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Olive Garden Minestrone

recipe at a glance
Rating: 3/5 3 stars
4 reviews

recipe is ready in 2-5 hrs time: 2-5 hrs

serves/makes:   6


recipe id: 10233
cook method: stovetop

Olive Garden Minestrone Recipe
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1 cup finely minced celery
1 cup finely minced onion
1 cup finely minced carrot
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1/2 cup kidney beans
1/2 cup whole dried peas
1/2 cup white pea beans
3/4 cup carrots sliced
3/4 cup onion, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup celery, sliced
3/4 cup bell pepper chopped
1/2 cup rice or barley
1 cup shell macaroni pasta
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Parmesan cheese


Slowly saute finely minced onion, celery and carrot in butter until very brown. Add peas and beans and about 3 quarts of water. Cook slowly until beans are almost done (check garbanzos - they take longest) about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Add the remaining vegetables, rice and spices and more water if necessary and cook another hour. About 20 minutes before serving time add the macaroni and more water if needed. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Pepper to taste.


380 calories, 10 grams fat, 61 grams carbohydrates, 14 grams protein per serving.
Show full nutritional data (including Weight Watcher's Points ®, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins, and diabetic exchanges)

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shared by: jammer kharma711

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Guest at
Dec 30, 2011

question or comment
I used to work at Olive Garden. I know for a fact that they make the minestrone with a large can of tomato sauce for the base of the soup. they also have zucchini and cabbage in the soup.

Guest at

recipe rating
Yes, the recipe as given does lack flavor and is very bland. What I did was to fine chop 4-6 large cloves of garlic to add to the also fine chopped carrots, celery, and onions. These were then sauteed in olive oil (avoiding butter), slowly, until the four ingredients were very brown. Then I doubled, or a bit more, the amount of spices: basil, oregano, parsley, and black pepper. I added also 1/2 large jalapeno chopped very fine. Left out the soy sauce!

The sauteed vegetables with garlic and just water made a nice dark brown, semi-clear stock, that had a subtle taste. Still on the bland side though. However when this was added to the doubled spices and the jalapeno flavor was improved.

It's a matter of tweaking the recipe a bit to get the flavor you want into it. After all it is a vegetarian recipe and vegetables and beans are bland just by themselves.

If you will search for "rustic" or "traditional" minestrone you will find this recipe is very similar. But there are many variations from the basic "rustic".

Some add meat or meat/chicken stock, some do not. Some add spinach or cabbage or green beans, some do not. Some add tomatoes, some do not. I found adding tomatoes changed the color and taste of the basic sauteed "stock" from a nice dark brown to a muddy brown, and so did not add them next time I made the recipe. I did add one whole zucchini though, coarse chopped.

It's a matter of how you want the minestrone to look and taste. I found the dark brown, semi-clear "stock" made by the sauteed, fine chopped four vegetables to be just dandy, and wanted to keep that look and taste and not adulterate it with more added ingredients, except of course the added spices to improve on the blandness. Which they did.

Guest at

recipe rating
While this minestrone is loaded with healthful ingredients, it is the blandest soup I've ever tasted and nothing like Olive Garden's. To add zip, I threw in diced tomatoes with sauce, chopped zucchini and green beans, and spinach--which OG's soup has--plus some vegetarian bouillon, then reheated the soup. OG doesn't use dried peas, pea beans, bell pepper or soy sauce. They grate Romano, not Parmesan, cheese over the top. Now my husband willingly helps me eat this huge pot of soup.

Guest at
Aug 16, 2007

Guest Foodie
question or comment
I was told by a waiter at Olive Garden that the minestrone soup is made with a mushroom base. Also tomatoe,spinach,kidney and white beans. I wish I knew the recipe.

Guest at
Mar 23, 2007

question or comment
I eat OG minestrone every week and thought I hit the jackpot when I saw this recipe here. When shopping for the ingredients, I realized the tomatoes and spinach are missing and decided not to make it. I did however make the Pasta E Fagioli and it looks the same, its still cooking so I have not tasted it, but I don't think I'll be disappointed.

Guest at
Jul 20, 2006

Guest Foodie
question or comment
^^ I doubt there is chicken stock in it. The Olive Garden minestrone is vegetarian, or so they advertise it as such. Any meat based additives, such a chicken stock makes it not so.

But the others are right, needs tomato and zucchini.

Guest at
Jul 20, 2006

Guest Foodie
question or comment
^^ I doubt there is chicken stock in it. The Olive Garden minestrone is vegetarian, or so they advertise it as such. Any meat based additives, such a chicken stock makes it not so.

But the others are right, needs tomato and zucchini.

Guest at
Jan 22, 2006

question or comment
This recipe for the Minestrone recipe is diffently not right; not only does it not have zucchini,if you look at the content of the soup you are missing the tomato, as well as spinich.
There is diffently is a small amount of tomatoe base with Chicken stock.

Chef Liz

Registered Member at

Member since: December 5, 2005
recipe rating
This soup smells wonderful as it's cooking but has no flavor! I think it needs a broth as a base instead of the water???

Registered Member at

recipe rating
This cannot be right! Olive Garden's Minestrone contains zucchini.

Please note:
This is a copy cat recipe submitted to CDKitchen by a third-party. This recipe is not an original recipe unless specifically stated and is considered only to be an acceptable "clone" to the original for the home cook to attempt to duplicate. Please also note that many nationwide restaurant chains vary their menus and ingredients by region so the version provided may not be similar to what you may have tried before. All trademarks referenced are property of their respective owners.

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