Quinoa Minestrone

In Italian, minestrone literally means “big soup”. There is no set recipe for minestrone, it usually consists of a combination of seasonal veggies, beans, pasta, rice, and tomatoes. It is a thick, comforting soup that you can throw together quickly and with a variety of staples on hand. I decided to whip this up for my mom and myself, using quinoa and some organic zucchini. Quinoa makes a great addition to this soup, adding far more protein and fiber than traditional pasta. Further, since quinoa provides complete protein, this soup is a filling and simple meal. Aside from a bit of chopping, this is an easy and quick soup that you will want to eat for days. Sprinkled with some fresh parmesan, it is both comforting and healthy. This big batch will make at least 6 servings and will last about 3 days in the fridge.

Full recipe after the jump.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes

2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, chopped into chunks
3 bay leaves
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 cup quinoa, dry
6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup cannellini beans, soaked (or 1.5 cans)
black pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 can (28oz) peeled roma tomatoes, chopped into chunks
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped into thin slices
parmesan cheese, grated

Step by Step Instructions:
1. Saute garlic, onion, carrots, and celery in oil oil until soft, 5-7 minutes

2. Add pepper and zucchini, sauté another 3-5 minutes

3. Add 4 cups veggie broth, bay leaves, rosemary and black pepper and simmer 5 minutes

4. Add quinoa and 2 cups of water, cover and simmer 12 minutes, until quinoa is cooked

5. Add tomatoes, tomato liquid and beans, cover and simmer 10 minutes

6. Stir in spinach

7. Serve with parmesan

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14 Responses to Quinoa Minestrone

  1. Auntie linda April 18, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    Made a pot of this and ate it for two dinners and three lunches. It was delicious and very filling. Will definitely make it again.

  2. Anonymous April 28, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    Just love this recipe!

  3. Anonymous November 26, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Soooo delicious. We doubled the quinoa and made it nice and thick! We are on our second batch this month!

  4. Lisa September 10, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    The recipe calls for 6 cups of veggie broth, but the instructions say 4 cups and 2 cups of water…

    • Dara September 10, 2012 at 2:55 am #

      Hi Lisa. You can use 6 cups of broth or a combo of broth and water. The brand I but comes in a 4 cup carton so I make up the difference with water, I’m sorry I confused you.

      • Lisa September 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

        That’s ok! I’m just new to cooking and just wanted to be sure I didn’t mess it up. I made it for my lunches this week and it’s really good!

  5. Steen October 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    Do you happen to have the calorie/nutrition breakdown per serving?

  6. Teresa October 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    This was so good and healthy. Can’t wait to try more of the recipes from this site.

    • Dara October 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

      Thanks Theresa! I’m so happy you enjoyed it.

      • Kendra November 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm #


        How would you go about freezing this? and can it be done without ruining the recipe b/c its to die for as is but makes way to much for one. Any suggestions?

        • Dara November 12, 2012 at 12:33 am #

          Hi Kendra! Great question. In my experience minestrone freezes pretty well. I’ve frozen quinoa a bunch of times without incident so that will work. The only wrinkle could be the beans. They are generally not great frozen. However, I haven’t tried so it’s worth a shot. Thanks for reaching out.

  7. Susan March 23, 2013 at 1:03 am #

    My quinoa is already cooked, do I let it simmer for a shorter amount of time?

    • Dara March 23, 2013 at 1:29 am #

      Hi Susan! Yes. If your quinoa is cooked you can just throw it right in the soup.


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