Pasta e Fagioli is a classic Italian soup with tiny tube pasta, creamy beans, herbs, and tender vegetables
This simple and rustic one pot soup takes about 15 minutes to prepare. Serve it with a loaf of warm crusty bread for the perfect lunch or dinner
Translated to English this classic recipe means “pasta and beans”. You may have also heard this soup referred to as “Pasta Fazool“
Simple ingredients but big flavor in one large pot. Perfect for a chilly night!
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Ingredients for Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Don’t let the lengthy list of ingredients deter you because they are basic and many of them you may already have in the pantry or refrigerator. This hearty soup is a great way to use up leftover vegetables too!
- Olive Oil – any oil will work but this is an Italian recipe so we prefer olive oil
- Pancetta – Pancetta is a salt-cured pork and works well in soups and stews. If you cannot find pancetta you can substitute thick-cut bacon. If you want to make this bean soup vegetarian just omit it altogether
- Vegetables: carrot, yellow onion, garlic
- Herbs: fresh rosemary, dried or fresh basil and oregano, fresh parsley (for garnish)
- Diced Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce
- Chicken Broth – or vegetable broth
- Salt, Pepper, and Sugar
- Dry Pasta – small tube pasta is traditional, such as Ditalini or Tubetti. Conchigliette or small elbow variety will work as well
- Cannellini Beans – you can use any small white beans
- Parmesan Cheese – use Parmigiano Reggiano for the best taste
How to make Pasta Fagioli
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven heat olive oil until shimmering, over medium heat.
- Add diced pancetta and sauté, stirring until browned and cooked through (about 4 minutes). The pancetta should be browned but not super crispy. Remove the pancetta and let it drain on a paper towel-lined bowl or plate.
- Drain off any excess fat, so that only about 2 Tablespoons remain in the pot, and add carrots and chopped onions. Sauté and stir until onions are softened (3-5 minutes).
- Add minced garlic cloves and cook for 1 more minute. Stir often so that garlic doesn’t burn.
- Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, rosemary, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir to combine everything and add 1 cup of water (more can be added later if you want a looser soup).
- Bring the pot to a boil and add the dried pasta. Stir well and then reduce to medium-high heat and cook the pasta until it is al dente. This should take 12-14 minutes, depending on the pasta.
- Add the drained, rinsed cannellini beans, stir to combine, and cook gently for 2 minutes to allow all of the flavors to melt. Taste, and if needed, add more salt and pepper.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1/4 cup of the shredded parmesan. Stir gently.
- Serve in shallow soup bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with chopped parsley and the remaining parmesan cheese.
- Serve with warm crusty bread for dunking in this hearty soup. Add light and fresh Citrus Salad or Tricolore Salad with Oranges for a complete meal.
Make Ahead and Storage
- The soup can be made ahead of time and gently reheated. However, we recommend waiting to add the parmesan until right before serving, as well as the garnish
- Be sure to cool the soup completely before placing it in an airtight container for up to 3 days
- Soup can be frozen for up to 3 months in freezer safe containers. Because this is a big batch soup consider freezing it in individual portions for smaller servings. Great for lunch!
- Note: Pasta will continue to absorb the liquid as it cools, and can become less firm. To avoid this you can prepare the soup up until the step where you add the pasta. Freeze up until that step, then thaw, and proceed as directed to finish.
Variation and Additional Ideas
- Use dried Italian seasoning mix in place of the fresh and dried herbs
- Instead of store-bought tomato sauce substitute our Homemade Marinara Sauce
- Substitute thick-cut bacon for the pancetta. Pancetta is often sold in 4-ounce precut and packaged containers in the deli and meat section at the market which makes it super convenient to use.
- Want more protein? Add Shredded Chicken, precooked lean ground beef, or Italian sausage to the prepared soup.
- If you love spice add 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- Cook your own dried beans ahead of time
- Add a Parmesan rind to the soup when you add the pasta for added flavor
Vegetarian and Vegan Pasta e Fagioli
- Vegetarian: Skip the pancetta altogether and substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth
- Vegan: Leave out the parmesan or use a vegan parmesan
Other One Pan Meals and Soups to try
Pasta e Fagioli Soup
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 4 ounces pancetta diced (or bacon)
- 1 cup yellow onion, small dice
- 1 cup carrot, small dice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes, (1 can)
- 14 ounces tomato sauce (1 can)
- 32 ounces chicken broth or stock
- 8 ounces water
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely minced (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 TBSP fresh, finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 TBSP fresh, finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup pasta, dry, small tube such as Ditalini, tubetti, Conchigliette, or small elbow
- 30 ounces cannellini beans or small white beans, (2 cans) drained and lightly rinsed
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly shredded, divided
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped for garnish
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add diced pancetta and saute, stirring occasionally until browned and cooked through (about 4 minutes).Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and let it drain on paper-towel lined bowl or plate.
- Drain off excess fat, if needed, so that only about 2 Tablespoons remain. Add carrots and onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously to ensure it doesn't burn.
- Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, water, rosemary, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar.
- Bring to a boil and add the dried pasta. Stir well and reduce heat to a medium simmer. Cook for about 12 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.
- Add the drained beans, stir, and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat to allow all of the flavors to meld. Check seasonings and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Remove the soup from the heat. Stir in 1/4 cup of the shredded parmesan.
- Serve in shallow bowls, sprinkled with chopped parsley and the remaining parmesan.
- Calorie count includes the parmesan garnish
- Need more protein? Add 8 ounces of cooked shredded chicken, turkey, ground beef, or Italian sausage
- Substitute mixed dried Italian herbs for any of the herbs in the recipe
- Thick-cut bacon can be used in place of the pancetta