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Shortcut Minestrone

"This soup is hearty and makes a comforting lunch or dinner on a brisk day," relates Barbara Jellison from Bellevue, Washington. "The spaghetti sauce provides rich flavor without a long simmering time. I further cut the prep time by using my food processor to chop the vegetables.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 15 min.
  • Makes
    10 servings (2-1/2 quarts)


  • 4 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup uncooked small shell pasta
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup frozen cut green beans
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional


  • In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings; set bacon aside. In the drippings, saute onion and carrots for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer.
  • Stir in the spaghetti sauce, broth and beans. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta, brown sugar, basil and oregano. Cook, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Add green beans; cook 5 minutes longer or until heated through. Garnish with reserved bacon and Parmesan cheese if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 188 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 2mg cholesterol, 560mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 7g fiber), 10g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 meat.

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Average Rating:
  • Medic 716
    Jan 16, 2021

    Absolutely one to add to our favorite list. Great Flavor.

  • Diana
    Aug 25, 2019

    Have made this a few times and always good. I leave out the bacon, add celery, use Onion Soup dry mix instead of the spices. Definitely add parmesan when serving - it adds so much flavor.

  • rwippel
    Jul 10, 2015

    This minestrone was really good. I didn't have time to go to the grocery store, and I barely had time to throw dinner together. This recipe was perfect. I had everything on hand and it turned out mighty fine!

  • brash.2
    Feb 9, 2015

    I have made this recipe several times. It is wonderful just as written.

  • mother of 3
    Dec 12, 2013

    DH doesn't like minestrone, but I think it's good enough to bring to fellowship. I used Barilla veggie macaroni.. Omitted the bacon, used grape seed oil instead.

  • puppylove_214
    Apr 9, 2013

    Hearty and full of flavor! It is even better that Olive Garden's!!!

  • ksandjs1
    Oct 11, 2011

    No comment left

  • Amy Heinz
    Feb 8, 2011

    My family loved this soup. I didn't have small shells noodles and used broken up pieces of spaghetti noodles instead.

  • JessT2003
    Jan 26, 2011

    No comment left

  • nannypants
    Feb 27, 2009

    No comment left