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Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone Recipe
Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone Recipe

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This recipe is special to me because it’s one of the few dinners my entire family loves. And I can feel good about serving it because it’s full of nutrition and low in fat. —Lauren Brennan, Hood River, Oregon
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 40 min.
MAKES:11 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 40 min.
MAKES: 11 servings


  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 11 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

Nutritional Facts

1 cup equals 180 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 4 mg cholesterol, 443 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 8 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 lean meat.


  1. In a large saucepan, saute the carrots, celery and onion in oil and butter until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  2. Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, beans, tomatoes, cabbage, basil, parsley, oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
  3. Return soup to a boil. Stir in pasta; heat through. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with cheese.
    Freeze option: Before adding cheese, freeze cooled soup in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or water if necessary.
    Yield: 11 servings (2-3/4 quarts).
Originally published as Easy Minestrone in Healthy Cooking August/September 2011, p31

Nutritional Facts

1 cup equals 180 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 4 mg cholesterol, 443 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 8 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 lean meat.

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Reviewed Feb. 13, 2015

"I have made this dish many times since I first found the recipe last year. Since I have a family where half are vegetarians and half are meat eaters, I substituted the chicken broth for veggie broth to turn it into a vegetarian dish that all of my family loves. When I bring it to a pot luck, I always take the recipe with me, because I know that I am going to be asked for it."

Reviewed Sep. 1, 2014

"Used fresh Parsley as dried is flavorless and a waste of money. Used vegetable broth, substituted the Pasta with 1/2 cup Barley. Omitted the butter and doubled the Olive oil. Garnished with grated Romano that I had on hand along with the chopped Parsley and fresh Basil. Served with toasted Artisan french rounds bread topped with Aioli."

Reviewed Aug. 11, 2014

"Easy and delicious! I make this often."

Reviewed Jul. 4, 2014

"This soup was delicious , very easy to make and the fact that has no meat in it, it makes even better. Although I tweaked it a bit, omitted the garbanzo beans and replaced it with a can of drained french cut green beans. Also, added Tuscan herb blend, which gave it a bit of kick! Next time, will use the regular tomato sauce rather than no salt, since do not want to use Parm. cheese. Also, doubled the chicken broth, since I like to soup with more broth, rather than thick. This recipe will be made a lot in my household. Lauren, THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing it."

Reviewed Jan. 6, 2014

"I had a difficult time finding a Minestrone Soup recipe without meat. This one was perfect! I did not have the elbow macaroni on hand so I used medium shells for substitution. Just the right amount of pasta and veggies."

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