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Pasta Fagioli Soup is a classic Italian soup recipe with a 5-star rating! It’s savory broth, hearty beans and beef, tender pasta, pasta sauce, and dried seasonings make this the best soup for Fall, or anytime! You’ll love the savory broth that has tons of flavor thanks to a jar of marinara sauce!

For another similar copycat Italian soup recipe try my Chicken Gnocchi Soup – I’ve made it even easier with a few ‘easy pantry’ ingredients!

Soup ladle with some soup inside of it.

Pasta Fagioli Soup Recipe

You may know this Pasta Fagioli Soup (pronounced ‘pasta fah-jolie) from a popular chain restaurant, the famous Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli soup. I have never had it so I can’t say if it’s a copycat or not but I do know that this soup is AMAZING. It’s the perfect meal for cold days!

The “secret” ingredient is a jar of spaghetti sauce and trust me when I say that it totally makes this soup crazy delicious. It’s a shortcut way to provide rich tomato flavor and seasoning. This pasta fagioli recipe tastes so similar to Classic Minestrone Soup – but slightly different and more of a hearty soup with it’s traditional Italian soup ingredients. 

Inside of the pot of soup with a serving ladle in it.

Ingredients Needed To Make This Hearty Italian Soup 

  1. Ground Beef – I use 93/7 or 96/4 lean ground beef. I prefer a leaner, less greasy ground beef so I always grab the lower fat one. Use any percentage of fat ground beef that you prefer. The excess grease gets drained off anyways so it probably won’t matter a whole lot. 
  2. Yellow Onion – Finely dice a yellow onion. It’s important that you cut all the veggies really small to ensure that they soften correctly and so everything is uniform in size. 
  3. Kosher Salt – Salt gets added into the soup at two different stages. This will help build tons of flavor in the soup. 
  4. Beef Broth – I prefer using full salted beef broth but you can use a reduced-sodium broth if that’s what you prefer or if there are dietary restrictions. 
  5. Petite Diced Tomatoes
  6. Spaghetti Sauce – The “secret ingredient” in my version is what makes it stand out from the rest. One jar of marinara sauce/pasta sauce is what you will need – it’s best to pick a general flavor like tomato & basil or traditional sauce. 
  7. Celery
  8. Baby Carrots – I recommend using baby carrots because they’re already small, no need to peel them, and all you have to do is slice them thinly into rounds. 
  9. Light Red Kidney Beans
  10. Cannellini Beans – Any white beans will work in this recipe like navy beans or great northern beans are all great options. 
  11. Oregano, Basil, Black Pepper – These are the dried Italian seasonings needed. 
  12. Small Shell Pasta – This is the small pasta shape that I prefer but you can also use ditalini pasta as a good substitute. 
Labeled ingredients for this soup

How To Make Pasta e Fagioli Recipe (Full Recipe Card Below)

In a large stock pot, cook and crumble the ground beef, onion, and ½ teaspoon salt over medium-high heat. When the beef is no longer pink drain the excess grease from the pot. 

Process images for how to make this soup.

Add beef broth, diced tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, celery, carrots, beans, oregano, basil, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover pot with lid and reduce to medium-low heat.

Process images for how to make this soup.

Simmer for 30-40 minutes. Vegetables should be tender and you may have to lift the lid and check on it a few times to stir it and make sure it’s not burning or too hot. Reduce heat to low, if needed.

Add pasta and cover with lid. Let simmer for an additional 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked to al dente or to your preferred preference. 

Process images for how to make this soup.

Serve with parmesan cheese (freshly grated from a wedge is best) and chopped fresh parsley if wanted. 

Process images for how to make this soup.

