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Minestrone with Turkey

I remember my mom making this soup; now I make it for my kids as often as I can. It's a good way to use up leftover vegetables. Sometimes I add a can of rinsed and drained kidney or garbanzo beans. —Angela Goodman, Kaneohe, Hawaii
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings (2 quarts)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 celery rib, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth or homemade turkey stock
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2/3 cup each frozen peas, corn and cut green beans, thawed
  • 1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup cubed cooked turkey
  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional


  • In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add broth, vegetables, macaroni and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until macaroni is al dente. Stir in turkey and zucchini; cook until zucchini is crisp-tender. Discard bay leaf. If desired, sprinkle servings with cheese.
    Freeze option: Transfer cooled soup to freezer container and freeze up to 3 months. To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until heated through. Serve with cheese if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups (calculated without cheese): 172 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 24mg cholesterol, 1251mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 4g fiber), 12g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • pols005
    Sep 19, 2020

    This was really good. I ran out of bay leaves this week so I just left it out. I also found myself out of peas so I just double up on the green beans. I made a vegetarian version of this by subbing No Evil Commander Cluck "chicken" and No Chicken "chicken" broth. Even the "I don't like soup" kid liked it!

  • bicktasw
    Nov 26, 2018

    I used some leftover turkey to make this delicious soup. I followed the recipe exactly except I used about 1 1/2 cups turkey instead of just one cup. Next time I make it I think I'll add some rinsed and drained kidney beans or garbanzo beans. This is a wonderful brothy soup .... five stars for sure!

  • rmbarr059
    Jan 16, 2017

    This was very good. I used normandy blend frozen veggies and a mixed frozen veggies just because it was what I had on hand and half a can of green beans as well. Didn't have the zucchini. Despite all of this it turned out very yummy!

  • joedebfry
    Jan 10, 2016

    Excellent soup! Thank you "nataliepooh" for the broth recipe--it's really good!

  • DianeC23
    Jan 16, 2014

    This soup is very good! Even my young daughter enjoyed it! I used canned vegetables instead of frozen, but the soup had plenty of flavor. It's great for a chilly night! I'll be making this one again!

  • Debbilou
    Jan 20, 2012

    I like a lot of veggies so I added the kidney beans AND garbanzo beans. I used canned chicken broth (I had cooked the turkey before I got this recipe and the juice was long gone) and it was still delicious! With a loaf of home made bread, a great way to use leftover turkey.

  • nataliepooh
    Jul 10, 2010

    I submitted this recipe, and TOH did not include my recipe for homemade turkey stock, which is really what makes this soup so good. I boil a turkey carcass with 4 C water, 2 carrots, 2 celery, 1 onion, 1 lg. clove garlic, 1 parsley sprig, 1 bay leaf, 2 t. dried basil and 1 t. dried thyme. Boil until meat falls off bones, then strain and use in minestrone.

  • rnrstjacques
    Feb 22, 2009

    I was disappointed, not much flavor when I followed the recipe. Added some hot sauce and some canned tomato soup along with additional seasoning and it helped some.

  • scrambledwithcheese
    Apr 10, 2008

    This was excellent. I used homemade turkey stock and I think that is the key to this recipe turning out so well. Next time I will add more noodles than called for.