Saturday, November 27, 2021

Minestrone Soup Olive Garden

The minestrone soup at Olive Garden is warm and comforting, perfect for chilly nights. Recreate this popular menu item at home in 30 minutes!

Fresh vegetables, red and white beans, and tender pasta are simmered in a rich tomato broth for a hearty, filling meal.

Plus, this recipe is budget-friendly and can be customized based on what you have on hand!

If you love this copycat Olive Garden minestrone, try my homemade versions of their Zuppa Toscana or Chicken Gnocchi Soup.

I’ve even got a Chicken Vino Bianco recipe, which was my favorite dish before they pulled it from the menu!

Minestrone Soup Olive Garden in a ladle

Minestrone Soup From Olive Garden - Ingredient Notes

  • Use fresh onions, celery, and carrots. Known as the “holy trinity” in many cuisines, this creates the base of flavor for soups and stews. You will get much better results with fresh versus frozen.
  • Frozen green beans are fine, though. You can also used canned, but I recommend rinsing them so they aren’t too salty.
  • Broth substitute: Chicken broth is the gold standard for soups because it generally adds more flavor. However, this is often served as a vegetarian dish so feel free to use vegetable stock instead.
  • Add zucchini, spinach, and pasta at the end. The squash and noodles cook quickly and will become soggy if they are in the pot the entire time. Spinach simply needs to wilt, so you can easily stir it in just before serving.
  • Want a different pasta? Feel free to use whichever variety you prefer, though smaller shapes will be ready faster. Pay close attention to the measurements - it soaks up more broth than you’d expect! 
italian minestrone soup ingredients

Serving Suggestions

This meal wouldn’t be complete with salad and breadsticks! While they may not be bottomless, you’ll save plenty of money recreating your restaurant favorites right at home.

You could also pair this Italian minestrone soup with a gourmet grilled cheese for your very own lunch combo. Or, keep it simple by crushing a handful of crackers over the top.

Kitchen Tools You Will Need
copycat olive garden minestrone in a dutch oven

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

What’s the difference between this and the minestrone soup from Olive Garden?

While we can’t know exactly how the restaurant prepares its recipes, we know the main ingredients are essentially the same.

The restaurant has updated its menu in recent years and shows this dish as a vegan option. A simple swap of vegetable stock for the chicken broth will give you the same results!

italian minestrone soup in a pot

How do I save leftovers?

Allow leftovers to cool, then transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. Reheat on the stove until warmed through, adding extra broth if needed.

You can also freeze Italian minestrone soup, but I recommend cooking the noodles separately and adding in a handful just before serving.

Can I make this copycat Olive Garden minestrone in the crockpot?

Take a look at this slow cooker version for detailed instructions. The ingredients and measurements are a little bit different, but the end result is pretty much the same.

minestrone soup olive garden in a dutch oven


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Minestrone Soup Olive Garden wide photo (soup in a ladle)

Yield: makes 10 cups of soup
Author: Donna Elick
Minestrone Soup Olive Garden

Minestrone Soup Olive Garden

The minestrone soup at Olive Garden is warm and comforting, perfect for chilly nights. Recreate this popular menu item at home in 30 minutes!
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 45 Min


  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes (including the juices)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans (navy or cannelini), drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 zucchini, lightly peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2/3 cup small shell pasta
  • Parsley for garnish, if desired


  1. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, saute onion and celery in the olive oil until softened.
  2. Add the carrots, green beans, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, white beans, kidney beans, broth, and Italian seasoning.
  3. Stir and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add zucchini, spinach, and pasta and continue cooking until the pasta is al dente tender (about 10 minutes longer).
  5. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
  6. Storage: Store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  1. Canned or frozen green beans work great in this soup if you don’t have fresh.
  2. Add the zucchini and pasta at the end because it cooks quickly and gets soggy. The spinach simply needs to wilt - it can even be stirred in after you’ve taken the soup off the stove.
  3. Use fresh herbs if available and you’d like.
  4. Chicken broth generally adds more flavor. However, the soup is often served as a vegetarian dish, so use vegetable broth if keeping the soup vegetarian.
  5. You can use any type of pasta - smaller pasta will cook up faster. The pasta soaks up the broth amount quicker than you’d expect. That’s why we add just 1/2 cup - 2/3 cup. More than that and you won’t have much broth left!

Minestrone Soup Olive Garden closeup

Originally published November 2021

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