Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli copycat is rich, hearty, and makes plenty for the whole family. Warm yourself up with a bowl of this soup tonight!
With the perfect balance of ingredients and flavors, it’s no wonder that this is one of the most popular Olive Garden soups!
Ground beef, veggies, white and red beans, and plenty of Italian seasonings simmer together in a rich tomato broth.
Freshly cooked ditalini is added right at the end to make this dish even more filling.
This fagiloli soup recipe is so incredibly simple, it’s sure to become a part of your regular rotation!
Add a big bowl of salad and some breadsticks and you’ll never need takeout again!
How To Make Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli
Start by browning the meat. Add in the base of vegetables and saute until softened. Drain off any excess fat, then stir in all of the remaining ingredients except for the noodles.
While that simmers, boil the ditalini in salted water according to package directions. Then, drain and stir into the soup just before serving.
Sprinkle some chopped herbs like parsley or basil over the top or grate a little bit of fresh Parmesan or Romano if you’d like!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Ground beef – This dish would be equally as delicious with ground sausage, turkey, or chicken!
- Tomatoes – San Marzano canned tomatoes are less acidic than other varieties, or you can stire in a teaspoon of granulated sugar if the fagioli soup is too acidic.
For a little spice, try diced tomatoes with jalapenos or chiles.
- Beans – Using the liquid from the cans adds plenty of flavor, but it can also add a lot of sodium!
If you’re concerned about salt content, give the beans a rinse and increase the amount of stock and tomato sauce instead.
- Pasta – Ditalini is a short, round noodle shaped like a tube. While it’s the classic choice, orzo or macaroni will work in a pinch. Whatever you choose, cook the pasta separately!
It allows you to add just the right amount and ensures the noodles don’t become too soggy.
- Beef stock – You can substitute chicken stock or even water if you prefer. The beef stock just adds a really nice richness to the soup.
FAQ – Common Recipe Questions
Can I freeze leftovers?
I wouldn’t recommend it once everything is combined. Soups with pasta don’t tend to hold up well once they’ve been thawed and reheated.
However, you can freeze the fagioli soup base for up to 3 months and add freshly cooked ditalini just before serving.
Or, store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and reheat on the stove until warmed through.
What’s the difference between Olive Garden pasta fagioli and minestrone?
While the two are very similar, minestrone contains a wide variety of vegetables while fagioli soup features more beans and noodles.
It also has a much thicker texture, almost like stew, and a stronger tomato flavor.
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Other Easy Olive Garden Copycat Recipes
Olive Garden Pasta Fagiolo
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, optional
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 3 medium tomatoes, diced or 1- 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes (including the juices)
- 15 ounce can white beans, undrained
- 15 ounce can red kidney beans, undrained
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 cup ditalini pasta, cooked (cook and drain separately)
- Parsley, basil, oregano, and/or thyme for garnish, if desired
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef until no pink remains.
- Add onion, celery, and minced garlic to the pot and continue cooking over medium heat until onions are soft. (If there is not enough fat in the pan from cooking the ground beef, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to aid in sauteeing the vegetables.)
- Drain the meat and vegetables of any excess fat.
- Add the carrots, beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, and Italian seasoning to the mixture and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Once the soup has simmered at least 15 minutes, remove from heat and stir in the cooked pasta.
- Serve with fresh herbs for garnish.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published December 2021
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