Crockpot minestrone soup is loaded with hearty beans and vegetables but instead of pasta, we added quinoa to make it extra satisfying. Bonus: it practically makes itself in the slow cooker!
Why you’ll love it: Not all soups make a meal but this crockpot minestrone is an exception! Protein-packed quinoa and beans ensure that this soup is extra filling. It’s the low-effort kind of recipe we all need in our weeknight rotation.
How long it takes: 20 minutes of hands-on time; 4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low
Equipment you’ll need: slow cooker
Servings: 6 to 8
- 1 Recipe Overview
- 2 Reasons to Love Crockpot Minestrone Soup
- 3 Ingredients You’ll need
- 4 Cooking Tip
- 5 How to make This Slow Cooker Soup
- 6 FAQs
- 7 Ways To Change Up This Minestrone Soup
- 8 What to Serve With Minestrone Soup
- 9 Storage & Reheating Tips
- 10 More Slow Cooker Favorites
- 11 Get the Recipe: Crockpot Minestrone Soup With Quinoa
Slow cookers are fabulous for tenderizing tough cuts of meat (hello, slow cooker Italian pot roast!) but don’t forget about your crockpot for Meatless Monday.
The same slow cooking method that makes meat tender and juicy makes vegetarian soups and stews extra delicious by giving the ingredients a little more time to mix and mingle.
Reasons to Love Crockpot Minestrone Soup
- It’s a fall favorite. This crockpot minestrone is a back-to-school staple in my house. I love it because I can make a big batch, freeze half of it for later, and I get two or three meals from just a few minutes of work. My family loves it because it’s hearty and delicious!
- Satisfying and healthy. Filling recipes are often heavy, and healthy recipes are typically light. This crockpot minestrone is one of those magical meals that is both satisfying and healthy. Win!
- Slow cooker recipes are the best recipes. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Instant Pot and air fryer, but on a busy weekday, it’s hard to beat the convenience of a slow cooker dinner. (And then there’s the fact that your house will smell amaaaazing as your crockpot minestrone soup simmers away all day.)
- It has quinoa! And before you can say, “But… quinoa?!,” let me assure you that it’s an excellent addition to this minestrone soup even if it’s not traditional. Not only does quinoa add extra protein (always an asset for a vegetarian dinner!), it doesn’t have an assertive taste so picky eaters are unlikely to object. I also like the texture (and healthy fiber!) it adds here; it’s a little bit like soup with rice or barley.
Ingredients You’ll need
- Aromatics: Like so many soup recipes, this crockpot minestrone starts with standard aromatics: yellow onion, celery, and carrots. This combination of vegetables infuses your soup with flavor, adding depth and aroma.
- Zucchini: A classic in minestrone soup! You can use any type of summer squash, though, not just zucchini. This is the perfect opportunity to use the pattypan or zephyr squash you picked up from the farmers’ market!
- Garlic: In Italian food, and Italian soups like this crockpot minestrone soup, garlic is non-negotiable. You can always add more, but you should never add less!
- Diced Tomatoes: You’ll need both the tomatoes and the liquid in the can, so don’t drain it off. Using canned tomatoes is a time-saver that doesn’t compromise the flavor of your finished soup. Look for low-sodium or no-salt-added tomatoes.
- Frozen Green Beans: Another time-saver! Frozen vegetables are as healthy (and sometimes even more healthy) than fresh because they’re picked and frozen at the peak of ripeness.
- Dried Herbs and Seasoning: Basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme bring lots of herbaceous flavor to the mix, while kosher salt and black pepper season the soup to enhance its flavor. To make things easy, they are all pantry items.
- Beans: I use a can of cannellini beans and a can of red kidney beans but you can use two cans of the same variety if you prefer.
- Vegetable Broth: Vegetable broth keeps this crockpot minestrone soup vegetarian. Feel free to substitute chicken broth if that’s what you happen to have it on hand. Choose low-sodium broth if possible.
- Dry Quinoa: Any color works here, just make sure you rinse it well. Quinoa has a bitter coating on the outside and while some brands come pre-rinsed, others do not. Bonus: Using quinoa instead of pasta makes this a gluten-free minestrone soup recipe!
- Frozen Green Peas: If you’re not a pea fan, you can skip ‘em, but they add a little bit of sweetness to savory crockpot minestrone.
- Fresh Parsley: Parsley adds visual interest to a bowl of soup, and it also brightens up the flavor.
- Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated Parm melts into the crockpot minestrone soup, infusing it with savory goodness. Omit it to make this recipe vegan or use a vegan cheese.
For extra flavor, add the rind of your Parmesan to the slow cooker with the rest of the minestrone ingredients.
How to make This Slow Cooker Soup
Add all of the minestrone ingredients to the crockpot except for peas, parsley, and cheese.
Turn on the slow cooker; cook for 6 to 8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high.
Once the soup is ready to serve, turn the slow cooker to the Keep Warm setting and stir in the peas and parsley.
Ladle the crockpot minestrone soup into bowls and garnish with additional parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.
Traditional minestrone is made with beans and pasta, while vegetable soup is often just a combination of vegetables and broth. Some versions are made with ground beef or pasta.
Ways To Change Up This Minestrone Soup
- Add a pesto swirl: Borrow from the French soupe au pistou and add a generous spoonful of pesto to your minestrone, then stir it in for a burst of basil flavor.
- Use what’s in your crisper drawer: Or your CSA box. Or the farmers’ market. Or your garden! There’s a lot of room to customize minestrone soup with your favorite vegetables. Make it with cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, or chard, or make it with potatoes for even more heartiness.
- Cook it on the stove: You can easily convert this recipe to a stove-top recipe. The instructions are on the recipe card below.
- Make it vegan: Omit the cheese (or use your favorite plant-based Parmesan) and this crockpot minestrone soup is vegan.
- Go the traditional route: Skip the quinoa and stir cooked small pasta (like elbows or ditalini) into the soup just before you’re ready to serve it. You may want to try my Instant Pot minestrone soup which is a one pot recipe with ditalini, ready to eat in less than 45 minutes.
What to Serve With Minestrone Soup
Pick up a loaf of crusty bread (or make my Dutch oven bread!) and serve your crockpot minestrone soup with thick slices for soaking up the broth at the bottom of the bowl. Make your own cheesy bread with my easy pizza dough recipe.
You can’t go wrong with soup and salad for dinner, either. Gazpacho salad and arugula salad both pair well with minestrone soup. A simple green salad topped with homemade croutons and Italian dressing or creamy Italian dressing goes well (especially if you like Olive Garden-style meals). The croutons are really good on the soup, too.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Refrigerate: Store leftover crockpot minestrone soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze: Minestrone soup freezes well for up to 3 months. I like to freeze it flat in zip-top storage bags so I can stack this and other freezer meals like Italian sausage stew with white beans and kale and slow cooker Texas chili for easy dinners in the future.
Reheat: If the soup is frozen, it’s best to thaw it overnight in the fridge. Reheat individual portions in the microwave until hot. Larger amounts can be reheated on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through. If necessary, add a bit more water or broth to thin the soup.
Interested in a weekly meal plan (it’s free!) that includes this minestrone soup recipe? Take a look at my Meal Plan #45. You’ll find a wholesome recipe for each weekday plus a categorized grocery list. Let me do the planning for you this week!
We’ll be adding a new meal plan weekly. If you’re interested, browse all of our meal plans.
- 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.