Changes & Variation Ideas

  • Fresh Herbs While Simmering : Add a couple bay leaves, fresh sprigs of basil or rosemary while the soup is simmering. Remember to remove them before serving!
  • Ground Meat : Use some ground Italian sausage (mild or spicy) or ground turkey instead of the ground beef. If using ground turkey make sure and add some olive oil into the pot before cooking and crumbling the ground turkey with the onion. The leaner meat needs some fat while cooking. 
  • Parmesan Cheese Rind : Adding just the rind of a parmesan cheese wedge is always a great idea when making this soup. It adds so much briny flavor to the soup and really enhances all those Italian flavors and seasonings. 
  • Add Fresh Garlic Cloves : Add some chopped or pressed garlic into the ground beef and onion mixture for 30 seconds, once the meat is no longer pink. Proceed with the recipe and drain the excess grease from the pan. 
  • Pasta : I prefer using the small shell pasta but you can use another similar sized pasta like ditalini pasta. I recommend not using a larger shaped pasta as it will be too big and soak up too much of the broth. 
  • Dried Seasonings : Add some additional dried seasonings depending on preference. Some great options are Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, or dried rosemary. Sometimes I like to use 1 teaspoon dried basil + 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (instead of the oregano) when I make this easy recipe. 
Process images for how to make this soup.
Process images for how to make this soup.

How To Store Leftover Soup

Fridge : Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before storing leftovers. Remove the soup to individual airtight containers, or one large airtight container, and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. When reheating leftovers you will need to add a bit of broth because the pasta will soak up most of the liquid as it sits in the fridge. Heat the soup until warmed through in the microwave or in a pot on the stove top. 

Freezer : I don’t recommend freezing this soup because of the pasta. But if you want to, you can freeze any leftovers to help them last longer. Simply remove the room temperature cooled soup to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months. The pasta will be much softer once frozen and then thawed. Add some broth to moisten the soup back up when reheating from frozen or from thawed. 

Pot of soup

What Do I Serve With Pasta Fagioli Soup?

I love serving this soup with some crusty bread, either from the bakery or you can try some homemade crusty bread. It’s also really good with some of my buttery One Hour RollsCornbread, or some easy Parmesan Garlic Knots

Top the soup with some oyster soup crackers, freshly grated parmesan, and some chopped fresh parsley. 

Overhead shot of the bowl of soup
Side view of the serving bowl of soup with parmesan cheese.

Soup Recipe Tips

  • Broth : I like to use 2 cans of regular salted beef broth + 1 can of 50% reduced-sodium beef broth. You can use any combination you want, but you may want to check the soup when it’s done and add more salt if needed. If you use all reduced-sodium broth then you will want to probably add some additional kosher salt to the soup before serving. Other great substitutes are chicken broth or vegetable broth. 
  • Simmer Time Tips : Remove the lid a few times during the simmer time and give the soup a good stir. This will ensure that none of the pasta is sticking to the bottom of the pot while it’s covered. It also helps ensure that all the pasta gets cooked properly and does not stick together. 
  • Small Chopped Veggies : Ensure that the celery, carrots, and onion are all cut really small. I aim to cut everything about the size of the beans. This ensures that they will soften in the cook time given and it makes it easier to eat the soup because you’ll get everything in each bite!
Overhead shot of the soup pot

More Favorite Soups

Soup ladle with some soup inside of it.
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The Best Pasta Fagioli Soup

Author Jessica
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8
Pasta Fagioli Soup is a classic Italian soup recipe with a 5-star rating! It's savory broth, hearty beans and beef, tender pasta, pasta sauce, and dried seasonings make this the best soup for Fall, or anytime! You'll love the savory broth that has tons of flavor thanks to a jar of marinara sauce!


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cans (14.5 oz each) beef broth
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes do not drain
  • 1 jar (24 oz) pasta sauce
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 cup thinly sliced baby carrots
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans drained & rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans drained & rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 oz uncooked small shell pasta (about 1½ cups dried)


  • In a large stock pot/soup pot, cook and crumble the ground beef, onion, and ½ teaspoon salt over medium-high heat. When beef is no longer pink drain the excess grease from the pot.
    1 pound ground beef, 1 yellow onion, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Add beef broth, diced tomatoes, jarred pasta sauce, celery, carrots, beans, oregano, basil, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
    3 cans (14.5 oz each) beef broth, 1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes, 1 jar (24 oz) pasta sauce, 1 cup thinly sliced celery, 1 cup thinly sliced baby carrots, 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Once boiling, cover the soup pot with a lid and reduce to medium-low heat.
  • Simmer for 30-40 minutes. Remove the lid and give the soup a good stir a few times during the simmer time.
    * Make sure the vegetables are tender and softened to your preference before proceeding with the recipe. Reduce the heat to low if the soup is getting too hot and sticking to the pot.
  • Add the uncooked small shell pasta and cover the pot with the lid. Let simmer for an additional 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked to al dente or to your preference.
    8 oz uncooked small shell pasta
  • Serve with chopped fresh parsley and/or freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional).



