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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Pasta e Fagioli Soup
- 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
- 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.