Pasta Fagioli Soup

My husband and I like to lead a simple life.  Some people strive for drama and chaos, but not us.  I generally make simple meals because I find that small ingredient lists of delicious things make the best meals.  This time however, I wanted an extra simple meal.  There is nothing complicated about a hearty pasta fagioli soup.  This version tastes nearly identical to Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli, full of assorted beans, beef, pasta, and wonderful seasoning.

05Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli Soup Recipe
(Makes about 8 servings)


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped (equivalent to 1 cup)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped (equivalent to 1 cup)
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped (equivalent to 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) beef broth
  • 1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, with liquid
  • 1 can (15 ounces) white kidney beans, with liquid
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 8 ounces ditalini pasta, precooked weight


  1. In a large pot, over Medium heat, cook the ground beef.
  2. Drain the liquid from the cooked beef (if any).  If you use ground beef with a lower fat ratio then you will have little to no liquid to drain.
  3. Stir in the chopped onions, carrots, celery, and minced garlic.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, red and white kidney beans (with the liquid).
  5. Season with the salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and thyme and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  6. When the soup has 10 minutes left to simmer, cook the ditalini pasta in boiling water for 7 minutes or until a bit firmer than al dente.  Do not over cook the pasta.
  7. Drain the pasta and stir it into the soup.  Simmer for 10 more minutes.

Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator or in the freezer.

Source: Iowa Girl Eats


This is comfort and simplicity at one of its finest moments.  Traditionally there is no meat in pasta fagioli, but it adds a lot of great flavor to the soup.  With a little work and adjusting the amounts of the ingredients I bet you can make this a vegetarian meal that is more like a classic pasta fagioli.  (Having not done that yet, I can’t tell you exactly how to tweak everything.)

01Pasta e Fagioli

I used frozen carrots because that’s what I had in the house in case you’re wondering why they have a funny frosty look to them and magical ridges that aren’t found in nature.

02Pasta e Fagioli

Cooking tip:  Chop an onion and store it in the freezer.  I don’t know about you, but I hate to chop onions.  To save time (and tears), I chop onions that I’ve just bought from the store and freeze them in a freezer friendly bag.  Once thawed, they taste just as fresh as the day I bought them.  Onions are a popular ingredient in soups and with soup season in full swing I’ll have them handy at a moment’s notice.

04Pasta e Fagioli

I used white and red kidney beans and ditalini pasta.  I love ditalini because the short little tubes are the perfect shape for a soup.  One of the reasons why I love this dish is that you can swap these main ingredients for the type of beans and pasta that you have handy and the soup will still turn out delicious.  Remember that we’re going for a no-fuss night!

The soup looks a little thin once all the ingredients are in the pot, but it will thicken up as it cooks.

03Pasta e Fagioli

This thick soup has so many textures going on, with the ground beef, veggies, beans, and pasta.  In fact, I didn’t add any garnish to the soup because it just doesn’t need it.

The seasoning is spot on.  Together with the canned tomatoes and beef stock, this soup is rich and full of fantastic flavors.

07Pasta e Fagioli

This recipe makes a big pot of soup.  If you have a large family then it’s the perfect size.  If you’re a family of two, like my me and my husband then you’ll have a lot of left overs.  You know how some meals don’t reheat to taste as good as the first time you made it?  This is NOT one them.  My husband grabbed it on the go for work lunches for almost a whole week and it reheated perfectly.     🙂

06Pasta e Fagioli

You know what else is great about this soup?  It’s a low budget wonder!

09Pasta e Fagioli

There are many lovely variations of pasta fagioli.  If you have a version, how does it differ from this one?



4 Hats


I love bread with my soup, like this Beer Bread.

07Beer Bread


Here are some other fantastic soup recipes.

Chicken Chili Soup

04Chicken Chili Soup


Vegetable Barley Soup



  1. Janet says:

    This is my second time of making this soup we love it. I️ used chili beans and navy beans in it this time. Yummy with a slice or two of chewy artisan garlic bread warmed up, gonna eat good tonight❄️?

    1. Tina says:

      Janet, I’m so glad you love this soup! 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. Angie says:

    I’m trying this today. As is. I am always a bit amused by people who say they love a recipe and then describe how they changed by adding this and that, or omitting something, the very first time they make it. It’s no longer the recipe! ?

    1. Tina says:

      I hope you enjoy it, Angie!

    2. Mike says:

      Any suggestions on how to do this in a instant pot?

      1. Tina says:

        I have not tried this recipe in an instant pot.

  3. Joyce says:

    I made it with French onion soup because I dislike the taste of plain beef broth, and I REALLY like cooked onions in my soups, so wanted to amp up that flavor. Other than that, followed the recipe as written, and it’s fabulous! Since there’s only me to eat it this time, I did leave the pasta out so I could freeze it–pasta will be added individually each time–but when I make it for my minister and his large family (seven children, with number eight due in just a few days), I’ll include the pasta (as well as red wine–just a cup–in place of one can of soup) because there won’t be any leftovers, even though I’ll triple the recipe 😀

    1. Tina says:

      Joyce, your version sounds delicious!

