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Pasta e Fagioli is a hearty vegetarian soup recipe made with pasta and beans in a thick, flavorful broth. Serve it with crusty bread for dunking.

Pasta e fagioli soup in a Dutch oven pot with a ladle.

Why You’ll Love this Pasta e Fagioli Recipe

  • An Alternative to Minestrone. If you love a classic Minestrone Soup, you will also enjoy this pasta e fagioli. Translating to “pasta and beans,” this flavorful soup has more beans and pasta and less vegetables than a traditional minestrone.
  • Hearty Vegetarian Meal. This delicious soup is thick and hearty, with two kinds of beans for plant-based protein. It’s immensely satisfying and one of my favorite soups!
  • Pantry Ingredients. Most of the ingredients for this recipe are pantry staples. You’ll also need carrots, celery and onion.
  • Amazing Leftovers. One of the perks of making a big pot of soup for dinner is that you’ll likely have leftovers for lunch for the next few days. Like many soups, this pasta e fagioli reheats wonderfully and is just as good, if not better, the next day.

How to Make Pasta e Fagioli

Here’s an overview of how to make pasta e fagioli, including ingredient notes. You’ll find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and directions in the recipe card below.

Ingredients

Ingredients for pasta e fagioli recipe.
  • Olive Oil: For sautéing the vegetables.
  • Onion, Carrots and Celery: This trio of veggies, called a mirepoix, builds a base layer of flavor in this soup, as well as many others like Chicken Noodle Soup and Vegetable Barley Soup.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic adds flavor.
  • Vegetable Broth: I recommend using low sodium vegetable broth so that you can better control the amount of salt in the soup.
  • Crushed Tomatoes: Adds flavor to the broth.
  • Seasonings: This Italian soup is seasoned with dried basil, dried oregano, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Red pepper flakes are an optional addition if you want a slightly spicy soup.
  • Pasta: Use a short pasta shape, such as ditalini, small shells or elbow macaroni.
  • Beans: I used red kidney beans and cannellini beans. Other beans that work well in this recipe include small white beans or chickpeas.

Recipe Steps

Sauté the onion, carrot and celery in olive oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot. Then stir in the minced garlic.

Minced garlic added to sautéed carrot, celery and onion in Dutch oven.

Stir in the vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes and seasonings.

Crushed tomatoes and seasonings added to sautéed vegetables in Dutch oven.

Simmer the soup with a lid on the pot for 15 minutes.

Stir in the pasta. Then cover the pot and continue simmering the soup until the pasta is cooked to al dente. Stir the soup every few minutes to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Stir in the beans and simmer for 1-2 minutes to warm the beans.

Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve, with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.

Pot of pasta e fagioli soup.

Recipe Variations

  • Ground Beef: Add ground beef to make pasta e fagioli that is similar to the Olive Garden version. Brown the beef in the pot before adding the onion, carrots and celery.
  • Italian Sausage: Another great option if you want to add meat to this soup; sausage will add a lot of flavor. Remove it from the casings and cook it in the pot before adding any other ingredients, breaking it up with a spoon.
  • More Vegetables: Add gold potatoes, zucchini, green beans or cabbage (also delicious in this Cabbage Soup!). Frozen peas or fresh spinach can be stirred into the soup along with the beans.
  • Add Spice: Add 1/8 teaspoon (or to taste) of crushed red pepper flakes along with the other seasonings.

Storage Tips

  • To Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: Since the pasta may break down if frozen and reheated, it is best to freeze the soup before adding the pasta. Then add freshly cooked pasta when reheating the soup. Soup may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To Reheat: Have some extra broth on hand to add to the soup when reheating, since the pasta will soak up some broth over time. I like to warm it in a covered pot on the stove over medium heat until simmering. You can also use the microwave.

What to Serve with Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e fagioli served in a bowl with a spoon.

More Soup Recipes

Love soup recipes? Here are a few more favorites.

Pasta e fagioli soup in a Dutch oven pot with a ladle.
5 from 1 rating

Pasta e Fagioli

Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Pasta e Fagioli is a hearty vegetarian soup recipe made with pasta, vegetables and beans in a thick, flavorful broth. Serve it with crusty bread, rolls or a green salad.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional, makes soup a little spicy
  • 1 cup dry short pasta shapes, such as ditalini, small shells or elbows
  • 15 ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounce can cannellini beans, or small white beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, optional, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, dried basil, dried oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes (if using). Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the pasta. Simmer, covered, stirring every few minutes (to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot), until the pasta is cooked to al dente and the vegetables are tender, about 8-12 minutes.
  • Stir in the beans. Simmer the soup for 1-2 minutes to warm the beans. Remove the pot from the heat.
  • Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, or as desired.

Notes

  • To add ground beef or Italian sausage: (Remove sausage from casings.) Brown the beef or sausage in the pot before adding the onion, carrots and celery, crumbling the meat with a spoon as it cooks.
  • Leftovers: Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: Since the pasta may break down if frozen and reheated, it is best to freeze the soup before adding the pasta. Then add freshly cooked pasta when reheating the soup. Soup may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To Reheat: Have some extra broth on hand to add to the soup when reheating, since the pasta will soak up some broth over time. I like to warm it in a covered pot on the stove over medium heat until simmering. You can also use the microwave.
Calories: 254kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 1335mg, Potassium: 618mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 4497IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 116mg, Iron: 4mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Main Course, Soup
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