This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Pasta Fagioli Recipe – If you love the Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli, I think you’ll love this homemade version as much or more! Ready in 30 minutes!
Looking for more easy soup recipes? I think you’ll love our Classic Chili, Vegetable Soup, and Chicken Tortilla Soup.
Pasta Fagioli Recipe
Do I have a scrumptious recipe for you all today! I’ve mentioned before how my college friends and I would make our routine trek into Atlanta many, many moons ago and would always somehow wind up in Olive Garden. It was like our cars had automatic steering locked in on that place!
Since then, I’ve visited a time or two, but I’m not as frequent of a visitor as I was all those years ago. But one of my favorite things to order during the cooler months has always been their Pasta Fagioli. And over the years, I’ve worked to get the recipe as close to the original as possible. Since I’ve now made the recipe so that it is homemade and ready in 30 minutes, I think I should invite my college friends over for a bowl.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Quick and easy recipe. This dish comes together quickly and is ready to serve in 30 minutes.
Amazing Flavor. Simple, yet flavorful. The seasonings are just perfect in this easy recipe.
Favorite recipe. A must-make recipe in my house, even though it is ready in 30 minutes, it is also great for meal prep throughout the week.
What is Pasta Fagioli?
Pasta e Fagioli is the true name for this delicious soup. It is a traditional Italian soup when translated into English, its name means “pasta and beans.” Classically made with white beans, pasta, and vegetables, it can be made with or without meat.
Even though this recipe includes more ingredients than I normally include in recipes, it really couldn’t get much easier to whip up on a busy weeknight, for a soup buffet, for watching the game, or to cozy up on a chilly day!
Since this quick and easy one-pot recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes, it is one that you’ll most likely turn to time and again! At least I do!
How to Make Pasta Fagioli Recipe
- Meat: ground beef
- Vegetables: onion, carrots, celery, and garlic
- Broth: vegetable broth
- Tomatoes: diced tomatoes and tomato sauce
- Pasta: Ditalini pasta
- Beans: red kidney beans and great northern beans
- Seasonings: basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and black pepper
- Garnish (optional): Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley
Meat – you are looking for added flavor here. You can use ground beef as I do in this recipe or substitute it with diced bacon or pancetta, or even Italian sausage. To lighten the soup, you can also use ground chicken or ground turkey. If you are vegan or vegetarian or prefer a meatless soup, you can omit the meat altogether.
Broth – you can use vegetable broth, beef broth, or chicken broth in this recipe based on your preference.
Beans – I use red kidney beans and great northern beans as these are the closest to the Olive Garden recipe I love. You can also use cannellini beans or another favorite bean.
Pasta – I use Ditalini pasta (again, it is used in the Olive Garden version). You can also use any other small cut of pasta you have on hand or that your family enjoys. Elbow noodles work great, too!
Seasonings – In addition to the seasonings that I use in my recipe, you can also make your soup a little spicier by using a few dashes of hot sauce or adding red pepper flakes if you like.
1. Cook meat and vegetables. You’ll brown your ground beef in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Drain away the drippings from the beef and stir in your vegetables. Cook until the vegetables are just tender. You’ll notice that I’ve grated my carrots with a box grater. This reduces the cooking time for the carrots considerably.
2. Add remaining ingredients. Once the vegetables are fork-tender, I stir in my stock. For the stock, you can use vegetable stock, chicken stock, or even chicken broth based on what you have on hand or your personal preference. Along with the stock, stir in your tomatoes and tomato sauce, and spices. Bring the liquid to a boil, and then stir in your pasta and beans (including the liquid from the beans). If there is not enough liquid to cover the pasta, you can add water or additional stock to thin out the ingredients.
3. Simmer and serve. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
How to Make Pasta Fagioli Vegetarian or Vegan
Vegetarian – For a vegetarian version of this soup, simply omit the ground beef and use vegetable stock.
Vegan – For a vegan version of this soup, simply omit the ground beef, use vegetable stock, and omit the Parmesan as garnish.
How to Make Ahead, Store and Freeze
To make ahead, allow the pasta fagioli to cool. Place into the refrigerator in an airtight container and store for up to 5 days.
To freeze, allow the pasta fagioli to cool. Place into freezer-safe container and store for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat over medium-low heat on the stovetop until heated throughout, about 15 minutes.
