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Best Bacon Beef Minestrone Soup

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This recipe for hearty Bacon Beef Minestrone soup is delicious, with a little twist on tradition it uses crisp, smokey bacon, savory chunks of sirloin, nutrient rich beans, tons of seasonal vegetables that are swimming in a tomato-y beef broth. Warm yourself up with a bowl of this delicious soup, ready in 30 minutes or less!

BEST BACON BEEF MINESTRONE SOUP

Bowl of bacon beef minestrone soup, closeup

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This recipe is based on the Bacon Minestrone recipe from the Bacon, Beans and Beer cookbook, by Eliza Cross, my fellow blogger over at The Yolo Blog This amazing compact, colorful cookbook has so many great recipes, with beautiful, enticing photos! I highly recommend buying this little gem of a book. I’ve already made the Bacon Macaroni Salad (huge hit) as well as the Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf (YUM!)!

Traditionally, minestrone was a “use what’s leftover or in the fridge” soup, so I invite you to use up whatever leftover vegetables you might have on hand.

Bowl of hearty minestrone soup with smoky bacon and tender beef bits! This classic Italian soup recipe is easy to make and tastes amazing. #thefreshcooky #soup #healthyrecipe #bacon #beef #minestrone

Tips for the BEST Minestrone soup!

In a large heavy pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove and set on paper towels to drain and cool, reserve drippings. Once cooled, chop or crumble bacon into bite size pieces, set aside.

PRO TIP | I used pre-cooked, all-natural, uncured bacon, that’s what I had, so I didn’t get all of the great fat renderings from uncooked bacon. If you do the same or use a turkey bacon or other substitute, then before moving on to browning the sirloin bits, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to the hot pan.

crisping bacon in soup pot for bacon beef minestrone soup

I added bite-sized chopped sirloin to the recipe; I was making this for my teenage boys on a busy back-to-school night, I needed it to be a bit “beefier”! So if using some beef, if needed, add a little olive oil to the pan drippings, increase your heat to medium-high and sear/brown your beef turning quickly.

You are not cooking it, just browning; remove once browned, set aside.

When making a veggie soup, I prefer to chop my vegetables all at once, that way as they are needed it’s a matter of simply scooping into the hot pot.

Saute onions, leeks and carrots in the bacon pan drippings, adding olive oil if needed until vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Do you have a bench scraper? I love using it to scoop up my chopped veggies, neat, clean and easy!

carrots into pot for Bacon Beef Minestrone Soup

Toss in garlic and saute an additional minute, until fragrant and then shredded cabbage, zucchini (I grated mine; the kids are more likely to eat it that way), and diced potato.

shredded zucchini in beef minestrone soup

Add in your chicken and beef broth (mix and match to your taste, I like mine beef-y, so I used more beef stock). I used my homemade beef bone broth and homemade chicken broth, but any good brand of boxed broth or stock will work just fine.

MAKE IT YOUR OWN | Our family likes our soups “broth-ier” than most, so I added an additional 32 oz of beef broth. I always feel like soups with pasta soak up so much liquid, so I typically double my liquid, optional.

adding beef broth into veggies for bacon beef minestrone soup

Plop tomato paste and stir into the soup.

tablespoon of tomato paste for bacon beef minestrone soup

Return the browned beef and a handful of the crisp bacon to the soup and bring to a simmer. Reserve the rest of the bacon for serving.

adding cooked beef bits to bacon beef minestrone soup

Reduce heat to simmer and add in 2 tablespoons parsley, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Stir into soup, simmering for about 15 minutes.

pouring in herbs and spices into bacon beef minestrone soup

Add in beans (drained and rinsed) and chopped tomatoes. The original recipe calls for both kidney and cannellini beans, but my store was out of cannellini beans, so I replaced them white kidney beans, honestly I had never seen those before, they were yummy!

adding beans, fresh tomatoes to bacon beef minestrone soup

Do I Have to Use Orecchiette Pasta

  • I used orecchiette (means small ear) — only because that is what I had on hand!
  • Try using elbow macaroni, orzo or any smaller pasta.
pouring in pasta to bacon beef minestrone soup

Before serving adjust your seasonings as needed and add additional 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley. Toss in your remaining cooked bacon or sprinkle on top as a garnish for serving. Garnish each bowl with a generous amount of grated parm cheese, we love Parmesan.

