This slow cooker minestrone soup with quinoa is filled with fresh veggies and quinoa and bonus – practically makes itself in the slow cooker!
Hey Rachel Cooks readers! Hopefully you remember me from Rachel’s 2015 Vision Plan post from last week but if not, I’m Taylor from greens & chocolate. I am so excited to be contributing to Rachel Cooks once a month and I hope you are ready for a ton of fun, wholesome, and healthy slow cooker recipes!
I love the slow cooker because after a long day at my job as a physical therapist, I am ravenous when I get home. Using my slow cooker means I don’t have to think about what I have to make once I get home and also that I don’t have to wait for dinner to cook. Win, win!
The problem with a lot of slow cooker recipes that I come across is that they often utilize cans of condensed milk or are generally heavy dishes. While I’m not opposed to those every once in awhile (hint: next months recipe involves chocolate!) I’m especially trying to lighten things up this month after my fair share of indulging over the holidays.
After a month-long of eating basically anything and everything that was put in front of me, I am more than ready to get back to my usual healthy eating with the occasional indulgence instead of the occasional healthy meal among countless dinners out and way too many Christmas cookies. It doesn’t help that all the baby wants (I’m pregnant!) is burgers, hot sauce, and Chinese food.
So the times when the cravings for junk food hit are exactly when I need something simple and quick for dinner to keep me moving the right direction on the healthy-eating train. Enter: Slow Cooker Minestrone with Quinoa.
When I think of minestrone I think of a ton of veggies and pasta noodles in vegetable broth. While I love my Butternut Squash and Kale Minestrone, I kept the veggies more traditional sticking to green beans, tomatoes, celery, carrots, and peas, and changed the pasta to quinoa.
Along with being nutrient-packed, this minestrone is made in the slow cooker, making it super easy and gives you no excuse at the end of the day not to eat a healthy dinner. Aside from some chopping of the veggies, you just let the slow cooker do the work for you all day long. All you need to do to serve is ladle it into a bowl, sprinkle with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese, and soup is on!
Do you have any new year goals to eat healthier or are you just looking to clean up your diet after the holidays, like I am?
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about 1 large yellow onion)
- 1 cup diced celery (2 stalks celery)
- 1 cup diced carrots (2 carrots)
- 1 ½ cups diced zucchini (1 medium zucchini, about 10 oz.)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups frozen green beans
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper, more to taste
- 1 can (14 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (14 oz.) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups vegetable broth (low or no sodium)
- 1 cup water, more if desired
- ¾ cup dry quinoa, rinsed (any color is fine)
- 2 cups frozen green peas
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, chopped, additional for garnishing if desired
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
- Place everything in slow cooker, except for the peas, parsley, and Parmesan cheese. Stir well to combine.
- Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
- When nearly ready to serve, uncover the crockpot and change setting to Warm; stir in peas and parsley.
- Serve immediately. Scoop into large bowls, top with additional chopped fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
- Vegan/Dairy-Free: Omit cheese or substitute a non-dairy alternative.
- Stovetop Instructions: Sauté onions, celery, and carrots until tender. Add zucchini and garlic, sauté briefly. Add remaining ingredients (except peas, parsley, cheese); bring to a boil. Turn heat down, partially cover pan and simmer the soup 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and quinoa is cooked. Stir in peas and parsley just before serving.
- Storage: Refrigerate soup for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
If you’re still craving quinoa, you can find a wealth of quinoa recipes on Rachel Cooks. Or if you are looking for another great soup recipe, try this reader favorite: 20 Minute Italian Turkey and Bean Soup.