Here’s my Pasta Fagioli Recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Pasta Fagioli Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ medium onion finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots shredded or finely chopped
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (8-ounce can) tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1½ teaspoons fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups uncooked ditalini pasta
- 1 (15-ounce can) red kidney beans
- 1 15-ounce can great northern beans
- grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
- freshly chopped parsley for garnish
- Brown ground beef in stockpot set over medium heat, stirring frequently until cooked throughout, about 5 minutes. Drain away any drippings from the beef and stir in the onions, carrots, and celery and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and reduce the heat to low. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir in the ditalini, along with the beans and their liquid. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables are tender and the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
- Serve warm with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley, optional.
For a vegetarian version of this soup, simply omit the ground beef and use vegetable stock. Vegan:
For a vegan version of this soup, simply omit the ground beef, use vegetable stock, and omit the Parmesan as garnish Make-Ahead:
Allow soup to cool. Place into the refrigerator in an airtight container and store for up to 5 days. Freezer Friendly:
Allow soup to cool. Place into freezer-safe container and store for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat over medium-low heat on the stovetop until heated throughout, about 15 minutes.
SubstitutionsMeat – you are looking for added flavor here. You can use ground beef as I do in this recipe, or substitute with diced bacon or pancetta or even Italian sausage. To lighten the soup, you can also use ground chicken or ground turkey. If you are vegan or vegetarian or prefer a meatless soup, you can omit the meat altogether. Broth – you can use vegetable broth, beef broth, or chicken broth in this recipe based on your personal preference. Beans – I use red kidney beans and great northern beans as these are closest to the Olive Garden recipe I love. You can also use cannellini beans or another favorite bean. Pasta – I use Ditalini pasta (again, it is what is used in the Olive Garden version). You can also use any other small cut of pasta that you have on hand or your family enjoys. Elbow noodles work great, too! Seasonings – In addition to the seasonings that I use in my recipe, you can also make your soup a little spicier by using a few dashes of hot sauce or adding red pepper flakes if you like.
Did you make this recipe?
Mention @addapinch or tag #addapinch!
Share it with the world!
This sounds great! Do you have any ideas about how I could turn it into a slow cooker recipe? I think it could deepen the flavors of the veggies and spices, but I don’t want to turn the pasta into mush. Thoughts?
I’ve done a minestrone similar to this in the crock pot, which has you add the pasta during the last half hour of cooking to avoid it overcooking. Might be worth a try here as well.
I’m glad you caught that Nancy! You do not drain the beans. Thanks so much letting me know – I’ve corrected the recipe. xo
I just made this (for tonight’s dinner) and I’m doing QC for lunch. OMG – this is slap yo mama good!!! One tiny issue with the recipe – in the ingredients list you instruct to drain and rinse the beans. (I did neither) BUT in the instructions you “stir in the ditalini along with the beans and their liquid”.
Otherwise, this is going to be a perfect cold night supper. thank you.
Hi! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! Isn’t it just about the simplest thing ever and I love that it is made all in one pot!
Yes, Nancy caught that mixup on the beans earlier and I’ve updated the recipe ingredients list! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know how you enjoyed the soup and also about beans. I truly appreciate you!!! xo
I have always been told to drain and rinse the beans due to “poisonous” elements. Is this not true? is it for certain beans only?..Am concerned that I will be cooking incorrectly.
Oh my goodness, I’ve not heard that and certainly wouldn’t want to eat beans that had been canned in poisonous elements – even if they had been drained and rinsed. If you are concerned, you could definitely drain and rinse the beans before adding to the soup. Then, if you need additional liquid, just add water or additional stock as needed to replace for the liquid in the beans.
I hope you enjoy it! xo
I find it quite unethical to claim a recipe as yours and as something you have worked on, when in fact the original source of this recipe is Jaclyn from Cooking Classy who blogged about it quite a while ago.
I certainly do appreciate you taking the time to visit and leave a comment! However, I can assure you that your claim is not correct! I absolutely adore Jacklyn and I just visited Jacklyn’s recipe to see where you might be coming from in your comment. Since we both have made a soup by the same name based on the same restaurant version, you can expect that many of the ingredients would be the same. What you will find if you do look at both recipes is that our cooking methods are very different! You will also find that the ingredients list varies greatly in that mine does not include many of the ingredients that are found in Jacklyn’s. I hope that you take this response in the courteous way that I intend for you to receive it, but please realize that claims such as yours are extremely hurtful and not appreciated in the least.
I wish you well.
I didn’t intend to be rude or hurtful. I just generally don’t like the idea of people stealing recipes and claiming it as their own, I found the recipes very, very, similar – almost the same with just slight changes to ingredient names, and skipping the marjoram in CC’s recipe… and so it prompted me to comment what I did. No ill intentions. I’ll take your word and take back mine. Nevertheless, I will be trying out the recipe this week ????
