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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 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).
Originally published as Easy Minestrone in Healthy Cooking August/September 2011, p31

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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."

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