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Best Recipe for Pasta Fagioli Soup

Looking for a cozy dinner idea that is hearty and easy to make? Wait until you try this yummy recipe for pasta fagioli soup!

When the temperatures start to dip, there is nothing quite like a cozy bowl of soup.

Am I right?

Whether you make a hearty bowl of chicken soup homemade or a creamy balsamic tomato soup, it just feels like a big hug in a bowl.

And if you feed me with some yummy pasta e fagioli soup?

We are BFFs for life.

Have you had pasta fagioli before?

It is hearty, delicious and will warm you up on a cold, chilly night.

This recipe for pasta fagioli is easy to make and cooks in well under an hour.

But if you let it sit a bit and let the flavors meld a bit longer?

It is MMMMM good.

Here’s how to make this recipe for pasta fagioli soup!

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What Is Pasta E Fagioli?

Pasta Fagioli is an Italian recipe for pasta with beans.

It is a soup that was known as a peasants dish because it is made with budget-friendly ingredients.

I love this recipe because it’s easy to keep most of the ingredients stocked in the pantry. But oftentimes, I’ll run out and snip some fresh herbs from the garden to freshen up the meal.

What Are the Ingredients in Pasta Fagioli?

Depending on the recipe you find, there is traditionally a soup base with onions, celery, pasta, and beans.

You can make the base with carrots too for extra nutrition but I usually don’t.

There are variations that include ground beef, ham, bacon, or proscuitto.

And of course, you’ll find lots of fresh herbs like oregano, parsley, and basil too.

Chopping up bacon to make corn chowder recipe easy

Does Pasta e Fagioli Contain Meat?

Most recipes do, but you can omit it if you prefer a vegetarian option to the dish.

I don’t use a lot of meat in my recipe for pasta fagioli, but there is a little because it adds a flavorful layer to the dish.

So in my recipe, it’s not a central ingredient but makes the soup taste heartier.

And oh, this pasta fagioli soup recipe is so good. I can’t wait for you to try it.

chopping onions for soup recipe on white cutting board with sharp knife on granite countertop

The Best Recipe for Pasta Fagioli Soup

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I love to make Italian food and have shared several recipes that were passed down from my grandma before she passed.

Like her simple bruschetta tomatoes and baked shrimp scampi recipes.

I’ve been making this dish for several years now. It’s a combination of what my grandmother used to make with some tips from America’s Test Kitchen.

Have you ever tried their recipes before?

They test different variations of dishes in the kitchen and then share their incredible recipes. I picked up a few tips from them while making this dish and it definitely adds some flavor.

So what’s the big secret?

chopping celery to make recipe for pasta fagioli on butcher block

Anchovies and a rind of parmesan cheese.

They saute some anchovies in the dish and drop a rind of parmesan cheese in the soup while it’s cooking and the flavor is unbelievable.

Because I loved these additions so much, I incorporated them into my own recipe for pasta fagioli and the taste is crazy good.

In full disclosure, I make my recipe without measuring anything. So feel free to tweak the ingredients as you see fit.

When I spice it up, I eyeball it the ingredients too, so these amounts are best guesses at what I typically use when making my pasta fagioli recipe.

Adding extra virgin olive oil to dutch oven to make soup

Ingredients to Make Pasta e Fagioli

The list of ingredients sounds like a big list to make this recipe for pasta fagioli but as you make it, it’s pretty easy to do and will become second nature as you make it.

Here’s what you need to make this pasta fagioli recipe.

  • onion
  • celery
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • bacon
  • garlic
  • cannellini breans
  • chicken or vegetable stock
  • diced tomatoes
  • parmesan cheese rind
  • parmesan cheese
  • red pepper flakes
  • oregano
  • fresh parsley
  • ditalini or small pasta

I prefer to make this dish using parmesan cheese that I shave or shredded myself because it is fresher. But feel free to use whatever you have on hand.

Since I use fresh parmesan cheese a lot, I freeze the rind in some Glad Press ‘n Seal because adding that rind to soups adds a cheesy flavor that you can’t beat!

pasta fagioli in the dutch oven after adding fresh parsley

And while you can use basil in this dish, I prefer using parsley on its own instead.

As an aside, let me just tell you how important it is to use fresh versus dried herbs for this recipe.

