Kalyn's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup

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

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup

Yield 8 servings
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.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

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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    26 Comments on “Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup”

  1. SugarStuff, so glad you liked it. I think mushrooms would be a nice addition!

  2. Thanks Nicola. I'm not completely sure how this would work without tomatoes since I haven't tried it, but I think you could make it work. You would need to add more liquid, and maybe substitute another types of vegetable like green bell pepper or red bell pepper, if that sounds good to you.

  3. I love your blog and recipes. I'm always excited each day to see what's new. I would like to try this recipe but I'm not a fan of tomatoes. Can I leave them out? Should I substitute something else? Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!!

  4. Thanks Andrea, and I am so glad you're enjoying the recipes!

  5. This recipe (like all of yours!) is excellent! I make a pot full on the weekend and eat on it all week at work! I teach school so time to fix lunch is limited and this is a wonderful solution, I have shared this, and your site with several of my co-workers! Thanks!

  6. We are definitely channeling each other, because I just made a kale and cannellini bean stew to have on hand during the hurricane! I didn't think to add sage leaves to mine, and I like that idea.

  7. Thanks everyone for the good thoughts about this.

    Elizabeth; take care of yourself! (And I hope you get a slow cooker.)

    Donna, love it that I inspired you to try kale!

  8. I have a confession to make: I had never eaten kale before I saw it on your blog. You gave me the courage back then to try that weird looking tough green stuff in the produce department. You still inspire me today – this looks like a winner!

  9. Um, I know this is silly, but I loooove shaved parm. I don't know if it's the flakiness or what, but I swear it's the best way to enjoy parm!

  10. I'll take Parmesan over croutons any day. ANY DAY!

    I think soup really is the silver lining to all this cold weather. This recipe looks superb. 🙂

  11. Yum! This is exactly what I'm craving since I have a kidney stone right now and don't feel Lille spending 30 minutes at the stove. I just asked for a slow cooker for Christmas 🙂

  12. Yum! I'm always looking for ways to use my slow cooker and ways to cook kale – sounds like a winner!

  13. Becky, I would love it with Italian Sausage too. And please come and get kale!

  14. After smelling this in your kitchen I made a version this weekend! I added some sweet Italian sausage so mine was less healthy but delicious never the less! I'll try this one next time…. oh and I'll have to drop by for more kale 😉

  15. Thanks everyone for the nice feedback about this. Really enjoyed the flavors!

  16. I do like sauteeing my base vegetables before putting them in the crockpot – I think it definitely is worth it for extra depth in crockpot recipes. I also love using Parmesan rinds in soups – first of all, because I don't like throwing food out, and second of all, because it adds so much flavor.

  17. I love to experiment the same way and keep adding until I wind up with something delicious. This soup sounds awesome!

  18. I know exactly what you mean about the cold weather. When I lived in Canada I used to complain about how cold it got. But now that I'm in Florida, I sure do miss the excuse of cold weather to make all those soups and stews. This one sounds especially wonderful. I love kale and parmesan together.

  19. A great winter soup. Love the substitute of croutons for parm.

  20. I feel the same way about the cold! But you know…it makes cuddling up to a warm soup all the better! This looks so hearty and delicious!