One of the many great things about slow cooker soups is that the slow cooker recipes make quite a few servings. I.e. you can enjoy it throughout the week for lunch or as an appetizer to your main meal!
This Crockpot minestrone soup recipe is fairly flexible and can easily be customized to suit pretty much whatever is taking up space in your produce drawer. I like to add Italian Sausage to this Crockpot tortellini soup, but if you omit the sausage then it’s naturally vegan and vegetarian.
What is minestrone soup?
Minestrone soup is a thick Italian vegetable soup that typically includes ingredients like beans, onions, celery, and tomatoes. You often see rice or pasta added to minestrone soup as well (I opted to use tortellini in this slow cooker minestrone soup!).
Crockpot minestrone soup ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this slow cooker minestrone soup:
Sun-dried tomato pesto
Herbs and spices
Frozen green beans
Salt and pepper
How to make Crockpot minestrone soup
To the insert of your Crockpot, add in the browned Italian sausage, crushed tomatoes, pesto, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, seasonings, and bay leaves. Then, stir in the vegetable stock and water. Cover and cook these ingredients for 6 to 8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.
Once the veggies have cooked for roughly 6 to 8 hours, add in the kidney beans, great northern beans, zucchini, green beans, and spinach. Let the minestrone soup cook for another 20 minutes, then stir in the cooked tortellini and serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan.
How long does Crockpot minestrone soup need to cook for?
Low for 6-8 hours or High for 3-4.
Can I use a different type of pasta?
Yes, any type of other pasta noodle works. Orecchiette, elbow or small shell pasta would be particularly good. I like the little tube pasta for minestrone as well!
Can I add other veggies to this Crockpot tortellini soup?
Yes, minestrone soup is traditionally a soup made of mixed veggies and beans so you can play around with what you feel like adding to it! Have some fun in the kitchen.
Can I freeze Crockpot minestrone soup?
Yes! Just be sure to leave the noodles out to the side. When you’re ready to eat, thaw the soup and add the tortellini in then.
Can I make this as Instant Pot minestrone?
I have never made it in my Instant Pot but it can be done! Here’s how to make Instant Pot minestrone soup:
Start off by chopping all of your vegetables. (Or you can always buy pre chopped too!)
Next, press the SAUTE button on your instant pot and drizzle in some olive oil. Add the sausage and cook for 2 minutes. Then add in the veggies and seasonings until fragrant.
Stir in vegetable broth, water, tomatoes, pesto and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Press Cancel then put the lid on. Press the MANUAL (older models) or PRESSURE COOK (newer models) button and set for 5 minutes.
When the Instant Pot beeps, do a quick release by turning the valve to venting to release the pressure.
Once the pressure is released, press cancel and push SAUTE. Stir in the kidney beans, great northern beans zucchini and spinach and cook for 5-6 minutes, or beans are tender and cooked through. Stir in cooked off pasta of choice!
Tips for the best minestrone soup recipe
I love adding the tortellini in right before we sit down to eat. If you add the noodles in while the Crockpot minestrone cooks, it tends to soak up the liquids and the noodles get mushy.
You can use chicken or beef broth instead of vegetable broth if you don’t have any veggie broth on hand.
You can also add a variety of different proteins, like ground turkey, Italian Sausage, ground beef, or lamb. Bacon, ham or sausage are also options. You can even make mini meatballs to go in the soup too! Or, maybe you have leftover chicken breast. Cube the chicken up and mix it in the soup!