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Pasta e Fagioli (Olive Garden Copycat)

Pasta e Fagioli is a hearty, one-pot soup inspired by Olive Garden. Chock-full of beans, veggies, noodles and lean beef, this classic Italian soup is sure to win you over. Pair it with Soft Dinner Rolls and you have a very satisfying meal. 

We love making restaurant favorites at home like Zuppa Toscana soup, Chicken Madeira (a Cheesecake Factory favorite) and of course Philly Cheesesteak.

Pasta e Fagioli Soup in a pot with serving spoon

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Pasta e Fagioli Recipe:

Hello everyone! Natalya here from Momsdish. I’m so excited to share my copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli with you. I believe this recipe tastes better than the restaurant version. You will love this soup!

This hearty soup is the perfect candidate for meal prepping. It only requires one pot to make and it reheats amazingly throughout the week. It is also super filling and healthy

What is Pasta e Fagioli?

In Italian, “Pasta e Fagioli” translates to “pasta and beans”. This makes a whole lot of sense considering this soup is chock-full of pasta and beans! It is also loaded with aromatic veggies and lean ground beef, making it a whole meal in a bowl. Think of Pasta e Fagioli as an Italian spin on chili!

Ingredients for soup with ditalini pasta, ground beef, beans, tomatoes and broth

How to Make Pasta e Fagioli

  1. In a dutch oven or soup pot, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil at medium heat and brown your beef. Drain excess fat and set aside. Add a bit more olive oil to the pot and stir in garlic, onions, celery and carrots. Cook until tender. 
  2. Add in tomato sauce, canned tomatoes and beef. Stir to combine. Add your beans and chicken stock/broth. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add in pasta and Italian seasoning (dried oregano and thyme will work if you don’t have the spice blend on hand). Cook for 10 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Step by step tutorial how to make pasta e fagioli by browning meat, adding vegetables, followed by tomatoes then seasoning.

Can I Substitute the Ground Beef?

You can substitute spicy, ground Italian sausage for beef. It will add a nice kick of heat! Also, don’t hesitate to use half beef, half Italian sausage. 

Pro Tip: Have a parmesan rind lying around? Don’t let it go to waste and throw it into the soup pot alongside the broth. All the oils and salty-parmesan in the rind will meld with your broth and enhance the flavor. Just make sure you take the rind out before serving. 

Pasta e fagioli with ground beef in soup pot garnished with basil

Storing Pasta e Fagioli

Store soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 5 days. The kicker? This soup tastes better and better as it marinates in the fridge. Yes, that means your leftovers will get tastier as the days go by! To reheat your soup, simply microwave it or bring it to a simmer in a pot over medium-high heat. 

Can this Soup Be Frozen?

I wouldn’t recommend freezing Pasta e Fagioli. Generally, freezing soups with pasta is not a good idea. When the noodles defrost, they tend to turn to mush, ruining the texture of your soup.

Pasta e fagioli in small dish with spoon, ready to be covered and stored.

More Olive Garden Copycat Recipes:

  • Creamy Shrimp Pasta plump shrimp in alfredo sauce
  • Zuppa Toscana Natasha’s take on Olive Garden’s soup.
  • Alfredo Sauce – easy and done in 5 minutes! Perfect pasta or pizza sauce.
  • Minestrone Soup – classic soup never goes out of style. Serve it as an appetizer or a meal all on its own.

Pasta e Fagioli (Olive Garden Copycat)

5 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
pasta e fagioli in soup pot with serving spoon garnished with basil

Try Pasta e Fagioli and you will be coming back for seconds. This Olive Garden copycat soup recipe is loaded with delicious veggies and protein, being a true comfort food.

Author: Natalya Drozhzhin
Skill Level: Soup
Cost to Make: Italian
Keyword: pasta e fagioli
Calories: 204.7 kcal
Servings: 12 servings


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots diced into small cubes
  • 1 large onion diced into small cubes
  • 1 stalk celery diced into small cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 15 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 15 oz Great Northern beans drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz Kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper adjust to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (optional)


  1. On medium heat, preheat a large pot or dutch oven with oil. Add ground beef and let it brown (3-5 minutes). As its cooking, be sure to break it apart into small pieces.

  2. Remove cooked beef from the pot. Drain of excess fat and set aside. 

  3. In the same pot, add diced carrots, onion, celery and pressed garlic. Saute until the vegetables are softened (about 4 minutes). 

  4. Add canned diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beef back to the cooking vegetables in the pot. Stir to combine together. 

  5. Add Great Northern and kidney beans to the mix. Pour chicken broth to the pot and let simmer for about 10 minutes. 

  6. Add pasta, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and let it cook for another 10 minutes. 

  7. Serve right away with a sprinkle of basil or parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts
Pasta e Fagioli (Olive Garden Copycat)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 204.7 Calories from Fat 37
% Daily Value*
Fat 4.1g6%
Saturated Fat 1.27g8%
Cholesterol 23.44mg8%
Sodium 487.45mg21%
Potassium 726.41mg21%
Carbohydrates 26.01g9%
Fiber 6.81g28%
Sugar 3.6g4%
Protein 17.33g35%
Vitamin A 1918.02IU38%
Vitamin C 8.17mg10%
Calcium 70.56mg7%
Iron 3.85mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen


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Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya is a food blogger who founded to make cooking easier. Growing up on a farm in Ukraine, Natalya was inspired by the amazing dishes that were prepared using simple ingredients. Natalya is most notably known for making cooking approachable for any person.

