This Pasta Fagioli Soup is hearty and filling and full of delicious Italian flavors! With creamy beans, tender pasta, hearty turkey sausage, fresh veggies and herbs, in a rich tomato based sauce – what’s not to love!?
One of my favorite things about chilly weather is soup! And when I say “chilly” weather I mean anything below 65 degrees. This is what my husband has come to call “Florida cold.” 🙂 What can I say, when you live in Florida you can’t be too picky. LOL
Today is actually one of those days: 56 degrees, windy, and gray. So soup it is!
Today’s recipe is hearty and filling with beans, pasta and mild turkey sausage. I give you… Italian Pasta Fagioli Soup!
You may have tried this before, since it’s one of the very popular Olive Garden soups. And although this soup recipe is similar, it’s also a little different. It’s a known thing that recipes for pasta e fagioli vary, the only true requirement is that beans and pasta are included.
After all “Pasta e Fagioli” actually means beans and pasta in Italian. So there you go.
This traditional Italian soup is often called pasta fasul (or fazool) in the US. I’m sure some of the credit goes to the song “That’s Amore” written by Warren and Brooks and made popular by heartthrob actor & singer Mr. Dean Martin.
Can you hear him now…. “When the stars make you drool, just like pasta fazool, that’s amore…”
And all of that makes me love this pasta fagioli even more!
Let’s talk about how this soup comes together.
How to make traditional pasta fagioli
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the turkey sausage and cook for 4-5 minutes, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
- Add the onion, carrot, celery, rosemary, thyme and parsley and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add the broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil then simmer 5 minutes.
- Next, stir in the pasta. Simmer for 9-10 minutes until the pasta is al dente. (Tender but still firm to the bite. This cook time will vary depending on the pasta you use.) The soup will thicken a bit while the pasta is cooking. Once the pasta is al dente, remove and discard the bay leaves.
- Take the soup off the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. If the soup seems too thick, stir in some water or chicken stock until it reaches the desired consistency (note: the longer it sits in the pot, the thicker it will get).
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and parsley (if desired) and devour!
What Beans Can I Use in Pasta Fagioli?
Traditional Italian recipes call for cannellini beans (either pre-boiled dry beans or canned beans). The very popular version served at Olive Garden is reportedly made with white and red kidney beans but that is definitely a more Americanized version. All to say, it’s a matter of personal preference, plus a matter of what you can find in your grocery store or in your own pantry! 😊
Other beans you could substitute in this recipe include:
- Great Northern Beans
- White Kidney Beans
- Borlotti beans
- Navy Beans
- Baby Lima Beans (aka “Butterbeans”)
What Meats Can I Use in Pasta E Fagioli Soup?
The “traditional” version calls for pancetta, but I’ve swapped out for ground turkey to keep the soup a little more heart-healthy. Depending on your preference and availability, any of the following meats will work:
- Ground Beef (I would use 95% Lean or higher)
- Ground Chicken
- Spicy Ground Turkey (using spicy instead of mild will definitely step up the heat factor in the finished product)
- Smoked Ham Hock (if you want to go this route, you’ll need a lower-slower cook method like this recipe).
How to make low carb pasta e fagioli?
Fear not my Low Carb friends, I’ve got you covered. (Yes, technically when we remove the pasta and the beans it is no longer a “pasta e fagioli” soup, but these are the trade-offs we make with a low-carb lifestyle!)
Use these modifications to make low-carb “Pasta Fazool”:
- Follow the full recipe directions below, using the original cook times for each step (the meat, veggies, the stock, etc.). However make the following modifications:
- Omit the beans and the pasta
- Add a second pound of ground turkey.
- Reduce the total liquid (chicken stock) by 1 cup.
- Slice two medium-sized zucchini into 1/2-inch slices, then quarter each slice. Add them at the very end, instead of pasta in step #5 of the recipe below). Cook for 7 minutes for “al-dente” zukes, or longer if you’d like them softer. Then remove from heat.
- If you make these modifications, the total carbs per serving will drop from 40g to 10g, and net carbs will drop from 32g to 8g.
Can you make vegetarian pasta fazool?
Of course! You’ll need to make the following modifications:
- For starters, omit the meat.
- Consider adding another 14.5-ounce can of beans, drained (either kidney or cannellini).
- Also, instead of chicken stock, use vegetable stock.
- To make it completely Vegan, you would also need to skip the cheese.
I hope you enjoy this tasty, versatile Italian soup! It’s hearty and full of the most delicious and rich savory, comforting flavors…
This soup is best served immediately; as it sits, the pasta and beans soak up the broth. If the soup gets too thick, you can thin it with a bit of broth or water. We tested this recipe with both the mild turkey and also the spicy turkey... our preference was the spicy turkey! But we do tend to like our food with more spicy flavors. 🙂
Serving Size 8 ounces
Amount Per Serving Calories 371Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 48mgSodium 592mgCarbohydrates 40gNet Carbohydrates 32gFiber 8gSugar 7gProtein 21g
This soup is best served immediately; as it sits, the pasta and beans soak up the broth. If the soup gets too thick, you can thin it with a bit of broth or water.
We tested this recipe with both the mild turkey and also the spicy turkey... our preference was the spicy turkey! But we do tend to like our food with more spicy flavors. 🙂