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

Reviews for Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone

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Tracy User ID: 9016189 261716
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2017


xxcskier User ID: 1136353 261524
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2017

"Great flavor, easy to make. We also added shredded zucchini!

Great on a cold New Hampshire day!"

pols005 User ID: 2996794 260661
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2017

"Good recipe. I added some salt and used vegetable broth. I think this will be even better after sitting in fridge for a couple of days."

rmbarr059 User ID: 4046105 257787
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2016

"This soup was awesome. I omitted the beans and chickpeas because my husband won't eat them. I ended up adding extra celery, carrots, noodles and threw in some frozen corn and broccoli that I had on hand as well as a fresh zucchini. I figured that would account for the beans. I ended up adding some bacon gouda chicken sausage to our individual bowls and man it hit the spot on a cold night. I don't think anyone could screw this soup up, it's that good. Thanks for sharing!"

Cajun Mom Loves 2 Cook User ID: 8958408 255790
Reviewed Oct. 23, 2016

"I joined the site specifically so that I could post my thoughts on THIS delicious soup. It is wonderful! I added a 10 ounce can of Rotel Original with Green Chilies to add some spice (the Cajun in me takes over in the kitchen) and I used Ditalini pasta instead of elbows. quick, easy and so Delicious! Sure wish I could add a photo of my soup. My family LOVES it."

eseavecki User ID: 8889506 250167
Reviewed Jul. 6, 2016

"Loved this soup! Made it based on other reviews, and it didn't disappoint! Halved the black pepper and tomato sauce. Used vegetable broth and added a small zucchini. Great vegetarian option for quick meal!"

fearless rick User ID: 8798063 245147
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."

cookinggoddess User ID: 6134715 236348
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."

klandrews84 User ID: 7066576 233980
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!"

Willowsmom1 User ID: 5655747 220411
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."

FoodieFromSacramento User ID: 7527137 193000
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."

Aidenmaddiemom User ID: 7694521 181315
Reviewed Aug. 11, 2014

"easy and delicious! I make this often."

ferryal User ID: 3337544 192998
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."

mrsohcook User ID: 7093830 118735
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."

euge1 User ID: 3773156 197760
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"

jengel1 User ID: 6301273 181314
Reviewed Mar. 1, 2013

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

Cherie62 User ID: 6459320 136849
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!"

brownrexx User ID: 1161327 195996
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2012

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

shellytow1 User ID: 1567417 194759
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! : )"

iamthecook User ID: 5049416 181312
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."

bjsilve0 User ID: 172187 192962
Reviewed Nov. 2, 2011

"easy as it says"

Voluptuosa User ID: 1298157 134832
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."

CaseynBentley User ID: 6198586 192957
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."

danid User ID: 5870512 186250
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!!"

W3R3T User ID: 2450569 192955
Reviewed Aug. 8, 2011

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

kjdunphy User ID: 3688199 181310
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!"

smusleh User ID: 5793610 119509
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."

cinnamonfox User ID: 5911011 196051
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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