This pasta e fagioli is a hearty soup made with ground beef, pasta, vegetables and beans, all simmered together in a rich tomato broth. An easy dinner option that the whole family is sure to love!

We eat soup at least once a week at my house, it’s easy to make, filling and kid friendly. Some of our favorites include white chicken chili, Olive Garden minestrone soup, slow cooker chicken tortellini soup, and this colorful pasta e fagioli.

Pasta e Fagioli Soup | Pasta Fazool | Beef Soup | Italian Soup #soup #beef #italianfood #pasta #dinner #dinneratthezoo

Pasta e Fagioli Soup | Pasta Fazool | Beef Soup | Italian Soup #soup #beef #italianfood #pasta #dinner #dinneratthezoo

A bowl of pasta e fagioli soup with colorful veggies, ditalini pasta, two types of beans and ground beef.

Every time I go to my local Italian restaurant, I order a bowl of pasta e fagioli soup. That combination of meat, beans and veggies just can’t be beat! I’ve created my own homemade version of this soup, and I have to say, it’s even better than the restaurant version. For more hearty soup ideas, be sure to check out my vegetarian chili and white bean soup.

What is pasta e fagioli?

Pasta e fagioli means “pasta and beans” in Italian, and refers to a soup that contains both ingredients. Sometimes this soup is also referred to as “pasta fazool”. The soup typically contains some type of meat such as ground beef or sausage, one or two types of beans, and short pasta in a tomato broth.

How do you make pasta e fagioli soup?

The first step in making this soup is to cook up your ground beef and onions. After the meat is cooked, a colorful variety of vegetables and tomatoes are added to the pot, then simmered in broth until tender. The final step is to add cooked short pasta and two types of beans. Add a sprinkling of parsley and a little parmesan cheese, then you’ll be ready to eat.

Ground beef and onions cooked in a soup pot.

Tips for Pasta e Fagioli

  • I typically use 90% lean ground beef for this soup, it has plenty of flavor without a lot of grease. If you prefer, you can use Italian sausage instead.
  • Any short pasta will work in this soup. I typically use ditalini which is also called salad macaroni. Other great options are elbow macaroni or small shell pasta.
  • I like to use a combination of two types of beans for the best flavor and texture. You can also use two cans of one variety of bean if you prefer.
  • This recipe calls for dried Italian seasoning which is a blend of herbs and often includes basil, parsley, oregano and thyme. You can find Italian seasoning in the spice aisle. Alternatively, you can mix your own herbs to create a similar blend.

Ground beef, onions, tomatoes, carrots, celery, herbs and spices in a soup pot.

Can you freeze pasta e fagioli?

This soup works best as a freezer meal if you omit the pasta before freezing it. You can freeze your soup for up 2 months. Thaw the soup, then heat it up on the stove top. Stir in freshly cooked pasta right before serving, then enjoy.

Pasta e fagioli made with kidney beans, white beans and ditalini pasta.

Slow Cooker Pasta e fagioli

This recipe can easily be adapted to use in a slow cooker. Simply brown your beef and onions as directed, then add the beef mixture to the crock pot. Add the remaining ingredients except for the pasta, beans and parsley. Cook on low heat for 4 hours. Stir in the beans and freshly cooked pasta, then sprinkle with parsley and serve.

A pot of pasta e fagioli soup made with ground beef, vegetables, beans and pasta.

Skip the Italian restaurant and make your own pasta e fagioli soup at home, your family will be glad that you did!

More great soup recipes

5 from 14 votes

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

AuthorSara Welch
A bowl of pasta e fagioli soup with colorful veggies, ditalini pasta, two types of beans and ground beef.
This pasta e fagioli is a hearty soup made with ground beef, pasta, vegetables and beans, all simmered together in a rich tomato broth. An easy dinner option that the whole family is sure to love!
Time
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef I use 90% lean
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 1 cup celery sliced
  • 3 carrots peeled, quartered and sliced
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes do not drain
  • 3 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta uncooked
  • 15 ounce can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can Great Northern beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Instructions 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and cook for 5-6 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula.
  • Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the celery, carrots, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, beef broth and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 15-18 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • While soup is simmering, boil the ditalini pasta in a separate pot according to package directions.
  • Add the cooked pasta and beans to the soup, stir to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  • Sprinkle with parsley, then serve.

Notes

If you'd prefer to boil the pasta in the soup, you'll need to add an additional 3 cups of broth. Add the pasta and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through, then stir in the beans.
Pasta absorbs a lot of broth which is why I prefer to boil it separately then add it at the end, the pasta maintains a better texture that way.

Nutrition

Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 692mg | Potassium: 1307mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5265IU | Vitamin C: 12.4mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 7.2mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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  1. Made soup tonight using this recipe as a guide. I used 3 Italian mild sausage links, casing removed. Onions, garlic, celery, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, the last of the cherry tomatoes from the garden, the point is you can modify and personalize with most any veg you have on hand, no strict measuring needed. I also used a quart of frozen homemade chicken broth and a can of drained butter beans. Seasoned with dried oregano and basil and some crushed red pepper flakes. Tossed in a rind from a gouda cheese and let it all simmer for an hour or so.

    Cooked a cup of ditalini pasta in a separate pot and when done ran cool water over it. Put a scoop of pasta in a serving bowl and a couple ladles of hot soup over top. Topped with fresh grated gouda and served with crusty buttered hard rolls. Great for today’s rainy day. Better leftover.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this with Italian sausage, added crushed red pepper, and parmesan cheese rind. My daughter said it’s the best I’ve ever had! Love all your recipes at the “zoo” 😁

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe turned out perfect! I did add a bay leaf and a parmigiano reggiano rind. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! My husband and 2 year old both loved it. I’ll definitely make this again!

  4. 5 stars
    Just made it , a very tasty and hardy soup. Looking forward to dinner time. Will definitely make this again.
    I added a couple of bay leaves and a chunk of Parmesan to the soup. I am not a kidney bean fan and only used 1 can of northern beans.