How to Make Pasta Fagioli Soup

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In this post you will learn how to make an easy Italian soup called pasta fagioli.  Fagioli means beans in Italian.   It’s a popular recipe and is perfect all year in every season. 

This soup goes great with Italian bread and a salad.  You’ll see how easy it to make by watching my video below.

What Kind of Beans to Use in Pasta Fagioli?

Personally, I like to use cannellini beans, like I do in my cannellini bean soup recipe, however you can use white kidney beans or other white bean for a similar flavor. If you start adding other beans like red kidney beans then you start changing the flavor and it becomes more like a minestrone soup.

What Kind of Pasta to Use?

There are a few rules when using pasta in a soup.  One is to never cook the pasta in with the soup.  Instead, it’s best to cook the pasta separately and then add the pasta to the individual soup bowls.

The reason is that the pasta can cause the soup to become starchy, and if there are any left overs, the pasta will just turn into a mushy bloated mess and that’s no good.

In regards to the kind of pasta, short tubular pasta like ditalini pasta or other short pasta works best.   Sometimes when we cook soup and don’t have any short pasta we break apart spaghetti into short strands but honestly, this isn’t the same and I’d do only as last resort.

There is something to be said about the size and shape of pasta.  A good rule of thumb is to keep the pasta the same approximate size as the other ingredients.   Obviously, this is not a hard and fast rule, especially when making recipes that use long pasta like my pasta with shrimp recipe.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do in our household.

Pasta Fagioli Soup Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Soups
Servings: 4 people


  • 2 onions diced
  • 1 carrot chopped finely
  • 1 stalk of celery chopped finely
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped
  • 2 15 oz cans of cannellini beans rinced and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4 cups chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 15oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups small tubular short pasta
  • grated Romano cheese


  • In medium size soup pot heat olive oil over medium high heat about 2-3 minutes
  • Add in onions and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in garlic and stir. Heat about 2 minutes. Do not let it burn.
  • Add in bay leaf, carrots and celery. Stir and put cover on.
  • Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in separate pan, bring 6 cups water to a boil and add pasta. Follow instructions on box. Drain when cooked.
  • Once carrots and celery are soft add in can of tomatoes, beans, water and broth/stock. Stir.
  • Bring to boil then reduce to simmer. Cover and cook for about 10-20 more minutes.
  • When ready to serve, combine pasta with the soup and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.


TIP #1: Cooking the pasta inside the soup can cause the soup to become too starchy and the pasta to become overcooked. I prefer keeping them separate until ready to serve.
TIP #2: Feel free to add in a can of red kidney beans. However, once you start adding more veggies it can easily morph into a minestrone soup. My recipe is a simple recipe but you can make it as complex as you personally like.
TIP #3: Serve with salad and Italian bread.

Kitchenware, Gadgets and Tools Recommended for Use in this Recipe:

How to Make Pasta Fagioli Soup

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