Traditional recipes

Microwave Minestrone

Microwave Minestrone

"This hearty soup is packed with vegetables and pasta." It's so quick to make, you can have it whenever you want.


  • 1 Cup sliced carrots
  • 1 Cup sliced celery
  • 1 Cup sliced zucchini
  • 1/2 Cup diced sweet yellow pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon California Olive Ranch Olive Oil
  • 15 Ounces cannellini or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 1/2 Ounces beef broth
  • 14 1/2 Ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon pepper


Calories Per Serving357

Folate equivalent (total)366µg91%

Riboflavin (B2)0.4mg21.2%

Minestrone Soup

In a 3 quart casserole, blend bacon, onion, carrot and cabbage. Cover and cook on high 7 1/2 minutes. Stir in water, broth and tomatoes with liquid. Cover and cook on high 10 minutes, stirring twice. Stir in shells, cover and cook on high another 10 minutes, stirring twice. Stir in beans, garlic and parsley, cover and cook on medium low for 10 minutes. Cooking times are based on a 700W oven.

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Keep scrolling for to the recipe card for the full list of ingredient amounts and instructions or click the “Jump to Recipe” button at the top of the page!

  • Olive oil – Avocado, safflower, sunflower, canola, or vegetable oils will work instead.
  • Veggies – Onion, celery, potatoes.
  • Garlic – Use more or less as you prefer.
  • Red kidney beans – I used one can, rinsed and drained. Other types like black beans or cannellini beans will work too.
  • Seasoning – Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, onion powder.
  • Tomatoes – Both diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
  • Bay leaves – Fresh or dried.
  • Vegetable broth – Chicken broth will work too, but try and use a low sodium one.
  • Pasta – A small shape such as ditalini, which is what I used, elbow macaroni, shells or orzo.
  • Parmesan rinds – (Optional) I saved some in my freezer from ghosts of parmesan wedges past.
  • Lemon juice – Fresh or bottled.

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bacon rashers, finely chopped
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups (1L) salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 400g can borlotti beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup (65g) small pasta shells
  • 60g pkt Coles Australian Baby Spinach, finely shredded
  • 1/3 cup (90g) basil pesto


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, garlic and bacon. Cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until onion softens.


Add the tomato and stir to combine. Add the stock and tomato paste and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 mins or until the soup thickens slightly.


Add the beans and pasta to the tomato mixture in the pan and cook for 8 mins or until pasta is al dente. Add the spinach and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Season.

Why is this the best minestrone soup?

  • This hearty minestrone is easy to make and totally worth the effort.
  • The recipe calls for seasonal vegetables and affordable pantry ingredients.
  • The soup packs great for lunch, and tastes even better the next day.
  • It freezes and defrosts well, too.
  • This homemade minestrone is infinitely better than the Olive Garden or store-bought varieties!

I adapted this recipe from the lentil minestrone in my cookbook, which was based on my lentil soup. For this classic minestrone, I omitted the lentils, added white beans, upped the tomato paste, and reserved the final tablespoon of olive oil to mix in at the end.

Please let me know how you like this soup in the comments! I always love reading your feedback and I’m eager to hear which veggies you use in your soup.

If you’re looking for more soup recipes, definitely check out the two mentioned above, and I have even more soups here.

Minestrone Soup Ingredients

Base Vegetables

  • Onions &ndash you can use shallots or leek as an alternative.
  • Carrots &ndash just regular carrots.
  • Celery &ndash and regular celery.
  • Garlic (optional) &ndash I like to add whole piece crushed with flat knife to let it release flavor but not overpowering with a strong garlic taste if you mince it.
  • Pancetta (optional) &ndash since minestrone is a vegetable soup it&rsquos a perfect meal for lent. So pancetta, guanciale or lard cut in cubes is completely optional, but it gives an incredible rich, intense flavor to the veggies as if they were cooked in meat stock (which by the way is also an option).

Hard Vegetables

  • Potato &ndash is always in season
  • Tomatoes &ndash any kind of tomatoes will do. You can also use good quality canned tomatoes.
  • Pumpkin or Butternut Squash &ndash available during cold season
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower &ndash available during cold season. I suggest to use cruciferous veggies in moderation due to their strong taste. Just a couple of florets will do for a pot for 4 servings.
  • Artichokes &ndash winter/spring time
  • Zucchini &ndash spring/summer time
  • Green Beans &ndash spring/summer time
  • Bell pepper- spring/summer time. Like to broccoli and cauliflower, use in moderation to not overpower other vegetables.
  • Asparagus &ndash spring time
  • Peas &ndash you&rsquod normally use frozen peas so you can use them all year round but you can totally use fresh peas during spring/summer time.