I really appreciate your letting me know. I do agree with you about recipes, but can assure you that is not the case here and I was taken aback at the claim. Moving on, I do hope you enjoy the soup and love that it is made all in one pot – one pot to cook in and one pot to clean! xo
Needed a good dinner tonight and with a rainy day this email popped up and I was on it! Delicious and everyone loved it! Thank you AGAIN!
Oh yay! I’m so glad you all loved it, Beckie! Thank you so much for your sweet comment! xo
Will you please include the nutritional values in this recipe. Also, the calories per serving/cup.
Thank you, Vicki
I personally use this nutritional calculator for recipes. I love that you can copy and paste the information into their format and modify the ingredients based on how you actually make it and for the number of servings you make. I hope you like it! xo
Robyn…I am making this an SOON! I had to laugh about Olive Garden. That was absolutely our favorite restaurant in college. It must have been our generation!!! I even remember that the chairs had WHEELS! My mom even had my roommate buy their chocolate cake (a whole one) for one of my birthdays in college. So many Olive Garden memories.
This soup was always my favorite…and I know your version will taste even better!
Isn’t that funny? Oh my goodness, yes, those wheels and that cake! So sweet of your mom to have your roommate get one for your birthday! I have a feeling that if we’d been in college together we would have been Olive Garden besties then, too! xo
Hi Robyn I see I should have left the bean liquid in the soup,also the pasta keeps cooking after you take it off the stove?
Yes, it sounds like you needed more liquid in your soup. The pasta will absorb some of the liquid as it cooks and then if it is cooked in advance, it will continue to absorb more of the liquid.
Yum Yum Yum! Looks delicious!
Thanks so much Lisa! It’s delicious and so simple to make!
My Italian boyfriend makes pasta for me also everyweek and everytime I ask him but most of them are dried pasta. I’ve never tried with this type. And I love beans a lot, next time I definitely ask my bf to make this xD Looks so yummmmm!
I love this recipe! Made it for dinner tonight and family loved it!
You need to try this soup using italian sausage instead of ground beef or go half and half.
Thanks for the yummy recipe! I cooked the pasta separately and combined right before serving to prevent overcooking.
Enriched version of what we make. Beautiful ! Thank you so much !
Hi Robyn quick question. I noticed the recipe calls for chicken or veg stock but in the video you used beef stock. Obviously any of these options would be delicious but I wondered which you think tastes the best. Thank you!
I read the recipe over & over, nowhere did it say drain the liquid from beans.
You are correct Mary. You do not drain the liquid from the beans in my recipe. The recipe instructions toward the end of Step 1 say “Bring to a boil and stir in the ditalini, along with the beans and their liquid.” I hope this helps and you enjoy this! Thanks!
I made your soup today. Loved it! I added Rotel tomatoes along w regular tomatoes, also used a can of black beans along w kidney beans. Thank you it was soo good!
Thanks, Linda. So glad you liked it!
Excellent recipe! Easy, delicious. and my family loved it! Thank you!!!
I’m so glad you and your family loved this. It is a favorite at my house.
If you Google Pasta Fagioli Soup recipe, you’ll find a “bijillion” versions of this popular soup, some very similar to this, but this is the one I picked and we absolutely loved it. I used some turkey mild italian sausage in place of half the ground beef and McCormicks Italian seasoning mix for the herbs. Cooked the ditalini to al dente in a separate pot and used some of the pasta water for the soup. Everything else as written. Oh I added 2 small zucchini and 2 small red potatoes that were languishing. This recipe makes a ton of soup/stew, especially with my additions, so we will have some wonderful leftovers and I am taking some to an elderly friend who is homebound. Thank you Robyn. I am a subscriber and appreciate your recipes and the work you do.
Thank you so much, Cheryl. This sounds good with the added zucchini and red potatoes.
Would this freeze better without the pasta? I was wondering if you could add cooked pasta to the thawed and reheated soup.
AnneB, you could add cooked pasta after it has thawed and reheat the soup but I always freeze it with the pasta added. To freeze with the pasta added, just follow the Freezer Friendly instructions in the Notes section of the recipe. I hope you enjoy.
Family favorite! Make this all the time! I follow the recipe exactly.
I’m so glad you enjoy it, SarahLeigh!
Made this recipe and doubled it! I had to use (quart size) three containers of vegetable broth. I used two cans of the Great Northern White beans and 1 can of the kidney beans. This is an absolutely delicious and wonderful soup. Everyone loved it! Thanks Robin!!
I’m thrilled everyone loved the soup, Mimi. Thanks for letting me know how you made it.