Pasta e Fagioli

Pasta e fagioli is a hearty Italian soup made with pasta, beans, and veggies. Served with crusty bread, it's vegetarian comfort food at its best.

Pasta e fagioli

Pasta e fagioli, sometimes shortened to pasta fagioli (or pasta fazool if you’re a Sopranos fan), is a classic Italian soup. Its name literally translates to “pasta and beans,” and it consists of tiny pasta, creamy beans, and tender vegetables in a fragrant tomato broth.

Here in the US, many people know pasta e fagioli from the menu at Olive Garden, but I’m here to tell you that you HAVE to try making this dish at home. It comes together in one pot. The ingredients are largely pantry staples. AND the combination of pasta, beans, and veggies makes it a satisfying standalone meal.

If you’re looking for simple, affordable, and delicious dinners to add to your rotation, pasta e fagioli can’t be beat. I’m sharing my go-to recipe below. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Pasta fagioli recipe ingredients

Pasta e Fagioli Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this pasta e fagioli recipe:

  • Pasta, of course! Ditalini is my top pick. Can’t find it? Little elbow macaroni noodles or another small pasta shape would work well too.
  • Beans – In Italy, pasta e fagioli is traditionally made with fresh cranberry beans. However, fresh shell beans are hard to find where I live, so I call for canned cannellini beans instead. They’re still delicious!
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – For richness.
  • Onion, garlic, carrots, and fennel – These aromatic veggies create the soup’s flavorful base. I LOVE the fennel’s anise-like flavor in this soup, but if you can’t find it, or if you’re not a fennel fan, celery is a great alternative!
  • Tomato paste – It thickens the broth and deepens the tomato flavor.
  • Fresh rosemary – For cozy, piney flavor.
  • Diced tomatoes – They add sweet, tangy flavor to the broth.
  • Vegetable broth – Use store-bought, or make your own.
  • A Parmesan rind – Yep, you can just chop the rind off a block of Parmesan cheese! If you’re vegetarian, be sure to look for a brand made with vegetarian enzymes (BelGioioso makes a great one). If you’re vegan, feel free to skip it.
  • Kale or Swiss chard – It’s not entirely traditional in pasta e fagioli, but I love finishing a pot of soup with lots of leafy greens!
  • Red pepper flakes – They add a kick of heat.
  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Sautéed onion, carrots, and fennel in large pot with wooden spoon

How to Make Pasta e Fagioli

This hearty soup recipe is so simple to make!

First, sauté the veggies. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and add the onion, carrots, and fennel. You want the veggies to get very soft. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, and rosemary, and cook for another minute.

Hand using wooden spoon to stir pasta fagioli soup in large pot

Next, simmer the soup. Add the tomatoes, beans, broth, and Parmesan rind to the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Then, stir in the pasta. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the pasta is al dente.

Finally, add the kale and red pepper flakes. Cook until the kale wilts. Season to taste and serve!

Pasta e fagioli in bowl with spoon

Pasta e Fagioli Serving Suggestions

When you’re ready to eat, ladle the pasta e fagioli soup into bowls, and top it with more red pepper flakes, a sprinkle of parsley, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if you like. You also can’t go wrong with a side of crusty bread for sopping up the broth!

Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a day or two, but the pasta soaks up more and more of the broth the longer it sits in the soup. If you want to make this recipe several days ahead, or if you plan on freezing it, you may want to leave out the pasta when you first make the soup. Instead, boil it separately and add it to the soup just before serving so that the noodles still have an al dente bite when you eat.

Pasta e fagioli recipe

More Favorite Soup Recipes

If you love this recipe, try one of these classic soups next:

Get This Recipe In Your Inbox
Share your email, and we'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus, enjoy daily doses of recipe inspiration as a bonus!

Pasta e Fagioli

rate this recipe:
5 from 26 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves 4 to 6
Pasta e fagioli, sometimes shortened to pasta fagioli, is a classic Italian soup made with pasta and beans. My recipe is a comforting, delicious vegetarian dinner! Serve it with crusty bread for sopping up the flavorful broth.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small fennel bulb or 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Parmesan rind, optional
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta, or other small pasta
  • 2 large kale or Swiss chard leaves, stemmed and torn (about 6 cups)
  • Pinches of red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel, carrots, salt, and several grinds of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until very soft.
  • Add the garlic, tomato paste, and rosemary and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the beans, broth, and Parmesan rind, if using. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the pasta and simmer for 10 more minutes, or until al dente. Stir in the kale and red pepper flakes and cook until the kale is wilted. Season to taste and serve.

14 comments

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Elizabeth
    02.15.2024

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe. I made a large pot of white beans the other day and wanted to use them up. This was just the ticket!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      02.16.2024

      Hi Elizabeth, so glad you loved it!

  2. Gillian
    12.18.2023

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe 3 times and have shared it with SO many people. I love it so much. Thank you! I also added a squeeze of lemon juice at the end

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.21.2023

      Hi Gillian, I’m so glad it’s become a favorite!

  3. Gracie
    12.13.2023

    Can this be made in a slow cooker rather than stovetop?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.13.2023

      Hi Gracie, I think it could be – I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure about the timing.

  4. Suzanne botta
    12.08.2023

    What is the sat fat and sodium levels of Italian pasta fagiole

  5. Jess
    05.13.2023

    5 stars
    This was the perfect rainy spring dinner with things on hand in the pantry!! Served it with rosemary sourdough and it was perfection, thank you for another great plant-based recipe!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      05.19.2023

      Hi Jess, I’m so glad you loved the recipe!

  6. Holly
    02.25.2023

    Love the simplicity and taste of your soups! Excluding the kale added at the end, can the Pasta e Fagioli soup be made ahead of time and if so, what’s the earliest?
    Thank you!

  7. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com
    02.20.2023

    love this soup, kinda like a minestrone in some of the ingredients, but love the cannelloni beans that aren’t in minestrone, and like the other flavors too, thank you

  8. JulesL
    02.20.2023

    5 stars
    Made this tonight. Outstanding flavor, thank you!!!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      02.23.2023

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  9. Nick Paola
    02.19.2023

    I am absolutely thrilled that you have included pasta e fagioli among your vast range of recipes. In my birthplace in Calabria in our dialect we used to call it
    Pasta e surache, of course there are many variations of that name, as is also with the recipe. As. A kid growing in Calabria I loved it, was my absolute favourite.
    60 years on, nothing has changed still loving it. Here in Australia, being summer
    We haven’t cooked it for the last couple of months but as the weather cools down
    We will love to try your recipe.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.