Serving Size : This recipe makes about 12 cups of soup. Each serving size is about 1.5 cups of soup. 
Broth Tip : I use 2 cans beef broth + 1 can reduced-sodium beef broth. If you use all regular beef broth then you may not need to add the additional 1/2 teaspoon salt. Vice versa, if you use all low-sodium beef broth, then you may need to add additional salt. Taste and add/subtract to your desired amount. You can also use vegetable broth or chicken broth if preferred. 
Pasta Sauce : Use a jar of classic spaghetti sauce or a jar of the basil & garlic spaghetti sauce. You don’t want to pick a super loaded flavor of spaghetti sauce or else that is what will shine through in the soup. Go with a plainer/more classic flavor.
Note : This recipe has been updated with new images & more helpful text in September 2023. The original recipe is the same. 


Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 1516mg | Potassium: 1054mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3211IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 6mg

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4.23 from 71 votes (59 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Barb Huston says:

    Just make this tonight for me and my husband who is down with the flu. Delicious! He said it hit the spot for someone under the weather.

    1. Together As Family says:

      Thank you Barb! I hope he feels better soon and I’m so glad this soup helped.

    2. 5 stars
      Made this tonight in my instant pot. I browned the meat and onion on saute and then put it on manual pressure for 5 minutes with all ingredients and it came out perfectly cooked. My family loved it!!

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  3. Rachel Lappe says:

    Have you made the Pasta Fagioli soup in a crockpot before? If so, how long would you suggest it should cook?

    1. Together As Family says:

      I never have. But it should be fine just brown the ground beef and then add it all into the crock pot. I would say low heat for 4-5 hours should be good. Add the pasta in the last 30 minutes and let it cook until tender.

  4. Judy Byrd says:

    I was surprised not to see any garlic in the recipe. I’m in my “30 minute waiting period” so haven’t tasted it yet with the flavors married. Can’t wait!!

  5. 5 stars
    This soup was delicious. Just made it and it tastes so much better than any other recipe I have tried!

    1. Could I make everything but hold off putting the pasta in until the day i serve? Two days later? Or should i just put the pasta in now then add water to thin when re heating? I don’t want the pasta to get overdone when I reheat in two days?

      1. Together As Family says:

        Either way would work fine. For best texture and presentation I would definitely make the soup and then add some pasta the day you serve it. I always add water when I reheat leftovers and while it’s really good, the pasta does have a much softer texture to it.

  6. I made this 2 nights ago when it was cold..It was a hit awesome with crusty bread on the side…Husband loved it ,My mother in law loved it…I will be making this again????

  7. Just made this for the first time. My husband and I loved it. I think it is actually better than Olive Garden’s.

  8. 5 stars
    Each time I make your recipe, I get rave reviews, thank you! I do tweak it a bit, but doesn’t every good cook add their little flare to a recipe? Lol! I am so glad I found you in Pinterest!

    1. Together As Family says:

      I am so glad you found me too 🙂 And so happy the soup is a hit.

  9. 5 stars
    Delish! I followed the recipe exactly and I think it was better than Olive Garden. It came out perfect and was so tasty. I gave containers to my son and niece and they gave it rave reviews. I also froze some to see how well it freezes. I highly recommend trying this recipe.

  10. Rhonda Arnold says:

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and my family loved it! My daughter said it tasted better than Olive Garden!

    1. Together As Family says:

      So happy to hear this! And thank you 🙂

  11. Carolyn Aylor says:

    5 stars
    This soup is delicious. I made it in crockpot. The only addition was garlic. My family loves garlic.

  12. 5 stars
    I made this on Thanksgiving. I had to substitute the beef with Beyond Beef and vegetable broth instead of beef broth and everyone, vegans and non vegans, went crazy over it. Four people asked for the recipe. One person, after their first serving, asked if there was a way to hide it so they could take it all home. Another made me promise I’ll make this every holiday. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

    1. Together As Family says:

      haha I LOVE this! You were the hit of the party it sounds like. So happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe and everyone else did too 🙂

  13. I freeze without the pasta and add cooked pasta when reheating. If I freeze it with the pasta, it gets mushy. That is just the way I like it. I’m sure it is good your way also.

