I love this easy Pasta e Fagioli soup! It is full of tons of veggies and beans (think fiber) and has enough meat in it to make it the kind of soup you can have as a meal. This is a pretty close copycat recipe to the Pasta e Fagioli at the Olive Garden.
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Be aware that this recipe makes a nice big batch. I have found an easy and very effective way to freeze individual portions of this soup. I'll share those with you below.
Table of contents
Why I love this soup
Lots of hamburger meat and vegetables are the basis for this filling soup. This is a classic Italian soup, and all kinds of substitutions are allowed! It's flavorful and filled with delicious and healthy ingredients. This is a recipe I love to make on a lazy Sunday or a rainy day.
2 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 ½ lbs lean ground beef (ground turkey also works)
3 large carrots - diced
5 celery stalks - diced
½ large sweet onion (diced) or one small onion
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (the large can)
1 30 oz beef broth (or chicken broth)
2 leaves Bay (optional, but I love the flavor)
1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried garlic
1 15 oz can cannelloni beans (drain then rinse)(aka chickpeas)
1 15voz can red kidney beans (rained then rinse)
1 cup ditalini pasta - uncooked (macaroni noodles also work!)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce (optional) - I often add to beef-based recipes
Optional veggies to add - green beans, bell peppers, russet potatoes or red potatoes, fresh or canned diced tomatoes, frozen corn, zucchini
Adding salt and ground black pepper is optional. I find when using canned beans, no extra salt is needed.
Try to chop/cut all your vegetables to a similar size. It's easier to eat, and that's how the professionals do it!
Add oil to a large Dutch oven or pot and brown ground beef.
In the same pot, add all ingredients except beans and pasta.
Bring to an easy boil, then turn down to simmer (usually medium heat) and cook for approx. ½ hour stir occasionally.
Add beans and pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente. Approx. 10 minutes but check the pasta container directions, since cooking times may vary.
Remove bay leaves before serving or freezing.
If desired, serve in a bowl and garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and ground pepper. If handy, add some fresh parsley as a garnish for color.
Serve with fresh crusty rolls or a salad to round out the meal.
How to Store and Freeze Leftovers
As mentioned earlier, this recipe makes a large amount. I LOVE freezing soup in individual portions and have tried many different ways. Freezing soup in flat plastic bags is a great way to freeze individual portions.
I prefer filling these 12 oz jars; it makes a perfect individual portion. Let them thaw in the fridge overnight, and you have a delicious homemade lunch!
I've made and stored this many times. I have found that the pasta and the beans absorb the broth, so sometimes you need to add more so your soup has the right amount of liquid. If you don't have broth, it's flavorful enough that you probably won't notice if you add a bit of water.
Pasta fagioli soup is a thicker soup. It also has pasta, which is not found in traditional minestrone recipes. The same applies to hamburger meat - Minestrone soup is more a vegetable-based soup.
Other Delicious Soups
Easy Pasta Fagioli Soup.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 ½ lbs lean ground beef
- 3 large carrots - diced
- 5 celery stalks - diced
- ½ large sweet onion diced
- 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes the large can
- 1 30 oz beef broth or chicken broth
- 2 leaves Bay optional but I love the flavor
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic
- 1 15 oz can cannelloni beans drain then rinse
- 1 15 oz can red kidney beans rained then rinse
- 1 cup ditalini pasta - uncooked
- optional veggies to add - green beans, bell peppers, russet potatoes or red potatoes, fresh or canned diced tomatoes, frozen corn, zucchini
- Adding salt and ground pepper is optional. I find when using canned beans no extra salt is needed.
- Add oil to heavy pot or dutch oven and brown ground beef.
- Add all ingredients except beans and pasta.
- Bring to an easy boil then turn down to simmer (usually medium heat) and cook for approx. ½ hour stir occasionally.
- Add beans and pasta. Cook until pasta is al dante. Approx. 10 minutes.
- Remove bay leaves before serving or freezing.
- Serve in a bowl and garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and ground pepper if desired. If handy, add some fresh parsley as a garnish for color.
- Serve with fresh crusty rolls.
(Adding salt and ground pepper is optional. I find when using canned beans no extra salt is needed.) Other delicious and hearty soups on my website. Homemade Italian Wedding Soup Chicken Tortilla Soup Taco Soup
Nutrition information is an estimate only provided as a courtesy using an ingredient database. Garnish and optional ingredients are not included in the calculations.
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**Originally published Jan. 30, 2018 and updated regularly.