Pasta Fagioli

Quick Summary

Pasta Fagioli is a hearty Italian soup made with pasta and beans. You will love this easy one pot meal, it is a family favorite! Serve with garlic bread or crusty bread on the side.

Pasta fagioli in bowls and in pot with garlic bread.

I was in the mood for major comfort food so I made a big pot of Pasta Fagioli. It’s the ultimate comforting meal.

Pasta Fagioli (Pasta e Fagioli) means “pasta and beans”, and is a traditional Italian soup. It is made with tomatoes, vegetables, beans, herbs, and pasta. Basically all of my favorites in one pot!

It is 100% cozy and the perfect recipe for fall, winter, or whenever you are craving classic comfort food.

I also love this recipe because it’s an easy weeknight dinner. You only need one pot and the entire family loves it, including the kids, especially when garlic bread is served on the side. Major win!

pasta fagioli in large white pot.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil– for sautéing the veggies.
  • Onion, Carrot, Celery, and Garlic– the classic base to any good soup.
  • Bay leaves– remove before serving!
  • Diced tomatoes– use canned tomatoes, do not drain!
  • Vegetable broth– chicken broth will work too.
  • Cannellini beans– rinse and drain the beans. You can also use navy beans or great northern beans.
  • Parmesan rind– the rind is the secret to bringing out the BEST flavor. You can buy parmesan rinds at the cheese counter or save your parmesan rinds and keep them in the freezer. They are great for adding flavor to soups and sauces.
  • Herbs– dried thyme, basil, and rosemary.
  • Crushed red pepper– for a little heat.
  • Pasta– use dried ditalini or other small pasta
  • Fresh parsley– stir in at the end!
  • Grated Parmesan– for garnish!

How to Make Pasta Fagioli

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the bay leaves.
  • Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, beans, and parmesan rind. Stir in the thyme, basil, rosemary, and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and black pepper. Let simmer on low for about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the pasta and turn up the heat to medium. Cook until pasta is tender, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Remove the bay leaves and parmesan rind.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Pasta e Fagioli in bowlwith Parmesan cheese and garlic bread.

Helpful Tips

  • There are a lot of variations of pasta e fagioli, the main requirement is pasta and beans. This is a vegetarian pasta fagioli recipe, but meat lovers enjoy it too. It is so filling.
  • If you want to add sausage or ground beef, you certainly can.
  • For the pasta, we use ditalini pasta. If you can’t find ditalini pasta, use another small pasta such as elbow macaroni. If you need the recipe to be gluten-free, use gluten free pasta.
  • Make sure you use a good brand of canned tomatoes for the best flavor. You can also use fire roasted tomatoes if you want a little extra flavor.
  • This is a very thick soup, more stew like. If you want more of a liquid soup, you can add more broth, but we like it thick.
  • If you want to add some greens, feel free to stir in fresh spinach or kale.

Serving Suggestions

How to Store

I always love having leftovers of this soup because I think the soup tastes even better ton the second day.

  • To store in the fridge, let the soup cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for up to five days. You can reheat the soup in the microwave or in a pan on the stovetop. If the soup is too thick, add more vegetable broth.
  • To freeze, you can freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. The pasta might break down a little after thawing and reheating. If you know you are going to freeze the recipe, you can leave the pasta out and add it after thawing and reheating. Just cook the pasta and stir it in.
Easy Pasta Fagioli

More Soup Recipes

Want more soup recipes? Find all of our SOUP RECIPES HERE!

Pasta Fagioli in a wooden ladle.

Pasta Fagioli

This easy one pot meal is the perfect weeknight dinner. Serve with crusty bread or garlic bread.
4.83 from 57 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion,  chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans vegetable broth
  • 2 (14 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small parmesan rind
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Dash of crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup dried ditalini or other small pasta
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving, optional

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the bay leaves.
  • Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, beans, and parmesan rind. Stir in the thyme, basil, rosemary, and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and black pepper. Let simmer on low for about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the pasta and turn up the heat to medium. Cook until pasta is tender, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Remove the bay leaves and parmesan rind.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes

For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta. We like to serve the soup with crusty bread or garlic bread. If you need the recipe to be vegan or dairy-free, you can leave out the Parmesan cheese. 

Nutrition

Calories: 195kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 5g, Sodium: 305mg, Potassium: 514mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1940IU, Vitamin C: 21.5mg, Calcium: 87mg, Iron: 2.8mg
Keywords beans, pasta, pasta fagioli

Have you tried this recipe?

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. In my house we love pulses, and this Pasta Fagioli looks delicious! I love thick stews – versus soupy soups – so I will for sure be giving this a try! 😉

  2. looks lovely and i’ve just popped out and bought all the ngredients for it!
    just an FYI, parmesan ISN’T vegetarian, which I was upset by. I’ve made the switch to pecorino which is vegetarian

    https://www.vegsoc.org/cheese tells you about the calf rennet etc in parmesan. Just thought you’d want to know (and pecorino is quite good anyway!)

