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Pasta Fagioli Soup is an Olive Garden copycat recipe that is an Italian favorite. Loaded with beans, ground beef, and tiny noodles, this soup is so comforting and made all in one pot.

Be sure to try my 7 Can Soup next!

Pot of Pasta Fagioli Soup with a wooden spoon.
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Why We Love This Recipe

  • Comforting – There are few foods more comforting than a noodle soup recipe.
  • One Pot – Cook the ground beef, then make the soup all in the same pot!
  • Tiny Noodles – This soup recipe uses Ditalini pasta which is very small, but you can swap in another small pasta shape.

Ingredients

ingredients for pasta fagioli
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – You can use another cooking oil like canola oil or avocado oil.
  • Lean Ground Beef – You could swap in another ground meat like ground turkey or a ground Italian sausage for a different flavor.
  • Vegetables – Yellow Onion, Carrots and Celery.
  • Minced Garlic – Freshly mined is best, but you can also use the pre-minced garlic in a jar.
  • Canned Tomato Sauce
  • Chicken Broth or Stock – Opt for a low sodium variety to control the salt content.
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes – Undrained.
  • Spices – Italian Seasoning, Salt, Ground Black Pepper
  • Canned Beans – Both Dark Red Kidney Beans and Great Northern Beans. I always rinse and drain them to remove the liquid (which can also be very salty).
  • Ditalini Pasta – This is the classic pasta shape choice. If you can’t find it, you can swap in another very small noodle shape like macaroni or orzo. Also try this Greek Lemon Chicken Soup made with orzo.

How To Make Pasta Fagioli Soup

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

Ground beef cooking in a skillet.

Cook Beef – Heat up a large dutch oven with 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat and cook the ground beef until browned. Drain the fat and place the cooked beef on a plate.

Carrots, celery and onions all diced and cooked in a skillet.

Cook Veggies – In the same pot, add the rest of the oil and cook the carrots, celery, and onion until tender. Add the garlic and cook for just a minute more until fragrant. Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, tomatoes, and spices.

Tomato broth with kidney beans, small pasta and vegetables.

Simmer – Bring the soup to a simmer, cover, and simmer for about 25 minutes.

Soup pot with pasta fagioli soup.

Finish Soup – Add the beans and simmer for an additional 5 minutes then stir in the cooked pasta and parsley right before serving.

Recipe FAQs

What is pasta fagioli soup made of?

Pasta Fagioli means “pasta and beans” in Italian. It is a traditional Italian soup that is loaded with beans, pasta, tomatoes, veggies, and sometimes meat as well.

What’s the difference between pasta fagioli and minestrone soup?

Both Pasta Fagioli and Minestrone are both Italian soups that have similar flavors and pasta. The main difference is that minestrone typically has more veggies included than pasta fagioli.

What is ditalini pasta also called?

Ditalini pasta is sometimes called “little thimbles” because it is shaped like a small tube. It is a popular choice in soups such as this pasta fagioli.

Serving Suggestions

Since Pasta Fagioli is a favorite at Olive Garden, we love to serve this soup with other Olive Garden copycat recipes like this copycat Olive Garden salad or homemade garlic breadsticks.

Storage

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. For best results, I like to store the pasta separately from the soup. This prevents the pasta from soaking up the broth and getting too soft.

Expert Tips

  • Easy to Customize – This soup is very forgiving and you can adjust to your tastes. If you prefer a super chunky soup, you can increase the meat, veggies and pasta. Or you can make it more brothy by adding more chicken broth or even a little water.
  • One Pot for Easy Clean Up and Flavor – I like to cook the beef in the same dutch oven that I use to make soup because it not only makes clean up easier but you get the added flavor and fat from cooking the beef.
  • Add Pasta at Very End – You want to add the cooked pasta just before serving the soup. The pasta will continue to soak up the broth.
  • Crockpot Variation – You can also make this soup in your slow cooker. Cook the beef and veggies on the stove like the original recipe then add it all to your slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients (minus the pasta and beans) and cook on LOW for 4 hours. Stir in the beans and cook for another 10 minutes or so then stir in the cooked pasta and parsley.
Bowl of Pasta Fagioli Soup with a piece of bread.

More Soup Recipes

Recipe
Pasta Fagioli soup

Pasta Fagioli Soup

5 from 4 votes
Pasta Fagioli Soup is an Olive Garden copycat recipe and a comforting soup that's loaded with beans, ground beef, and tiny noodles.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup yellow onion diced (about 1 small onion)
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2 14.5 oz cans chicken broth
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 2 tablespoons italian seasoning blend
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can great northern beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked ditalini pasta cooked to al dente and drained
  • Optional: Fresh parsley for garnish
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Instructions
 

  • In a large dutch oven, heat 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat and cook the ground beef until browned and no longer pink. Drain, remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook the carrots, celery and onion until tender.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute or until fragrant.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce, chicken broth, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and cooked ground beef to the pan and bring to a simmer.
  • Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Add the beans and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta and parsley right before serving.

Notes

This soup is very forgiving, you can adjust pretty much anything to suit your taste. If you love a super chunky soup, you can increase the meat, veggies, and pasta. If you like a more brothy soup, you can add an extra bit of water or broth. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 352kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 24gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 1640mgPotassium: 1047mgFiber: 10gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 3185IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 123mgIron: 5mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Phyllis says:

    Loved this recipe! It was rich and satisfying- I used italian sausage instead of hamburger – perfect rainy night supper!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Phyllis! Awesome feedback, thanks for stopping by.

  2. Irene says:

    Trying this one tonight. Did you add the meat back in with the pasta?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Sorry about that – I updated the recipe to fix that omission in the instructions. The meat is added with the broth in line 4.

  3. Cindy Dempsey says:

    I’m going to try this
    It sure looks good!!