Chicken Minestrone (Slow Cooker + Instant Pot)

Chicken Minestrone is an easy and comforting soup to serve for an easy lunch or dinner. This classic minestrone soup is full of delicious vegetables and fall-apart-tender chicken, with a secret ingredient that gives the most fantastic flavor!

A ladle full of chicken vegetable soup

This recipe is part of my Dump it ’til it’s hot series of dump recipes. It’s all about making delicious food with minimal prep, no pre-cooking, the ability to freeze for a good make-ahead meal. And trust me when I say, easy never tasted so good!

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Other great soup recipes with chicken include:

Chicken Minestrone

Everyone loves a good minestrone recipe. Full of delicious vegetable, beans and even some pasta it’s a well loved soup that often get’s passed down through the generations. I now my family has a minestrone soup recipe that we’ve all eaten since we were kids.

So I figured, why not add some chicken into the mix? Everyone loves chicken, amirite? The great thing about making minestrone soup crockpot and/or instant pot style, is that you just dump it all in and after the machine does it’s work, your chicken basically shreds apart if you gently touch it.

A side angle image of abowl of this minestrone recipe

Tips for making this minestrone soup recipe with chicken

  • Hold off on adding the zucchini until later in the cooking time (the last 30 minutes for slow cooker or after pressure cooking on the saute setting for Instant Pot). That way they don’t break down to nothing throughout the cooking process.
  • I know this sounds strange, but the secret ingredient I use to make the flavor extra awesome is a parmesan rind, which they usually sell for a couple bucks in the cheese section of the grocery store. I know that sounds really strange, because you typically don’t actually eat the rind, but if you put it in with stews and sauces, it brings out all the other flavors in the soup. And then you just pull it out before serving (the way you do with bay leaves in other recipes). Trust me on this.
  • I always boil and keep the pasta on the side until I’m ready to actually eat it the soup. I’ve found that if you add it into the soup and cook it there, it sucks up too much of the broth and gets kind of overcooked and mushy.

Why is it called minestrone soup?

Minestrone means “Big Soup” in Italian, which is pretty fitting considering the fact that’s it’s full of all sorts of veggies, meat, beans and pasta. The word actually originated from Minestra which means to serve.

What is the difference between minestrone and vegetable soup?

Technically speaking, vegetable soup can be made from any veggies whereas Minestrone soup it traditionally made with thick Italian vegetables.

An overhead image of this minestrone soup recipe

What kind of pasta do you use in minestrone soup?

For this I prefer Ditalini, but any small pasta that you prefer will work.

How do I thicken minestrone?

I generally don’t thicken mine, but if you’d like you just add a few tablespoons of tomato paste.

Is Minestrone soup healthy? 

Although everyone has a different idea of what “healthy” means, I’d say it is. It’s light and full of vegetables and beans.

Can you freeze minestrone?

Yes- Either freeze before cooking or after- it’ll last for around 3 months.

How long does minestrone last in the refrigerator?

Around 4-5 days covered.

What’s the best way to reheat chicken minestrone?

You can either reheat in individual portions in the microwave or altogether on the stove.

A spoon with minestrone on it.

What are the ingredients for chicken minestrone?

  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Green beans
  • Garlic
  • Kidney beans
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Chicken broth
  • Parmesan rind
  • Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Chicken breasts
  • Zucchini
  • Ditalini pasta

How to make Chicken Minestrone

  1. Place all ingredients (except the zucchini and pasta) into the slow cooker or instant pot.
  2. Cook per the directions for that machine.
  3. Add zucchini toward the end of the recipe and boil pasta on the side.
  4. Serve and enjoy.

Chicken Minestrone Recipe Upgrades

Although this is designed to be a dump-and-go recipe, here are a few “upgrades” you can make if you have a little extra time on your hands and don’t mind doing a small amount of extra work. You don’t have to do them to have a delicious meal, but they will make this recipe come out even more delicious:

  • Sear the chicken prior to cooking to build flavor.
  • Serve with some nice, crusty bread for dipping and plenty of extra Parmesan or Romano cheese on top!

A bowl of minestrone soup with another bowl behind it

What do I serve with Chicken Minestrone?

A few great recipes to round out and complete this meal would be:

Helpful tools:

  1. Slow cooker
  2. Instant pot
  3. Gallon freezer zipper bags
  4. Slow cooker liners
  5. Measuring spoons
  6. Measuring cups
  7. Chef’s knife
  8. Cutting board
Chicken Minestrone (Slow Cooker + IP)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 10 mins
 

Chicken Minestrone is an easy and comforting soup to serve for an easy lunch or dinner. This classic minestrone soup is full of delicious vegetables and fall-apart-tender chicken, with a secret ingredient that gives the most fantastic flavor!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: minestrone
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Jessy Freimann, The Life Jolie
Ingredients
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 1 cup carrot diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 cup green beans trimmed and roughly diced
  • 1 14 ounce can kidney beans drained
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 32 ounce box chicken broth + 1 14 ounce can
  • 1 parmesan rind optional but I highly recommend you use it- it makes the flavor so much better!
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup zucchini diced
  • Cooked Ditalini pasta optional
Instructions
Slow cooker instructions:
  1. Place onion, carrot, celery, garlic, green beans, kidney beans, diced tomatoes and their juices, chicken broth, parmesan rind, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper into pot.
  2. Stir well to combine.
  3. Add chicken breasts.
  4. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  5. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add zucchini.
  6. Serve immediately with cooked pasta and additional Parmesan cheese.
Instant Pot instructions:
  1. Place onion, carrot, celery, garlic, green beans, kidney beans, diced tomatoes and their juices, chicken broth, parmesan rind, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper into pot.
  2. Stir well to combine.
  3. Add chicken breasts.
  4. Cover and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes and then do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting and add the zucchini. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the zucchini has softened a bit.
  6. Serve immediately with cooked pasta and additional Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Notes

I always cook the pasta separately and add it when serving so that it doesn’t absorb all the broth and become overcooked. 

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