Nothing says comfort like a bowl of hearty soup! Pasta Fagioli Soup is one of our favorites, right up there with Taco Soup, and Citrus Chicken Soup. This soup recipe is bursting with flavor, it’s filling, and of course absolutely delicious! Made with ground beef, a few vegetables, pasta and beans, this delicious dinner recipe is a real winner! No more Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli! We’re making it at home, and I know you’ll like it better! Today we used the Instant Pot, but it’s easily adaptable to the stove top or slow cooker, as well.
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Homemade soup is not that hard to do. If you’ve ever wished you could make soup like your mom or your grandma, I’m telling you, You. Can.
I always say fresh is best, and I’m sure that you won’t be disappointed with this Pasta Fagioli Soup! There’s just something therapeutic about prepping the ingredients and smelling it simmer. And of course eating it!!
What Is Pasta Fagioli?
Technically, it’s Pasta e Fagioli and it means “pasta and beans”, but that doesn’t even begin to describe all the flavor in this humble dish. Actually, pasta and beans sounds kind of bland, right? Fear not friend! you’ll love this!
What’s the difference between Pasta e Fagioli and Minestrone?
The main difference is that Minestrone soup has lots of different vegetables in it, and Pasta e Fagioli just has beans with onion and garlic to flavor it. Sometimes rosemary or tomato.
However, my version of this recipe does include carrots, celery, and onion along with two types of beans. I highly encourage you to make it your own! Add more or less veggies and seasonings to your liking.
How to Make Pasta Fagioli Soup
Step One: Prepare your ingredients
- Chop onion, carrots, celery
- mince garlic cloves, or run through a press
Step Two: Saute’
- Turn the Instant Pot to the ‘saute’ function (see notes if not using the pressure cooker)
- Add the oil, let it warm for a few minutes, then add the onions, celery and carrots, stirring occasionally, cook for 5 minutes
- Add the garlic and stir. After 30 seconds remove vegetables and set aside.
- Add the ground beef, and brown until cooked through, using a wooden spoon or meat chopper to break up while it’s cooking.
- Once the meat is cooked, turn off the Instant Pot
Step Three: Cook/Simmer
- Drain the meat if desired.
- Add the meat and vegetable mixture back into the pressure cooker.
- Add the beans, broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and Italian seasoning.
- Cover the pot and turn it on to the ‘soup’ function. Make sure the valve is in the sealed position.
- Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Allow to naturally release for 5 minutes, then carefully turn the valve to vent for a quick release.
- Taste, add salt and pepper if desired.
- Serve with grated parmesan cheese.
Tips for Pasta Fagioli Soup
There’s a million and one ways to make Pasta Fagioli Soup your own. And as I said earlier, I highly recommend you do just that. Here are a few ideas for adapting it to your needs.
- Use ground turkey instead of ground beef. We actually do this often. I have a lot of ground turkey recipes! I love ground beef too, but, if you want something a little lighter, it works great!
- If you prefer to eat low carb, or you’re carb concious, there’s a few things you can do. You can use half the amount of pasta to cut down. Or, use the same amount, but use a lower carb version, such as Dreamfields Pasta. I’ve already kept the beans to a low level, but that’s another area you could cut back on if desired.
- As far as draining the meat: This is completely optional. I typically try to buy a 90/10 ratio (lean/fat), or an 80/20. But to keep it ultra lean, do drain it. You can also give it a rinse in really hot water to get more fat off. The ground meats with higher fat content are typically more affordable, so if that’s what you buy, drain and rinse!
- I recommend draining and rinsing the beans well if you are using store bought. You can also use dry beans in the recipe, but you should prepare them first, before adding to the soup. They will not cook in the short amount of time that the pasta fagioli soup cooks.
- Any Trim Healthy Mama fans out there? The recipe as-is would be a cross over. You can pull it into E mode by using ground turkey, or very lean ground beef and rinsing and draining it, and eliminating the cheese at the end, or keep it to just a garnish.
- I’m a big fan of using bone broth whenever I can. It’s healing and builds immunity.
- Not using the Instant Pot or pressure cooker? Check the recipe card below for adapting it to the stove or slow cooker.
More Soup Recipes:
Favorite Instant Pot Recipes:
Pasta Fagioli Soup Recipe
Pasta Fagioli Soup
A hearty, comforting soup made with pasta and beans, and bursting with flavor.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 carrots chopped
- 2 celery ribs chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced or pressed
- 2 lbs lean ground beef or lean ground turkey,
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz great northern beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cup dry ditalani pasta or other short pasta
- grated parmesan cheese optional garnish
Turn the Instant Pot to the Saute function, add olive oil and let it warm for a few minutes.
Add onion, carrots and celery and saute until onion begins to be translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Remove mixture from the pot and set aside.
Add ground beef or ground turkey, whichever you are using, and brown until cooked through, breaking up with a wooden spoon or meat chopper. Turn off the Instant Pot
Drain the meat if desired.
Add the meat and vegetable mixture back into the Pot. Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans, pasta and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine. Cover and turn the Instant Pot to the soup function. Make sure the vent is in the sealed position and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Allow to naturally release for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Serve with grated parmesan cheese on top (optional).
Stove top Instructions:
- Using a large stock pot, Saute vegetables, set aside.
- Brown ground meat, drain if desired.
- Add meat and vegetables back into the pan along with the broth, tomato sauce, beans, tomatoes, pasta, and Italian seasoning. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Slow Cooker Instructions:
- Saute' vegetables, then add to the slow cooker.
- Brown ground meat, drain if desired and add to slow cooker along with the broth, tomato sauce, beans, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Cook on low for 6 hours.
- The last 30 minutes of cook time, add the dry pasta and stir to combine. Cover for 30 minutes.