Slow Cooker (Ground Turkey) Minestrone Soup–a colorful, healthy and brightly flavored soup that is full of vegetables, basil, beans, pasta, and ground turkey. Let this soup simmer all day in your slow cooker and enjoy a warm bowl of deliciousness for dinner.
Get the INSTANT POT version of the recipe here
Slow Cooker (Ground Turkey) Minestrone Soup
I have never had strong feelings about minestrone soup. Take it or leave it is what I used to think. That was until today. Today I made a big batch of this slow cooker (ground turkey) minestrone soup and I almost lost my mind. It is so so so good! Just what I needed in my mouth and my tum.
Most minestrone recipes that I read have no meat in them. I knew that would not fly with my husband, a meat lover. But I also wanted to use something lean for our New Year’s health goals. So I chose to go with a lean ground turkey… something that would give the soup some flavor and heartiness. You could totally leave out the meat altogether if you wish. You could also go with ground beef or ground chicken. It’s up to you (and your spouse’s preference). On a side note, I believe that chicken sausage in this soup would be wonderful.
I liked the idea of adding a mix of canned vegetables (tomatoes and beans) and also using fresh vegetables (green beans, carrots, onions, celery). The green beans were cooked perfectly and I loved their fresh flavor. I felt that this was a better choice than canned green beans which can be metallic tasting and limp.
I used ditalini pasta because I like the way they look in the soup (it reminds me of pasta fagioli at olive garden). But you could use rotini, orzo, bowties, macaroni or whatever pasta your family likes. The thing about pasta soups is that the pasta sucks up all the liquid. If you have leftovers, the soup will resemble more of a goulash that a brothy soup. If you’re serving this to a large crowd and there will be not leftovers I recommend just adding the pasta straight into the pot. If you’re going to have leftovers I suggest cooking the pasta on the stove and keeping it separate and then stirring a bit of pasta into each individual soup bowl. If you want you can leave the pasta out…it is not necessary.
I knew that I wanted to add in fresh basil after the soup was cooked. But I couldn’t find any at the grocery store that I went to. So I opted for the squeezy tube of basil that is found in the produce section. On the back of the tube it said to add 1 tablespoon per 1 tablespoon of fresh basil. So I squeezed in 2 tablespoons and it brightened the soup and gave it a pop of flavor. But not too overbearing. Just perfect.
Finally I topped my soup with some grated parmesan. I buy the pre-grated parmesan in a big bag at Costco and throw it in the freezer at my house. You can also buy fresh parmesan and grate it at your house or use the stuff in the green can. It’s all good.
More healthy soup recipes…
Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup
What Slow Cooker Did You Use?
For this Slow Cooker (Ground Turkey) Minestrone Soup recipe I used my 6 quart oval Kitchenaid slow cooker.* I love this slow cooker (you can see me talking about it in a video here). It cooks low and evenly. I love the medium heat choice because most slow cookers that I’ve seen only have the option of cooking on low or high. If you’re going to buy just one slow cooker, this is the one that I recommend.Print
A colorful, healthy and brightly flavored soup that is full of vegetables, basil, beans, pasta, and ground turkey. Let this soup simmer all day in your slow cooker and enjoy a warm bowl of deliciousness for dinner.
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 yellow or white onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 ribs of celery, sliced into quarter inch pieces
- 1 large carrot, grated or sliced
- 1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
- 6 cups of water and 2 Tbsp Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base (OR 6 cups chicken broth)
- 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup ditalini pasta (or other pasta of your choice)
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 2 Tbsp of squeeze tube basil
- Parmesan, for serving
- In a pan over medium heat break up the ground turkey with a wooden spoon. Add in the salt, basil and oregano. Add in the onions and garlic. Brown the ground turkey for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large slow cooker.
- Add in the celery, carrots, beans, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, kidney beans and black beans.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
- If you will be eating all the soup in one day you can add the dry pasta into the slow cooker and cook on high until it is al dente. This will probably take about 15-20 minutes. If you will not be eating the entire batch of soup and will have leftovers I would suggest cooking the pasta until al dente on the stove top according to package directions. Then add a little pasta to each individual’s bowl. This way the pasta won’t get totally bloated and suck up all the broth.
- Stir in the fresh basil. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with a tablespoon of parmesan cheese.
This makes a lot of soup! About 16 cups. You can halve this recipe if you’d like. The only issue with that is having half a can of tomatoes, half a can of beans, etc. Plan to have leftovers or serve this soup to a large crowd.
I used my 6 quart oval Kitchenaid slow cooker.*
Get the INSTANT POT version of the recipe here
- Category: Soup
- Method: Slow Cooker
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*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.