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Hearty Meatless Minestrone

A friend gave me this quick, healthy recipe, and it's oh-so-tasty. It makes a big batch and is great for leftovers. To enhance the flavor, add a pound or two of sweet Italian sausage. —Mickey Turner, Grants Pass, Oregon
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 40 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings (3 quarts)


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-1/2 cups water
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup small pasta shells
  • Fresh basil leaves and shaved Parmesan cheese, optional


  • In a Dutch oven, saute onion in oil for 2 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, cabbage, green pepper, zucchini and garlic; saute 3 minutes longer. Stir in the water, tomatoes, beans, tomato puree, tomato sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in pasta; cook 12-15 minutes longer or until tender. Garnish each serving with basil and cheese if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 191 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 664mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 7g fiber), 6g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 vegetable, 1 starch, 1 fat.

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  • Dolores
    Feb 25, 2021

    Absolutely great Minestrone! I substituted fresh pomodoro tomatoes for tomato paste and it turned out perfect . The beans gave it the desired consistency . My husband is diabetic and loves minestrone.

  • emilyditre
    Nov 12, 2015

    This is a staple in our house...great soup!!

  • Kathy Brewer
    Mar 14, 2013

    Wow, multiplied times 5 and made this for a meatless dinner at our church. They loved it and many said it was the best soup they'd ever none. My husband put it together and he was glowing with all the grateful compliments.

  • Hot Wing Mama
    Jan 16, 2013

    This is simply THE BEST winter soup. It's hearty, warm, the cayenne gives it just a little kick, low calorie, my family LOVES this soup!

  • hcdearmore
    Feb 26, 2011

    A very good minestrone recipe. Makes a lot!

  • lyndib
    Nov 11, 2010

    No comment left

  • Amy Jean
    Nov 10, 2010

    I loved all the veggies in this soup. I thought it needed more liquid, but I may have just added too much pasta. This is a great healthy recipe!

  • skcoen
    Nov 1, 2010

    No comment left

  • aug2295
    Oct 17, 2010

    I substituted cannelini beans for the chickpeas and cut the recipe in half, also left out the cabbage. Soup was delicious!

  • Nichollette
    Apr 30, 2010

    I made the recipe and I liked the chunky veggies. I had left out the tomato sauce because I didn't have any. I could not tell the difference. Next time, I will substitute kidney beans for the chickpeas.