacon)
  • 1 medium yellow onion , diced
  • 6 cloves garlic , roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 large carrots , peeled and cut into ½ in coins
  • 2 stalks celery , sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound baby new potatoes , cut in half or quartered if on the larger side
  • 1 cup macaroni pasta
  • 1 large zucchini , cut into ½ in half moons
  • ½ bunch Swiss chard greens removed from stems and torn into pieces about 4 cups packed, and stems cut into ½ in pieces. (keep separate)
  • 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans , drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup fresh basil, torn
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese , divided
  • Crusty bread for serving


  • Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown but not quite crispy
  • Add the onion, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes and then add  the canned tomatoes along with the juice and cook 5 minutes more
  • Add chicken stock, water, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer and cook partially covered for 10 minutes.
  • Add potatoes, dried pasta, zucchini, and chard stems, bring back to a boil and cook 15-20 minutes
  • Add rinsed beans and chard, cook another 5-8 minutes
  • Toss in the torn basil and ½ cup parmesan, adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper. Serve topped with more parmesan, basil a drizzle of olive oil and crusty bread


Feel free to adjust the veggies to use your favorites. You can also use any short cut pasta.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 1843mg | Potassium: 666mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4526IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!


  1. 5 stars
    This was a delicious post-Christmas meal to feed a crowd (and have leftovers). Pair it with Gaby’s garlic bread it’s perfection.

  2. 5 stars
    This is the best soup, just featured at family Christmas for the second year in a row. We don’t eat meet so we added 2T olive oil and started at step 2. For vegan family members we make the parm optional and it is rave reviews by all. Thank you!!!

  3. I don't have a Dutch oven. Could this be made in a crock pot- hoping to take to a college football tailgate on Sat.? Should I make pasta ahead of time and add to soup closer to time we will be eating?

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious soup! I made it exactly the way you wrote, except I added a can of garbonzo beans along with the kidney beans. Thank you!

  5. This was my first What’s Gaby Cooking recipe and it was so delicious! I used what I had in my fridge/pantry and left out the pasta. My best soup ever, thanks!

  6. I love this soup and love the pancetta but as soon as the liquid goes in my pancetta looks fatty and not likes yours at all! It looks great right up until I add the tomatos and broth. Any tricks?

    Thanks Gabby!

  7. I would love to make this and was wondering, for a vegetarian, what would you suggest as a good substitute for the pancetta/bacon?

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