  4. Shannkn says:

    This was wonderful! I added corn and more pasta. We will definitely make again!

    1. Tina says:

      Oh the corn sounds like a delightful addition! Thank you so much for stopping by!

  5. Melania says:

    I am the cook in the family and just had knee surgery a day ago. When I came across this recipe on pinterest I also book marked it on my computer thinking this would be a easy recipe for my husband to make. I chopped the veggies for him and gave moral support as he went through the process. He didn’t understand why he couldn’t just to pick up something or make (boxed/processed) mac n cheese. (My stomach is still saying no just typing it.) It turned out delicious even with the minor changes we made. Hopefully this will boost his confidence so he will want to help in the kitchen even after I recuperate. Thank you for the recipe and the easy layout. Cheers!

    1. Tina says:

      I’m so happy that your husband had success making this soup! I appreciate you taking the time to share with others that this recipe is very easy. I think the more your husband cooks, the more confident he will be. I used to be the same way with baking pies. I thought that was something only the baking experts made because it looked so difficult. One day my husband encouraged me to make a pie. It wasn’t the best, but it was edible. And now I make them a few times a year. 🙂
      I hope you feel better soon!

  6. Karla says:

    I made this soup yesterday. While the flavor was there, it wasn’t a soup – it was way too thick and got even thicker when I added the pasta. Should have added more beef broth or no pasta at all. Probably will not make it again.

  7. Rachel says:

    Nope. It’s just beans some canned tomatoes and be oh I said beans and beans tomatoes and what was your thing oh yeah pasta and broth. Seasonings. Simple and delicious.

  8. Diane Coates says:

    I made this soup a couple of weeks ago and followed the recipe as written. Oh, sorry, I had to omit the garlic because I am allergic. I found the soup a perfect consistency and wonderfully delicious. My husband wants me to make it again when we go on vacation to Ontario next week. (Instead of chili!). Our daughter loved it also and wants the recipe!!

  9. becky partain says:

    Tried your soup. It’s still cooking but it has really smelled this house up. Can’t wait to eat it.

    1. Tina says:

      Yay! I hope you love it as much as I do!

  10. Tracy says:

    I made this today and it is wonderful! Perfect for a cold day. My entire family loved it! Thank you for a great, easy recipe

    1. Tina says:

      I am so happy to hear you love this!

  11. Cindy Hodge says:

    Omgoodness! This has been my very favorite soup for years!!! I cannot count how many times I’ve eaten it, studied it, thought how simple it looked. Never to get it right. Until TODAY!!! It turned out magnificent! As I come to the evening of my day 1 home quarantine, this was just what I needed! Thank you so much for sharing! It has given me such joy under a cloud of feeling terrible!
    Respectfully, Cindy.

  12. Wendy says:

    is it better with beef broth or chicken broth?…why only 8 oz of pasta if it makes a lot?

  13. Bonnie says:

    Hi, this soup sounds great and I can’t wait to make it. I make a lot of soups and freeze them. It’s just so much easier to take one out and simmer it on the stove for my dinner. I always leave the pasta out and add it in when I heat up to eat it because the pasta tends to soak up all the broth if I store it with the pasta in it. I see you don’t recommend this. Do you find that this soup is okay to make and freeze or keep in the fridge with the pasta in it?

    1. Tina says:

      Hi Bonnie. I have froze the soup both ways and both works. Some people prefer to keep the pasta separate because the texture changes in the freezer, however, I don’t find that an issue. I think it comes down to personal preference.

      1. Bonnie says:

        Thank you so much. I will try an experiment and freeze both ways. Some with pasta and some without.

  14. Wendy says:

    I need more soup…when I make your recipe it’s delish just want more soup very chunky..what can I do?

    1. Tina says:

      Hi Wendy, you could add more liquid to get the consistency you prefer.

  15. Cathy says:

    What would you suggest if I wanted to cook this in the crockpot?

  16. Betty says:

    I made this yesterday, and my husband and I loved it! I didn’t have white kidney beans so substituted with a can of corn. Thank you for a great recipe!

    1. Tina says:

      Betty, I’m so glad you love this soup! I love that this soup is versatile and you can swap certain ingredients to still get a tasty dish. 🙂

  17. Gaye says:

    We have snow and sleet and ice on the way here in Western Kentucky … home bound with a pot of this soup simmering in the background as I type. My house smells lovely, I have books downloaded and flashlights and candles at the ready if needed. My favorite Chianti is airing and ciabatta ready for a bake. Thanks for the recipe, you have helped me make a cozy time of it.

  18. CAROL WAIGHT says:

    I’m making it right now. I was thinking of putting it in the crockpot on high for one hour but over the stove is just as good. I added a little chile paste to give it a kick. Delicious!

    1. Tina says:

      I love that you added a little heat to the soup. Thanks for stopping by!

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