Almost Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Soup

It is finally fall weather here in Nebraska! Well, for today anyway. Tomorrow it could be 90 or snowing–it’s Nebraska.

So I am taking advantage of the cooler weather and making soup, because I honestly could eat soup every day, but I usually wait for appropriate weather. When searching for a recipe, it had to meet certain criteria: farmer-approved, which means it needs to be hearty, kid-approved, which is always a gamble in this house, and EASY, because, well, with three kids I prefer not to spend too much time in the kitchen. Oh, and I LOVE when the meal happens to be healthy too;-)

So Pinterest turned up a win with this soup recipe, and I only tweaked a few things!

When you eat Pasta e Fagioli Soup (fagioli is Italian for “beans”) at The Olive Garden, they might use ground sausage instead of ground beef, but it’s good either way. I used beef to keep the soup a little lower in fat, and because everyone in my family (not just me, recovering from having a baby a few weeks ago) can benefit from the TEN vitamins and minerals that beef provides. I also left out the celery, because that’s something that no one in my family is crazy about.

So! Make this easy soup and tell me what you think!

Almost Copycat Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Yields 8
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320 calories
41 g
35 g
8 g
21 g
3 g
303 g
955 g
5 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 320
Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 35mg
Sodium 955mg
Total Carbohydrates 41g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Sugars 5g
Protein 21g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 pound ground beef
  2. 1 small onion, chopped (equivalent to 1 cup)
  3. 1 large carrot, chopped (equivalent to 1 cup)
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  6. 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
  7. 1 can (15 ounces) beef broth
  8. 1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, with liquid
  9. 1 can (15 ounces) white kidney beans, with liquid
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  12. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  13. 1 teaspoon dried basil
  14. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  15. 8 ounces ditalini pasta, precooked to al dente according to package directions
  1. In a large pot, over medium heat, cook the ground beef.
  2. Drain the liquid from the cooked beef (if any). If you use ground beef with a lower fat ratio then you will have little to no liquid to drain.
  3. Stir in the chopped onions, carrots, and minced garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, red and white kidney beans (with the liquid).
  5. Season with the salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and thyme and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  6. When the soup has 10 minutes left to simmer, cook the ditalini pasta in boiling water for 7 minutes or until a bit firmer than al dente. Do not over cook the pasta.
  7. Drain the pasta and stir it into the soup. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
  1. Keeps well in the refrigerator or in the freezer.
Adapted from adapted from Tina's Chic Corner blog
Adapted from adapted from Tina's Chic Corner blog
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