Move over, Olive Garden, because we’ve got a Pasta E Fagioli recipe that’s about to steal the show! This Italian-inspired soup is a flavor-packed bowl of goodness, boasting hearty beef, tons of veggies, beans, and orzo. It’s not just comforting; it’s a bowl of pure deliciousness, tailor-made for easy meal prep and those chilly winter nights. Get ready to warm your soul and treat your taste buds to a soup that outshines even the most famous recipes!

a bowl of pasta e fagioli with a spoon dipped in and bread on the side

What Is Pasta E Fagioli? 

A traditional Italian soup, pasta e fagioli is translated to mean “beans and soup” Commonly known as pasta fazool, it started as a peasant dish comprised of filling, budget-friendly ingredients. It exists in endless variations. However, every version contains some combination of pasta and beans. 

What’s the Difference Between Pasta e Fagioli and Minestrone? 

Similar in taste and ingredients used, both dishes are Italian soups that contain beans and a variety of vegetables. However, the primary difference between the two is the texture of the beans. You see, in pasta e fagioli, the beans are commonly mashed or blended. As a result, it’s much thicker in consistency than minestrone which is a thinner, broth-based soup. We don’t mash the beans in our recipe, but you definitely can if you prefer the texture! 

uncooked orzo on top of tomato broth for pasta e fagioli

Key Ingredients You’ll Need

Get ready for a flavor explosion without breaking the bank! This pasta e fagioli recipe is a budget-friendly soup that’s loaded with bold flavors and nutritious beans, meat, and veggies. Here’s the lineup of ingredients you’ll need: 

  • Beef – We prefer to use lean ground beef, but any percentage would work as long as you drain the excess fat. Or, feel free to swap it out with ground turkey instead! 
  • Olive Oil – This is used to help sauté the veggies, creating extra flavor and adding a boost of healthy fats. 
  • Seasonings – Salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, basil, and bay leaves combine to create a bold, herbaceous taste.
  • Vegetables – Carrots, onions, celery, and garlic add texture and nutrients to the soup. Then, crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce form the base of the broth. 
  • Beef Broth – Used to thin out the soup without diluting its taste. 
  • Beans – Cannellini beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans combine to add lots of texture, fiber, and plant-based protein. 
  • Orzo – Cooked to al dente, this thickens the soup, making it extra hearty and irresistible.
close up image of pasta e fagioli soup

How to Make Homemade Pasta E Fagioli

We’re all about those weeknight dinners that leave you happily full and content, and guess what? This pasta e fagioli recipe has your back. The best part? It all comes together in a single pot with minimal prep work needed. Here’s the lowdown on what to do:

  1. Cook the Meat. Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Then, add the beef, and cook, breaking it into cubes. Drain any excess fat.  
  2. Add the Vegetables. Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pot, and cook until they are tender. Then, sauté the garlic with the rest of the ingredients until it is fragrant and golden. 
  3. Form the Broth. Pour the broth, tomato sauce, beans, herbs, and crushed tomatoes to the pot, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the ingredients to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the soup, and let it simmer until the vegetables are fork-tender. 
  4. Cook the Pasta. Stir the uncooked orzo into the soup, and cook until the pasta is al dente. 
  5. Garnish. Adjust the consistency of the soup with more broth, if desired. Sprinkle extra Parmesan and parsley on top, and serve warm!
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a large pot of pasta e fagioli with a ladle sticking out

Make Ahead and Storage Options

If you plan on making this recipe ahead of time, we highly recommend storing the pasta separately to prevent it from becoming soggy. Leftovers can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or, for a longer-lasting option, store the soup and pasta separately in airtight containers in the freezer for up to 3 months

When you’re ready to eat, let the ingredients thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, combine them, and warm them up in a saucepan over medium heat. Or, pop them in the microwave until your desired temperature has been reached. If needed, add an extra splash of broth to thin out the soup and freshen it back up. 

a spoonful of pasta e fagioli being lifted from a pot

Serving Suggestions

This pasta e fagioli isn’t just a meal; it’s a whole experience. Incredibly filling on its own, it takes the spotlight as a complete and satisfying meal. But, if you’re feeling a bit extra, it also knows how to play nice with all your favorite sides and appetizers for a well-rounded dinner. Here are a few of our top pairings:

overhead image of a bowl of pasta e fagioli with a spoon dipped in and bread on the side

More Comfort Food Recipes

Craving more hearty and filling soup recipes that will have the whole family coming back for seconds? Explore a treasure trove of our favorites listed below. Because when it comes to cozy and satisfying meals, there’s always room for more!

a pot full of pasta e fagioli with a ladle sticking out

Pasta E Fagioli (Olive Garden Copycat Recipe)

5 from 1 vote
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Even better than Olive Garden’s infamous recipe, this Pasta E Fagioli is an Italian-inspired soup loaded with hearty beef, plenty of veggies, beans, and orzo. Comforting and delicious, it’s perfect for easy meal prep and cold winter nights!


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 whole carrots diced
  • 3 celery stalks diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 6-8 cups low-sodium beef broth*
  • 1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • 1 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup dried orzo pasta


  • In a large soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef, and cook until browned, breaking into crumbles. Drain excess fat.
    1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1 pound lean ground beef
  • Stir in the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic to the pot, and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant.
    1 medium onion, 3 whole carrots, 3 celery stalks, 3 garlic cloves
  • Add the broth, tomato sauce, beans, seasonings, tomato sauce, and crushed tomatoes to the pot. Stir to combine, and adjust seasonings to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot with a lid, and simmer 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are fork-tender.
    6-8 cups low-sodium beef broth*, 1 can cannellini beans, 1 can chickpeas, 1 can red kidney beans, 2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste, 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste, 1 teaspoons thyme, 2 teaspoon oregano, 2 teaspoons basil, 2 whole bay leaves, 8 ounces tomato sauce, 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Add the uncooked orzo pasta, and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
    3/4 cup dried orzo pasta
  • Garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsley, if desired.
  • Store pasta and orzo separately in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.



For a thinner soup, add an additional 1-2 cups broth. 

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Serving: 1serving | Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1042mg | Potassium: 1524mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 7949IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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