Pasta Fagioli Recipe


  • Meat and Vegetables:
    • 2 lbs. ground beef
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 3 carrots, chopped
    • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • Canned Goods:
    • 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • 3 (10 ounce) cans beef stock
    • 1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • Seasonings and Extras:
    • 3 tsp. oregano
    • 2 tsp. pepper
    • 5 tsp. parsley
    • 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce (optional)
    • 8 ounces pasta


  1. Brown the Beef:
    • In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat until fully cooked. Drain the fat and transfer the beef to a crock pot.
  2. Prepare the Vegetables:
    • Chop the onion, carrots, and celery. Add them to the crock pot with the ground beef.
  3. Add Canned Goods and Seasonings:
    • Pour in the diced tomatoes (with juice), red kidney beans, white kidney beans, beef stock, and spaghetti sauce.
    • Add oregano, pepper, parsley, and Tabasco sauce (if using).
  4. Cook:
    • Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
  5. Add Pasta:
    • 30 minutes before serving, add the pasta to the crock pot. Stir well to combine.
  6. Serve:
    • Serve hot with crusty warm bread.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 7-8 hours (low) or 4-5 hours (high)

Total Time: 7.5-8.5 hours (low) or 4.5-5.5 hours (high)

Servings: 10-12

20 Popular Questions and Answers about Pasta Fagioli

  1. Can I use ground turkey instead of beef?
    • Yes, ground turkey is a leaner option and works well in this recipe.
  2. How do I make this vegetarian?
    • Omit the ground beef and use vegetable broth instead of beef stock. You can add extra beans or vegetables for more substance.
  3. Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned?
    • Yes, but you’ll need to peel and chop them first. You may need to add extra liquid since fresh tomatoes have less juice than canned.
  4. What type of pasta is best for this soup?
    • Small pasta shapes like ditalini, elbow macaroni, or small shells work best.
  5. Can I use canned beans without rinsing?
    • Rinsing removes excess salt and starch, but if you’re in a hurry, you can skip this step.
  6. How do I store leftovers?
    • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  7. Can I add other vegetables?
    • Yes, zucchini, bell peppers, or spinach can be added for more variety.
  8. Is there a way to make this spicier?
    • Increase the Tabasco sauce or add red pepper flakes for extra heat.
  9. Can I cook this on the stovetop instead of a crock pot?
    • Yes, simmer all ingredients (except pasta) in a large pot for about 1 hour. Add pasta in the last 10 minutes.
  10. What if my soup is too thick?
    • Add extra beef stock or water to reach your desired consistency.
  11. Can I use pre-cooked pasta?
    • Yes, add pre-cooked pasta in the last 10 minutes of cooking to heat through.
  12. Can I use Italian sausage instead of ground beef?
    • Yes, Italian sausage adds a nice flavor. Make sure to remove the casings and crumble the sausage.
  13. How do I make this recipe gluten-free?
    • Use gluten-free pasta and ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free.
  14. What type of bread pairs well with this soup?
    • Crusty bread like a baguette or sourdough complements this soup perfectly.
  15. Can I add cheese to this recipe?
    • Yes, a sprinkle of Parmesan or Pecorino Romano on top is delicious.
  16. Is there a low-sodium option?
    • Use low-sodium beef stock, rinse the beans well, and choose a low-sodium spaghetti sauce.
  17. Can I make this in an Instant Pot?
    • Yes, use the sauté function to brown the beef and then cook on the soup/stew setting for 30 minutes.
  18. Do I need to soak the beans if I use dried beans?
    • If using dried beans, soak them overnight and cook them separately before adding to the soup.
  19. What is the best way to reheat leftovers?
    • Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through, adding extra stock if needed.
  20. Can I add wine to this recipe?
    • Yes, a splash of red wine adds depth to the flavor. Add it after browning the beef and let it reduce slightly.

30 Secrets to Master the Recipe

Ingredient Selection and Preparation

  1. Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh vegetables for the best flavor.
  2. Quality Beef: Choose lean ground beef to reduce grease.
  3. Proper Draining: Drain and rinse beans well to remove excess sodium.

Mixing Tips

  1. Evenly Chopped Veggies: Chop vegetables evenly for consistent cooking.
  2. Layering Flavors: Add seasonings in stages to build depth.

Crock Pot Tips

  1. Low and Slow: Cooking on low yields more tender vegetables and meat.
  2. Stir Occasionally: If possible, stir occasionally for even cooking.

Pasta Cooking

  1. Al Dente Pasta: Cook pasta al dente to prevent it from becoming mushy.
  2. Add Pasta Late: Add pasta towards the end to avoid overcooking.

Flavor Enhancements

  1. Fresh Herbs: Use fresh parsley for a brighter flavor.
  2. Extra Spices: Adjust spices to taste for a more personalized dish.

Storage and Serving

  1. Cool Before Storing: Let soup cool before refrigerating or freezing.
  2. Single Serve Portions: Freeze in single-serve portions for easy reheating.


  1. Different Beans: Substitute with black beans or chickpeas for variety.
  2. Add Greens: Stir in spinach or kale for added nutrition.

Dietary Adjustments

  1. Low Carb Option: Use cauliflower rice instead of pasta.
  2. Dairy-Free: Ensure all components are dairy-free if needed.


  1. Garnish Well: Add a sprinkle of fresh parsley or grated cheese before serving.
  2. Serve Hot: Ensure soup is piping hot when serving.

Cooking Techniques

  1. Brown Meat Well: Brown the beef thoroughly for better flavor.
  2. Deglaze Pan: Use a splash of stock to deglaze the pan and add flavor.


  1. Adjust Consistency: Add extra stock if soup is too thick.
  2. Enhance Flavor: If the soup tastes bland, adjust the seasoning.

Enhancing Texture

  1. Tender Veggies: Cook until vegetables are tender but not mushy.
  2. Perfect Pasta: Ensure pasta is fully cooked but still firm.

Equipment Tips

  1. Right Size Crock Pot: Use a crock pot large enough to accommodate the recipe.
  2. Lid On: Keep the lid on to maintain moisture and heat.

Flavor Depth

  1. Slow Simmer: A slow simmer enhances the meld of flavors.
  2. Add Garlic: Fresh garlic can add a depth of flavor.

Final Touches

  1. Taste Test: Always taste and adjust seasoning before serving.

By following these secrets and tips, you’ll master the art of making a perfect, delightful Pasta Fagioli, ensuring it is a hit at any gathering or party. Enjoy your delicious creation!