Copycat Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Soup Recipe

Olive Garden is where America goes out for dinner. But what if you could eat Olive Garden at home, whenever you wanted? You can, thanks to this copycat Olive Garden pasta e fagioli recipe from private practice registered dietitian Kristen Carli. "I love creating copycat recipes [that enable us] to make our restaurant favorites at home," says Carli. "Olive Garden is beloved around the country and this is a classic recipe to recreate."

No, this recipe does not come with unlimited soup and salad or breadsticks, but you do get to eat a hearty, healthy soup in the comfort of your own home without having to wait for a table. "I love pasta e fagioli because I think the idea of adding pasta to soup is amazing," says Carli. "Plus I love to serve it with a big slice of crusty bread!" You can also choose higher quality, fresher ingredients, modify for allergies and preferences, and just enjoy learning how to cook a dish that maybe you've previously only eaten in a restaurant.

Pasta e fagioli is an Italian-American staple that is sometimes called "pasta fazool" or "pasta e fasul," as it is referred to in the song "That's Amore." Dean Martin sings, "When the stars make you drool just like a pasta e fasul, that's amore." Warning: You might fall in amore with how easy it is to make this delicious soup. Let's get started!

Gather your ingredients for this copycat Olive Garden pasta e fagioli recipe

Pasta e fagioli literally translates to "pasta and beans," so you're definitely going to need some pasta and beans. You'll need both great northern beans (also called large white beans) and kidney beans. For pasta, you can use any type of small pasta such ditalini, orzo, or acini de pepe. You'll also need diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and plenty of chicken broth. For seasoning, you'll need salt, pepper, dried oregano, and Italian seasoning. Ground beef, yellow onion, garlic, carrots and celery round out the ingredients.

Add the ground beef, turkey, or chicken, or skip the meat entirely

Not all pasta e fagioli recipes use ground beef. Olive Garden's does, and as this it is a copycat recipe, Carli included it. "Sometimes you will see a pasta e fagioli without meat," Carli says. "This version has meat in it."

If you don't eat beef, you can definitely substitute ground chicken or turkey. You can also omit the meat entirely if you'd prefer to make a vegetarian version. As there is very little fat in this recipe, Carli recommends using a ground beef that is 80% lean, 20% fat.

Cook the meat and sauté the vegetables

If you've made soup before, you probably know that you generally start cooking the ingredients that need to be sautéed first, and then add liquid. This recipe follows that same general framework. Add the ground beef to a large stock pot. Turn the heat up to medium and break the beef up with a wooden spoon. Cook the meat for about five minutes, or until it's no longer pink. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots to the pot. Sauté for about five more minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

Add the broth to the pot, simmer, and serve

Now that the beef and vegetables have formed a nice base of flavor, it's time to add the wet ingredients and seasoning. Add the beans, diced tomatoes, pasta, broth, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Bring the pot to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, your pasta e fagioli should be ready to go! Serve with a side salad and crusty bread if you desire. You may not be at Olive Garden, but when you're home, you're your own family. Right?

Copycat Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Soup Recipe
5 from 28 ratings
You don't need to go to Olive Garden to enjoy one of their signature soups. This pasta e fagioli is just as good as the original. And it's all you can eat.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bowl of pasta e fagioli
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • ⅔ cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound small pasta such as ditalini, orzo or acini de pepe
  • 2 ½ quarts (10 cups) chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  1. Add ground beef to a large stock pot and cook over medium heat. Break the beef up with a wooden spoon and cook for about 5 minutes, or until no longer pink.
  2. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Sauté for about 5 more minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  3. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, pasta, broth, salt, pepper, oregano, and Italian seasoning. Bring the pot to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat and let the pot simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer soup to bowls and enjoy with a side salad and crusty bread, if desired.
Calories per Serving 475
Total Fat 13.3 g
Saturated Fat 4.5 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 39.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 62.2 g
Dietary Fiber 7.1 g
Total Sugars 8.8 g
Sodium 935.6 mg
Protein 25.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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