    1. There are some vegetarian Parmesan cheeses out there, but pecorino is a great option too! Yum!

  3. I had never heard of this soup before but I like absolutely everything in it. I just can’t wait to try it. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. You can freeze it, the pasta might break up a little bit after it defrosts and reheats. You also might have to add a little more liquid after reheating it. It will still be good though:)

  4. This looks like a great take on one of my favorites! Can’t wait to try it. How small is a small parmesan rind?

  5. I made this for dinner this past weekend. We’re big pasta fagioli fans in my house and this turned out so good! Will definitely be keeping this in the dinner rotation for this fall/winter!!

  6. 5 stars
    This was a delicious soup.  I was especially happy to finally use up the parmesan rind I have been keeping in my freezer.  Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  7. Due to an allergy, I need to make things dairy-free.  Any suggestions for something to take the place of the parmesan?  This sounds so delicious and I will be making it as written when I can!

  8. 5 stars
    Been making my Italian Gram’s recipe for decades. The additional spices (rosemary &thyme) and ingredients of celery & carrot gave this vegan recipe a rich and meaty flavor. I will use your recipe from now on. Thanks!

  9. Could I make this in my instant pot? Would you know the cooking times? Looks delish, can’t wait to make it either way!

  10. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this! It is a new family favorite! We follow the recipe exactly as written and it is perfect everytime.

  11. 5 stars
    By far, the best pasta fagioli recipe! I use organic great northern beans and it comes out great! Always include  Parmesan cheese rind and I chop fresh basil because I love the taste.

  12. What size pot do I need.Also I’m going to use larger pasta shells do I need to add more liquid if so what should I use?

  13. Thank you for posting a Pasta e Fagiole recipe that does not contain meat. Lol drives me bananas. This looks awesome and I cant wait yo give it a go!

  14. 4 stars
    I made this as I am 3rd generation Italian. It is not like my mom and grandma’s recipe from southern Italy but I wanted to try this version. I used fresh grown tomatoes. Shared with neighbors. Very hearty, tasty and easy! Thank you. 

  15. 5 stars
    Just finished making this! Cant wait to try it, I never follow recipes so I am eager to find out what I’m missing! I did add a 2nd medium carrot, small onion and 3 celery stalks as it just didn’t look like the one was enough. Glad I did!

  16. 5 stars
    Delicious!! My children couldn’t eat it fast enough, thank you so much. I did cook the pasta separate and added it in after so the soup didn’t get too thick.

  17. 5 stars
    Have made this soup many times and love it! Just wondering if you have adapted to the instant pot?

    Thanks in advance. I love your recipes!

  18. 5 stars
    So good! I made this recipe mostly as is and it was perfect for a chilly night. I couldn’t find the right pasta so I used elbows and it was delicious. I also subbed two of the cans of diced tomato for crushed tomato because I don’t love eating chunks of tomato in my soups. Couldn’t buy a parmesan rind at my grocery store so I just bought a chunk of parmesan instead and cut the rind off myself. I can’t wait to heat this up for lunch at work tomorrow!

  19. 5 stars
    This is amazing. I used 1 can of Cannelloni beans and 1 can of black beans. My dinner guests loved it and so did I.

  20. 5 stars
    I had never tried pasta e fagioli, before trying your recipe. I love it! I’ve made it twice now. I find myself craving it now. As a vegetarian, it’s very important that I have enough protein in my diet. This certainly fills the bill! There are four other people in my family that are definitely not vegetarians. So, for them, I sauté one mild and one spicey Italian sausages. They add that to their soup and really like it. Don’t forget the Parmesan rinds!!! It’s absolutely imperative for this dish. With the pandemic going on, I’ve had to substitute and just use a fifth of a parmesan wedge in its place. That’s worked out well. Thank you for the best recipe I’ve tried in years! Yum!!!!

  21. 5 stars
    I plan to make this soon, I will substitute dairy-free parmesan (there are so many brands; my favorites are Violife and Follow Your Heart) and I will also add a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast instead of the parmesan rind, for extra cheesy flavor. Dairy is such a cruel industry, also horrible for the environment and not very nutritious. I’m excited that this can be so easily veganized. Thank you!

  22. This looks absolutely delicious! Sadly :), my husband hates chunks of tomatoes. Anything you can recommend in place of diced tomatoes? Thanks!

  23. Ha! I just made a big pot of Pasta e Fagioli today before I read this!!!! I will try your version sometime. It really is such a tasty type of soup that the whole family loves! Thanks for posting. 🙂

    1. Thanks! I haven’t but I am sure it would be fine, just don’t add the pasta until the end so it doesn’t over cook and get mushy.

