Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Recipe

I love one-pot meals, and I enjoy preparing soups all through the year – not just in the winter months. The Pasta e Fagioli is one of my favorite soups from Olive Garden, so being able to make a big pot of it from home, where I can enjoy the smell while it simmers is a bonus. It’s very simple to make, mostly just combining ingredients and stirring occasionally.

Most of the ingredients, such as the spices and canned goods, are common items you likely already have available, so you can skip the trip to the grocery store, and just start cooking.

This soup is loaded with vegetables and brimming with Italian flavor. It’s comforting, hearty and absolutely delicious. All of the kids enjoy it and get a full serving of veggies for the day, so it’s a hit in our family.

The recipe we share below shows you how to prepare the Pasta e Fagioli in a large pot, but if you’d like to make this in your slow cooker, check out our notes below the recipe for a quick tip on how to do that. We also share how to store the soup properly if you want to freeze some of it for future meals.

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
15 min 35 min 50 min


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp)
  • 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 14.5 oz cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water, then more as desired
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry ditalini pasta
  • 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • Finely shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • 3 Tbsp minced fresh parsley


Preparing the Soup

  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Then place the ground beef in the pot, and stir occasionally, until cooked through, which is about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Drain the fat from the ground beef, transfer it to a plate, and set it aside. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same pot.
  • Add onions, carrots, and celery, and saute them over medium-high heat until tender- about 6 minutes.
  • Next, add garlic, and saute 1 minute longer.
  • Then add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, water, canned tomatoes, sugar, basil, oregano, thyme, and marjoram. Also transfer the cooked beef, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring the soup to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover it with a lid, and allow it to simmer, stirring occasionally, until veggies are soft, about 15 – 20 minutes.

Preparing Ditalini Pasta

  • Meanwhile prepare ditalini pasta according to the directions on the package, cooking to al dente.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the soup. Next, stir in the kidney beans and great northern beans. Thin with a little more broth or water if desired.
  • Allow the soup to cook for 1 minute longer, and then stir in the parsley.

Serving the Final Dish

  • Serve the Pasta e Fagioli warm with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese. You can also serve it with a side of garlic bread or breadsticks.


  • If you don’t plan on eating all of the soup in one sitting, I would recommend adding the pasta to individual servings. Otherwise, the pasta gets soggy and absorbs too much broth.
  •  You can freeze leftover portions in the freezer in an airtight container for about 3 months.
  • If you’d like to prepare this soup in a slow cooker, saute the garlic and onion and then cook the ground beef. Then simply toss all of the ingredients minus the pasta, beans, and parsley into a crockpot. Let the soup simmer for about 4 hours. Add the pasta, beans, and parsley before serving.


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