Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Recipe

Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Recipe

Copycat Olive Garden Pasta I enjoy making meals in one pot and enjoy cooking soups all year, not just during the cold winter days. It’s a must to make the Pasta e Fagioli is among my most-loved soups at Olive Garden, so being capable of making a large pot at my home where I can take in the aroma as it cooks is a plus. It’s very easy to make by combining the ingredients and stirring frequently.

The majority of ingredients, like canning and spices, are items that you already have on hand which means you can avoid going to the shop, and instead get started cooking.

This soup is packed with vegetables and is bursting with Italian taste. It’s warm, hearty, and delicious. The kids love it and receive a healthy portion of vegetables for the entire day, which makes it an absolute hit with our family.

The recipe below will show you how to make your own Pasta e Fagioli in a large pot. However, should you prefer to cook this with the slow cooker in your home, read our notes beneath this recipe to get a short guideline for making it? We also provide tips on how to properly store the soup in case you’d like to freeze a portion to use for meals in the future.

Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Recipe

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


Making soup

  • Place 1 Tbsp olive oil inside a huge saucepan at medium-high temperature. Place the beef into the pot and stir it around until the beef is cooked approximately 5 – 7 mins.
  • Remove the fat of the beef and then transfer it onto a plate and then set it aside. The remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil is inside the pan.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté on medium-high heat until they are tender, about 6 minutes.
  • After that, add garlic and cook another minute.
  • Then, add the chicken broth tomatoes, tomato sauce as well as canned tomatoes, water as well as sugar, basil oregano, and thyme, as well as marjoram. Transfer the beef that has been cooked and season by adding salt and spice according to your preference.
  • The soup should come to the point of boiling. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer, stirring frequently until vegetables become soft, which can take anywhere from 15 to 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.


What’s the difference between minestrone and pasta Fagioli?

These two Italian soups are actually very similar. According to this source, the main difference is in the vegetables. While minestrone features a wide variety of vegetables, pasta Fagioli emphasizes pasta and beans. The latter is often thicker and more stew-like than minestrone as well.

What is in the soup at Olive Garden?

Pasta e Fagioli – White and red beans, ground beef, fresh tomatoes, and tubetti pasta in a savory broth. Minestrone (V) – Fresh vegetables, beans, and pasta in a light tomato broth – a vegan classic. Zuppa Toscana – Spicy Italian sausage, fresh kale, and russet potatoes in a creamy broth.

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