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Horizontal image of a plastic ladle holding a large scoopful of an assorted vegetable stew in a pot.

The Best Classic Minestrone

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Looking for the best classic minestrone soup recipe? This is it. Everything comes together in one pot, for a tasty and healthy dinner.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 pinch + 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their liquid
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups small shell, orecchiette, or elbow pasta
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach (or chopped kale with the stems removed)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional, for serving)


  1. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened and the onions are translucent, about 7-10 minutes.
  2. Add potatoes, garlic, oregano, and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices, broth, and water. Add 1 teaspoon salt, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. 
  4. Raise heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. Stir in pasta, cannellini or kidney beans, green beans, and greens.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook uncovered until the vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat, then remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, as desired. 
  7. Garnish bowls of soup with grated Parmesan before serving, if you like.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: minestrone, soup, vegetarian