Is there anything better than a slow cooker meal? We don’t think so. Something about setting it and forgetting it really helps us get into the habit of healthier eating. This slow cooker minestrone soup recipe, brought to us by registered dietitian nutritionist and recipe developer, Kristen Carli, MS, RD, is a great and healthy weeknight dinner solution.
This slow cooker minestrone soup recipe incorporates plenty of vegetables along with spices and pasta to deliver a complete meal in one dish. Yes, you heard that right — pasta. Pasta in soup should be a mandatory requirement. The addition of this carbohydrate source in the soup helps to fill you up. No more rumbling stomachs after a meager bowl of broth. This soup is hearty, flavorful, but not going to ruin your healthy diet. Need we say more?
Continue reading for our step-by-step guide on how to make this recipe. We know you’re going to love it.
Gather your ingredients for slow cooker minestrone soup
To make this slow cooker minestrone soup, you’ll need to start by gathering your ingredients. For this recipe, you’ll need crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, pepper, minced garlic, kidney beans, great northern beans, small shaped pasta, spinach, and grated Parmesan cheese.
We recommend using any small shaped pasta, like shells, ditalini, or penne for this dish. Large or long pasta shapes become a bit cumbersome to eat with the soup.
Add the vegetables and spices
Now, it’s time to get started. In a large slow cooker, add the tomatoes, broth, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic. Cover the slow cooker with the lid and allow the veggies to cook on high for 3 hours. After the 3 hours are up, remove the lid and give the soup a good stir.
Add the beans and pasta
Add the drained and rinsed kidney beans and great northern beans (also known as navy beans). Then, add in the uncooked pasta. Give this mixture a good stir, making sure to fully submerge the dried pasta into the liquid. Cover the slow cooker with the lid and continue to cook on high for 30 minutes. This will allow the pasta to cook in the liquid and absorb the flavors of the soup.
Add the spinach and Parmesan
Once the 30 minutes are up, remove the lid from the slow cooker and add the spinach. Gently give the soup a stir to incorporate the spinach into the soup. The spinach leaves will begin to wilt and cook down. Now, it’s ready to serve. Be sure to sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top for a little extra flavor.
- 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- ½ white onion, diced
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can great northern beans (or navy beans), drained & rinsed
- 1 cup small shaped pasta
- 2 cups baby spinach
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large slow cooker, add the tomatoes, broth, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic. Cover with a lid and allow the veggies to cook on high for 3 hours.
- Remove the lid and add the kidney beans, great northern beans, and pasta. Cover and continue to cook on high for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add the spinach. Stir well and allow the spinach leaves to wilt.
- Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top.