Pasta Fagioli (AKA pasta and beans) is a delicious and hearty Italian soup that’s so delicious! Serve with crusty bread and wine for a comforting meal everyone will love! This homemade version is SO much better than the Olive Garden!
Pasta e Fagioli Soup
I’m so excited to share this soup recipe with you today! It’s hearty and comforting and just the thing to get us through the holiday season… and Winter! Of course, I’m talking about this yummy pasta and bean soup, known to many, as pasta e fagioli!
There are SO many versions of this soup out there! Some feature a clear broth, and are almost like chicken noodle soup with beans. Others are ultra thick and almost resemble stew. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to make this soup! But my favorite recipe features a thick Italian seasoned tomato broth, plenty of white beans, sausage, and pasta. It’s insanely flavorful and always a crowd-pleaser! Even my soup hating husband LOVES this recipe!
Ingredients for Pasta Fagioli Soup
- Olive Oil: Use an Italian variety if you can! We love this unfiltered organic extra virgin olive oil!
- Red Pepper Flakes: Adds just a touch of spice! Feel free to omit!
- Yellow Onion: Diced! In a pinch, white onion will work.
- Sausage: We love using spicy Italian sausage! But sweet or mild sausage work great. It’s really just a matter of taste. Be sure to remove the casing before adding to the pan!
- Carrots: 4 large carrots, diced!
- Garlic: 6 cloves, finely chopped!
- Thyme: Fresh thyme adds a wonderful flavor to this soup! But it may be omitted! I don’t suggest using dried thyme.
- Italian Seasoning: Adds a rich Italian flavor to the broth! Any dried Italian seasoning will work!
- Chicken Broth: For an extra health boost, try using bone broth!
- Crushed Tomatoes: We prefer crushed tomatoes over diced tomatoes because they create a smooth and consistent broth. But if you like a chunkier soup, feel free to use half and half.
- White Beans: We use cannellini beans, but white kidney beans or great northern beans will work!
- Pasta: For a traditional looking soup, I recommend using ditalini pasta! I found it at target, but most grocery stores carry it in the pasta aisle. But you can also buy it online!
- Spinach: Our green! Add it in at the very end, so it doesn’t get to mushy. Kale or escarole can be used instead.
- Salt and Pepper: To taste! But I usually add a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of black pepper.
- Parmesan Cheese: Grated cheese is totally optional, but highly recommended! Sprinkle a small amount on top of each bowl right before serving.
How to make Pasta Fagioli
- In a large soup pot over medium high heat, cook olive oil, pepper flakes, and onion. Add in sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add in the carrots and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and seasoning.
- Add in the chicken broth and tomato sauce and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes.
- Add beans and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. In the meantime, cook pasta in a separate pot. DO NOT COOK THE PASTA IN THE SOUP! This will make your soup thick and mushy. So be sure to cook the pasta separately, drain it well, rinse it under cold water, and then add it to the soup.
- Stir in the pasta, spinach, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, then serve warm! With plenty of Parmesan cheese and crusty bread!
How to Store:
This soup will keep, stored in the fridge, for 5 days! If the broth thickens up too much, add a little water or broth to thin it up. You can also freeze this soup, in a freezer friendly container, for up to 2 months! Simply thaw overnight, in the fridge, the night before you plan on serving it. Then warm up on the stovetop or in the microwave!
If you try this recipe for Pasta e Fagioli Soup, let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bakerbynature on instagram! Seeing your kitchen creations makes my day.
More Cozy Soup Recipes:
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Tomato Tortellini Soup
- Italian Minestrone Soup
- Meatball Soup
- Italian Chicken Tortellini Soup
Easy Pasta Fagioli Soup Recipe
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 lb Italian sausage (mild, sweet, or spicy will work)
- 4 large carrots, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- (1) 32 ounce container chicken broth
- (2) 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes with basil
- (2) 15 ounce cans white beans
- 1 cup ditalini pasta
- 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Add oil to a large soup pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add in the crushed red pepper and onion and cook until the onion is very soft, about 10 minutes. Add in the sausage and, using a wooden spoon, break it into small pieces. Cook until sausage is brown and no pink color remains.
- Add in the carrots and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add in the garlic, thyme, and Italian seasoning, cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
- Pour in chicken broth and crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes. This is where the soup develops its flavor!
- Stir in the beans and continue cooking the soup for another 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, bring a small pot to a rolling boil. Add a dash of salt, then add the pasta into the boiling water and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until al dente.
- Drain the pasta and quickly rinse it under cold water. Toss the pasta into soup the pot, then stir in the spinach. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the spinach has softened.
- Remove from heat and divide among serving bowls. Top with cheese and serve at once!