Why is this the best minestrone soup?

  • Make on Sunday and pack for lunch all week, even better the next day.
  • This soup freezes amazingly well.
  • Better than the Olive Garden or other store-bought varieties!
  • Uses seasonal veggies and items common in your pantry.
  • It’s good for you, easy to make and fills a lot of tummies.
  • Fussy? Easily trade ingredients easily to fit your tastes.
bowl of bacon beef minestrone soup with spoon
For photographing purposes I diced a few pieces of zucchini and tossed in towards the end.

What Do You Serve with Minestrone Soup

Give these recipes a try with Minestrone Soup, they compliment it well and is sure to please everyone!

Give these other delicious cool weather meals a try!

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️star rating in the recipe below!

Yield: 8-10 servings

The Best Bacon Beef Minestrone

Warm up with this hearty minestrone soup with smokey bacon and tender beef bits! This classic Italian soup recipe is easy to make and tastes amazing. #thefreshcooky #soup #healthyrecipe #bacon #beef #minestrone

This hearty soup has a little twist on traditional minestrone using crisp, smokey bacon, savory chunks of sirloin, nutrient rich beans, tons of seasonal vegetables that are swimming in a tomato-y beef broth. Comfort food at it's best!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb bacon, cooked crisp and diced (if using pre-cooked bacon/turkey bacon, be sure to add a little additional olive oil when sauteing veggies and or beef)
  • 1/2 lb sirloin, diced (other cuts of beef may be substituted)
  • 1 onion, diced fine
  • 2 carrots, peeled, diced small (or sub. 1 cup of baby carrots, diced)
  • 1 leek, quartered, rinsed and diced small (white part and about 1 inch of green)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups shredded green cabbage (store bought works great)
  • 1 small zucchini, grated or diced
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced into small cubes (I used a russet potato, but try other varieties)
  • 4 cups (32 oz) beef broth] or stock (for a brothy soup, add additional 32 oz [beef broth
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped, divided (dried may be substituted)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1-15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (may sub other white bean)
  • 1-15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (may sub black beans)
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, diced or 1-15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 - 1 cup small pasta shells (orecchiette, elbows, orzo, etc)
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish, freshly grated

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove and set on paper towels to drain and cool, reserve drippings. Once cooled, chop or crumble bacon into bite size pieces, set aside.
  2. Increase the heat to medium-high and if needed add a couple teaspoons of olive oil to pan. Toss in your sirloin and brown quickly on all sides, removing from pan once browned. Set aside.
  3. Saute your onions, leeks and carrots in the bacon pan drippings, adding olive oil if needed until vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and saute an additional minute, until fragrant. Stir in your shredded cabbage, zucchini (grated or diced), and diced potato. Add in chicken and beef broth (I used more beef broth). Stir in tomato paste.
  5. Return the browned beef and a handful of the crisp bacon to the soup and bring to a boil. Reserve the rest of the bacon for serving. Reduce heat to simmer and add in 2 tablespoons parsley, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Stir into soup, simmering for about 15 minutes. Add in beans (drained and rinsed) and chopped tomatoes.
  6. Stir in pasta shells, simmer until the pasta is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Before serving adjust your seasonings as needed and add additional 3 tablespoons of fresh, chopped parsley.
  7. Sprinkle remaining bacon on top as a garnish for serving. Garnish each bowl with a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese and additional bacon and a few pieces of fresh parsley if desired.

Notes

TIP | If using pre-cooked or turkey bacon, you will need to add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to saute your veggies and brown your sirloin.
TIP | I add an additional 32 oz box of beef broth, making it brothier.
This recipe was adapted from the Bacon, Beans and Beer Cookbook from Happy Simple Living.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 320Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 783mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 9gSugar: 6gProtein: 22g

The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate, at times it pulls information for suggestions and options which may increase calories, etc.

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bowl of bacon beef minestrone soup

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