Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup is one of my favorite slow cooker soups; don’t miss the shaved Parmesan!

PIN Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup!

Slow Cooker Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup finished soup in bowl with shaved parmesan

As much as I whine about the cold weather, you can tell I love cold-weather dishes, especially soup. Some of my favorite soups are the ones where I start with an idea and add things until it tastes good, but even when I have a recipe to start with like I did this time, I tend to improvise with most of the soups I make.

This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup can cook all day, and it was adapted from one I saw in The Italian Slow Cooker (affiliate link), a book that’s loaded with good ideas. I increased the amount of stock (and might use even more next time), added some dried Italian herbs, and served the soup with shaved Parmesan Cheese instead of croutons, for a soup that was warm and filling, and loaded with flavor.

If you use vegetable stock and skipped the Parmesan, this would be a tasty vegan slow cooker soup. If you’re not making a vegan version, this is the perfect soup to add some Parmesan rinds and let them melt into the soup while it cooks all day, and this will be a tasty meatless meal.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini and Kale Soup process shots collage

How to Make Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup:

(Scroll down for complete recipe, including nutritional information.)

  1. I know some of you hate to have to pre-cook things for the slow cooker, but I promise that cooking the onions and garlic with the Italian Seasoning for a few minutes really does increase the flavor. 
  2. I used the bowl attachment of my Immersion Blender (affiliate link) to coarsely puree the 2 cans of Cannellini beans, but after I wondered why I didn’t just puree them in the slow cooker with the immersion blender.  You can also use a blender or food processor.
  3. Finely chop 8 oz. kale leaves and give them a wash in the salad spinner if you’re using garden kale.
  4. Put the sauteed onion mixture, pureed beans, 1 can tomatoes with juice, stock or broth, chopped kale, and sage leaves into the slow cooker (with Parmesan rinds if using) and cook about 4 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. I used fresh sage leaves from my garden, but dried sage would also work.
  5. The soup won’t win any beauty contests, but it was delicious!  
  6. And I highly recommend serving with shaved Parmesan like I did!

More Meatless Recipes with Kale:

Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Spaghetti with Kale and Tomato Sauce from Bell’Alimento
Roast Pumpkin and Kale Lasagna from Mountain Mama Cooks

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup
Yield: 8 servings

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes

This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup is a favorite, but please don’t skip serving the soup with shaved Parmesan!


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped small
  • 2 T minced garlic (or less if you’re not a garlic fan)
  • 2 tsp. dried Italian Seasoning (contains oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme and rosemary)
  • two 15 oz. cans Cannellini beans (see notes)
  • one 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 8 oz. finely chopped kale, washed if needed (see notes)
  • 5 cups vegetable stock or broth
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, or 1/2 tsp. dried rubbed sage
  • Parmesan rind to add flavor (optional)
  • freshly shaved Parmesan, to garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy frying pan; add the onions and cook 4-5 minutes or until they are just starting to brown.
  2. Add the garlic and Italian Seasoning and cook 1-2 minutes more, being careful not to let the garlic brown.
  3. Spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray; then put onions and garlic into the slow cooker.
  4. While the onions are cooking use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the Cannellini beans with the juice, keeping them a little chunky if you prefer.  (If you’re using freshly-cooked beans I would add about 1/4 cup water.)
  5. Finely chop the kale (cutting away thick center ribs if you have them) and wash kale in the salad spinner if you’re using garden kale.
  6. Put the pureed beans, chopped kale, vegetable stock, canned tomatoes and juice, and sage leaves (or dried sage) into the slow cooker with the onion mixture.
  7. Add one or two pieces of Parmesan rind if desired for extra flavor.
  8. Cook 4 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.
  9. Serve the soup hot, with strips of Parmesan shaved over if desired.
  10. This soup will keep for at least a week in the fridge, and it freezes well.


I used my Crock-Pot 5-Quart Smart-Pot for this recipe. You can cook the soup for 8-10 hours on low if you prefer.

You can use 4 cups cooked cannellini beans and a little water if you prefer. I used about 8 cups finely chopped kale.

Recipe adapted from The Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 467Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 475mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 9gSugar: 7gProtein: 36g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup is good for low-glycemic eating plans. Even though they are a low-glycemic ingredient, dried beans are a limited food for Phase One of the original South Beach Diet, but in a soup like this with lots of other ingredients you can have a normal serving, even for Phase One. This is too high in carbs for a low-carb diet plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Slow Cooker Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there. Click here for more Slow Cooker / Pressure Cooker Recipes on my other site!


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