Hearty Pasta fa*gioli Soup Recipe | Savory Nothings (2024)

Make a large pot of this Hearty Pasta fa*gioli Soup for a warming and comforting meal. Freezer friendly and full of flavor – a dinner the family will love! It’s hearty and comforting, perfect on a cold day.

Hearty Pasta fa*gioli Soup Recipe | Savory Nothings (1)

My now-husband introduced me to Pasta fa*gioli when we first started dating way back in the day. And I fell in love with the soup just as much as I did with him 😉

This is such a cozy soup, filled with beans, pasta, sausage and plenty of vegetables. One batch usually lasts us for 2-3 meals, and it only gets better over time.

It’s one of my favorite fall and winter staples, right next to my Instant Pot Lentil Soup, Instant Pot Gnocchi Soup (another Olive Garden copycat! – or try my crockpot version), my favorite Lasagna Soup… What can I say? Soup is the best.

Ingredients you’ll need

Here is a visual overview of the ingredients in the recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities!

Hearty Pasta fa*gioli Soup Recipe | Savory Nothings (2)

The wonderful thing about Pasta fa*gioli is that it’s truly a full meal:

  • it has beans for plant-based protein
  • there’s starchy pasta
  • plenty of vegetables for fiber and nutrients
  • sausage and bacon are optional (just double up on the beans if you want to keep things vegetarian), but absolutely add some wonderful depth of flavor

I know the ingredient list for this soup looks insane and you can probably (definitely) find easier ones, but I always say soup may be a simple meal – but a good soup requires some elbow grease. It takes a lot of veggie chopping, spice measuring (or… eyeballing) and plenty of love to make a truly good pot of soup.

Ingredient notes

  • Sausage: Mild or spicy both work, choose what you like taste-wise. If you use whole sausages, just remove them from their casings and use just the sausage meat. You’ll need to break it up well during browning, but it works just as well as ground sausage.
  • Bacon: I actually used pancetta this time, but regular thick-cut bacon is fine. You can skip it if you’re not a fan.
  • Beans: I used Cannelini and dark red kidney, but you can also go for great nothern, light red kidney, white kidney…
  • Pasta: Any short, small pasta shape will work; Ditalini are a classic I do pretty much always buy to make Pasta fa*gioli, but mini shells or even macaroni work in a pinch.
  • Diced tomatoes: Fire-roasted add extra flavor, but regular work just fine.
  • Wine: The wine does add depth of flavor, but feel free to skip it if you don’t want to use alcohol. As far as which wine to choose, use a dry red you would also enjoy drinking. Sangiovese or Chianti would be perfect, but you can cheat and use a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Merlot or a Pinot Noir.

How to make Pasta fa*gioli

1. Start by browning the sausage and bacon in olive oil until well browed. The more color you add, the more flavor your soup will have.

2. Stir in the vegetables and cook until softening, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir through the tomato paste and seasoning, finally deglaze with red wine and simmer for 1 minute, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot.

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4. Add both tomatoes and broth, stir well, then bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes (or longer, if you want to).

5. Stir through the uncooked Ditalini pasta. Make sure the soup is simmering/lightly bubbling and cook for 10 more minutes. Stir through the beans, cook until the pasta is fully done and the beans are heated. At this point you can stir through more broth to reach your desired soup consistency.

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6. Immediately serve the soup with chopped parsley and grated parmesan.

We also like a crusty bread on the side, often a No Knead Dutch Oven Bread or a Homemade No Knead French Bread; but my kids also love a good old-fashioned white bread. If I have time, I love to have sourdough bread with this soup though!

Hearty Pasta fa*gioli Soup Recipe | Savory Nothings (11)

Recipe tips

Pasta: I used to cook the pasta separately and then stir it into the cooked soup; but we have been waiting for a kitchen remodel for months now, and we have been with a single burner since September.

I made Pasta fa*gioli and decided to just throw the pasta in with the soup instead of messing around with a second pot – and it worked SO well and was SO easy. There really is no need to cook the pasta separately, unless you are planning to freeze the soup; or really seriously dislike soft pasta.

Vegetables: I recommend paying attention to the chopping, and trying to get all the vegetables about evenly sized. I chop them roughly to average between the size of the pasta and the beans, in order to make the soup more pleasant to eat.

Browning: Do not be afraid to properly brown your meats, it really does add a lot of flavor. Don’t use high heat, stick to medium-high or just below medium-high. Don’t stop once the sausage looks cooked but is still pale, continue browning until it has a nice caramelized color to it.

If you disregard my note about using medium-high heat and burn it, it can ruin the flavor of the entire soup and you’ll definitely need to remove the sausage, wash the pot, remove the worst burnt parts of the sausage and only then continue with the recipe in order to salvage it).

Soup consistency: You can add more broth right at the end of cooking in order to thin out the soup, if you like it more broth-y. Add ½ cup at a time, stir well and only then add more if you still want to.

Storage and freezer tips

Leftovers: The soup keeps covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it gently on the stove until simmering, add more broth if needed, cook for a couple of minutes and then serve.

