Delicious and nutritious Chicken Minestrone Soup is the ultimate comforting soup, perfect for the cold season! Tender chicken, filling pasta and delicious vegetables in a rich broth are what make a good Minestrone recipe. This easy, one-pot Italian classic will impress the whole family and can be made by even the most inexperienced of cooks. What is more, it is a delicious way to eat even more pasta in your life!
- Perfect Soups For Chilly Days
- What Is Minestrone?
- What Kind Of Pasta Is Best For Chicken Minestrone Soup?
- Extras and Variations
- Process Video
- Storage and Reheating
- What To Serve Chicken Minestrone Soup With?
- Recipe FAQs
- Other Italian Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Minestrone Soup (Easy Italian Recipe)
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Perfect Soups For Chilly Days
A good soup can make the most delicious meal for cold winter evenings. They are a great way to incorporate tons of veggies into your diet and often are perfect for those on lower-calorie diet. Find the nutrition information in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Our favourite Italian soup by far is this Chicken Minestrone Soup recipe (closely followed by the Italian Wedding Soup and Tuscan Ribollita)! It is a hearty soup that makes a filling and satisfying winter dish to serve for lunch or dinner.
Some of our other favourite soups include:
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup
- Delicious Sweetcorn Chowder
- Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup
What Is Minestrone?
Classic minestrone soup is a hearty and wholesome Italian dish known for its rich flavours and variety of ingredients. What does the Italian word Minestrone mean? It is derived from the Italian word “minestra,” which means “soup,” and it embodies the essence of a comforting, vegetable-based soup.
While minestrone recipes can vary widely, they typically feature a robust assortment of seasonal fresh vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions and tomatoes, often simmered in a delicious broth.
Traditionally, minestrone does not contain meat, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans. However, some regional variations incorporate small amounts of pancetta or bacon for added depth of flavour or chicken or ground beef to make it more filling.
A few simple ingredients and one large soup pot are all that’s needed to make this delicious Italian Vegetable and Chicken soup.
- olive oil: various cooking oils can be used, including sunflower, vegetable or avocado oil.
- brown onion: can be replaced with red onions or shallots.
- carrots: peeled and diced.
- celery sticks: diced.
- garlic cloves: finely sliced. Replace it with garlic powder or shop-bought garlic paste.
- chicken stock: if you can use homemade chicken broth! It will make a huge difference.
- tinned chopped tomatoes: we love chunky bits of tomato, but if you want a smoother broth and a soup that’s not as thick, you may use tomato passata or tomato paste mixed with water.
- cannellini beans: we use tinned beans, but you can cook them from scratch. Any white beans, great northern beans, pinto beans, navy beans and even red kidney beans will work in this recipe flavour-wise.
- mixed dried herbs: or Italian seasoning.
- salt and black pepper: to taste.
- skinless chicken breasts: or boneless skinless chicken thighs (they may take a little longer to cook if they’re very large). Alternatively, shred any leftover chicken (like Christmas Whole Roast Chicken) or shop-bought rotisserie chicken.
- pasta: we add dry pasta to the broth to let it infuse with the flavours of Minestrone Soup. Choose small pasta, like spiral or ditalini pasta so that the soup is easy to eat with all the elements filling in one spoonful.
- green beans: trimmed and cut into 3cm pieces.
- fresh parsley: finely chopped.
What Kind Of Pasta Is Best For Chicken Minestrone Soup?
When selecting pasta for Minestrone soup, it’s best to opt for small, bite-sized shapes that can easily soak up the flavours of this chicken vegetable soup and provide a pleasant texture. Some popular pasta choices for Minestrone include:
- Ditalini: These short, cylindrical pasta pieces resemble small tubes and are a classic choice for Minestrone. They add a delightful chewiness to each spoonful.
- Small Shells: Tiny shell-shaped pasta captures the broth and vegetable goodness, making it a great option for those who enjoy a bit of texture in their soup.
- Small Elbow Macaroni: These small, curved pasta pieces are easy to find and work well in Minestrone, giving it a familiar and comforting feel.
- Small Penne or Rigatoni: These small-sized versions of penne or rigatoni provide a heartier bite to your soup while still soaking up the flavours nicely.
Extras and Variations
The beauty of this Italian Minestrone Soup is that many different seasonal vegetables and herbs can be used.
- Try adding yellow squash, green zucchini, cubes of butternut squash or even pumpkin to the soup. You may also stir in some spinach or Swiss chard towards the end of cooking.
- A couple of bay leaves will add extra flavour to the broth.
- Place the parmesan rind into the broth for the last 10 minutes of the cooking process to further enhance the flavour of the soup.
