Pasta e Fagioli is an Italian-inspired soup made with short pasta and beans. Made popular by the restaurant chain Olive Garden, enjoy this homemade and hearty vegetarian Pasta e Fagioli soup made with simple veggies, tomatoes, macaroni pasta, and of course, beans!
Pasta e Fagioli Recipe
Pasta e Fagioli, or “pasta and beans” in English, is a simple Italian soup recipe with countless variations, but always includes at least one type of bean and short pasta. Many of you may be familiar with the name of this soup thanks to Olive Garden, an American restaurant known for its rich and meaty pasta e fagioli soup.
Today I’m sharing a recipe for vegetarian pasta e fagioli soup. Equally delicious and just as flavorful as any meat-filled version, this simple recipe comes together in no time. A family favorite, I highly recommend cozying up with a big bowl and crusty buttery bread.
What Type of Beans and Pasta Should be Added?
Pasta e Fagioli is most often made with white beans such as cannellini beans or navy beans. It is also best with short pasta like elbow macaroni or ditalini.
How to Make Pasta e Fagioli
- Slowly cook the onions, carrots, and celery in a little olive oil until starting to soften.
- Add the minced garlic, fresh herbs, Italian seasoning, and salt. Cook until fragrant – about 1 minute.
- Add the bay leaves, the canned chopped or crushed tomatoes (including the juice), chicken stock (or broth), and water. Bring to a boil.
- Stir in the beans (drain and rinse first) and small pasta of choice. Stir occassionally to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
- Once the pasta is tender, the soup is ready to enjoy! I like to season with additional salt, if needed, and garnish my bowl with grated parmesan cheese.
Can you Freeze Pasta e Fagioli?
Yes. Allow the soup to cool before transferring to freezer-safe ziplock bags or storage containers. Remove as much air as possible. Can be frozen for up to 3-4 months.
For best results, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating on the stovetop.
- If you plan to make extra soup or you know that you will have leftovers, consider cooking the pasta separately until al dente, adding to each individual soup bowl just before serving. This will help prevent the pasta from becoming soggy.
- Add meat. Popular options include bacon, pancetta, ground beef, or Italian sausage.
- Cook the vegetables over medium to medium-low heat. This will slowly cook the vegetables, making them sweeter.
What to Serve with Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Pasta e Fagioli is wonderful with toasted buttered bread, garlic bread, or croutons. Sometimes I’ll add a small green salad for extra veggies.
Have you tried making this Pasta e Fagioli Recipe?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Beans)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion - diced
- 3 large carrots - peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs celery - chopped
- 5 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme - minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary - minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt - plus more to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups (1-quart) chicken broth
- 2 cups water - plus more if needed
- 2 (15 ounce) cans white beans - cannellini beans, navy beans, or Great Northern beans
- 1 cup small pasta - elbow macaroni, ditalini
- Grated parmesan cheese - for serving
- Add the olive oil to a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the carrots and celery and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the minced garlic, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, Italian seasoning, and salt. Mix well to combine and cook until fragrant.
- Add the bay leaves, canned tomatoes (with the juice), chicken broth, and water. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Once the broth reaches a boil, stir in the drained beans and small pasta (I used elbow macaroni). Maintain a gentle simmer and stir occasionally.
- Season with additional salt to taste. Soup is ready once the pasta is cooked. Garnish grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
- Beans: I used Cannellini Beans, but Great Northern Beans or Navy Beans will also work.
- To make this soup vegan, swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth or water and skip the parmesan cheese.
- Add meat: Popular additions include ground beef, bacon, or pancetta.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)