Forget going out when you’re craving a hearty, comforting bowl of soup. Use your slow cooker to easily make a copycat minestrone that’s just as good as any restaurant’s, and bonus, you save money making it at home.
This simple copycat version of Olive Garden’s minestrone soup uses vegetables like green beans, tomatoes, carrots and onions that are slow-cooked in vegetable broth. I added in some small-shaped pasta and lots of Italian herbs, but I also added my own little spin by throwing in lots of fresh baby spinach.
Serve this hearty soup nice and hot with a big slice of freshly baked Italian bread (or breadsticks if you’re really going for the Olive Garden experience!) for dipping.
Copycat Olive Garden minestrone recipe
Serves 6 – 8
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 4 hours | Total time: 4 hours 10 minutes
- 4-1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 (15-ounce) can green beans
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasonings
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 cup penne or small-shaped pasta
- 2 cups fresh spinach, plus extra for garnish (optional)
- Fresh grated Parmesan
- Fresh chopped spinach, for garnish
- To the bowl of the slow cooker, add all the soup ingredients except for the pasta.
- Mix, and set the cooker to cook on high for 4 hours.
- The last 30 minutes of cooking time, add in the pasta and the spinach, and stir well.
- Once the pasta has completely cooked, spoon the soup into bowls, and garnish with grated Parmesan and extra fresh chopped spinach.
- Serve warm with homemade garlic bread, if desired.