Leafy Vegetables

Anything goes that you can find fresh. Frozen would be your last choice but still possible.

Savoy cabbage, chard, chicory, spinach, escarole, kale just to name a few.


Beans &ndash Borlotti beans or cranberry beans are most common to be used in minestrone. But they can be easily substituted with kidney beans, navy beans, more delicate canellini beans or fava beans. Use canned beans or dried re-hydrated beans.

Chickpeas &ndash canned or dried re-hydrated garbanzo beans.

Pasta/ Rice/ Grains

Pasta is the last thing you add to minestrone soup. Also, if you&rsquore not going to consume all the soup in one go, I highly recommend cooking some pasta in a separate pot and adding it just to the part you&rsquore going to consume immediately. Otherwise pasta will make minestrone way too mushy.

Same applies for rice and other grains like farro, barley (orzo) etc.

Pro tips and tricks

Here are some great tips and tricks to help you make this soup perfect every time!

  • If you plan to freeze the soup, leave the pasta out of the soup. When you reheat it, you can add some cooked pasta to the soup.
  • Chop the veggies the day before and store in an airtight container or sealable bags in the fridge.
  • If using dried beans instead of canned, cook and drain ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge
  • Only add the pasta if you plan on serving it the same day. If you serve it over the course of a week, you can store cooked pasta in a separate container and add a small amount to each serving. This helps prevent the noodles from absorbing too much of the soup&rsquos liquid.

19 Delicious Microwave Recipes that Come Together in No Time

Sometimes it happens: You need to make a meal and you don't have access to a working stove or range. Perhaps you're staying in a weird airbnb, or you're at a hotel&mdashor maybe you're just in the middle of a kitchen remodel and don't have all your appliances working yet. Whatever the reason, it doesn't mean you're stuck with cardboardy frozen dinners or heating up water for ready-made noodle soups. You can still cook fully from-scratch meals! All you need is a microwave and these recipes. From breakfasts to sides, from dinners to desserts, these nutritious and flavorful meals will ensure that you and the family are able to eat&mdashand eat well&mdasheven if you don't have a stove.

Of course, if you've got other countertop appliances, then there are even more options. We have plenty of ways to use your Instant Pot, and if you have a top-rated air fryer, you can make tasty crispy chicken or pork chops in it, to say nothing of salmon or french fries. But you don't need to have any of those to eat well. From a tasty salmon salad to an easy-peasy risotto, from a giant breakfast sandwich to simple mac-and-cheese in a mug, these recipes are easy, fast, satisfying, and nutritious. Want something to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try the peanut brittle or mint Oreo bark. Want an easy breakfast? Check out the mason-jar omelettes. As long as you have a working microwave, we guarantee you won't go hungry&mdashand you won't need need to live on takeout.

This cross between a typical hummus and baba ghanoush is a fast and satisfying dip for pita chips, or a sandwich spread. And all you need to do is steam-cook the eggplant in the microwave!

Heat-beating and hands-off, this convenient corn-and-tomato risotto is simmered in the microwave from start to finish, so there's no endless standing and stirring at a steamy stove.

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone soup is a soup that originated in Italy and is made up of vegetables and pasta or rice. It’s an incredibly simple soup and in traditional original fashion, it came from what was available.

I would argue that this soup is one of the first real soups in the world as it has been dated back to 30 a.d. The broth in minestrone soup was classically just a bean broth but has now transformed into chicken or a meat base.

This soup is subject to change based on what you have and what’s in season. This recipe may look completely different in the summer since things like zucchini and squash peak in that season.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1.2 litres/2 pints vegetable or chicken stock, made from stock cubes
  • 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 100g/3½ dried spaghetti, broken into short lengths
  • ¼ head green cabbage, finely shredded
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large lidded saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery, season with a little salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened.

Add the garlic and fry for another minute. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Tip in the tomatoes and stock. Cover with a lid and bring slowly to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the beans and pasta and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked. Add the cabbage and cook for another 2 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add some hot water to reach your preferred consistency.

Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

Recipe Tips

The minestrone is vegetarian, as long as you use vegetable stock.

In May 2013 this recipe was costed at £3.53 at Asda, £3.48 at Tesco and £3.82 at Sainsbury’s.