I add fresh parsley to my recipe for pasta fagioli after I remove it from the heat. The greens from the parsley immediately brighten the dish. And it’s delicious.

If you prefer to use fresh basil, go for it! It is equally as good.

That said, if you don’t have fresh herbs you can easily make it with dried too, but its not the same.

Whenever I make this dish, I use my dutch oven. If you don’t have one, you can make pasta fagioli soup in a stock pot.

Use what you have and enjoy this dish!

best recipe for pasta fagioli with toppings of parmesan, basil and parsley

Directions to Make the Best Recipe for Pasta Fagioli Soup

While there seems to be a lot of ingredients to make pasta e fagioli, it’s really easy to do and takes very little time.

If you want to prepare this ahead of time, I would make it all and leave out the pasta until you are ready to eat.

Adding the pasta and then letting it sit will make it mushier as the pasta soaks up the chicken stock and swells.

But I’ve made this early in the day and let it sit on the stove allowing the flavors to meld as I do stuff and then reheat and add the pasta later.

Oh, I can’t wait for you to make this dish!

Here’s how to make this recipe for pasta fagioli.

  • In a dutch oven or stock pot, heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
  • When the oil heats, add the bacon and cook through for about 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the onions and celery. Cook about 5-7 minutes until they are soft and translucent.
  • Add the anchovies, mix well and cook another minute.
  • Then add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Mix well and cook until the garlic releases its odor (about 30 seconds to one minute).
  • Immediately add the diced tomatoes and scrape the sides to get the bacon bits off.
  • Next, add the beans and cheese rind, mix well, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Then add the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  • Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
  • Remove from heat and take out the rind. Add fresh parmesan to brighten the soup.
  • Drizzle each bowl with extra virgin olive oil and fresh parmesan shavings. Then garnish with fresh parsley.
  • Serve and enjoy!
close up of the best recipe for pasta fagioli in mustard color bowl with spoon
close up of the best recipe for pasta fagioli in mustard color bowl with spoon

Best Recipe for Pasta Fagioli Soup

Looking for a cozy dinner idea that is hearty and easy to make? Wait until you try this yummy recipe for pasta fagioli soup!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 436 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • In a dutch oven or stock pot, heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
    Adding extra virgin olive oil to dutch oven to make soup
  • When the oil heats, add the bacon and cook through for about 5 minutes.
    Chopping up bacon to make corn chowder recipe easy
  • Next, add the onions and celery. Cook about 5-7 minutes until they are soft and translucent.
    chopping onions for soup recipe on white cutting board with sharp knife on granite countertop
  • Add the anchovies, mix well and cook another minute.
  • Then add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Mix well and cook until the garlic releases its odor (about 30 seconds to one minute).
  • Immediately add the diced tomatoes and scrape the sides to get the bacon bits off.
  • Next, add the beans and cheese rind, mix well, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Then add the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  • Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
  • Remove from heat and take out the rind. Add fresh parmesan to brighten the soup.
    pasta fagioli in the dutch oven after adding fresh parsley
  • Drizzle each bowl with extra virgin olive oil and fresh parmesan shavings. Then garnish with fresh parsley.
    best recipe for pasta fagioli with toppings of parmesan, basil and parsley
  • Serve and enjoy!
    close up of the best recipe for pasta fagioli in mustard color bowl with spoon

Nutrition

Calories: 436kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 21gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 1083mgPotassium: 630mgFiber: 9gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 380IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 158mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Recipe for Pasta Fagioli
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Looking for More Great Soup Recipes?

I love a good cozy soup recipe that is easy to make and feels like a hug in a bowl.

Wait until you try these soup recipes!

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More Italian Recipe Ideas

I’m a huge fan of Italian food and make dishes all the time for my family.

It’s part of my heritage and the food is delicious!

Here are some easy recipes to try.

And… If you’re catching up on blog posts you may have missed, be sure to sign-up to get my newest posts via email to stay up to date with everything that’s happening here on the blog and more.

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Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

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Best recipe for pasta fagioli in yellow bowl with toppings
close up of pasta fagioli recipe

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8 Comments

  1. Stacy, I LOVE pasta fagioli, but make it differently. I will try this recipe. It is perfect for a cold night and though it’s not cold here yet, I hope to make it soon! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Soup weather is around the corner. I loved my mom’s recipe but before I loved cooking and baking, she passed away. I miss it to this day! Pinned!