Make ahead: This soup actually gets better as it sits, so I usually make it a day ahead. We don’t mind the pasta getting softer. If you absolutely dislike soft pasta and plan to make the soup ahead, I would recommend to reduce the broth in the soup by 1 cup (so, use 4 cups of broth to make the soup) and cook the pasta separately. Add pasta to individual servings, not the entire pot.

Freezer: The soup freezes well, but here I do strongly recommend to leave out the pasta (again, use 4 cups of broth instead of 5 cups to make the soup).

Once the soup has cooled to room temperature:

  • Pack the soup into freezer-friendly containers
  • Label with the name and use-by date
  • Freeze for up to 3 months

To reheat, I recommend defrosting the soup in the fridge overnight. Reheat on the stove until simmering, cook for 5 minutes or until fully heated through. Cook the pasta separately and stir into the heated soup just before serving.

Hearty Pasta fa*gioli Soup Recipe | Savory Nothings (12)

More easy soup recipes

  • Stuffed Green Pepper Soup
  • Sausage Tortellini Soup
  • Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup with Sausage
  • Easy Lasagna Soup

PSIf you try this recipe, please leavea review in the comment section and add a star rating in the recipe card – I appreciate your feedback! Follow along onPinterest,FacebookorInstagram.

Printable recipe

Printable Recipe Card

Hearty Pasta fa*gioli Soup

Make a large pot of this Hearty Pasta fa*gioli Soup for a warming and comforting meal. Freezer friendly and full of flavor – a dinner the family will love!

Recipe by Nora from Savory Nothings

made it? tap the stars to add your rating!

4.96 from 22 votes

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Recipe details

Prep 30 minutes mins

Cook 1 hour hr

Total 1 hour hr 30 minutes mins

Servings 6 servings

Difficulty Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ ounces thick-cut bacon diced
  • 1 pound Italian sausage crumbled
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 5 medium celery stalks diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 small-medium onions peeled and diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup red wine OR more broth
  • 1 (24-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes use fire-roasted for more flavor
  • 5 cups chicken broth plus extra as needed
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dry Ditalini pasta
  • 1 (15-oz) can dark red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-oz) can white cannelini beans rinsed and drained
  • grated parmesan to serve (optional)
  • chopped parsley to serve (optional)

Instructions

  • Brown the meats: Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the sausage and continue cooking until browned as well, about 4-5 minutes.

  • Sauté the vegetables: Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and cook until starting to soften, about 4-5 minutes.

  • Season and deglaze: Stir the tomato paste, Italian seasoning and garlic powder into the pot until evenly distributed. Pour the red wine into the pot and cook, scratching the browned bits off the bottom of the pot, for 1 minute.

  • Cook the soup: Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

  • Add pasta and beans: Stir uncooked Ditalini through soup, cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir through drained beans and continue simmering for 4-5 minutes, until pasta is cooked and beans are heated, stirring through more broth if needed. Serve immediately with parmesan and parsley, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

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Notes

  • Sausage:Mild or spicy both work, choose what you like taste-wise. If you use whole sausages, just remove them from their casings and use just the sausage meat. You’ll need to break it up well during browning, but it works just as well as ground sausage.
  • Bacon: Pancetta is really perfect here, but regular thick-cut bacon is fine. You can skipif you’re not a fan.
  • Beans: You can also go for great nothern, light red kidney, white kidney…
  • Pasta: Any short, small pasta shape will work. I used to cook the pasta separately in a previous version of this soup, but found it wasn’t necessary to dirty another pot and now cook the pasta right in the soup. There really is no need to cook the pasta separately, unless you are planning to freeze the soup; or reallyseriouslydislike soft pasta.
  • Wine: The wine does add depth of flavor, but feel free to skip it if you don’t want to use alcohol. As far as which wine to choose, use a dry red you would also enjoy drinking. Sangiovese or Chianti would be perfect, but you can cheat and use a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Merlot or a Pinot Noir.
  • Vegetables: Chop vegetables as evenly as possible, roughly between the size of the pasta and the beans, in order to make the soup more pleasant to eat.
  • Browning: Stick to medium-high or just below medium-high. Don’t stop once the sausage looks cooked but is still pale, continue browning until it has a nice caramelized color to it. If you disregard my note about using medium-high heat and burn it, it can ruin the flavor of the entire soup and you’ll definitely need to remove the sausage, wash the pot, remove the worst burnt parts of the sausage and only then continue with the recipe in order to salvage it.
  • Freezer: The soup freezes well, but here I do strongly recommend to leave out the pasta (again, use 4 cups of broth instead of 5 cups to make the soup). See notes in post for exact freezer tips and instructions.

Nutrition is an estimate.

More recipe information

Course: Lunch, Main Course

Cuisine: American, Italian

Recipe first shared on 11/06/2017. Updated with new photos, slightly altered recipe and new text on 01/08/2022.

Hearty Pasta fa*gioli Soup Recipe | Savory Nothings (2024)
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