Beefy Minestrone Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. Cook: 6-1/2 hours
This beef minestrone soup recipe is like a meal all in one bowl! It's packed with vegetables, beef and pasta for a tasty melange of flavors in every bite. This soup is totally customizable and it practically makes itself in a slow cooker.

Updated: Jun. 11, 2024

Minestrone soup is one of those much-loved, ever-changing recipes that’s practically made for customization with whatever vegetables you have on hand. This beef minestrone soup recipe is even ideal for someone who has never made soup before, as it’s fairly easy to make and the slow cooker does all the work. And oh yeah, beef minestrone is incredibly delicious!

Beef Minestrone Soup Ingredients

  • Chicken broth: Chicken broth is the savory soup base for this beef minestrone soup recipe.
  • Canned kidney beans: The beans add color and even more protein.
  • Canned crushed tomatoes: Tomatoes are one of the key components in this beef minestrone soup recipe.
  • Canned diced tomatoes: Get the canned diced tomatoes you can buy with added Italian seasonings, like basil, oregano and garlic, for added flavor.
  • Beef top-round steak: Beef makes this a hearty minestrone recipe.
  • Baby carrots: Carrots add color, texture and nutrition to this soup.
  • Celery: Celery adds a little crunch and a light, fresh flavor.
  • Small chopped onion: Onions make the minestrone broth even more flavorful.
  • Dry red wine: Red wine adds a hint of something special to the flavors of this soup. Feel free to omit the wine if you don’t have any handy.
  • Fresh minced garlic: Garlic makes everything taste better.
  • Dried oregano and basil: Oregano and basil are classic Italian seasonings that taste excellent in this recipe.
  • Ditalini: The fun shape of ditalini pasta makes this dish even more enjoyable. Bite-sized bits of pasta add texture and make this dish heartier.
  • Fresh oregano and shredded Parmesan cheese: These tasty toppings add plenty of fragrance to every spoonful of soup. They bring that made-with-love touch to every bowl as it is served.

Directions

Step 1: Make the soup

Cut the beef into 1/2-inch cubes. Then add the broth, beans, tomatoes, beef, vegetables, wine, garlic and spices to a five-or-six-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook the dish on low for six to seven hours, until the beef is tender.

Step 2: Add the ditalini

Stir in the pasta. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 30 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Top each serving with fresh oregano and shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Beef Minestrone Soup Recipe Variations

  • Make it vegetarian or vegan: The fun part of minestrone is that it’s infinitely customizable by design. Make this soup vegetarian by omitting the meat and using vegetable broth. Make it fully vegan by skipping the Parmesan cheese and using nutritional yeast flakes or vegan Parmesan cheese instead.
  • Use different beans: You don’t have to use kidney beans to make this beef minestrone. Substitute navy beans, cannellini beans, edamame, navy beans or chickpeas for a different textural experience. If you enjoy beans, add more than one variety to this soup.
  • Try different meats: Minestrone is made for experimentation. Substitute any meat you like, try ground beef, chicken or turkey. You can even add shredded chicken, beef or pulled pork. Bits of crumbled bacon or sauteed pancetta also taste delicious atop each serving.

How to Store Beef Minestrone Soup

Once it has cooled, store beef minestrone soup in an airtight container, ideally glass since glass doesn’t absorb oils or flavors. Keep it refrigerated for up to four days.

Can you freeze beef minestrone soup?

Yes, minestrone freezes well. The smaller the portion, the quicker it will thaw once in the refrigerator. Store it in airtight freezer bags with the excess air pushed out, then stack the bags flat.

How do you reheat beef minestrone soup?

Reheat your minestrone leftovers in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add a little more water because pasta tends to absorb liquids.

Beef Minestrone Soup Tips

Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones?

Fresh tomatoes are excellent in beef minestrone soup, so feel free to put some of your garden bounty in this dish! The same goes for other veggies you may grow, such as green beans or corn, or even Swiss chard or kale. Cut the veggies into bite-sized portions to make them more spoon-worthy.

What other pasta works well in beef minestrone soup?

Don’t have ditalini? No problem! Other pastas pair perfectly with minestrone, too. Try small shells, mini elbow macaroni, small farfalle or bow-tie pasta. Stelline or “little star,” a star-shaped pasta makes minestrone fun for all ages.

How can I keep the sodium low?

Look for low-sodium versions of the beef stock and canned vegetables, as the standard versions are sometimes high in sodium. Some canned veggies have no salt added and will keep the dish even lower in sodium.

Beefy Minestrone

Prep Time 20 min
Yield 8 servings (3 quarts)

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic, undrained
  • 1 beef top round steak (1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 15 fresh baby carrots, halved
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked ditalini or other small pasta
  • Optional: Fresh oregano and shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Combine the first 13 ingredients in a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until meat is tender.
  2. Stir in pasta. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until pasta is tender. If desired, top with fresh oregano and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts

1-1/2 cups: 255 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 1124mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 6g fiber), 21g protein.

I know lots of minestrone recipes don't contain meat, but my husband thinks a meal is only a meal if it contains some sort of meat. Consequently, this is the perfect meal. It strikes that balance of flavorful, healthful, and soul-satisfying. —Juli Snaer, Enid, Oklahoma
Recipe Creator