Read more posts by Natalya

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Donna
    December 1, 2019

    Great recipe! Since the pasta goes mushy when frozen, I remove half of the soup to the freezer just before the pasta goes in. I then use half the pasta in the remaining soup and the other half in the frozen portion when I reheat it. We eat this soup often. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 2, 2019

      That’s a great idea, Donna! Thank you for that awesome review! Reply

  • Eve
    November 17, 2019

    What is the green garnish in your pictures? Is it parsley? Reply

  • John
    November 11, 2019

    I see the recipe calls for 1 stalk celery…. is that right? Or does it mean 1 rib/stick of celery?

    Thanks Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 11, 2019

      Hi John, that is correct. Reply

  • Linda Ewanchuk-Rumpel
    November 10, 2019

    Thanks for sharing this. This recipe will become a staple in our home…this soup is soooo hearty, delicious and such a wintertime “comfort food”. Everyone gives this 5 stars!! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 11, 2019

      Thank you for the wonderful review, Linda!! Reply

  • Connie E Turner
    November 9, 2019

    We really love this soup!! I used to buy it with the recipe with dried beans in a bag. Sorry to say, they don’t sell it anymore, So, I’m so happy that you put this one online!! I will be using dried beans in all of the recipes. Please let me know the difference in how to make this if possible & in a crockpot. My other question is that I have some fresh mushrooms, what would you think about adding them to this recipe. Thank You for your help. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 9, 2019

      Hi Connie, I haven’t tested that in a slow cooker to advise. If you experiment, please let me know how you like that. Reply

  • Lianne
    November 9, 2019

    Hi Natasha!
    I’m a huge fan of all your recipes and you have never steered me wrong. Love everything you make!!

    For the pasta in this, do you put it in dry and let it cook in the soup or cook it before hand and then add it? I know pastas can be wierd in soups and stews sometimes.
    Thanks!! Reply

    • Natasha
      November 9, 2019

      Hi Lianne, you add the pasta un-cooked in step 6 and it cooks with the other ingredients. It’s added at the end for that reason – you cook it until the pasta reaches your desired doneness. Reply

  • paulette claire johnson
    November 7, 2019

    I just love your recipes and make a lot of them! Not kidding and they are always very good. I will be making this soon. Thank you Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 7, 2019

      Thank you for the wonderful review! Reply

  • Scott N Ambrose
    November 7, 2019

    Natasha, I have made more than 25 of your recipes to date (many, numerous times each), and they are all delicious . . . this one was no exception. I made a double batch (my only substitution was using ground turkey instead of the beef). An impromptu invititation to my elder sons and accompanied by some simple “7-Up Biscuits”, dinner was great. Thank you for all you do and share! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 7, 2019

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!! Reply

  • Betty Bunting
    November 6, 2019

    Instead of ground beef, can I use an equal amount of stew meat? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 6, 2019

      Hi Betty, I haven’t tested that but I imagine that should work. Reply

  • Laura Reese
    November 6, 2019

    This soup is surprisingly easy! Totally delicious. Thanks for the Parmesan rind tip! I’m going to try it! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 6, 2019

      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed this recipe, Laura! Reply

  • Luba Demkiv
    November 6, 2019

    Natasha, this soup looks so delicious! I can wait to make it tonight. Thank You! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 6, 2019

      I hope you love it, Luba! Reply

  • Suzann Welker
    November 6, 2019

    Use chick peas in place of the kidney beans. Add a leafy green. Traditionally it would be Escarole or chicory. Don’t use strong flavored greens like Kale. In a pinch you could use Spinach. We skip the meat. But my grandmother (from Italy) used ham.
    Super great family meal. Some crunchy bread and a salad Yum Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 6, 2019

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Suzann! Reply

  • Luba Demkiv
    November 6, 2019

    Natasha, I love your recipes & have tried many of them. They are always great! Thank You for doing such amazing job! This soup looks delicious & I am planning to make it tonight. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 6, 2019

      Thank you for that wonderful compliment! You’re so nice! Reply

  • Nazish Shahab
    November 6, 2019

    Hey Natasha! This looks like fall in soup-from! So comforting!

    I was wondering, if I were to make this in my slow cooker, what would be the directions for that?

    Keep smiling and keep cooking!  Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 6, 2019

      Hi Nazish, I haven’t tested that in a slow cooker to advise. If you experiment, please let me know how you like that. Reply

  • Eden
    November 5, 2019

    This was so tasty and actually pretty easy to make too! Can’t wait to try it again! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 5, 2019

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us! Reply

  • Krissy Allori
    November 5, 2019

    Yum! I made this on Sunday and it was a huge hit with my family. I’ll be making it again for sure. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 5, 2019

      That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite! Reply

  • Natalie
    November 5, 2019

    One of the most flavorful soups! Glad I can make it at home! Thank you! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 5, 2019

      That’s just awesome, Natalie! Thank you for that great review. Reply

    • Sue
      November 25, 2019

      I made this soup this weekend but as a vegetarian, omitted the beef and subbed in veggie stock and 1/2 a bag of frozen chopped spinach. It’s truly flavorful and delicious – So simple and versatile! Thanks! Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        November 25, 2019

        You’re welcome, Sue! I’m so glad you enjoyed that! Reply

  • Valerie
    November 5, 2019

    Pasta e Fagioli is such a great comfort food dish for chilly weather. Yours looks great. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 5, 2019

      Isn’t it the best! Thank you for that compliment, Valerie! Reply

  • Irina
    November 5, 2019

    Hi Natasha,

    Lovely recipe and pictures, can’t wait to try to make it. I was wondering if it’s possible to omit the pasta? If yes, then what else might I have to also leave out or use less of? Thank you. Reply

    • Natasha
      November 6, 2019

      Hi Irina, you could leave out the pasta but it will be a little juicier since the pasta absorbs some of the liquid. I think it would still be a tasty vegetable soup. You could even use a little rice if you wanted it heartier or just add a little more veggies. Reply

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