Save on Pinterest

Over-the-Rainbow Minestrone

This colorful soup is vegetarian-friendly and full of fresh flavors from a rainbow of vegetables. You can use any multicolored pasta in place of the spirals. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 6 hours 20 minutes
  • Makes
    10 servings (3-3/4 quarts)


  • 4 large stems Swiss chard (about 1/2 pound) or fresh baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash or zucchini, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 medium sweet red or yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked spiral pasta or small pasta shells
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • Optional toppings: Additional prepared pesto, shredded Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes and minced fresh basil


  • Cut stems from chard; chop stems and leaves separately. Reserve leaves for adding later. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and chard stems; cook and stir 3-5 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a 6-qt. slow cooker.
  • Stir in broth, tomatoes, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, squash, pepper, carrot and garlic. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours, until vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in pasta and reserved chard leaves. Cook, covered, on low 20-25 minutes longer, until pasta is tender; stir in pesto. If desired, serve with additional pesto, Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and fresh basil.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 231 calories, 7g fat (1g saturated fat), 2mg cholesterol, 1015mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 6g fiber), 9g protein.

Recommended Video


Click stars to rate
Average Rating:
  • Sarah
    Mar 22, 2019

    We loved this soup. My kids asked for seconds. The pesto adds the “seasoning” flavour. I made it on the stovetop

  • chubbybunny63
    Apr 14, 2018

    I used beef and vegetable broth, fresh spinach in place of the chard, and both summer and zucchini squash. Near the end of the time, I added some chopped up leftover T-Bone Steak. It needed more seasoning so I added garlic salt, onion powder, garlic pepper, and Italian Seasoning. Doctoring it up made it better.

  • Kdorfman
    Nov 26, 2016

    Didnt really care for it that much. Maybe it was the greens I didnt like in it

  • moinnj
    Oct 28, 2016

    One of my favorite slow cooker recipes for fall/winter. I've been making this for a couple of years now and it is a family pleaser. Very healthy too, and tastes great! I love how easy it is to make.

  • moxiewoman
    Apr 9, 2016

    Made this yesterday without the chard, and substituted 8 cups chicken broth for the veg broth. When it had fully cooked there was little liquid left. Probably because I didn't read the directions carefully, and added an entire package of rainbow pasta. Really liked it that way, probably more than if it had been more like soup. Thought it could have used some seasoning, which I will add when I make it again.

  • whimsywendy
    Jan 21, 2016

    Fantastic!!! Just what I was looking for in a minestrone. The colors look so beautiful & it was exactly what I needed too warm me up on a cold day! I took the advice to use multi colored pasta. Definitely a keeper!

  • blondies55
    Jan 19, 2016


  • muffbear74
    Nov 28, 2015

    Cooked on the stovetop for about 1 hour and we were perfectly happy with the taste.

  • KarisAnn
    Mar 23, 2015

    My husband and I both loved this soup. I cooked it on the stove, bringing it to a boil, then covering and simmering on medium-low for 20 minutes. I added the pasta and chard leaves, cooking for an additional 10 minutes. The addition of pesto is brilliant.

  • lovydvy
    Mar 23, 2015

    you look at total carbs. 15 grams equal i carb count' You have a total of 34 grams so, you have 2 carbs. if you had 43 you would count that as 3 carbs. I hope this clears it up for you, i know it is confusing, Total carbs dived by 15.