An easy take on traditional Italian pasta e fagioli, this Slow Cooker Pasta and Beans Soup is a hearty, budget-friendly recipe perfect for cold winter nights. Made with beef, veggies, and beans, it’s nutritious, comforting, and unbelievably delicious!
Why You’ll Love This Pasta and Beans Soup
We’re big fans of traditional paste e fagioli. However, we don’t always have time to stand over the stove, letting it simmer. So, we took all the classic ingredients and flavor of the original recipe and transformed it into this easy pasta and beans soup! It’s one of our favorite recipes because it’s:
- Made in the slow cooker.
- Budget-friendly and delicious.
- Full of protein, fiber, and nutrients.
- Great to make ahead of time, and perfect for feeding a crowd!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Just like classic pasta e fagioli, this slow cooker pasta and beans soup is made with a handful of ingredients for a hearty, healthy soup. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Beef – We prefer to use lean ground beef to prevent excess oil and fat. However, any percentage you have on hand is fine. Or, swap it out for ground turkey instead!
- Olive Oil – Used to sauté the ingredients and add a boost of healthy omega fats.
- Seasonings – We use a combination of herbs and spices including salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, basil, and bay leaves to enhance the natural savory flavors for a delicious dish.
- Vegetables – Carrots, onions, celery, and garlic help add extra texture, flavor, and nutrients. Then, crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce are added to the soup for a rich broth.
- Broth – Beef broth helps thin out the broth. We recommend using low-sodium varieties so as not to overpower the dish.
- Beans – Cannellini beans and chickpeas add extra texture, fiber, and plant-based protein.
- Pasta – We prefer to use orzo for a hearty pasta and beans soup. However, any small pasta like ditalini tastes great.
How to Make Slow Cooker Pasta and Beans Soup
The easiest recipe you’ll ever make, this pasta and beans soup requires just a few minutes of prep, and you can come back to a homecooked dinner waiting for you! Here’s what to do:
- Cook the Beef. Heat the oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef, and cook until it is browned, breaking it into crumbles, and drain any excess fat.
- Combine the Ingredients. Transfer the beef to a 7-quart slow cooker followed by the remaining ingredients except for the orzo.
- Cook. Stir to combine, cover the slow cooker, and cook on high for 3 ½ hours.
- Add the Pasta. Stir the orzo into the dish, and continue to cook until the pasta is al dente.
- Serve. Add an extra 1-2 cups of broth as needed to thin out your soup. Then, garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and parsley, and serve warm.
Large enough for a family!
Make Ahead and Storage Options
We love to make a double batch of this pasta and beans soup to enjoy throughout the week! Follow the instructions below to keep it fresh.
Refrigerator: If you’re planning on making your pasta and beans soup ahead of time, we highly recommend keeping the orzo separate. Then, keep the pasta and soup in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezer: Toss the orzo in a bit of oil to prevent it from sticking together. Then, store the orzo and soup in separate freezer-safe containers in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheat: To enjoy, thaw your ingredients in the fridge overnight. Then, combine the pasta and beans soup, and warm it in the slow cooker on low, on the stove, or in the microwave until it is heated through.
Thanks to the inclusion of beef, veggies, pasta, and beans, this pasta and beans soup is loaded with protein, fiber, and nutrients to keep you full making it a great meal on its own. However, for a full spread, we love to serve it with a side or appetizer, too! Some of our favorite pairings include:
- Easy Focaccia Recipe with Tomatoes
- Cobb Salad
- Feta Board with Marinated Olives
- Homemade Garlic Bread with Spinach and Artichokes
More Easy Soup Recipes
Looking for more easy soup recipes? We’ve got you covered!
- Roasted Red Pepper and Cauliflower Soup
- Egyptian Lentil Soup
- Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Shorbet Lesan El Asfour (Middle Eastern Orzo Soup)
Slow Cooker Pasta and Beans Soup (Pasta E Fagioli)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 3 whole carrots (diced)
- 3 celery stalks (diced)
- 6-8 cups low sodium beef broth*
- 1 can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- 1 can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 teaspoons thyme
- 2 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons basil
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup dried orzo pasta or ditalini
- Optional Garnish: Parmesan cheese and parsley
- In a pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the ground beef, and cooked until browned, breaking into crumbles. Drain any excess fat.
- Transfer the beef to a 7-quart slow cooker. Add the onions, carrots, celery, broth, tomato sauce, beans, seasonings, and crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine, and adjust the seasonings to taste.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 ½ hours.
- Add the uncooked orzo pasta, stir, and continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
- Garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsley, if desired.
- Store orzo and soup separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.