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Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone Recipe

Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone Recipe

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. YIELD: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


  • 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 15 minutes. Add macaroni; cook, uncovered, 6-8 minutes or until macaroni and vegetables are tender.
  • 3. Ladle soup 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).

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.

Reviews for Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone

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Reviewed Mar. 8, 2016

"I had to join this site just to post a review of this soup. I am actually just finishing off the last of it. SUPERB! and so easy, even a guy (me) can make it. Substituted green beans for garbanzo beans (didn't have any) and didn't use cabbage, also substituted farfale (bow ties) for the pasta. AWESOME! Thank you, thank you thank you."

Reviewed Nov. 4, 2015

"What a wonderful soup--I will make this often. Followed the recipe exactually. Nice recipe that didn't call for a lot of unusual ingredients."

Reviewed Oct. 4, 2015

"This is amazing. I don't like cabbage so I just added one small zucchini small summer squash some green beans and peppers. This is my favorite soup recipe!"

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."

Reviewed Dec. 8, 2013

"loved this I didn't have tomato sauce so I used can of tomatoes and tomato paste instead. I also added time I would add more pasta"

Reviewed Mar. 1, 2013

"This is so easy to make and healthy too."

Reviewed Sep. 9, 2012

"My six year old Grand Daughter ask me to make this soup almost every time she comes over. She cannot get enough of it! My whole family loves it and it's so healthy!"

Reviewed Mar. 12, 2012

"Excellent soup. Made it exactly as written except for the cheese. We skipped that."

Reviewed Jan. 16, 2012

"Since I have found this recipe a month ago I have made it 4 times. This is a keeper. The whole family loves it! : )"

Reviewed Jan. 10, 2012

"My spouse, who is not a soup fan, said this was great! I used 32 oz veg broth, no-salt added tomatoes, and mini rotini noodles. We both loved how thick it turned out, great taste, better than anything out of a can and really easy."

Reviewed Nov. 2, 2011

"Easy as it says"

Reviewed Oct. 21, 2011

"This soup was AWESOME!! my two kids loved it also. I used the seasonings it called for but didnt have the oregano so I used Italian Seasoning instead. It still came out Awesome. Im making recipe books for my two kids for when they eventually are out of the house and they BOTH wanted a copy of the recipe."

Reviewed Oct. 1, 2011

"This soup was so good! When I went to make it I realized I had forgotten the cabbage, so next time I'll be sure to add it. The leftovers were also great."

Reviewed Aug. 20, 2011

"Easy and delish!! Outstanding flavor, I might add one more can of chicken broth too it for a more brothier soup this time. I also used orzo pasta instead of the elbow. Will def. make again!!"

Reviewed Aug. 8, 2011

"Loved the soup. I used the Ditalini pasta, instead of elbow macaroni, unsalted veg broth, and only kidney beans."

Reviewed Aug. 2, 2011

"My twelve-year-old grimaced while he was helping me add all the veggies, but gobbled it down when it was in front of him!"

Reviewed Jul. 29, 2011

"I love this soup, and so did my whole family. Definitely look for no-salt-added tomato sauce though; I did not and it was a bit salty. Also, we ate it without the cheese and it was still delicious. This will become a staple in our meal planning."

Reviewed Jul. 26, 2011

"I have finally found a Minestrone recipe that isn't too watery! I absolutely love all that is put into this soup and will definitely be making this again. :] This also makes great leftovers!"

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