Pasta Fagioli

Well, after not really getting sick for two years, I’ve been hit with a whopper of a cold, in the middle of a July heat and humidity wave, no less. Regardless of the heat, what do most people crave when they’re buried under blankets on the couch all day (assuming there is central A/C involved)? Soup! And so soup is what I made tonight, and let me tell you – it soothed me just as I hoped it would. Pasta Fagioli reminds me of a small little cafe on the campus of my college (which I attended all too long ago) – I always used to stop there if I had a night class and get a cup of pasta fagioli. This soup is the ultimate in comfort – full, hearty, and paired with the garlic herb breadsticks I made, totally deserving of being a complete meal.

The original recipe for this soup called for ground beef, but I thought the Italian sausage would kick up the flavor a bit, and really, as an Italian, when is Italian sausage NOT a good alternative for beef? Right, never. I did the sauteed combination of onions, garlic, carrots, and celery as I usually find this imparts a large amount of flavor in broth-based soups. You’ll also find this method used in my Italian Wedding Soup and Beef Barley Soup. This recipe makes a tremendous amount of soup; it almost filled up my 8qt stock pot, so be prepared to have soup for a few days (which sounds good to me right now because I’m sick), freeze the leftovers, or scale down the recipe.

Pasta Fagioli

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Total Time: 2 hour


2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 package sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
½ large (or 1 medium) onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
64 oz. beef broth
28 oz. can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
4 oz. small dry pasta


1. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large stockpot over medium high heat, and brown the sausage, crumbling it as it cooks. Once brown, remove sausage from pot with a slotted spoon and discard any grease that remains in the pot.

2. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pot, and add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery, and saute over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add sausage back to the pot, add the can of diced tomatoes (do not drain), stir briefly, and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Stir in the beans, and add the beef broth and tomato sauce. Add in all of the seasonings, stir well, turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once it boils, turn down to low heat, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

4. Add the dry pasta and continue to simmer on low for another 30 minutes. Serve with your favorite bread or crackers.

(Adapted from Tricia's Kitchen)


31 Responses to “Pasta Fagioli”

  1. Melissa on July 16, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I’m sorry that you aren’t feeling well, and i hope you start feeling better soon.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe–it sounds wonderful!!


  2. Caitlin on July 17, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Soup is always a good remedy, even in hot weather. Hope you feel better! PS – You’ve been tagged for a meme, so stop on by for the details!


  3. Joelen on July 17, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Looks great and I hope you feel better soon!


  4. Tricia on July 17, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Chelley – SO glad you liked it! It looks great! Hope you start feeling better soon!


  5. Amber on July 17, 2008 at 8:50 am

    This looks delicious! Sorry to hear you are not feeling to well. I hope you get better soon.


  6. Renea(MrsSchoon) on July 17, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Mmm, I love pasta fagioli. I might have to make this soon!


  7. grace on July 17, 2008 at 11:12 am

    if this doesn’t cure what ails ya, nothing will! it looks terrific and oh-so-comforting. 🙂


  8. danielle on July 17, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Chelle–the new site looks GREAT! Thanks for your comments on my cake–you should take about amazing cakes there lady! I looked forward to your Wilton updates myself! 🙂


  9. Denise Clarke on July 17, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    The soup sounds like just the ticket to feeling better!



  10. John on July 17, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Well. slap me senseless!!! I too am of Italian descent and it has never occurred to me to use sausage in my Pasta Fagioli. That has now changed!!!!
    Sorry you are dealing with your first old in two years during the summer months but I am pleased it caused you to make soup!!!!!
    Certainly hope you are feeling well soon!!!!


  11. Kate on July 17, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    I’ve been sick for weeks! What is up with these summer colds?


  12. Inna on July 18, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I hope you’re feeling better! This soup looks really great and Francis can never turn down anything with pasta in it, I can’t wait until it drops below 90 degrees here to make this (without the meat though so I can eat it too)!


  13. Cheryl on July 22, 2008 at 10:15 am

    I just tried this last night and it was wonderful! My 15-month old even loved it! Granted she didn’t eat it w/a spoon, but she loved it nonetheless.
    Thanks so much for posting!
    -Cheryl (WCer)


  14. Chelle on July 22, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Cheryl, I’m so happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed the soup! 🙂


  15. Cheryl on January 20, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I had to let you know that after a year and a half (looking at my last comment), this is still one of my go-to soup recipes. I usually make a bunch and freeze it. I made several freezable servings for my parents recently when my mom was undergoing chemo. She’s doing okay, but her appetite is not that great….HOWEVER, my dad said the soup is the only thing she will eat A LOT of. Just wanted to pass along my thanks!


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  18. Wendy on February 14, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Just wanted to thank you for this recipe. I’ve made this at least once a month for the past year or so, and everybody always loves it! Thanks so much again for sharing!!!


  19. Sarah on July 21, 2011 at 10:13 am

    This looks fabulous, and it’s going in my soup file. I love big soup recipes. I normally double my recipes and freeze several more servings in a disposable tupperware bowl. It’s wonderful to have extras – I can use them for a quick meal, or to pass along to a sick friend. Thanks for the recipe!


  20. Sara on November 6, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    This soup looks great! I would love to make the garlic herb breadsticks with it. Would you mind to share the recipe?


    • Michelle on November 10th, 2011 at 1:19 am

      Hi Sara, I actually don’t have a recipe posted here. If I remember correctly, I just used some leftover pizza dough and added some herbs. I’ll have to get one together and on the site though!


  21. Laura on November 13, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Wonderful recipe!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!! SO delicious!


  22. Allison on December 10, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Glad I stumbled on this recipe and plan to make it within the next couple of weeks! Cute blog title, I’m a brown eyed girl too 😉


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  26. Kimberly Davis on December 27, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Great looking recipe – I’ve created my own over the years and love the Italian sausage idea. I’ll be stealing it! 🙂
    One helpful tip: I find that cooking the pasta separately and adding it to each bowl as you serve works best if you expect to have leftovers. This way the pasta doesn’t expand & get mushy sitting in the refrigerator.
    Cheers & Happy New Year!


  27. Kelly on February 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I made this recipe last night and it turned out amazing! My 3 year old daughter enjoyed this immensely. It sure does make a heck of a lot soup, we froze a ton and gave some away as well. This has always been a favorite soup of mine and it never occured to me to make it at home until I stumbled across this recipe. The sausage makes all the difference too, I’m use to this dish being made with ground hamburger. I love love loved it! Thanks for another great recipe.. now I’m on to making the “S’more stuffed chocolate chip cookies”! Yum!


  28. Jan on January 31, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Wow!! Made this tonite (used ground beef…no Italian sausage in fridge) and it was delicious! Really great flavor and makes a huge pot of soup. Thanks so much for the recipe. Will definitely be making it again!! 🙂


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  30. Chris on February 24, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Growing up in an Italian family we had Pasta Fagioli during fall through winter. I’ve been making my family’s recipe for years. Last month while we were snowed in with 30 inches of snow, I made this for the first time. This soup is amazing. I will only make this version from this point forward! I made it again last week and froze some also. It does make a lot of soup! I did use Italian turkey sausage also. It’s very easy to make and delicious. Thank you for this recipe, we loved it!


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