  24. happy to see one of my favourite meals in your blog 🙂
    I stumbled here by chance, looking for another recipe and seen “Pasta e Fagioli” -> had to check it out.
    your recipe is great and I’m going to try, but let me share my own favourite variations:
    1. fagioli borlotti instead of cannellini -> take some out once cooked and before adding the pasta, blend them and then add back, it makes it creamy 🙂
    2. I personally prefer passata to canned tomatoes: I prepare a tomato sauce with garlic, onions, passata, some chili pepper (very little) and salt in another pot, then add it last minute after the pasta is cooked 🙂

    great job with this blog
    ciao from italy

  25. 5 stars
    So good and super quick and easy to make! My one year old devoured it! He had 2 helpings for lunch and dinner I was shocked. I subbed out one of the cans of cannelini beans for chickpeas which worked well, I’ll probably do this again for the next batch, which I’ll definitely be making this week. Highly reccomend!

  26. 5 stars
    Made this recipe today and it was absolutely delicious!! I only had 2 cans of tomatoes so that’s what I used. And omg the Parmesan rind is a MUST! Why didn’t I hear about this before? I feel like I missed out on something great my whole life!! It’s a life changer for sure! Thanks for the recipe!!

  27. I am making my first batch of this soup tonight. I made one mistake, which I ad libbed around, but now I have a question/concern.

    First, my mistake. I added a can of cannellini beans, and then discovered that I had only 1 can!! I could have sworn that I bought two cans, but I chose to look everywhere in the pantry cupboards. I found a can of white/navy beans, and used them. The navy beans are not quite as large as the cannellini beans, but otherwise they are pretty similar. After the navy beans were well incorporated into the soup, I found the missing can of the cannellini beans sitting next to the computer where I had the recipe on the screen!!! I added them to the pot, and so there will be plenty of beans!!

    My question: will the soup suffer if I cool the pasta separately and then ladle the soup on top? I worry that the soup will not be consumed right away, and that the beans will become mushy sitting in the broth. Any suggestions?

    1. You can cook the pasta separately and then add it in if you aren’t going to eat it right away and are worried about it getting mushy.

  28. 5 stars
    This recipe tastes like Italy in a bowl. Next time I will cook the pasta separately and add when serving. The pasta sucked up all the liquid. Delicious nonetheless.

  29. 5 stars
    I have made this twice already. The first time, I used store-bought cannellini beans, but the second time I prepared some dried great northern beans that I cooked. For the second recipe, I also chopped up a turnip. Because of the added volume I added two cups of the water that I cooked the beans in to gets some flavor from that as well. I also added a chopped up turnip, which added some really nice nutrition and flavor. The only thing I have not been able to get is the parmesan rind, because I live in a very rural area, however, next time I go to the “big city” I am going to stop by the cheese counter and see if I can get some parmesan rinds to try that as well. When I told my wife I was gonna make Pasta e Fagoli the first time she was like, eh? Now she’s a convert.

  30. For an interesting twist- what kinds of substitutions might work for someone who is intolerant to both garlic and black pepper? Really leaving black pepper out of things isn’t a super game changer but sometimes garlic is

  31. 5 stars
    Loved, loved, loved this. Didn’t have all the ingredients on hand but decided to make it anyway. Didn’t have a parmesan rind and added some kale toward the end of the cook time. Didn’t have vegetable broth so I used Herb Oz sodium free bouillon so mine wasn’t vegetarian but really delicious. Will be making this on a regular basis during the winter months.

  32. I come from a long line of Italians… This is a Staple all year on Fridays (no meat) and during Lent.. I won’t pick a part your Recipe… But I wanted to add… 3 Beans are always used… The Beans don’t matter….We called them… The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost….

  33. 5 stars
    Easy, delicious soup. I used 1can each of cannellini beans and red kidney beans. And orecchiette pasta. I cooked pasta separately until al dente and added to the soup.

  34. 5 stars
    Made a double batch today and boy am I glad I did. Excellent flavor. Taking some to my son and his wife for dinner tonight. Can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow!

  35. Is flat leaf parsley the same as Italian parsley?
    And in the picture it looks like the parsley is for garnish. Is this correct?

    1. Yes, it is the same. I stir it in at the end, but you can use it as a garnish too!

  36. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious, and so hearty. Kid approved, and this makes a very generous pot of soup. We used some higher quality fire-roasted diced tomatoes for 2/3 of the tomatoes; it made a big difference in my opinion – thank you for the recommendation! I may cook the ditalini separately next time as I’m fussy about frozen pasta lol.

  37. 5 stars
    This recipe is a hearty and comforting meal that can be made quickly, making it a great weeknight dinner for my busy family! Loved your recipe!!

    – Jack from Skilletguy.com