- Scatter the top of the soup with some red pepper flakes for added flavour and extra colour vibrancy.
Can I Make This Chicken Minestrone Vegetarian or Vegan? Absolutely. This soup recipe can be easily adjusted to suit many diet types. Skip the chicken, and use vegetable broth instead to make it plant-based. You can increase the amount of beans used to replace the protein.
Can I Make A Gluten-Free Version? Yes, choose gluten-free pasta and make sure your stock is free of gluten.
So if you’re ready to cook, follow the simple steps below!
Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, diced carrots and celery and saute over low heat for 5 minutes, until everything starts to soften.
Add the garlic and keep on cooking for another minute.
Pour the hot stock into the pan, add the tins of chopped tomatoes, drained and rinsed cannellini beans and dried herbs. Season with salt and pepper and mix.
Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Then carefully lower the raw chicken breasts into the soup, making sure they are submerged. Bring the soup to a simmer again, then cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes over medium heat. The chicken should be cooked all the way through (your meat thermometer should read 74C when the chicken is cooked).
Take the chicken breasts out of the soup, and place them onto a large chopping board.
Add the pasta and green beans to the soup, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes (the time needed will depend on the size and type of pasta that you’re using).
In the meantime, shred the chicken into thin long strands using two forks.
When the pasta is cooked al dente, add the shredded chicken and fresh parsley to the soup and stir for a few minutes until the chicken is warmed through.
Serve with some grated parmesan cheese on top if you wish.
Storage and Reheating
If you made a lot of soup, you are in luck, as it can be saved for later. Cool the soup to room temperature, then pour it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
It also freezes beautifully. It is an easy way to enjoy healthy chicken minestrone soup any time with very little effort. Simply scoop any leftovers into a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat, thaw the soup (if frozen) and warm it in a microwave or over medium-low heat on the stove. Note, that reheating cooked pasta will result in slightly overcooked pasta for obvious reasons but Minestrone will taste delicious nonetheless.
What To Serve Chicken Minestrone Soup With?
Chicken Minestrone Soup pairs wonderfully with crusty Italian bread or a rustic baguette for a satisfying and complete meal. A side salad, such as a simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing or a Caesar salad, adds a fresh contrast to the hearty soup. If you’re looking for a heartier option, consider serving it alongside a plate of garlic bread or bruschetta for some extra Italian flair.
If you have some leftover cooked pasta, you can add it to the soup and leave it in there just enough to warm through. But we highly recommend adding dried pasta directly to the broth. It will infuse with all the delicious flavours of the broth whilst cooking.
If the soup is too thick, you may add an extra splash of chicken or vegetable broth, or simply some water. Adjust the seasoning as required.
Traditional Minestrone is often made without any meat or poultry, but you can add chicken, turkey, ground beef or pancetta to make it more filling and add flavour.
Absolutely. We tried this Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup with Chicken and loved it just as much.
Other Italian Chicken Recipes
If juicy chicken is what you like for dinner, we hope to tempt you with some of our best recipes below:
- Chicken Limone (Italian Pollo Al Limone)
- Chicken Cacciatore With Polenta
- Classic Chicken Piccata with Parsley and Capers
Chicken Minestrone Soup (Easy Italian Recipe)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 brown onion finely chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 celery sticks diced
- 3 garlic cloves finely sliced
- 1.4 l chicken broth or stock hot
- 2 tins of chopped tomato 400g each
- 1 tin cannellini beans (400g tin) drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoon mixed dried herbs or Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 chicken breasts skinless, boneless
- 100 g pasta smaller pasta types work best
- 120 g green beans cut into 3cm pieces
- 10 g parsley finely chopped
- Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add the onions, diced carrots and celery and saute over low heat for 5 minutes, until everything starts to soften.
- Add the garlic and keep on cooking for another minute.
- Pour the hot stock into the pan, add the tins of chopped tomatoes, drained and rinsed cannellini beans and dried herbs. Season with salt and pepper and mix.
- Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Then carefully lower the chicken breasts into the soup, making sure they are submerged. Bring the soup to a simmer again, then cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (your meat thermometer should read 75C when chicken is cooked).
- Take the chicken breasts out of the soup, and place them onto a large chopping board.
- Add the pasta and green beans to the soup, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes (the time needed will depend on the size and type of pasta that you're using).
- In the meantime, shred the chicken into thin long strands using two forks.
- When the pasta is cooked, add the shredded chicken and fresh parsley to the soup and stir for a few minutes until the chicken is warmed through.
- Serve with some grated parmesan on top if you wish.