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes, that’s a great idea. I usually just add a little bit of water to my leftovers when I reheat cause you’re right, the pasta does absorb a lot of the liquid as it sits in the fridge.

  14. Jessica Little says:

    I made this last night! It was so delicious today for lunch! I substituted 1 box chickpea pasta instead of regular pasta. And used 1lb ground turkey 97% lean instead of beef. It was so delicious I will definitely make this again!

  15. Jessica Bradford says:

    I would say that my Husband and Son rated this as a 4 Star Rating. I made this using your recipe, but, being that he is diabetic, I make EVERYTHING from scratch. I made my own shell macaroni, with my pasta maker. I made my own spaghetti sauce. I don’t understand these recipes that claim “Made From Scratch,” but, call for canned beans and canned tomatoes.

    I was very good after tasting it myself.

    1. Together As Family says:

      I bet it was delicious with your homemade pasta and spaghetti sauce! Thank you for leaving your comment and I am glad to hear your family enjoyed this 🙂

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  17. Cynthia D says:

    5 stars
    Made this today; it was very good. I had a little difficulty getting the salt just right due to some lower-salt
    ingredients I used. Also, it was great having leftovers to put into the freezer. Thank you.

  18. V. Snyder says:

    I love this recipe, it’s so eazy. My family enjoyed it so much. The only thing I did differently as to put in the crock pot and added a Parmesan cheese rind which took out of southern I added the pasta for the last haif bout of cooking. This definitely stays in my recipe book.

  19. I never add the pasta to the soup because the pasta will swell up and soak up a lot of the liquid. Instead, I boil the pasta separately and add it to the bowls of soup. I also add a cup or so of the pasta water which helps thicken and flavor the soup a bit. Also, always put in a clove of minced garlic … it’s Italian you know !!

  20. jackie bingham says:

    5 stars
    I made this one before, it tastes just like Olive Garden

    1. Together As Family says:

      So good to hear it! Had to repost it to get fresh eyes on it cause we love this soup. Thanks for your comment and review. I appreciate it lots.

  21. This soup was delicious! My coworkers loved it and I will be making it again!

  22. 5 stars
    Lots of flavor. My 2 year old grandson who defies vegetables couldn’t get enough!

  23. 5 stars
    My family destroys this soup! I use quite a bit more seasoning than the recipe calls for and add a beef bullion cube or two.

  24. Dawn Haus says:

    This was easy and delicious! Some garlic bread would be great with it!

  25. Naomi Morales says:

    I love to try this recipe out thank

    1. Lucy Pulsipher says:

      I’d love to hear how it turns out for you!

  26. I made this using Rao’s Italian sausage and mushroom pasta sauce, sweet Italian sausage instead of ground beef, ditalini pasta, and threw in a handful of coarse chopped fresh spinach with five minutes left to cook. It was fantastic!

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thank your for your comment! I love hearing how people adjust the recipes to make them their own!

  27. This is my go-to soup for friends and family! I first made it a couple years ago and have since made it about 100 times. Always a hit! It’s currently cooking for our Christmas dinner tomorrow! ♥️

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thank you for sharing! It’s wonderful to hear that it’s become a part of your family!

  28. Amber Meade says:

    Hello, I am trying to track my calories. How did you get your nutrition information, and is that for a cup and a half? 199 calories seems low..

    1. Together As Family says:

      I will go double check it and make sure that maybe the calorie count is not missing anything. I will paste here what the disclaimers say on my site – “We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box is calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.” If your health depends on the nutrition information then I always suggest talking to a dietitian or you personally using your favorite recipe calorie counter and doing it yourself to ensure accuracy for yourself and your health/diet needs.

  29. 5 stars
    Made this for a football party and was very proud to serve it to my friends. Followed the recipe as written (except for adding the pasta) 2 days prior to the get together and stored it in the refrigerator. Before our friends arrived I warmed up the soup to boiling and added ditalini pasta for about 12 minutes. Served with grated fresh parm and chopped fresh parsley. Rave reviews for this delicious soup! Will make this again!

    1. Together as Family says:

      I love the idea of making it ahead of time and then adding pasta when you’re ready to serve. Thanks for sharing!