Do you go to Olive Garden just for the soup? This Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli recipe can now be made at home! Thick, hearty and amazing just on its own, this Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli soup is also great with salad and breadsticks, too!
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If you’re like me, you love dining at Olive Garden just for their unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks! Why not make a big pot of that delicious pasta fagioli soup at home?
Made with both beef and Italian sausage, along with veggies, beans, tomatoes and ditalini pasta, this soup recipe is similar to minestrone, but thicker and heartier. This soup recipe is amazing to make for dinner on a cold night.
What do I need to make Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli soup?
Here’s a quick-reference check list of the ingredients you’ll need to make this soup recipe:
- Ground beef – choose a leaner ratio, like 5-10% fat.
- Italian sausage – Either links or bulk sausage can be used. If you purchase links you’ll need to remove the outer casing from the sausage before browning.
- Carrots – fresh are ideal, but you can also substitute frozen.
- Yellow onion
- Minced garlic
- Beef broth – use a reduced sodium to keep the soup from tasting overly salty.
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Marinara sauce – choose a sauce that has no added sugar.
- Cannellini beans
- Kidney beans
- Spices: Ground pepper and Italian seasoning
- Ditalini pasta – this is very small tube-like pasta, a little larger than the size of a pea. You could also use mini shells as well.
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe. Thanks!
How do I make Pasta Fagioli soup like Olive Garden?
First, start by browning the ground beef and Italian sausage. Drain off any excess fat that the meats render. To the browned meat add the carrots, onion, kidney beans, cannellini beans, diced tomatoes, garlic, broth, marinara sauce, Italian seasoning and pepper.
Stir the ingredients well, and heat over medium heat to bring to a simmer.
Keep the soup ingredients at a simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes to allow the vegetables to soften and cook.
After simmering, add in the uncooked ditalini pasta. Stir to incorporate into the soup. Cook over medium heat, simmering for another 10 -12 minutes or until the pasta is cooked to al dente.
Top with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese. Great served with salad and fresh baked bread.
What can I serve with pasta fagioli soup?
Even though this soup recipe is hearty enough to be served on its own, it is wonderful served with salads and breads. Here are some of our favorite options to pair with this soup:
- Easy Cheesy Breadsticks
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Roasted Carrot Salad with Apples and Pistachios
- Italian Tortellini Salad
- Kale Apple Salad
- Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to scroll down to the recipe at the bottom of the post. Thanks!
Frequently asked questions about making Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli recipe:
Yes, you can definitely make this pasta fagioli soup without meat. Simply omit the ground beef and sausage from the recipe. To add a bit more protein, consider doubling the kidney and cannellini beans.
Both soups are very similar in flavor. Minestrone is typically more brothy, whereas pasta fagioli is much more thick and stew-like in consistency. Pasta fagioli often has beans mashed or pureed to create a thicker soup consistency.
According to Natasha’s Kitchen, the most popular soup at Olive Garden in Zuppa Toscana. Zuppa Toscana is a soup that consists of sausage, kale, bacon and potatoes.
Yes, using a bag of peas and carrots is a great option (and a useful time saver!) to chopping your own carrots. Substitute 1 (16 oz.) bag of peas and carrots for the fresh chopped carrots.
If you loved this soup recipe, check out some of these other easy and delicious homemade soup ideas:
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casing
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 (32 oz.) carton, low-sodium beef broth
- 2 (14.5 oz.) cans, diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 (24 oz) jar, marinara sauce (look for no sugar added)
- 1 (15.5 oz) can, cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15.5 oz.) can, kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp. ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups Ditalini pasta, uncooked
- In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef and Italian sausage over medium-high heat. Drain off any excess fat that the meat renders.
- To the browned meats, add in the diced carrots, onion, garlic, beef broth, diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, cannellini beans, kidney beans, Italian seasoning and pepper. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients. Heat over medium-high heat, uncovered, and to bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat slightly to medium and keep at a simmer for 15 minutes.
- Once done simmering, add in the uncooked pasta. Stir well. Cook the soup over medium heat, uncovered, for another 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is cooked to al dente.
- Remove from heat and allow the soup to cool slightly for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Ingredient substitutions and recommendations: you can substitute all ground beef or all Italian sausage, if you prefer to use just one meat. You can also eliminate the meat entirely to make this soup vegetarian. Frozen vegetables can be used instead of fresh.
Storage: store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Freezing: this soup can be frozen. Make according to recipe directions, then let cool completely to room temperature. Store in a freezer-safe container. Will keep frozen for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Place in soup pot and extra beef broth to reheat.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 501Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 860mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 36g