This vegetarian (vegan) Pasta Fagioli Recipe is a super simple, hearty, rustic Italian bowl of comfort. One pot, and a few pantry staples is all it takes!
Pasta Fagioli, or Pasta e Fagioli, is a simple, humble-man’s “pasta and beans” dish from Italy.
Because Pasta Fagioli is a very popular soup meant to use up whatever ingredients you have on hand–beans being a main ingredient– there are more variations of it than one can count. Some parts of Italy serve it with tomatoes, others keep it “white.” Some add sausage or meat, and others stick to a vegetarian (or vegan) version as in today’s Pasta Fagioli recipe.
Where the draw lies in this vegetarian Pasta Fagioli recipe is in its simplicity. Every-day ingredients, cooked in one large pot. Plus, it serves a hungry crowd on a budget!
Two tips for this Pasta Fagioli Recipe
I’ve made this soup countless times for my little family of four. My two small tips (or preferences, really):
- Canned fire roasted tomatoes add a hearty, rustic flavor, eliminating the need for too many spices. Here, I only use dried oregano and one bay leaf, otherwise.
- As you’ll see in the recipe notes, I like to cook the pasta separately, then I add it to the serving bowls with the hot soup on top. Why? This Pasta Fagioli recipe provides 6 good-size servings, which means leftovers are inevitable. When the pasta sits in the soup for the next day, it tends to get too soft, and you end up with a fairly thick Pasta Fagioli.
Easy Vegetarian Pasta Fagioli Recipe
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Cuisine: Italian
- 8 oz small past (elbow pasta, for example)
- Olive Oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 28-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 5-6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 15-oz can cannellini beans (or Great Northern Beans), rinsed and drained
- 1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- Crushed red pepper, optional
- Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- Italian bread, to serve
- In a large boiling pot of water, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain well, and set aside.
- In a large dutch oven or cast iron pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Saute the onions, celery and carrots on medium-high heat for 4 minutes or so until the vegetables begin to break down. Add the chopped garlic, bay leaf, and dried oregano. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Now, add the roasted diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, cannellini beans, and kidney beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Cover the pot with a lid but leave a small opening. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Bring to a medium-high heat, stir in the pasta until warmed through. Stir in the fresh basil, and remove from heat.
- Transfer to serving bowls and top with crushed red pepper (optional) and grated Parmesan cheese. Add your favorite crusty Italian bread. Enjoy!
Alternative to step #4: Sometimes, especially when serving a small number of people, I prefer to add the cooked pasta in the serving bowls, topping it with the soup. That way, I can save the leftovers, pasta and soup, separately. Otherwise, the soup may get too thick overnight.
If you want to do this, you can warm the pasta up by running boiling hot water over it. Drain, and then place the pasta in the serving bowls, then ladle the soup on top.