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

5 from 13 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 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
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
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 in coins
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced into 1/2 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
  • 1/2 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 1/2 in half moons
  • 1/2 bunch Swiss chard, greens removed from stems and torn into pieces about 4 cups packed, and stems cut into 1/2 in pieces. (keep separate)
  • 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 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 1/2 cup parmesan, adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper. Serve topped with more parmesan, basil a drizzle of olive oil and crusty bread


  1. 5 stars
    I just love this vegetable loaded soup! I have never used kidney beans before, but will be trying this version tomorrow night!!

  2. 5 stars
    This is my new favorite minestrone soup – actually, just my new favorite soup period. The amount of flavor packed into each spoonful is insane.

  3. 5 stars
    Made it as is, no modifications and I am so happy I did!! It is delicious! The soup is healthy and full of flavor. This is a recipe to make over and over again!!

  4. Made this for Halloween dinner, and it was SOOO yum!! Not only easy to make, but seriously delicious and perfect for a cool Fall day.

    1. 5 stars
      Am not a huge minestrone fan, but this was sublime, everest a lingering delightful taste on the palate. Of course I soaked and boiled my own red beans.

  5. Is there a way you could turn this into a crockpot recipe? If so how? I would love to have to finished when I get home from work!

  6. Just made this tonight; substituted orzo pasta instead of using macaroni pasta b/c that’s what I had in my pantry. Used spinach instead of chard as a personal choice- it was the best minestrone soup- so hearty and healthy.

  7. 5 stars
    This is so delicious! I used your taste like pizza seasoning in place of the oregano because I just got the spice set and its fun to use them. Will be making again and again! Thanks Gaby!

  8. 5 stars
    First time making minestrone soup. Half of it is going to my friend with a newborn. Nothing says “I love you, new mama” more than homemade soup left on your doorstep.
    I love it, nice and spicy kick. Pushed the limits of my ‘vintage’ stainless steel farberware soup pot. So much soup to love!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this last night for my family. This is by far the best minestrone recipe ever! The flavors are amazing – and no overcooked veggies. A definite keeper.

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

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

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